I need to feed my cat

I pull my brown heavy jacket closer as I walk toward the parking lot.  The cold October air is making it feel as if winter has already arrived.  I just finished working a 12-hour serving shift and feel more than ready to go home after locking up the small diner.  Before I left, I had gone into the restroom and upon washing my hands, I had looked into the mirror.  I looked exhausted.  My green eye shadow, black eyeliner, and mascara were smeared and my long brown hair, pulled into a bun, was looking unkempt.  As I approach my car, I go through a mental checklist of what I did, making sure I took care of all of the closing since I hurried out the door, remembering that I needed to get home to feed my cat.  She was probably starving and feeling lonely since I haven’t worked this shift in ages.

            Turning the key into the driver’s door of my black Kia Rio, after taking the ten-minute walk to the vacant parking lot, I hear a noise.  It sounds as if an animal is dragging its tail through the gravel.  Not knowing what was causing the noise, and since it is late at night the noise frightens me, causing me to jump as I turn to see where the noise is coming from.

            “Oh, it’s just you,” I say with relief as I realized it is only Roy, the man I recently had started to see.  We were going on two months this Saturday.  “What are you doing here?  I thought our date wasn’t until tomorrow?”  I take in Roy’s disheveled appearance.  His eyes look glazed over and his short black hair looks greasy and untidy; he is usually a very put together guy.  My guess is that he had been out drinking.

            “Maggie!  I’ve been calling you all day and you haven’t called me back!  Why haven’t you called me back?”  He asks as he lumbers toward me.

            “I told you yesterday on the phone that I had a long shift today, Roy.  I thought our date wasn’t until tomorrow?”  This was a whole other side of him that I had never seen.  We had been on seven dates and had talked each night on the phone and he was so nice, kind, and gentlemanlike.  I don’t know what has gotten into him.

            “Aw, honey, I must have forgotten.  I missed you, that’s all.”  He says as he leans up against my car.

            “I missed you, too, Roy, but, as you can see, I am thoroughly exhausted and need to be heading home now.  My cat needs fed.  You knew that I was a busy woman when we started dating.”  I turn around to open my car door, thinking that was the end of the conversation.  “Do you need me to call someone to take you home?”  I ask as I once again turn my key to unlock the door.

            “No.”  That was all the answer I got as I felt his hot breath on the back of my neck.  “You will take me home.”  He whispers.

            “Roy, I need to get home.  You’re scaring me.”

            Roy towers over me as he grabs my arms tightly, pulling me into a forced embrace.  “I missed you, Maggie.  I want you to be with me.  Be with me, Maggie.  Why won’t you be with me?”

            I am stuck in his forced embrace and no matter what I do, I cannot escape.  He twists me around so that I face him.  My head only reaches to his shoulder and I am overpowered.  He leans toward me and smothers my mouth with his.  I feel the tears starting to form and once he sees them, he slaps me across the face.

            “Don’t you want to be with me?”  He asks again, more forcibly and repeatedly as he moves his ugly lips down my neck.

            I make my attempts to push away the man who is twice my size to no avail.  My feeble attempts only add fuel to his anger and arousal.  As he crushes his mouth against mine, one of his hands finds a way up my shirt, groping me.  His other hand is still holding me captive against my car.  I don’t understand what is happening as my mind spins, trying to make sense of the situation.  Roy takes my keys from me, now only holding me by one arm.  His back is against me as I bite down hard on his hand, making him release me and yell in pain.  I run back toward the diner, not looking back, scared to see if he is following me.  Roy tackles me to the ground.  My escape has failed.

            “Roy, please…”  I beg.

            Once again, he hits me.  This time my eyes go fuzzy as my head bounces against the ground.  The last thing I see is Roy unbuttoning his pants while he sits on top of me.  Total darkness.

            I wake up in gravel, not remembering how I got there or why.  As I try to stand, I feel shaky and my head begins to pound with a killer headache.  I hurt everywhere.  Then I remember.


            No, no.  Just get to your car.  I walk toward my car thinking this same thought over and over.  Okay, you need to get home to feed your cat.  You need to feed your cat.  You need to feed your cat.  I get into my car and drive home.  Home to feed my cat.

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