It happened in Everett, Washington.
It happened on my birthday, August 13th, less than a mile from my house, on a stretch of road that I had lived near for years, and spent countless hours walking, jogging, or biking on, not a block away from a fire station I used to visit while working nights on the ambulance.
We were sharing the same sidewalk. We were headed in the same direction. We talked. I feel like he told me enough about himself that were I to search for him or ask around, someone would know who he was...His name was Jose, he had a tattoo that peaked underneath his tank top across the top of his back, and he told me it was his last name. I couldn't pronounce it, but I remembered thinking it sounded like Mayan Eyes. When I told him it was my birthday, he excitedly told me his birthday had just passed on August 8th. He was from Tijuana. Raised Catholic with sisters.
I remembered being comforted by his presence. I remembered feeling safer that he was there, like an unexpected chaperone as I made my way to the Silver Lake Park. Turning 39 had hit me with mixed emotions and I was going to sit on the same park swings I used to push my stepson on and write and journal and enjoy the August meteor showers like I did when I was a little girl in Eglon sleeping under the stars next to my brother.
But I never made it to the park.
It wasn't until I said goodnight and went to part ways that he made himself known as a predator. He turned so quickly that at first it almost didn't seem real. He said "No...you aren't going." And he pulled his penis out of his pants and told me "This will be over fast."
He took me down with the precision of a wrestler, I didn't even realize the take-down was coming until I was mid-air. I remembered the back of my head bouncing off the concrete, dizzy, confused, and he used his size and his weight with skill. I heard words come spilling out of my mouth "Please don't, please stop, please...you don't have to do this." Pathetic, useless, pleading words.
The next thing I know I'm holding my pants up with my left hand, and throwing punches up with my right.... I kept trying to get to my feet but I couldn't. I knew ... I KNEW. I knew I was trapped in a nightmare, and that I was in trouble. And I stopped begging, and started screaming, as loud as I could, still kicking, punching, trying to get up. That's when he killed me. He covered my scream and pinched my nose ... I tried to turn my head ... and in that last escaping scream, it was like I escaped with it, and for a moment I was not in my body, I was looking at myself, and I had tears in my eyes. And then the air was gone, and that scream was shoved back into my gut where I felt like it was ripping through my stomach, and no matter how hard fought, I knew I was going to die. I was dying. And things went in and out, and then blackness. Dead.
I don't know how long I was out for. But I was dead for the worst part of the assault.
The first thing I remembered seeing after it happened, was the stars. And at this moment, I didn't know where I was, who I was, or why I was. I just saw the stars. And then I started to feel my body. My head was throbbing. My body felt like it was on fire. And I was naked from the waist down.
I didn't realize I wasn't alone until I heard someone crying next to me...He sobbing. I don't think he had expected to dispose of a body... maybe he hadn't meant to murder me. Maybe he just had a fit of sociopath remorse. At first I didn't know who he was...everything was so confusing. I turned, and there were my pants and my underwear wadded up next to my head...I started to put them on...and when he saw move he came over and tried helping me up. He was saying things and it took a moment for them to register. "It wasn't supposed to be like that...." He was saying. He told me he was sorry.
And that's when I remembered that I had been fighting for my life. That the last thing I remembered was being smothered, and knowing someone was killing me. I put my hands out to push him away and I started screaming again "GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME! GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME!" And he did. He put head down, still sobbing, and walked away.
Part Two: Everett Police Department
I stumbled to the fire station in shock and started pounding on their door, trying to find a doorbell, yelling for help. The engine was there and ambulance was in bay, their bunker gear was set up ready for the next call, but nobody came down. I stopped pounding on the door and called 911 and told them I had just been assaulted. The police were there within minutes...three officers surrounded me with their arms crossed, and one of the first things they said was "Well maam, what made it rape?"
"What makes you think it was rape? Was his dick hard or soft when you met him?"
"Can you call for a female officer?"
"Ma'am, don't forget you called us ... do you want help or not?" The officer said.
"No." I said. And then I turned and walked to the hospital alone.