“Cinders and Ashes!” Rachael exclaimed, eliciting an odd look from Sarah.
“Since when have you known about Thomas the Tank Engine,” Sarah asked.
“My parents were into history, just like yours.”
“That’s enough please,” I spoke quietly but with as much authority as I can. The atmosphere has gotten a lot more explosive with the addition of a Dragon, small though he might be. The occupants of the room quieted down and I noted the authors saying quiet hellos.
“Now, thank you Mel for going first. Would someone else please continue and tell us a bit about themselves.”
“I will,” Sarah sat up to perch on the edge of her chair.
I was not surprised by this, given the comforting words I heard her give to Mel.
Sarah closed her eyes for a moment and took a deep breath. “Like Mel, the worst of what happened to me happens before my story begins. I don’t know why she does it, but there are two of us who cannot bear children.”
There was a snort and everyone looked to Rachael. “Hey I ain’t complaining about it.”
“Rachael,” Elo spoke firmly, “let Sarah speak.”
“Fine fine, but I ask you why did you do it.” I watched as Rachael and Elo entered a staring contest, but before I could speak Sarah began talking again.
“When I was twenty I was attending a University in a big city.” She looks around at the company and smiles, “I’m sure all of you know about big cities and how they have neighborhoods a single white woman should never walk through.” She take another deep breath. “I was dressed for a night out on the town and my friends and I took our normal roundabout way to this pub we really like. I stayed longer than them to, stupidly, hang out with a guy I’d just met there. Well when the pub closed the man offered to give me a ride home, which I refused. Probably would have been better if I’d taken it though. He ended up being my fiancé for a few months. Anyway,” Sarah sighed, “my poor judgment continued and in an attempt to get back quicker, I walked right into the neighborhood I should have avoided like the plague.”
Sarah stops in her telling. Her eyes are closed as she takes deep breaths.
“You don’t have to go through the whole thing,” someone’s soft voice tells her.
Sarah shakes her head before continuing. “In a horribly stereo typical manner,” she casts a glance to Elo who flushes in slight embarrassment, “I was approached by three large black men. They seemed friendly at first but it was clear they only wanted one thing.”
“What man doesn’t,” Rachael snorted.
Sarah flashed her eyes at the obviously sexually charged woman, but continued her tale. “When I didn’t comply with their wishes they forced me. Some people here know how well I can fight, and believe me I fought back as hard as I could, but two other men joined them. I got knocked out at some point but not until after all five had...” Sarah shuddered and I noticed Mel place a comforting hand upon her knee.
“They left me with a gift. Not a child, which I would have cared for despite its origins, but a bullet embedded in my womb. For some reason it never showed up on any of the medical exams I went through after the rape. But that bullet, that God Damn Bullet, nearly killed me. A month later I began bleeding heavily and nothing the doctors did stopped it so I had to have a hysterectomy.”
“And now,” Sarah’s voice broke into a slight sob, “now that I’m to marry my true love I can’t bear him any children. Makes me feel like the marriage is pointless.”
“Ba, who needs kids?” Rachael sneers.
“Shut up Rach,” Sarah stands up to confront her peer. “At least you and Michael HAD a child together.”
“Oh don’t even go there,” Rachael was up now and the two looked about to brawl.