How I Learned About Exhibitionism

Inspired by @em. This is my story.
  1. On June 20, 2008, part of my innocence had been wiped away by a stranger. I was 16.
  2. His sartorial tastes enabled him to slip in and out of spaces unnoticed: white sneakers, blue track jacket, and tan khaki shorts. I have a vague memory of his facial features. He seemed 25.
  3. I was busy shelving the non-fiction stacks in the back of the library. We had mutually smiled at each other, like strangers do. I had 45 minutes until my shift was over and wanted to get home to go to the movies with my brothers.
  4. "May I help you?" I asked.
  5. Moments went by without a word. His eyes slightly convulsed. I grew concerned. I thought he needed medical attention.
  6. "Is everything okay?" I asked.
  7. He gestured and nodded his head up and down. "More than okay." I looked down and his pants were unzipped, fully exposed.
  8. He didn't need help. He got what he wanted.
  9. I cupped my hands over my mouth and ran to the closest librarian for help.
  10. I had been violated of my emotional space.
  11. For a while, I was afraid to tell anyone what had happened, especially my mother.
  12. The thing about shame is that it breeds in silence. Silence is dangerous. It eats you up.
  13. He flashed a smile in my direction before getting taken away in handcuffs. Something I will never forget.