Underneath

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Hands grabbing, crawling on my skin. Sweat dripping onto my face, pungent and stale. He thrusts urgently and violently. I close my eyes and withdraw away from sight, from feeling. I am a tiny ball inside myself, waiting for the end.

When it is over, he gets up without looking at me, pulls on his clothes and leaves. I feel grubby, like a used tissue, but also calmed. It feels right, the way I should feel. Sometimes I can cope with the mask of everyday, in professional clothing and a smart voice, but now and again the fraudulence is too much. It overwhelms me.

It doesn’t matter who they are, so long as they don’t care. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to have a relationship. I met someone once. He was nice, gentle. He made me want to rip my skin off and expose all the rot underneath. I couldn’t cope. Of course, he didn’t understand. Nobody does.

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