Eternal Scar (2016)

tanner muller eternal scar story
(Artwork by Elyshia Lay @elyshialayart)

*featured in Verse Magazine, issue 11

You led me into the room, your hands pressed into my waist. Instantly, I felt a sense of discomfort. There was no escaping these four walls I had become so familiar with. In that moment, my bedroom felt distorted somehow, as though you had painted the walls or shifted the furniture. I sat on the bed, although it did not feel like my own. You winked at me, like you were proud of what you were about to achieve–to finally replace your imagination with reality, to fulfil your vile fantasy.

Those on the other side were unaware of the revolting acts that were about to ensue. You revealed to them only a small fragment of who you were. But, I saw your truest form.

‘I’m going to take my top off now,’ you proclaimed.

You took command of the atmosphere and manipulated my undeveloped sense of being. You stood in front of the bed, your body towering over me like a skyscraper. You removed each article of your clothing slowly, bit by bit. I quivered in fear as you took my hand and placed it onto your neck. It felt cold and rough to the touch. From that point onwards, you strung me around like a puppet, using my strings to manipulate and move me however you pleased. Your wish was my command. There was a clear look of uncertainty riddled upon my face, yet you proceeded regardless. You probably got a kick out of taking advantage of my youth. The more discomfort I revealed to you, the better it seemed in your mind.

‘Touch it,’ you said gently, almost like a whisper.

‘I think mum and dad will be mad at me.’

‘That’s why you don’t tell them. It’s our little secret. You have to keep it to yourself.’

‘Mum said that secrets are bad because they can hurt people.’

‘Well, you don’t want your mum to get hurt do you?’

‘No, no I don’t.’

‘Then don’t say a word about this to anyone.’

Over the coming years, these acts formed part of a routine I grew to expect. From that point onwards, I recognised it as something ordinary and natural. I became your instrument. With more practice, the more your skills developed. I was your hobby, your toy, your thing, and there was no way out. I could see no exits, only stop signs. You owned me entirely.

As for now, my thoughts are ingrained with doubt. Although recovered from the ordeal, it has plagued my existence, formed part of my past, present and future–like a scar that will never vanish, no matter the lengths I go to cover it.

It would be wrong of me to acknowledge how I look towards the future with anticipation. I do not let the incidents of my childhood reflect who I am, or who I want to be. I see developments within myself to rid these thoughts from my memory. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but I will always, and forever, be infected by the thought of you and the impact you will always have.

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