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Stopping Rape, and Other Stories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stopping Rape, and Other Stories

by Natalie Kostecka

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

 

Title Page

Copyright

Second Chance

Madeline

Stopping Rape, One Child at a Time

About the Author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Collection of Lame Stories

Published by Natalie Kostecka at Shakespir

Copyright 2017 Natalie Kostecka

 

 

 

[*Shakespir License Statement *]
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each reader. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please visit your favorite ebook retailer to purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second Chance

City noise woke him from a half-drunken sleep. Peter wearily leaned across the bed and snatched a bottle of whiskey, drinking until he drowned. He wished he could awaken in a different life. Fate was not so kind.

He draped his arm over his eyes, sighing. I’m such a coward, to be here and not with her. Sophie’s memory tormented him. She was art, perfectly crafted from everything he could never hope to earn. The thought that she could possibly love him was more fearsome than his temper, than the scar on his face, than God. And he was shaken by her.

Peter eyed the empty bottle as if it had the answers. When he remained unenlightened, Peter threw it across the apartment in frustration. He lay back on the bed and slept, dreamless.

Waking the second time was brutal. Peter’s first thought was to get more wasted to put the headache at bay, but he wanted to stay sober enough to stand straight. He trudged off the couch and into the kitchen for granola bar. He peeled it open, splashed water on his face, and threw on his shoes to go for a walk, hoping fresh air would calm his mind.

He didn’t finish his breakfast. Peter stepped out the door and handed his half-eaten bar to a homeless teenager sitting on the sidewalk. He kept his mind blank. Walking with no destination in mind. Sophie couldn’t haunt him if he didn’t let her, right? That was what all the movies said. Change your thought process, change your life. Surely that could work for him.

“Hey,” said a voice from behind. Peter turned. The homeless kid he’d given his granola bar to had caught up to him, breathless, shaggy hair shoved up in a beanie. “Hey, man. I don’t mean to

bother you, but you know that redhead girl, right? You’re her friend?”

Peter clenched his jaw. He shoved his hands in his pockets and looked away. “Her name’s Sophie,” he said.

“Yeah. Her.” The boy grew sad. “I haven’t seen her around lately. Nice girl. I was wonderin’ if you knew where she was.”

“Why do you care?” shot Peter. “You don’t know her.”

The teen shrugged. “She was really nice. Always talked to me, gave me money when she had it. I miss talkin’ to her.”

“Yeah. I’m sure that’s all you miss.” Peter turned and walked away.

“How did you meet her, anyway?”

Peter scoffed. He didn’t stop walking, avoiding the eyes of people who stared at his misshapen face.

“Hey, man, I’m talking to you.”

Peter felt a hand on his arm. He whirled around and shoved the homeless kid off of him. “What do you want?” he shouted. “Leave me alone. I’m trying to take a walk.”

Bystanders eyed him warily. Peter tried to shrug off their fear.

“How did you meet her?” The kid fumbled with his fingers, nervous. “I’m curious. Maybe I can meet her again the same way you did.”

“You can’t.” Peter felt his anger building, but it soothed with the memory of Sophie’s smile. “I was in rehab and she was my nurse. Met in a park on a day out. Can’t replicate that stuff.”

“Maybe you can,” said the boy. “God works in mysterious ways.”

Peter could see Sophie like a picture in his mind, beautiful and bright with a smile like the sun. He stepped closer to the homeless stranger, voice barely above a growl. “If you like God so much, tell me why He took her away. Tell me why I ever got a taste of something I can never have.”

“I don’t know if it’s all about that,” said the kid. “Timing’s everything, right? Maybe you could get better and talk to her. Fix things.”

Peter’s laughter was sudden and agonizing. He held his side and laughed so hard he thought he might vomit, and by the time he calmed, the child looked as if he’d regretted helping Peter at all. “Fix things? You’re a funny kid.”

“I…I wasn’t joking.” The boy frowned. “Everyone deserves to be loved.”

Do they? Peter wondered. When he was a child, he’d believed in God. Begged Him for mercy. What if Sophie had been His answer? She was more an angel to him than any God had ever sent, and it occurred to Peter that if her love was willingly given, maybe he’d deserved it after all. Maybe Sophie was meant to forgive him, if he couldn’t forgive himself.

