I was shivering. It was warm enough in my apartment, but I shook like I was outside. It must have been the fact that I had finally stopped to think about what had happened. I had been raped. I could barely form the word in my own mind. That sick bastard touched me, raped me, and I couldn’t even think about it. I curled into a ball, inward on myself, and shook.

I heard a noise just outside my window. i jumped, as if he had come back. As if another rapist with a chanted mantra would appear at my windowsill, seeking to hurt, to ruin, to force his way into me. With the abilities I had, how could I have let that happen? How could I have allowed Peter to get hurt that way?

Oh, god, Peter. I still felt horrible. He was at the hospital, in a coma, or something just like it. They wouldn’t tell me a damn thing because I wasn’t family. i tried playing the girlfriend card, but that didn’t play, either. They told me to get his family, and come in with them. They’d try to use the info in his wallet to do the same. I doubted he had much in his wallet that would help them.

I alternated between the numb, staring, shaky reality of my emotional state with the stark stomach-pit feeling about Peter’s chances. I’d let him talk me into coming along, and then he gets hurt the first time out. What the hell? I’d failed him. I’d failed myself. I was nothing, lower than low, a stinking piece of dog shit in the street.

God, I felt so cold. I shivered some more, then wondered who Peter was. I realized that I had no idea who he was or where he was from. He was, for all intents and purposes, a big blank spot in my life. Yeah, we worked together, we roomed together, but I did not know him. At all.

Over the next two days, I spent time in my bed, on the couch watching TV, or furiously pacing around the apartment. I went tot he hospital each day to sit with Peter, but that didn’t seem to help.

I spent more and more time in the angry places. I railed at God, at the government, at police. At the sorry shitty state of our country that couldn’t keep bastards like that off the streets of even a godforsakenly cold place like Anchorage.

I started going to the port and punching holes in train cars. I started tearing them apart. I started running into the wild north of the city, and screaming my lungs empty and my throat bloody. No words, just screams. Wild, angry, afraid, helpless screams.

And then they started gaining purpose. The screams had more meaning. They became words without words. Words of promise, of purpose. Un-lettered meaningful screams that vowed to not let this happen again. To me, to women anywhere.

I started to change my life. From little miss no one and no thing to someone strong. Someone powerful. And someone very, very angry.

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