Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

Why, oh why did I have to make a comment about there being no drama?  Why?

It started innocently enough.  We stayed up way too late last night with our slumber party.  We played all sorts of games – truth or dare got boring, and we went on to “never have I ever”.  We asked a few questions, then of course, the dreaded question for all teenage girls that aren’t me came up, “Never have I ever….  kissed a boy.”  Crystal’s face turned somewhat terrified, and she lifted her hand very hesitantly.  Beth called her on it.

“You’re lying!”, she said, giggling.  But at the look on Crystal’s face, the giggle left her.  “Crystal?  Are you okay?”, she asked.  Crystal shook her head, and her lower lip was trembling.  “You’re not okay,” she said.

“Crystal, what’s wrong?,” I asked.  She just shook her head.  She said something inaudibly.

“What?,” I asked.

“I didn’t want to, ok?”, she almost shouted.  She stood up.  “I didn’t want to!  He made me!”  She ran out of the room.

I looked at Liz, then at Beth.  “I think we should wake Sabby up,” I said quietly.

Liz nodded.   I went over to Sabby’s room and knocked on her door.  The door opened slightly and a bleary-eyed Sabby asked me why I woke her up.  Well, “asked” is a nice way to phrase it.

“Something’s wrong with Crystal,” I said.  Her door shut, and then a few seconds later, she came out in a bathrobe.  We went into Beth’s room, and we all told her what had happened.  It didn’t take long for Sabby’s face to turn concerned, then thunderous, then she turned around and went downstairs.

Crystal was sitting on the couch, her head in her hands, quite clearly having a panic attack.  Or at least that’s what Sabby told me it was, after.  We sat down, Sabby on one side of her, me on the other.  It only took a touch before she grabbed onto Sabby and started wailing.  “I didn’t want to!  He made me!  He made me!”  Sabby patted her on the back, and told me she had this.

“Is she going to be okay?”  Liz took that opportunity to give me a quick hug and exit quietly out the door.

Sabby frowned at the crying girl in her arms.  “Maybe not for a while.  But we’ll do everything we can.”

“What’s going on?”

“I have an idea.  But she’ll tell you when she’s ready.  Please don’t push.”

I nodded.  I went back up to my room.  I guess the slumber party was over.

The next day, I went downstairs, and Sabby was sprawled out on the couch, and Crystal was clinging to her like her life depended on it.  Any other time I’d think that was sweet, but there was something going on I didn’t quite understand.  I had to go to work, though.  And so I did.

When I got home, the mood in the house was pretty dark.  Sabby and Crystal weren’t there.  Beth was in her room.  Finally Sabby came home, and Sabby took me and Beth aside.

“We had to take her to her parents and call the police,” she said.  “Someone, well, hurt her pretty badly.  At the shelter.”

‘Was she -“? Beth asked.

Sabby nodded quietly.

Oh no.  Oh no oh no oh no oh no.

“Her parents didn’t know, and she didn’t tell them.”  She sighed.  “We had to go down to the station to make a statement.”  She frowned.  “She might want to talk.  She might not.  But you have to be strong.  For her.  Her parents are devastated, as you can imagine.   She’s going to stay with them for a day or two, she needs her mother.  She’ll be back, she still needs school.”

I understood.  I remember how much I needed Sabby when that guy assaulted me.  And how much Beth was bothered by it.

I guess I can tell you the rest of the stuff that happened.  I went to work, I was tired, I was sad, I came home, dinner was quiet…  I didn’t feel like writing last night, and I didn’t.  It hurts too much.  I want to go to Crystal, and hug her, and tell her everything’s alright, but I can’t fix this.  I can’t even come close to fixing this.  I think Crystal will come back soon, and I think we’ll have a lot of talking to do if she wants to, and I think I’ll be the best big sister I can, and… and…

And I hate living in a world where things like this can happen to a girl like Crystal.

I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.

Liz is coming over now.  And I’ll be honest – I think there will be crying.  A lot of crying.  And I’m not sure who will cry more.

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