Peter stared at the homeless boy. A destination came to mind, a future with blue eyes and red hair, the sweetest kiss. “I have to go.” He turned and hurried down the sidewalk, risking a chance for hope. There wasn’t anything to lose. If Sophie turned him away or didn’t believe he could change for her, then nothing would matter. But if she didn’t? He could be happy.

Peter paused. The kid deserves a thanks, at least. He turned to find the homeless teenager to say thank you, but the boy was nowhere to be found.

###

Peter knew where to find her. He sat in his car in the parking lot of St. Joe’s Rehabilitation Facility, eyeing the entrance like it was the gates of hell. Perhaps it would be. Peter gripped the wheel and released, daring to exit the driver’s seat.

Should he tell her the truth? How sorry he was, how he was willing to give love a chance? It had been months since he’d seen her. Addiction would be hard to snuff out a second time. But if he could will himself into believing she loved him, into allowing her deep where no one else had been, he could be happy. He could live.

Peter shoved his hand in his pockets. He walked across the parking lot, keeping his head down, scrambling for the words he would say.

He wasn’t given a chance to find them. Sophie was on her way out of the building. They froze at the sight of each other.

Peter didn’t move. Sophie slowly walked toward him, eyes wide with disbelief. “It’s you.”

He cleared his throat, flexing his shaking hands. “Yeah. It’s me. What’s left of me, anyway.”

Sophie’s laugh mingled with sobs. She seemed overjoyed, and he wished she could be less precious, less heartwarming. It would make acceptance of her far easier.

“I looked for you,” said Sophie. “Where did you go?”

“Nowhere,” Peter replied, ashamed. “Everywhere. Away from you.”

“Why?”

“You terrify me.”

Sophie was silent, but seemed to understand. She bit her lip. “Why did you come back, then?”

“Because you wanted me to.” Peter paused. “I wanted to.”

Sophie reached out for his hand. “I didn’t think you would.”

“I know. I’m sorry.” He squeezed her palm, knowing she could feel how clammy his skin had become. She could read the symptoms of addiction more easily than most. He felt his throat burn with tears that wouldn’t fall. “I want to try, Sophie. Please. Let me try.”

“Of course I will.” Sophie giggled tearfully, so sweet he could die from it. “We can talk at my place.”

“Okay.” Peter sighed, daring himself to smile. Sophie wrapped her arms around him, the tightest hug he’d ever received and one of the very few.

She did not let go. Neither did he.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Madeline

Madeline was a little girl. Well, not little. A big, big fourth grader! She went to a happy school and had happy friends who loved her. She really liked her teachers, and recess was her favorite subject.

But when Madeline got home from school every day, she wasn’t happy anymore. Her mother and father were mean to each other. Madeline would try to distract herself with video games and her pet dog, a dog named Scruffy who she loved very much, but no matter what she played, she could still hear her parents arguing down the hall.

One day, Madeline’s mother left.

She didn’t come back.

Madeline stopped liking school. She loved her friends, her dog, her video games and her sad father, but she didn’t smile so much. She stopped listening in school. She stopped going to friends houses. She stopped playing at recess.

And worst of all, she was vulnerable.

A nice counselor from the school came to her. He took her into his office to talk about her mother. Madeline was nervous at first, but the man was kind, and he worked at the school. How could he be bad? He gave her lollipops and told her she was a good girl. Nothing can go wrong with adults you’re supposed to trust.

Wrong.

No one taught Madeline about body secrets. Body secrets happen when mean grown-ups seem nice, but they tell you to keep a secret before they touch your body. Madeline was already sad because of her mother and father. She thought she could trust this man. But she couldn’t, and he told her not to tell anyone when he touched her.

Madeline was hurt.

No one noticed.

There are a lot of things you can do to help boys and girls like Madeline. If you see a nice stranger, do not trust him! You don’t know who he is. If you see one of your friends trust a stranger, try to talk them out of it. Strangers can seem friendly, but they aren’t always good people. Don’t take the risk. Talk to an adult you can really trust if a stranger tries to hurt you.

