March 22, 2019:

I don't know what she thought of me. Voice from the radio.

Her first time was rape. Two boys from school. They drove her to the top of an empty hill, held her down, took turns with her. Common story in working class neighborhoods. Ubiquitous, practically. The boys are rough and the girls are forced. It was that way where I grew up.

Neither of us had a car. A pal from school had to drive us. As payment she gave him her extremely illegal younger sister at the make-out parties.

I liked her sister. Smart, wise, protective. She loved her older sis and knew she'd been abused. Not just by the neighborhood rapists, but at home, too, by the father or the stepfather or whatever he was. Another nearly ubiquitous story.

One day little sister turned up unannounced to tell me she'd escaped. Eloped to Florida with a nice boy of whom wise little sister approved. Little sister asked for drugs, which I gave her, and for a kiss, which I did not.

I asked, "Are you going to be alright?" She nodded, with calm self-assurance. She knew how to take care of herself. Street-wise, unlike her older sis who was naive, even gullible.

I doubt she was alright, but at that time there was nothing I could do.