How I Learned About Exhibitionism
Inspired by @em. This is my story.
- •On June 20, 2008, part of my innocence had been wiped away by a stranger. I was 16.
- •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.
- •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.
- •"May I help you?" I asked.
- •Moments went by without a word. His eyes slightly convulsed. I grew concerned. I thought he needed medical attention.
- •"Is everything okay?" I asked.
- •He gestured and nodded his head up and down. "More than okay." I looked down and his pants were unzipped, fully exposed.
- •He didn't need help. He got what he wanted.
- •I cupped my hands over my mouth and ran to the closest librarian for help.
- •I had been violated of my emotional space.
- •For a while, I was afraid to tell anyone what had happened, especially my mother.
- •The thing about shame is that it breeds in silence. Silence is dangerous. It eats you up.
- •He flashed a smile in my direction before getting taken away in handcuffs. Something I will never forget.