It’s also important to know that some bad people can be people you do trust. Like Madeline’s counselor. If you, or anyone you know, is told by an adult to be quiet about something, especially about your body, TELL ANOTHER ADULT! Stick up for each other! No one should ever make you feel unsafe. Telling another adult is how you know whether or not the situation is okay, and how people with bad intentions go to jail.

What about Madeline? Well, she was hurt, but she was not broken. She told her dad about the counselor and how he touched her inappropriately. The counselor went to jail. Madeline lives very happily with her dad, and she’s getting better day by day.

You can help keep your friends safe. Say something if you see trouble. That way, we can all be happy.

 

 

 

 

 

Stopping Rape, One Child at a Time

Let’s talk about rape.

Why? Because people don’t talk about it enough.

We need to stop the rape crisis in the country. There are hundreds of resources worldwide for women of sexual abuse to seek treatment and shelter, and there are agencies, therapists, programs and grants. But that won’t stop rape. Not by a long shot.

We need to understand that rape will end when we act. When we tell our victims that their voices are heard. Former Vice President Joe Biden said at a national conference, “We will have succeeded when not a single woman who is violated ever, ever asks herself the question, ‘What did I do?’” Compiled below is a list of strategies to teach your boys and girls at home the values from which rejecting rape can come from.

Stop saying “boys will be boys.” Don’t let your son poke a little girl if it bothers her. Don’t let him hug his classmate if she doesn’t want to be hugged. Don’t let him take his sister’s toy without punishment and don’t let him yank his mother away from a conversation without reprimand.

Teach your son that being a man is not defined by sex. Most high school and college culture gives young men worth based on how many women they sleep with. How many drunk parties they attend. How many young freshman girls they can take to bed, willingly or not. Being a man is not about how many women you sleep with.

Tell all your children that NO MEANS NO. Make it a part of your “birds and the bees” talk. Don’t let them argue. Tell them the importance of consent. They’re never too young. No means no, and yes can change to no. Instill this in your children. Make it one of their values.

Enforce your children’s right to their own bodies. Tell them that no one has a right to hurt them, physically or sexually or mentally. Your boys and girls deserve to feel safe in their own skins. Forever.

Explain body secrets, how predators may use them, and how your children can stop it. Many adults preying on children will tell make threats with their bodies. Telling your children of these threats will help them see changes in their friends who may be facing abuse, or to speak up themselves, despite being threatened not to.

Teach you children to respect boundaries. Physical boundaries are often disregarded for the sake of jokes, encouraged with alcohol, encouraged for a number of reasons. No one should be touched who doesn’t want to be touched. To break those boundaries is to break trust.

End victim-blaming. “Daniel stole your pencil because you left it out.” “Your car was broken into because you left it unlocked.” “You were raped because your skirt was too short.” Never, ever, ever, tell your children that something unjust happened to them because it was their fault. Don’t excuse the responsibility of the of perpetrator.

We can stop rape. We can teach our daughters and sons that they deserve the right to be safe, to be comfortable in their bodies, and to respect those rights in others.

We’re so much closer than we’ve ever been. Don’t give up on your children.

 

 

 

 

About the Author


Natalie Kostecka is a 23-year-old novelist from Seattle, Washington. She earned a master’s degree in Creative Writing for Entertainment from Full Sail University. Her specialties include fantasy, sci-fi, dystopian and political tales. She prides herself on her sword collection and her love for amoral fictional characters. Natalie is a champion of mental illness and abuse survival, and aims to help survivors and the general populous with her stories.

 

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Stopping Rape, and Other Stories

This book is filled with three different stories written during the college career of Ms. Kostecka. The first, SECOND CHANCE, is a love story about an alcoholic man seeking to return to the arms of his lost love after relapse. The second, MADELINE, tells the story of a young girl who is sexually abused in school, and how her classmates could help by keeping their eyes out for suspicious behavior and protecting themselves. The final story, STOPPING RAPE, is a freelance article about the beginning of the process of stopping the crime of rape around the world.

  • Author: moffnat
  • Published: 2017-02-27 01:05:08
  • Words: 2472
Stopping Rape, and Other Stories Stopping Rape, and Other Stories