Just Shelley

I, victim

Each of us is capable of being a victim given the right circumstances. The only thing that saves us is learning to control a difficult time rather than let the time control us. This is something I learned when I was 15 years old, a wild child with little sense.

At school I met a girl my age who lived in a foster home. Unlike me, she was sexy and sophisticated, with more than a hint of the forbidden because of past indiscretions. Somehow, we became great, good friends.

I’m not sure why but one day she and I decided to run away from home. We ended up in the pad of a friend of hers who gave us a place to stay — a sleeping bag next to other sleeping bags in a one room apartment somewhere within the down side part of Seattle.

That first night a group of us were playing cards and drinking cheap pop wine when he walked in. His name was Dan and he was 27, tall, thin, with long dark brown hair and mustache. He had a velvet voice, and his moves were sinuous, like a cat. When I looked at him, I saw about the most exotic creature I had ever seen. One look into his deep brown eyes and I was lost.

When Dan looked at me, he saw a too-young woman with long red-brown hair, freckles, green eyes half hidden behind gold-rimmed eyeglasses, wearing a blue shirt and navy bell bottom jeans. As he was turning away from me, rejecting this too-young woman, he saw my hands and stopped. Instead of walking away, he grabbed the floor next to me, leaning close, talking to me in his soft voice.

Later he would tell me it was my hands that caught his eye more than anything else — long, slender, graceful hands.

Dan and I stayed together, moving from house to house, staying wherever there was an empty spot. The friend I had run away with decided to go home but swore she wouldn’t tell anyone who I was with. Well, of course she told everyone who I was with as soon as she stepped through her home door.

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