Still a baby to the eyes of family, fresh on this side of womanhood to the eyes of many, Donna was 16 and grown in her own eyes, game to his.
Crop tops, tight jeans and “Guaranteed FCUK” shirts were all the rage, Donna fit in that world yet stuck out like a red shirt in the mist of Celestial Church of Christ warriors.
Donna was 16 to the world, ready in his eyes; why else would she tease him so with them glossy lips and inviting eyes. Her words fervently wrapping around him like a warm whisper under the covers. Of course she wanted to get with this, who wouldn’t?
Donna was 16, part of the MTV nation, member of the hormonally driven race who desperately need to find their place in society. Too old for Barbie dolls and ‘my first kitchen’ yet not old enough to vote, drive or own her own kitchen.
Donna was 16, ripe. He was 36, waiting. An open invitation accepted, she walked in deafened by her own beating heart, ignoring the locomotive train bells ringing in her head, she stepped over the threshold, and shed her blanket of cotton wool mama’s love gave her. The sudden loss sent a mournful whine through the still air but Donna now deaf, weak and oblivious stumbled her way in.
He was nice enough to help her out of the rain; they’d met a few times at church so they were not exactly strangers. She was only coming in to dry off before heading on her Saturday business. Donna was 16 and far too naïve for her own good.
Here, dry yourself with this, he offered. Give me your clothes and I’ll put them in the washer. The bathroom is that way. He pointed, turned and left her to it. Noticing the violent rip on her dress for the first time, Donna thanked God this servant of his had stopped by as she struggled to make her way through the rain storm. Her favorite dress; she always felt on that side of developed in them.
He did as he said he would. Clothes spinning in the washer, he sat and looked out the window pane. Something about the rain beating hard, fast against the responsive roof ignited his imagination. The pitter patter of rain sounded like a lover’s song. He always did like the smell of rain. It smelt submissive, like the earth was opening up an allowing the heavens in. Like Mother Nature was spreading her legs wide to be replenished, blessed, awakened, filled.
Now hard with intent, blood sent to the part of him that needed it the most, images of a naked, ripe, Donna in the bathroom flooded his mind and all he wanted was to dance with the rain. What better way to do so than to personalize a metaphor? Donna was of the earth, natural, ripe and ready. She wanted him. She was ready.
He walked past the living room, headed for his bedroom. A crack in the bathroom door revealed a naked Donna who - still oblivious to her surroundings- having given up trying to lock the faulty bathroom door, had stepped out of the shower and was now drying herself off. With a light tap on the door, he surprised her. I brought you fresh clothes to wear whilst your dress dries. Thank you she said meekly. Virgin Mary’s little lamb was too far from home.
He watched her at first, perhaps hesitant but he stood there all the same. Then the idle chit chat came, Donna was 16, wet, no longer shivering from the rain and though warm from the shower, she had goose pimples as her nipples hardened behind the towel. She was no more comfortable in that room than he was trapped in his clothes.
Do you need anything else? He asked as he shut and locked the bathroom door with the hand of experience. No, thank you. Donna said as she took a step back careful not to slip on the wet tiles.
It happened in slow motion after that. Mommy’s little girl floated out of her, headed for the ceiling to watch uncomfortably and unable to help as his fcuk words came hard and empty. What was left of Donna froze. She didn’t struggle, didn’t fight much, she just froze. She cried, screamed, fought but that was the other Donna, the one suspended above. The Dona below was submissive; first on the bathroom wall, then on the bathroom floor, and now in the shower. They made a different kind of music to the rain outside but to him, it was music all the same.
Empty seeds might not fertilize an egg but what they do so violently fertilize is the process to break an already fragile mind. Donna had always been quick to adapt, to learn. What hits you and leaves you walking has just strengthened you. What you do is suck it up and learn from it- or not as the case may be.
Careful not to upset the natural order of things yet curious enough to question it, little girls grow. Sometime they die, sometimes they hide, sometimes they get a little lost and sometimes they spread their delicate untrained wings just a little farther than their might, and fly, to place where the ugliness within men is enacted at the darkest of stages.
Donna was 16.