Readers' Submissions

It’s For Your Own Good!

  • Written by Tommy G
  • April 11th, 2008
  • 4 min read



She looked very young, maybe twelve or thirteen. Her long black hair fell on tanned shoulders that were just beginning to show the signs of impending womanhood. Her high cheekbones and serious eyes radiated the beauty and optimism in her young, innocent face. Long, gangly legs gave her the appearance of a newborn deer struggling to learn to control its newly found walking ability.

The nervous look in her eyes didn’t begin to display the real terror she was feeling. She wanted to run for the door and run until this place was out of sight behind her. Run home and hug her mother and be safe with her family and just be a little girl allowed to grow up without fear and without the pain she was about to endure. Except for the fact that it was her mother who brought her here. Waking up this morning feeling safe and warm in her shared room as the sun warmed her face on the pillow, she had no idea that her day would result in this. She was playing in the yard with the pet dog, not exactly the pride of the Bangkok Kennel Club, when the surprise trip was mentioned. There was no time to gather provisions for the journey, just what she was wearing. Mom told her where they were going well after they’d left home and she’d been trying not to cry for most of the trip, but it was a battle she was losing.

They weren’t really poor by local standards. They had pretty much the same things and lifestyle as the neighbors. While money was often tight, her mother seemed happy with the family and was extremely loving and supportive. Why then was she doing this? Her mother brought her here and put her with this much older man and told her to do whatever he said. The safe, familiar feeling of her mother’s presence morphed into a wave of sheer terror in minutes.

He was up close to her face and the smell of the room was foreign. His cheap cologne and slight body odor wafted to her nostrils, which were now expanding and contracting with her rapid breathing. Foul breath caused her to turn her head, attempting in vain to avoid his close contact. He pulled her close and inspected her eyes and mouth like he was buying a piece of meat at the market. His grasp on her arm was firm but not yet painful. She would give anything to be anywhere but here! Her pleading eyes were tearing and she was trying so hard not to cry.

If Daddy was here he would protect her. If he hadn’t gone to Bangkok for work all of this would not be happening. Bangkok seemed like a world away from her rural existence here and she could only imagine the details of his stories of traffic jams and skytrains and pollution people everywhere. She would give anything to be in the safety of his arms right now. The feeling of safety, love and the knowledge that all was well with the world was missing since he left. But Daddy wouldn’t be home for awhile and he wasn’t here to protect her from this man.

He began removing her shirt with a methodical precision that hinted of his experience in behavior like this. It seemed like a bad dream but it was real nonetheless. Her fragile body stiffening with fear, she had no option but to succumb to his firm grip on her arm. He spoke very little but tried to reassure her that she would be alright yet left no doubt as to who was in charge.

His torso was right next to her and she could hear the wheezing of his lungs as he breathed. The jolt of pain surprised her and she whimpered. Tears flowed down her cheeks as she tried not to scream. Her body was convulsing while she held in with all her might her need to cry. She turned her head to avoid his foul breath and gasped for fresh air. It lasted for what seemed an eternity and then it was over. Just a dull ache remained as he removed his grip and moved away.

Looking over her shoulder through the tears stood her mother! In her mother’s eyes she saw the compassion, concern, and even rage that only a mother can hold for someone hurting her child.

“There honey, it’s all over now.” She picked up her daughter and held her until she got her composure. Helping her put her shirt back on, she said to the man, “Doctor, when will she need the next booster shot?”

“Bring her back in six months, Mrs. Murphy. Edna needs you to sign some insurance forms on your way out.”

Stickman's thoughts:

I got really, really concerned when I was reading this submission. Thank God for the ending! Very, very nicely put together!