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It was the year 2015, around later December or early November when my life took an immense turn.
It was a normal, cold, and windy day. I woke up for school at 6:30 AM and realized that I would be late for school if I didn't hurry and get dressed. Of course, that day was also my second concert.
I’m a vocal major at my high school. We still study all the normal subjects, we just have one extra class.. choir. Now, being a freshman and having tons of concerts and performances on top of your normal studies was surprisingly much easier to balance than I thought.
Let’s skip all the boring school stuff and go straight into the gut splitting truth.
You are never safe.
!!!!Reader Discretion Advised: Suicide, rape, and suicidal thoughts beyond this point!!!!
It was about 7-8 PM when we finished our school winter concert. A couple friends and I decided to take the train back home instead of the bus that was running late. We were all snuggled close to one another, zipping our coats over our choir dresses, cursing at the fact that we were forced to wear flats over sneakers in the middle of the cold.
As we swiped our transpasses and began to walk into the train station, we split up. My neighbor and I lived in the North side of Philadelphia and my other friends lived in the South. We all hugged, told each other to be careful, and walked down our separated platforms.
The subway train platforms were always so dirty and old. They often smelled like pee and were full of dust and other disgusting powders. I folded my ankle length choir dress over itself to prevent it from getting dirty. As my friend and I waited for the train, we talked. We joked. We laughed.
We had no idea.
The subway train rolled by, emitting this loud rushing sound. This sound, caused by the train itself, tried to scare us away. Tried to protect us.
We went into the emptiest train car anyway.
If I remember correctly (which I do), there were two elderly people in the train. Two men around the ages of 60-70, sitting seats away from one another. On the other side of the car was a tall man, around the age of 19 or 20, standing up near the sliding doors of the train, engaged in a loud conversation with the other three guys next to him.
My friend and I sat near the other sliding doors, away from the elderly men and the young adult guys. Away from all the sound.
Then he walked over.
Oh, how I’ll never forget his face. His dark brown eyes that seemed deep black. The two lines across his eyebrows. His smirk and his tattoos.
“Hey,” he said. I immediately shut up and looked at my hands. I knew from the start that nothing great could come out of talking to him. My friend didn’t get the memo, though.
“Hi,” she said back, obviously trying to flirt. He didn’t respond. I could feel his eyes burning holes into my head. I could feel his legs shake. I could hear his friends inch closer to us. I could hardly breathe anymore. I didn't notice that my friend was now engaged in conversation with the guy and his friends. I didn't notice how they towered over us and looked down at us.
“How old are you?” he asked me.
I didn't answer. His friends chuckled.
“You heard? Your age?”
I looked at my friend. She urged me to answer.
Before I opened my mouth to speak, all I felt was a pull. His hands were wrapped around my long, dark hair like rope. He yelled, “WHY WONT YOU ANSWER” as he pulled me down to the cold metal floor of the train. I felt every bump and jump that the train went by. I could hear my friend being pushed against the glass dividers.
I couldn’t move.