The story of a woman who gives everything to protect someone she loves.
My name is Myah Love, and a long time ago, I made a mistake. I don't mean I missed all my lessons and got an F. I don't mean I didn't forgive somebody about some trivial incident that doesn't even matter to anybody. I made a tremendous, life-shattering, world-altering mistake. I did what I thought was right. I followed my heart; and I keep telling myself that I couldn't have known. I could never have known, but deep inside in the ragged, limping remnants of my soul, I know that's a lie. It has taken me one hundred and twenty six years to get past this point of this story, to tell it to a real person – someone. Anyone. I'm writing it here because... well, I guess I don't have anybody else to tell it to.
I came from a devout family. My mother, my father, and my three sisters. I was always the odd one out; the other three were tall, thin, pretty and good at sport. Me? Well, I have an odd sort of resemblance to the family dog. I was often told that I could read for England, but I always tried to maintain a healthy distance from any kind of sporting event. I guess it doesn't matter so much any more, since they're all gone, but it is because of my family that I am where I am today. They weren't horrible to me or anything, and I had a happy enough childhood. I wasn't bullied or anything like that. But one day, it just all went very badly wrong. I was about sixteen, and I fell in love.
I know that doesn't sound like a bad thing. And I'm sure you're busy assuming that I get my heart broken and spend the story telling you how awful my life is because of it. I'm willing to bet that you know what it's like to have your heart broken, so why would I need to tell you? It happens to all of us. But that's not what this story is about.
The problem was that the person I fell in love with was also a girl. Her name was Jane Loritz, she was a year older than me. She had the loveliest hair; it fell past her shoulders and was a deep auburn. I remember thinking it must have been made of glass, it had such a shine to it. It was always slightly unkempt, and had a very gentle wave to it. She always kept it tied up, and I only ever saw it down once. She was there when I told my parents. She held my hand as they yelled at me, as my mother cried and my sisters laughed. As my father told me I was an abomination against God and that we both deserved nothing more than to be cast into the very depths of Hell. I stood there and I took it. I promised myself that I wouldn't cry. I wouldn't let them break me, and although it made my soul throb with the utmost agony, I ignored his harsh words. He snatched my baby photo out of my mother's hands and hurled it at the wall behind me. Something inside me broke when it collided with the door frame, shattering into a million tiny pieces. That was the first time my heart broke, and if Jane hadn't been there, I'm sure that I would never have had the courage to tell them.
I would like to say that I moved out of my parents' house of my own volition. It was me that suggested it, but it would only have been a matter of time before my father had driven me into a wood somewhere and left me there. So I packed what little I had, and I moved in with Jane's family. They were infinitely more supportive than mine, and within a few months I had stopped missing them. I was doing well at school, I was happy with Jane, and I was frequently being praised for my effort at my part-time job. Life was good, and it remained that way for the best part of a year.
But I came home a little later than usual one day and it was chaos. Jane's father was shouting, her mother was crying, and she was sat at the kitchen table, pale as death and staring into nothing. Her eyes were hollow, like she was empty. Like there was nothing inside of her at all, she was just a shell. Her father rounded on me as soon as I got in; he was shouting and shouting, but most of it was unintelligible. Eventually her mother pulled him into another room and I was left alone with Jane. At first she wouldn't tell me what was going on – she wouldn't even speak to me. We sat there for a long time, in silence, until she uttered the words; 'he was too strong, Myah. I couldn't stop him.' Those words have stayed with me since I heard them, and although it took me a little while to find out what had actually happened, I knew it was bad.
She had been raped. She didn't know how he'd got in; she woke up and he was standing over her. I remember she told me he looked like an animal. The look in his eyes had terrified her. She'd tried to scream, but he stopped her. I didn't understand how anybody could do that, what would drive a man to do that to an innocent girl. Jane was pretty, but she was by no means the most beautiful girl around. And then she told me who had done it, and it dawned on me instantly. I hit me like a knife in the chest, and I started crying myself. I didn't know what to do; I was paralysed by anger, worry, and guilt...
She was talking about my father.