I loved my fingernails. They were strong and sharp and painted red. I only served drinks, but I made more than the girls who took their clothes off, maybe because the thing men want most is the one thing they can’t get.
And I fought the bastard. His fingers overlapped around my neck but I fought him. I scraped at his eyes and his mouth and the soft places I could reach, but I couldn’t stop him, no matter how much I made him bleed.
I screamed while I could, and there was a pop in my throat and I thought maybe that was it, and I pulled in as much air as I could with him sitting on me, and when I tried to scream again all that came out was a sideways whistle.
He took his hands off my throat and slid the flat side of a knife across my cheek. It was cold and I thought he cut me, but he let my hand up and it didn’t come back with blood, but he laughed, and told me I wasn’t hurt yet.
I begged him not to come in me because I wasn’t on the pill but he did. Then he punched me in the stomach, because he didn’t want me to watch him put his clothes back on.
Then he spit in me, and told me I was lucky he didn’t just cut me anyway for fighting him. He told me I’d die if I told and they’d never convict him, anyway. He’d done this before, and the paper called the girl a whore, and the judge said she asked for it, and then one night she was walking home through a park, she went in on the north side and didn’t come out alive again.
When you tell the cops you’ve been raped they take you to a hospital for a rape kit. If you struggle like they tell you to, you usually get some blood or skin or hair under your fingernails, and if it’s blood they clip them and put the clippings into a bag to go to a lab.
I puked a little more into a bedpan the nurse brought me from the pill I took to keep from having his baby. And I want to forget, but every time I look at my hands, the jagged white lines across my perfect red fingernails won’t let me.