When I was away at college, I was injured. Long story. But the short of it is that my calf was severed horizontally, through the tendon to the bone. I was not expected to walk again (but I eventually did). Once I recovered enough to be up and on crutches, I went shopping one night — just a few groceries, since I had to hang a bag around my neck to carry anything. I got home, and went up the stairs to my apartment.
[SIDEBAR: Going up stairs on crutches is a snap. Going down is the challenge.]
I put away the groceries, and made queso in the microwave. I put the chips and queso in my neck-bag, and went to my room to watch TV and eat on my bed.
I heard a knock on the door. This was around the time that my roommates got home from work, so I assumed one of them had forgotten their keys. I grabbed my crutches, and made good time to the door. I opened it, and on the other side was a man. The look in his eyes instantly terrified me. I tried to shut the door quickly, but on my crutches, I had no leverage. He forced his way in, and grabbed me around my neck from behind. He levered me so that my feet did not touch the floor, and moved right toward my bedroom.
I believe to this day that he saw me get home, saw my vulnerable state, and waited for my bedroom light to come on to make his move.
As he turned the corner into the hall towards my bedroom, I grabbed the door frame’s molding. It was a stupid idea. He kept on going, and I tore off all of my fingernails. He went through my bedroom door, and threw us both down on the bed together. When he did, the very hot queso flew up onto both of us. Understand: Below the point where my leg was severed, I had no feeling. The nerves were all cut. Plus, I was scared to death. I knew my skin was being burned, but I didn’t feel it.
He, on the other hand, was NOT terrified, and did. He back handed me across the face, said something profane, and ran away.
I didn’t have my crutches, so I dragged myself on my stomach (way faster than a three-legged crawl) to the front door and locked it.
I got up on my crutches that were lying there.
I went to my room.
I moved the food.
I stripped the bed.
I started laundry.
I ran a bath.
I got in the bath (except for my leg.)
Not long after, I was sitting in the tub crying quietly when my first roommate got home. I don’t know what she saw, but she KNEW. She started banging on the door, screaming for me to let her in. I wouldn’t. She grabbed a coat hanger and jimmied the lock. She got in. She got it out of me. She said she was calling the police. I said not to. She did.
Three officers responded — two men, and a woman. My roommate knew how I was raised. She knew if the cops came, I would be too polite to refuse to answer their questions. I told them everything.
One of the male officers (top dog, a Detective) who was taking notes ended our conversation by explaining to me that:
1) There is no such thing as “attempted rape.”
2) I let him in. Not really “breaking and entering.”
3) One backhand across the face is not the kind of thing that merits an assault charge.
4) If they did catch him, they’d never be able to make anything “stick.”
… and on and on. Lots of word salad, with one point: Don’t file an official report. It’s not worth the trouble. Nothing will come of it.
As sorry as I felt for myself in that moment (and it was plenty sorry), I felt worse for the female officer sitting next to him. The look on her face… I’m not a mind reader, but she looked like she was in physical pain. She actually openly grimaced a few times. She looked straight into my eyes a few times, too, as if she was screaming at me, “I’M SORRY! I CAN’T DO ANYTHING! PLEASE DON’T HATE ME!”
I didn’t hate her then. I don’t hate her now. He was a Detective. She wasn’t. It wasn’t her show.
The one time in my life that I really needed to be protected and served, I feel that I got screwed.
You know what’s been going on lately.
Yesterday, I said it for the first time in my life, and I meant it.
FUCK THE POLICE.