By Olivia Farina

            I washed the taste of him from my mouth.

            This is what happens when you trust a man. You let his smell in. You taste him in the corners of your mouth and hear his pants and noises in everything. You become tuned.

            I don’t know when I detached.

I don’t remember when I stopped liking it, or if I ever did. I remember suddenly going limp. He didn’t notice.

            He didn’t notice when I went limp.

            I remember sitting in that chair next to his bed watching as he grunted into her, completely unaware of her lack of connection. I looked into her own eyes, jaw slightly slack and cheek turned towards the right where I watched from that chair.

            It was not until after that I realized it was her.

            I don’t know when I stopped consenting to his touch. Was it when he shoved my mouth on his length? Was it when the nausea hit?

He had never done it before. He hadn’t asked.

            I wondered if this was what break up sex was like; now I wondered if this was what rape was like.

            I was raped, I think to myself. I feel nothing in the words.

            I rinse my mouth again. I dare not gargle.

            I was raped, I think again. Was I raped?

            I wanted it at first until the kisses got rough. Until he wouldn’t look me in the eyes as he pounded into me. It had hurt, and he knew it, because I gasped. No love. Just pain. No choice.

He raped me, I think this time. That sounded better. He violated something but I hadn’t been in my body.

            I went limp and he didn’t notice.

            My hair smells like his detergent. His sheets. His skin. His fingers. I hope his fingers didn’t leave bruises.

            He was never this rough.

            Maybe he wanted to hurt me but instead of hitting, fucked me. Couldn’t make love. There’s no love left. Sex sounds emotionless. Only teens can bone. He fucked because there was nothing else he could do to me that was real.

            I’m starting to blame myself.

            I rinsed again with cold water. I sat in that chair and stared at myself get fucked.

            It was animalistic. Grunting. Short yells. Calls. Nothing graceful or passionate. He treated me like a job.

            One he didn’t do very well.

            Men’s noises used to get me off, now I don’t think they ever will again. He never will.

            “I was raped.” I whisper it this time.

            I hadn’t thought much on the ride home.

            I stared into the black of the night and wondered how I could feel so hollow with him inside of me. I had felt filled once with him inside of me. Now it was an empty ache. A hollow space. A cave that fuels a grown man’s nightmare of being alone.

            I don’t know what is worse: that he didn’t finish while still gloved inside of me or the fact that he slipped out of me to slide the condom off and finish in my mouth.

            Both send a message.

            To not finish inside reveals that something is wrong with that part of me. That I’m not good enough for him. No playing house in the bedroom or through completion of this act.

            Finishing in my mouth shows ownership of my weapon. My deadly tongue rendered useless. It was just a shell for his devices.

            It tainted my mouth. He tainted my mouth therefore tainting my words. Maybe that’s why I don’t think I was raped. What he did makes my mouth a filthy liar.

            He made me a liar.

            What is rape?

            Is it an act from the beginning that isn’t consensual? Or can only part of the act of sex be rape? Can I say no when I want? or do I have to follow through to the end?

            Such a womanly thing of me to do, allowing this man to destroy me, use me as a vessel and then clean up his mess.

            Soothe him.

            Comfort him like a baby.

            Wifely duties.

            How many wives have been raped by their husbands?

            How many girls who felt like they had to lie and say they were ready?

            How many men are too ashamed to tell?

            I can see their faces, but no one would believe me.