“I think you like it rough.”
Her eyes stared at the detective blankly. “Excuse me?”
“And I think…” he sat back in his chair and clasped his hands over his belted khakis, “you didn’t want your parents to find out that you had sex with a black guy. You’re embarrassed, so you said it’s rape. Am I right?” His gold badge glimmered in the fluorescent lights.
“No.” She let out a choked breath. “Not at all. I’ve had sex with plenty of black guys. Consensually. My first boyfriend was black. Plus I’m 28 years old, I could give a shit less what my parents think of who I fuck, which are people of many different ethnicities, ok? I’m not racist, I just didn’t want to have sex with that black guy.”
“Then why were you in his room?”
“I told you, he said he was drunk and lonely and wanted someone to watch a movie with him, I felt bad for the guy.”
“Well, I’ve seen women who have been beat up, ok? They have bruises, whelps, black eyes, marks on their neck, ok? I don’t see a single bruise on you.”
“He choked me until I blacked out, and my jaw was popped out of place…”
“Did they do an x-ray with your rape kit?” He sat up and flipped through her file.
“No, just took pictures. I had marks on my neck…”
He looked up at her sharply. “I don’t see ‘em.”
Her eyes brimmed with tears. “I guess he knew how to hurt me without leaving a mark.” Her head dropped and so did the tears, as the detective told her they’d continue their investigation, after collecting the physical evidence in a few months she could retrieve her personal effects from their office.
His business card between his fingers, he thanked her for coming down to the station, call if you think of anything, we’ll be in touch. It was like some bizzaro-world cop show where the bad guy won. The NWA song “Fuck Tha Police” started playing like a soundtrack in her mind as she walked out of the police station, shaking her head. This is exactly what mom told me would happen.
Earlier that day, when she told her mother the details of the attack, her response was, “Well, what do you expect? Spending all your time with spics and niggers, you had it coming. Don’t expect the police to believe you that you didn’t want it. Everyone knows what a slut you are. You might as well drop the charges, and don’t you dare pursue it and drag our family name through the mud.”
But honestly, what did she expect? The police had never helped her or her family. Her mom had been arrested several years earlier for possession of a partial joint of marijuana, but she wasn’t intoxicated while driving, she was having a diabetic blood sugar crash and was in need of medical care, lost in a strange part of town, begging to be taken to the hospital while Officer Fresh-Outta-The-Academy was trying to play cowboys and outlaws.
Her little brother had recently been picked up on a DUI—ok, he was drunk and talking shit—but the arresting officer left a basketball-sized bruise on his chest while in holding. Nobody deserves that, even for calling the cop a fat pig. Which he was.
Her dad got ratted out by the neighborhood kids for having accidentally grown a giant cannabis plant in their backyard and spent years fighting the state drug laws so he could use illegal medicine for his severe arthritis.
And she herself had been handcuffed twice over bad checks and arrested once for an unpaid registration ticket, which she had received while living in her car during a time when she could barely afford to eat much less pay $100 for a sticker. Sobbing in the back of the squad car, she cried, “I’m poor, I’m not a criminal.” He didn’t even glance at her as he drove on to the county jail.
So why was she surprised that the cops didn’t help her this time?
“Fuck the police!” she yelled to her steering wheel. …Comin’ straight from tha underground… the song continued in her head. Young nigga got it bad cause I’m brown…
She kinda chuckled. Except I’m white. Like, super white. English, Irish, French, just about as Anglo as you can get. But I guess it doesn’t matter, cause I’m still a woman, and the cops are men. Why am I not surprised. This is the definition of rape culture: the patriarchy will protect itself.
At that moment, she tried to think of her attacker’s name, so she could remember it for later. Follow up, make sure justice was served. But for some reason, it wouldn’t come to her. Anthony? No… Chris? Derek?
It doesn’t matter. She wiped her tears and started her car. Karma will get him.
After losing her virginity to date rape that she didn’t realize was actually rape, and subsequently finding out she wasn’t his only victim, she was delighted to hear from a friend that he was later imprisoned for statutory rape of the sixteen-year-old stepdaughter of his best friend. Close enough.
So she knew it was only a matter of time for Brandon or Terry or whatever his name was. Someday soon, he would be hugging a pillow begging for death while his ass was being torn apart by Big Bubba, balls slapping balls while sweat dripped down his potbelly.
Smiling as she reversed her car out of the parking spot, she took one more look at the police station, knowing justice would be served, even if those who “serve and protect” refused to do either.
Fuck tha police.