Another Page: 01.16.04

Jennifer was aware that the guy was talking to someone in the room, but she didn’t want to turn around to see whom it was. She wasn’t interested. She just wanted to sit here and wait. It was dry in here and warm. Even in her soaked sweatshirt she felt better. She didn’t want to ruin it by talking to people or lying down. She didn’t want to disrupt the normalcy she was feeling.

It was very bright in here and she was very thirsty. These were the only thoughts on her mind. That man, Harvey, was bothering her. Didn’t he realize that something bad had just happened? She didn’t want to talk to him. Someone better

He had brought her water. That was nice of him. He knew that she’d be thirsty. She wondered how he knew that. It was pouring outside she could hear the raindrops pelting the roof in a steady stream. If it was so wet outside, why was she so thirsty now? She shouldn’t be so parched.

She shivered underneath the blanket he had brought her. Something didn’t feel right. She was wrapped in the blanket, but was still cold very, very cold. Her skin was damp dead. Her legs were dead white it reminded her of movies that showed girls who had drown. Smooth white dead.

She pulled the blanket tighter around herself, wringing out her sweatshirt and dripping cold water down her skin. Her saturated T-shirt could absorb nothing more and clung to her like a frozen second skin. She knew she should take her shirt off, but she couldn’t it was the only part of her that was still left. If she took it off, then the rest of her would be exposed.

A woman came around the bed. She was short and thin, but with a pudgy face. She had on a navy blue EMT shirt that was as soaked as Jennifer felt. Jennifer looked at her trying to take her features in. It took longer than it normally would. She seemed to be processing her information slowly. It’s like it had to sink through many layers before her brain would listen.

“Hi Jennifer,” the woman said. She was speaking slowly carefully, which was good as it too Jennifer time to understand it. She had a nice voice. It was comforting. “My name is Jan, do you know where you are?”

Jennifer nodded. She could still hear Violent Thunder in the background the band and the natural occurrence. Of course she knew.

“Can you tell me what happened?” she asked. “Can you tell who did this to you? Harvey said you told him something bad happened.”

Jennifer narrowed her eyes thinking about what had happened since she started walking toward the tent. It was a blur most of it was a blur. She had told him something bad had happened but she didn’t tell him what. “I ” she started. She didn’t know if she could bring herself to say it. Until then, there was the possibility that she would wake up and this would a vivid, terrible dream she could laugh about tomorrow.

“Jennifer, will you take the blanket off for me? I’d like to examine you. Take your pulse and check your breathing. We can also get you something dry and warm. Does that sound OK?”

Jennifer listened and then slowly nodded. She let the blanket fall off her shoulders. She hadn’t realized that her sweatshirt was destroyed. She also hadn’t realized her pants were gone. She pulled off the sweatshirt and peeled off her T-shirt. It had been an Old Navy baby doll. Now it was filthy rag of a T-shirt. Her breasts fell out of her top. She hadn’t worn a bra today. She didn’t think it was necessary underneath the sweatshirt since she had known she wouldn’t be taking it off. “Cold,” she said, beginning to freely shiver now that she was naked and wet in the cold.

Jan sat down on the bed next to her, giving her one of the crisp, white towels. Jennifer took it and started wiping her arms off. Jan took her blood pressure and started giving her a cursory examination. The stethoscope felt warm to her skin, which was a first in her life. “Can you tell me what happened, Jennifer?”

“I was watching the concert,” Jennifer said. The words just jumped out of her mouth as the examination continued. “I was watching the concert and my friends left. They said they were heading back to the tent. But I wanted to see the band that was coming up. They They’re still playing. I should have left with them if I left with them, this wouldn’t have happened ”

“Jennifer,” Jan interrupted. “You need to remember that you didn’t do this. You didn’t do anything wrong.”

Jennifer continued she had heard but didn’t process. The words had started coming and now they wouldn’t stop. “I should have left I could have heard them from the tent. I was watching and I got grabbed from behind. They put me on the ground two held me down and the other he ” she stopped. She couldn’t bring herself to finish the thought.

“What happened?” Jan prompted. She had finished poking and prodding. She was helping Jennifer dry herself now. Jennifer had started drying her legs and Jan rested her hands on Jennifer’s.

“No one stopped them,” Jennifer sighed, the first hint of tears starting in her eyes. “No one stopped them. We were in a crowd and no one stopped them. They they raped me.” She said the tears started. She wasn’t bawling, so much as tears were pouring out of her eyes her breath was hitching. “People were all around and not one of them did anything. No one stopped them ”

“Jennifer, I’ll be right back, I have to go talk to Harvey, but I need you to do me a favor, OK?” She waited for a nod. “I need you to not dry yourself below the waist, OK? And to not wipe your hands too much. We need to get you to a hospital for an exam and the less you disturb before you get there the better.”

Jennifer frowned. “Hospital?”

Jan continued. “You could have infections from what happened. We can also get a DNA sample. But to do that we need to do you have to not disturb things too much.”

Jennifer nodded. Jan walked around the corner. She thought she had heard the door open and close a few minutes ago and a little bit of commotion, but it had seemed unimportant. Jan hadn’t mentioned it so she didn’t mind. She picked the blanket up it was a little bit damp, but still warmer than being naked in this tent.

She could hear them talking in background but she was warm in the blanket. She was so tired. She laid down

“What do you mean she has no case?” Jan asked sharply as possible without yelling.