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Welcome to PurgeAtory.

#MeToo Excerpt from “PurgeAtory”

Settled in the crotch of the United States, Florida, Liv, still 17, was invited to a beach party. Liv was still a virgin. She hadn’t blossomed into a flower, as most of her friends had. However, the Wellbutrin had thinned her out, and the baby fat had dissolved. She was all woman with only a couple of extra pounds now.

To prepare for the beach party, she found a pair of black pants. They had been her father’s firefighter pants with a snap button and a zipper. He never seemed to fluctuate in weight. He had always been 180 pounds, 6 feet tall, so the pants were baggy on Liv but still flaunted her assets. As her weight declined, she consumed more alcohol and smoked Marlboro reds.

Her thighs were able to breathe that night in the black pants and a crocheted shawl to complete her outfit. Her dorm mates also taught her how to apply makeup so that she had extra space to move, the alcohol facilitated a greater freedom. She was breathing comfortably in her tight virginal skin. Her dorm-mate, Linda, had lent her a black tank top with an intricate pattern.

Her eyes were smoky seductive, and so her lips looked kissable. Her eyeliner pointed outwardly, expanding her large hazel eyes, looking as if she was taking all of the world in, and understanding it from this pure view. Liv was high in love with Sid, glowing in radiance, her hair was pulled back, and her embellished pointed eyes peaked through a new lens. She had found her twin flame. Naivety.

She swallowed two shots of Absolut Limon, a Heineken, a glass of Merlot, and off to the beach bonfire surfer party she went. She had been warned that the Wellbutrin increases the potency of alcohol, but after the first couple shots, she forgot.

Her cousin, Lenny, invited Liv and her dorm mates to another house party afterward. Once Liv arrived, she noticed some older dudes from her high school were there. They were surfers now at the college she chose, which mostly consisted of surfers and artists. These were untouchable guys whom she had swooned over as if they were celebrities. A flock of the cool kids were in her presence.

While she slaved over AP classes in high school, she secretly dreamed of being at parties with these guys, but her mother Stella had convinced her she wasn’t worthy of the opportunity. To keep herself calm, she inhaled a couple more beers. A seemingly Costa Rican gentleman entertained her with some tunes on his guitar. He offered her shots of tantalizing cherry cheesecake, and she compliantly agreed.

Taking these shots were easy for Liv, as she was already buzzed and the taste of food still excited her. There was instant trust, familiarity, and ecstasy in the moment. Naivety. Her burnout dorm-mate, Vickie, stayed with her, blending in with the surfers, and the Phish music. She was high on killer bud and pleasantly calm. She just kind of smiled at everyone.

Her permanent happy face hid behind toasty burnt red dreadlocks. Once in a while, she would speak in her raspy voice to ask for another beer. They stuck together, while Juan, the Costa Rican with the sombrero, catered to their needs and topped off their drinks.

Near the end of the party, Juan offered to have Vickie and Liv over. Since Liv knew of all these cool cats from high school, she saw no harm in complying with Juan’s seemingly kind gesture. Two hours later, she found herself on his front porch, immobile and limp. She was aware she was being touched, but she couldn’t move. Complete paralysis. Five hours later, she awoke buck naked next to a 250-pound monster.

She looked at him and he called her by the wrong name. Deflowered. Bright red rose drops dripped down her thighs and oozed down her shins. A masterpiece of art on her flesh — blue, green and yellow bruises collaged together on the inside of her tender thighs. Liv was numb. She felt light from the Rohypnol, but her dignity was stripped away. “Oh no!” she thought, “what about Sid?”

She searched for her clothes to cover up her voluptuous figure. Innocence lost, love lost, her dignity stolen by a beast she trusted. Before she could escape, she heard the front door lock. Vickie was asked to leave so Liv could be forced into coitus against her will.

It was just last week that Liv had experienced true love, the love she used to write about, the love she fantasized about before she had ever kissed a boy, the muse that inspired her poetry before she could actually feel it. Sid had intentionally not stolen her virginity because he was aware of the statutory rape law and because he truly loved her. Sid had been her first taste, her first kiss, her first everything.

This heathen stole her away. Her submissive nature and low self-esteem allowed it.

Liv tried to black the second round out, but she wasn’t blacked out on the Rophenal any longer. She was just kinda woozy. She closed her eyes and tried to go to those imaginary fairy tale places where love really did exist. He penetrated her, perforating the hymen even more. He pierced the deepest part of her vaginal wall, poisoning her flesh with lust. Ouch! She couldn’t talk. She couldn’t scream.

Would Vickie wait for her? Juan had locked her out. Her hymen was not hers anymore. It had been pinched, punctured and poisoned. He had figuratively and literally torn her, broken her, and violated her boundaries. She had intentionally saved herself for someone like Sid, and now the dream was all gone.

She had committed the original sin, and just like Adam and Eve, she didn’t intend to break her spiritual bond with Sid.

Juan let Liv go after he was fully satiated. Vickie, a true friend, waited for her in the complex’s parking lot. She was from Florida, and one year older than Liv, so she was permitted to bring a car on campus.

Vickie offered her a hit of killer bud and Liv catapulted into a different reality, far away from this mundane matter. She could never tell her parents. She hadn’t had a relationship with her father for years now. This batch was laced with PCP and made her more paranoid that people were gossiping about her than usual.

On Monday, Liv asked to speak with a guidance counselor about the sexual assault. The counselor assured her these incidents were common. She advised Liv to be careful about how much she drank. Ashamed and embarrassed, she collected all her long black skirts and started wearing exotic eyeliner, kind of like her roommates taught her but with a little spiral at the end of the eyelid.

She was a ghost of herself, a made-up version of her high school self. Her mother never validated her good grades. She tried to get her parents’ attention but nothing ever worked, maybe this would?

Liv’s 18th birthday was approaching. She still had bruises on her inner thighs and it hurt to walk. She found a satin skirt with a flower pattern to cover her long body. That skirt stayed with her for several days. The soft material soothed her, not abrasive or obstructive. She learned to put the memory away, archived it the dark matter of her brain.

On her 18th birthday, Liv got her eyebrow pierced, the thinnest gage they had so she didn’t morph into a hardcore gothic chick overnight. The needle that pierced her gave her an adrenaline rush. It was nothing like the obtrusive man who violated her entire body. That encounter was more like a nail jamming through her young flesh.

Her dorm-mates gathered some coins to buy her a moon pie out of the hall vending machine and lit a candle for her. They all smoked a cigarette together and ate the goodies. Liv was still numb from the Rohypnol.

***

Brieanne Tanner has been practicing Yoga for 11 years, and writing since she was a child. She’s been rebelling since she was 17. She’s been a registered Yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance since 2010. She’s been a strict vegetarian for 11 years, and practices veganism when she’s not babysitting her 4-year-old. She writes poetry, practices Yoga daily, and practices Ayurvedic living when it works with her schedule. She subs Yoga classes at Karma Yoga in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and teaches Yoga to victims of abuse. She has a couple of degrees, but tries to not take herself too seriously. She enjoys traveling, photography, and an eclectic collection of music to include House and Drum and Bass music.

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