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This week I must stand and face a man so vile. I shake inside, I want to vomit and I remember his touch. As I trace my cheek bone more plastic than bone I remember his touch. His hands rough upon the back of my neck as he slammed me to table, I remember his touch. Striking, breaking my face forever altered, I remember his touch. Blood and stars then forced inside me, oh I remember his touch. I tremble at the thought of seeing him again, his twisted face, his cruel hands, his faith challenging evil. But I remember his touch, cruel, unforgiving, uncaring as he forced himself upon helpless, wounded child.

I trace my cheek bone and remember cruelty, I remember hatred. I remember three surgeries and to this day the hollow sound where plastic not bone remains. This one I remember most of all and now he seeks freedom. He claims to have found the god he tried to steal from me. They claim he’s a model prisoner. But I remember what he did to me, I remember his touch. He is in my darkest dreams, the ones I wake from screaming. Oh yes I know his touch.

I hate my face, I see the scars. Invisible to most and yet painfully clear to me. Yes I remember him when I look in the mirror, when I see my face and when I close my eyes. I’ve tried washing him away but his stain remains burned into my mind. I still feel his hand and as I trace what remains of bone within my cheek I feel the force of the table, I can still see the blurred pain and it all comes back, the real pain. My innocence lost. Oh yes I remember his touch, I remember it so well. It’s a memory I would have seized from my mind though I ask the impossible.

Inside a gleam, a glisten, a reflection upon faith challenged and shattered. A spirit crushed by crimes against same faith. Pieces of the mirror, times long past and yet reflection. Times of trials, failures and shame and yet reflection remains. Will I ever be allowed peace again, the innocence stolen that day? Probably not, this is the curse of the victim. I am never allowed to forget, never allowed peace from this.

Four days I will face the man I see every time I see my face. I will face the man who will claim his desire for freedom not repent for his crime. This same man will now beg that I forgive him but none shall ever be spoken to his face. I will be his nightmare! I will keep him in prison where I hope he wakes with nightmares long after his days. Oh I remember his face; I remember his cruelty, and his touch. He will remember mine in four days.

Four days of reflection and he will remember the face that will keep him in a cage. Four days and without a hand upon him he will remember my touch. After they are done proclaiming how he found god in prison, he has changed his life, how he has suffered in solitary confinement because other prisoners want to kill the child molester, how he has been a model prisoner. Then it’s my turn to tell of the man who claims god and suffering as his own and his infliction upon a child that suffers her own solitary confinement.

Four days I will show them the pictures of my face, of all they did to me and l tell them of my faith stolen by them. Lead by the man that sits before them, this man who has found god, this model prisoner. It’s my view point if he has found god in jail and is such a good prisoner then he should stay in jail where he has done so well since in his freedom he was neither a model citizen nor a man walking with god. If prison suits him so well he should spend more days there where in time he may change though I’ve my doubts.

Four days before I will tell him you are not forgiven, you will stand before god all mighty knowing I hold you to your sin. If this damns my soul then so be it, I’ve already lived in hell thanks to them. It is most hard to forgive those not willing to accept the punishment given them. They seek freedom before even the full sentence is completed. Sure they walk free and I can’t? Not while I draw breath. Show me you are sorry and stay put for your 25 years, stay silent and do not ask me to stand here and remind you what you’ve done and why you are here.

I will remind him your term says 25 years before you may seek freedom not until you find god, not until you suffer solitary confinement, not unless you are a model prisoner. Twenty five years. I will remind him that had he not beaten and repeatedly raped me, a minor child he wouldn’t fear his fellow inmates. Had he acted the model citizen on the outside he would still be free today. If he wants my parson, my forgiveness in this life he will not return to a parole hearing until his sentence is full past. Then and only then will I consider forgiveness. Should he make me return again I will ensure his sentence is more than 25 years.

If he wishes “atonement” he must accept his sin. To this day he had not admitted to beating and raping me. He has not declared his guilt. He has not paid reparation for his sins by serving the time in prison. Instead he has dragged me through reliving the events and when asked of his guilt he simply hangs his head and says nothing! To atone to me he must admit his guilt openly, he must admit his crimes and stand the reparation for them. When I have seen both then I shall consider forgiveness an option. If he wants my forgiveness he will have to ask for it and then demonstrate he is serious in his atonement by admitting openly his sin against me, asking for forgiveness and accepting his punishment in full.

Four days he wll learn how to be forgiven by me, without that forgiveness his crime can not be absolved!

~Michelle Styles – November 18, 2013