Tuesday morning I saw Elizabeth again as soon as I walked into school. It felt so good to see her back at school and I realized how much my life had changed just from getting to know her.
Just to be in her presence and to walk next to her always lifted my self confidence and made me feel like I mattered. It was also amazing to see how liked Elizabeth was in our school. So many people asked her how she was. I'm not really sure what everyone knew but I was amazed how many people made a point to say hi to her and ask how she was. As we had been doing lately Elizabeth met me after my third period class to go to lunch together.
As we walked to the cafeteria she asked me if we were definitely going to group that evening and I told her, "Yep." "I'm glad," she replied and we went through the cafeteria line getting our food and sat with the other varsity cheerleaders. Again a big deal was made of her being back at school and she was mostly embarrassed about all the fuss and said it was no big deal.
Happily the conversation changed to gossip and we both seemed relieved by that. We headed back to class after lunch and didn't see each other again till last period when we had cheerleading (gym).
Elizabeth was still not feeling 100% so she coached the girls from sitting down. It was still good to have her back. School finished and Elizabeth told me she would pick me up after dinner and I headed home with Sherri. I worked on my homework and did some studying till dinnertime then headed down to eat when mom called. I heard a horn blow shortly after we finished eating and I looked outside and saw a different car, not Elizabeth's.
My father walked me out and then I told him it was Ms. Jones and I saw Elizabeth was in the passenger seat so I hopped in the backseat and my father told me he loved me and goodbye. As soon as I got in the car Elizabeth started explaining, "I hope its okay but I asked my mom to drive us, I don't feel comfortable driving alone after dark right now." "It's no problem," I replied and patted her shoulder.
We rode to the location for the group and Elizabeth told her mom she would call when we were ready to be picked up and then Ms. Jones watched us walk all the way to the building before she drove away. We walked to where the meeting was and saw a lot of the same faces.
Before we sat down Elizabeth looked at me and told me, "You might not want to sit by me tonight, I might speak up about what happened to me." I looked at her surprised and then said, "Don't be silly of course I'll sit with you I'm okay with whatever you say." "Are you sure," Elizabeth asked? And I nodded. She walked us around to one side of the room close to a wall where the light was not real bright then she took a seat and I sat down next to her. Before that day I had always chose where we would sit, but today it seemed more appropriate for her to pick.
The meeting began and a few women spoke telling of fears and things they were uncomfortable with. After the third lady had spoken there was a silence so the leader of the group asked if anyone else had something they wanted to talk about.
I am not sure why but I was stunned when Elizabeth raised her hand. ****(Author's note: The following is going to be the details of Elizabeth's sexual assault.
If this is not something you are prepared to read please stop reading at this point.)**** The leader nodded at Elizabeth and she began, "Hi my name is Liz and Friday night I was raped." I looked at her stunned and could not believe she was ready to do this at all. I saw an expression on her face I had never seen before, an expression that you would see on a very sad little girl.
She continued, "I had just left the football game where I cheered at and before leaving the game I had a disagreement with my best friend.
I was upset at myself for something I said to my friend and I had stopped to get a bite to eat at a fast food restaurant. After eating a taco I called my friend to apologize but I could tell she was still hurt by what I said. I regretted so much losing my composure and I was so sorry for mouthing off but I couldn't take it back.
After hanging up the phone I started heading for home. As I got further from town I was startled when a pick up truck passed me on a two lane road. It was odd because even though he passed me I caught up to him at the next traffic light. I was sitting at the light waiting for it to turn green when the pickup backed into the front of my car. This surprised me and upset me because since it was the front of my car and the back of his truck it would look like I hit him in the rear.
I got out of my car and walked to the front to look at the damage. As I was looking I didn't notice a couple guys get out of the truck and when I realized someone was standing by me I stood upright and turned to look at the person and was hit on the back of my head by something. Somehow I didn't black out but was very stunned and I felt myself pulled onto the bed of the pickup.
I remember there being two guys holding me in the truck bed and I remember watching my headlights as we pulled away from my car. We didn't drive very far but we did go off the paved road and I remember the ride getting really rough. While we were riding I felt one of them tie my arms behind me by the wrist.
