My attacker left the apartment sometime around four a.m. I called my roommate, woke her out of a sound sleep and shocked her with the news of what had just happened to me. She could not believe what I was telling her. She assured me that she would take care of calling the police and promised that she would be upstairs right afterward.
Fearful that my attacker may still be in the apartment but wanting to be certain, I warily got out of bed, tiptoed to the doorway of my room, and peeked out. I looked right and left down the hallway. To my relief I did not see or hear anything that gave me pause
Hoping the coast was as clear as it appeared to be I turned left out of my room and headed toward my roommate’s bedroom at the end of the hallway. What I discovered when I reached the threshold of her open doorway horrified me.
The wire to her telephone had been severed and was lying in two pieces on the carpeting. It was then that I knew the perpetrator had entered my roommate’s bedroom first before coming into mine. Had she been home that night the scenario would have been entirely different. I don’t even want to imagine it.
The discovery that my attacker had seen my roommate’s room before he saw mine explained a lot. I thought back to the very first question he had asked me about my mother. At the time it had struck me as peculiar that a rapist with a knife at the throat of a grown woman would ask where her mother was. Suddenly the question made complete sense to me.
He had told me that he’d been watching me, so he must have seen me outside on the front steps chatting with my neighbor, a woman who looked old enough to be my mother. When he entered my roommate’s bedroom and saw the entire room furnished with antiques, he must have assumed that the woman I sat outside with was my mother and that my roommate’s bedroom was my mother’s bedroom. That unexpected revelation made me wonder what other evidence I would find that would retrace his ominous steps.
I did an about face and went back up the hallway that led to the rest of the apartment. Passing by the kitchen I noticed that the cutlery drawer was wide open. On closer examination it was apparent that the drawer had been rummaged through. I couldn’t help but wonder if the knife he had held to my throat had come from my very own drawer.
On further discovery I found the wires to our kitchen and living room telephones severed. The evidence was chilling.
Within minutes of calling my roommate there was a knock at my door. The officers had arrived with my roommate coming up the stairs right behind them.
The police officers asked me questions about the incident and wrote a report. Detectives came shortly after the officers did. Their job was to process the crime scene. They dusted my entire apartment for fingerprints. My bed sheets and nightgown were bagged and taken as evidence.
I was whisked away by squad car to a rape crisis clinic. There I was examined by a doctor who also took forensic samples from my body. Before discharging me they offered me a morning after pill to take in order to prevent the possibility of pregnancy. Grateful for the option I took it.
The entire experience felt like a dream…a horrific one. I never imagined something that nightmarish would ever happen to me. No one does. It was hard to wrap my head around the series of events that had transpired that night. My awareness had been acutely heightened while in survival mode, but everything that followed seemed surreal. I was probably in shock.
Detectives visited my apartment a few times in the days and weeks following the incident to show me mug shots. Their attempts were fruitless; I could not identify the perpetrator because I never saw his face.
It would have been wonderful if they had identified and caught him, but that was not going to be a realistic outcome. He could have been anyone. If I ran smack dab into him the next day I would not have known who he was.
I cannot say that I was disappointed. My goal had been to survive the night and I had done exactly that. Never having seen his face might have been the very thing that saved my life. I will never know.
Yes, I was violated and severely traumatized, but I was alive and not physically injured. I had a lot to be grateful for. Catching him would have just been icing on the cake, but it was alright with me if they did not.
With no way to identify the rapist, the case went cold.
Though there was no closure and I never sought counselling, I somehow managed to move on with my life. But deep inside my psyche laid the memory of that fateful night—it would wake me out of my sleep between three a.m. and four a.m. every night for the next thirty years.
Continued from: Never Say Never, Part One
Continues in: Never Say Never, Part Three
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