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Today is the solstice.

Today is the solstice.
The longest day of the year
The day with the most sun.
Four years ago I was attacked in my apartment,
Beaten, Raped.
It is still hard to think about.
Harder still to talk about.
And yet.
There was a moment.
A defining sort of moment.
Where nothing was ever the same again.
Not the moment when the bottle hit my face.
Not the moment when I realized I was trapped.
Not the moment that I lost consciousness briefly.
Not the moment I woke up and realized again what was happening.
It was the moment after he left.
The door slamming behind him.
When I began to untangle myself, test my muscles, try to move.
Sticky. Slick.
The sunlight on the linoleum.
Outside the window, cars driving.
I waited.
I thought, this is it.
If I start screaming, I might not stop.
I could give in, give in to the hysterics.
Close my eyes and pitch forward.
It was tempting.
I waited.
I realized I had a choice.
This moment didn’t have to define me.
I couldn’t let myself slip away. He would have won.
It took forever to crawl out of the bathroom.
To find my glasses, my phone.
To call for help.
Later, I answered questions,
Not all of them.
They took pictures. I took tests.
I kept thinking back
To the moment of choice.
After the fact.
When I decided I was stronger
Stronger than the pain
The shame
The fear.
The moment when I got up.

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