Eventually the truck came to a stop and I was still woozy from the hit on my head but I felt them pull me out from the back of the truck.
I know I heard another vehicle pull up also. I told myself to look at them to see who they were but they all had on black ski masks. They were all over six foot tall and looked like they easily weighed a lot over 200 pounds.
As we were standing there one of the guys started calling me names like. . bitch, slut, whore and dyke. He was also slapping my cheek, not hard but in a degrading way. I then felt one of the other guys take hold of my wrists behind me and hold me. Then the guy in front began to pull at my uniform trying to undress me. I kicked at him and spit at him and screamed as loud as I could. But screaming only made him hit me harder. It wasn't very long before my top was off of my upper body and pulled down my arms behind me.
It was too easy for them to get the skirt off and then I felt them pull down my bloomers and underwear and I felt sick." Elizabeth took a pause at that moment and took a deep breath and then exhaled. "Take your time," the leader of the group said. Elizabeth continued, "I remembered hearing somewhere on TV or something that if you needed to vomit and you were afraid to be raped to vomit as it might turn off your attackers so since I was scared and felt sick I let myself gag and after trying three times I managed to throw up.
I even got some on the guy directly in front of me. But he hit me hard for that and I fell to my knees. I then felt one of them grab me by my hair and two grabbed my arms and I was pulled over to the tailgate of the pickup. Again I screamed but then I was punched in my side and that took my breath away. I then felt one of the four guys get behind me and. . I felt him. . push into me. I screamed NOOO as loud as I could but he didn't care and started doing his thing.
One of them got in the bed of the truck with me and held my shoulders down. And I felt so helpless and alone there with them while I felt my body violated.
I tried to tell myself to think, to fight, not just to be a victim. It was so incredibly hard not to feel sorry for myself or not to give up but as I felt him moving inside me I told myself to think. I was bent forward over the tailgate of the pickup and my wrists were still tied behind my back.
But when he would push into me his stomach would hit my hands on my back. I stuck up my fingers and my nails and I tried to scratch him on his in-stroke. I'm not sure how much but the police were able to take evidence from my finger nails. I wanted it to stop and I was so scared of the thought of him cumming inside me but I didn't know how to stop him. As he did, I threw up more.
I must have gotten some on the guy holding me down because he got mad and hit me several times before I felt the next guy rape me. This time he pushed. . into my butt. It hurt horribly. They were saying and yelling horrible things like 'ride that cowgirl.' I used my other hand this time to scratch this guy and I think he was leaning over me more because when I scraped him with my nails he felt it and groaned "ouch." He hit me hard for it.
He lasted longer then I ever thought and I was so sore from him. When he finally finished he pulled out and I think my nails left a mark on him because they got really mad at me and they hit me with a metal tool.
I think it was for the spare tire. They hit my lower back and my butt and my legs and it hurt so bad. I tried to collapse to the ground but the guy on the truck held onto my shoulders and hair. They beat me pretty good before the third guy decided to use me.
He pushed into my sex. And I struggled to keep myself together. It felt so demeaning to me to not be able to stop someone I didn't want to be with.
I also was frustrated because I had already used both of my hand's nails. I was struggling more and more to keep my head then I felt hair on his body when he would lean on me. I used my fingers and tried to pinch hair between them. I think he noticed but liked how that felt because he just moved faster.
My fingers felt like I had hair and I was scared cause I didn't know how not to lose it but I had a ring on my finger and I tried to tangle the hair in my ring. Before long he came in me and I lost it emotionally and cried." She also lost it in front of the group at that point.
I was amazed she had held it together as well as she had and it was breaking my heart. But to my amazement she cried a little bit and then pulled herself back together. She continued, "I don't know why this time but they hit me more with the metal tool. It hurt so much and made me cry.
I begged them to stop and I struggled to keep my senses. The guy in the back of the truck got down, he was the last one who.
. to use me. He said to me this one is for coach when he pushed in and I knew it had to be members of the football team. I didn't have any other ideas so I just tried scratching him with just my pinky. I don't know if I scratched at all but its all I could think to do. I was so tired and exhausted. I was relieved but disgusted when I felt him cum. I thought it was over.
