She has graduated high school and gone off to college, made new friends and left old ones behind.

She is a new person now, but not for any of those reasons.

This 17-year-old girl has been through more hardship than most will go through in their lives.

She was an innocent high school kid, engaged in classes, a loyal friend, a hard-working student and a Gibson’s Bakery cashier. She was the person she thought she should be, and who she might still be if not for the events of a cold November night in an even colder king-sized bed.

She thought she knew people, thought she knew how they worked and how they acted around the ones they care about. She really thought she knew this boy.

She was lied to.

She was hurt.

She was raped.

She couldn’t sleep in her own bed for 120 days; she couldn’t even talk about it for 240. And now, nearly 700 days later, it still lingers. It still comes back to her when she least expects it, and she’s not fine.

She is no longer an innocent 17-year-old girl. She’s no longer the passionate student and trusting friend she was before. She could have been anything, done anything with her young and free life, but now she couldn’t be that person even if she wanted to. Now all she can be is trapped by the heinous acts of another. All she can be now is a survivor.

“She’s gone,” she says. “That person who I was is dead.”

She was just a girl with a boy. Now she’s a survivor with a scar.

brueckro@miamioh.edu

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