TRIGGER WARING: SEXUAL ASSAULT
left jab, right upper, left jab,
left jab, right jab
right stomach, left hook
left jab, right jab, left hook, left jab
right upper, left hook, right jab,
left jab, block duck
left jab, left jab, right jab, left jab, left jab, left jab
the punching bag falls down
she unwraps her hand wraps to bleeding knuckles
she screams in frustration and throws aimless punches in the air
“ha ha ha!”
she turns to sight the source of the voice, only to find herself facing an empty gym.
she breathes and chugs on some water before beginning her next rep
“where is all your power, huh?” accompanied by a sinister laugh that still haunts her dreams.
she looks around to find the culprit who said those words, although she knows, he’s not going be here or anywhere close
she finds no one, she knows that the voice is not real
but she can’t stop her paranoia from kicking in, her chest feels heavy and she can barely breathe, her hands shake as the feeling of dread, of helplessness fills her mind
she feels powerless.
powerless, is a scary feeling, her scariest feeling, and her biggest fear;
powerless like that day, even when she knew all about the correct way to punch and miss and knock someone out in the ring, yet she failed to knock him out
knock him out as he caressed her and she felt disgusted
knock him out when his breath fanned her face and all she wanted to do was run
knock him out when his touch repulsed her making her want to scream
knock him out when he kissed her against her will and held her against all her protests
knock him out when he touched her and her body was protesting because she didn’t want any of his touch, any of him
knock him out when despite being a strong professional boxer, she was made felt so powerless.
her nails dig into her palms making her palms bleed just like her knuckles
she turns her hands to look at the damage she’s made
blood, red blood
a sight she is familiar to
she shudders as she looks at the blood and remembers
unable to keep herself up anymore, she falls to her feet
“how was I so weak?”
“why didn’t I do something then?”
she asks herself the same question she's asked herself so many times before, never really getting an answer.
she closes her eyes to the image of his hungry eyes
and his words fill her ears again, his sweet nothings said in that raspy voice that makes her skin crawl
she tries to stop herself from shivering but the images in her head just keep getting worse
the words go on in her head like a chant
“it’s okay, baby” “shush”, “you’re mine”, I thought you were strong”
she opens her eyes as she finds it more difficult to breathe, like the oxygen has run out
she starts muttering to herself, starts telling herself that this is worthless, that she has to breathe and she has to survive
“you have the power.” she asserts.
she closes her eyes to the image of his face behind bars the same day he was put there
“you have the power.” she tells herself as she forces herself to her feet.
Author: Riya Pote
Editor: Ananya Chaure