But then I felt them push something to my sex and it squirted liquid inside me. They did that three times and in my butt twice. But then they did the worst thing ever they pushed the metal tool into my sex. I screamed but they did it several times. They then let me collapse onto the ground but then they kicked me. I hurt so bad. It felt like I was having cramps. They finally got into the vehicles and drove away.
I told myself I survived it and that I was okay.
But I then realized how much I hurt and I could tell I was bleeding and it wasn't that time of the month. I screamed for help but I realized I was out in the middle of nowhere.
I got to my feet but the cramps were so bad I had to lean over. I didn't realize how muddy it was and I kept falling down. I was so alone and it was so cold and I was wet and bleeding.
I would stumble a little ways and then fall again. And worst I didn't know if I was even going the right way. I rested a while and tried to just listen and look and I finally thought I saw car lights and tried to go that direction. I would get a little ways, but I was feeling sick and light headed and would collapse again. You're going to think I'm crazy but I think I was close to giving up and then I heard something I thought was weird but I heard a cow, 'Moo.' I looked over and I saw a barb wire fence and I saw a few cows there one of them a baby cow.
I talked to them and even asked them to help me how silly. But I didn't think it was so silly anymore because I think I passed out. I'm not sure how long I was out but I remember opening my eyes when I heard the cow, 'moo' again. They were standing at the fence looking at me. I tried to get back up but I was too dizzy so I crawled along the fence towards where I thought I saw the lights.
I crawled and rested and crawled and rested and kept talking to the cows. They kept 'Mooing' at me. I don't know why but it was like the mother cow was telling the calf to keep saying, 'moo.' It made me think of my mom and made me think she would tell me to keep going. I also imagined I was talking with my friend and she was telling me not to quit.
I didn't want to die there because I needed to apologize to her. I didn't think out in the field anyone would find me. But I was so cold and so wet and muddy. This went on the rest of the night and as daylight was beginning I could see the road and I found a way to keep going.
It felt like a weird dream and I know I blacked out off and on but occasionally I would hear a 'moo' and it made me try to keep going.
I finally heard a car go by and that gave me more hope and determination to keep going and it was daytime again. I finally got to the road and I rested on the side of it afraid to get too far on it and take a chance of getting run over. Two cars passed me until one finally must have seen me and stopped. I think the cows saved my life along with the people in that car.
I'm now scared of the dark and scared of being alone and afraid to drive. I hate what they did to me but am determined to see them punished. I got to apologize to my friend and I got to tell my mom I love her.
At some point I am going to go to that fence and see if I can find the cows to say thank you." With that she looked down and stopped talking. The group session had gone on longer then the normal hour and the group leader ended the session. Elizabeth looked exhausted and just sat there and I reached over and took hold of her hand. We sat there a few minutes till most of the women had left.
I took Elizabeth's phone and called her mom to come pick us up. She said she would be there in two minutes and I told Elizabeth what she said. We got up and headed out to the parking lot. Her mom picked us up and drove me home.
As we stopped at my house Elizabeth put her hand on my chin and turned me to face her. She said, "Thank you." And then she leaned to me and gave me a small quick kiss on the lips. We hugged and then said, "goodnight." I got out of the car and headed into my home.
I was numb. When I got into the house I yelled that I was home and headed up to my room. My mom followed and I'm glad she did as I needed to have a cry. She held me while I cried and after I got my composure back she asked me what happened.
I told her that Elizabeth had told what had happened to her in group. I was relieved when my mom didn't ask me what was said. My mom gave me a hug and held me a while and rocked me. I still couldn't believe what had happened. We sat like that together for a long time till finally she told me to call her if I needed her and then went back downstairs.
I couldn't believe how brave Elizabeth was to make it through all that.
I felt ashamed of how weak I had been when the coach attacked me. But I guess that was Elizabeth always so strong and so amazing. She was so determined and I told myself I had to try to be strong like her. I turned on some music and then laid on my back on my bed and looked up at the ceiling. I was drained and exhausted and couldn't imagine how she must feel. I said a prayer for strength and for her health. To be continued.