Rated R for sexual situations, violence. Don't say I didn't warn you.Inevitable
The worst part is, I think people thought it was funny.
We were stalked, accosted, sexually harassed, for years. And no one cared. If we'd been born girls it would've been different. You can't do that to a girl. It's too much like rape. Actually, it pretty much is rape.
I would know.
But Ed, Eddy, and I, we had no one to turn to. No one thought it was serious. Not even us, at first.
We were wrong.
The older we got, the worse it got. The women who harassed us got older, too, after all, and with age came knowledge. Not wisdom, mind you, never that, but knowledge. And knowledge without wisdom is the most dangerous weapon in the world.
These words, they're getting harder. I knew they would. I can procrastinate no longer. The time for foolish games, childish pranks, and innocent scheming has long passed us by, and of all who know why it vanished so abruptly I am the only one who can still bear to speak, of it or anything. So I must tell this story. I am the only one left who can.
But these poison words are bitter. I am bitter. And once you've read my story, maybe you will be bitter, too.
Enough already, Double D. You can do this. You have to do this.
You can do this.
For Ed and Eddy.
Eddy smiled impishly, holding up the child-sized crown in one plump fist. "You gotta wear it, Sockhead. It's my birthday," he crowed, laughing. Behind him, Ed burst into uproarious laughter, though from Eddy's words or the butterfly fluttering near his head it was impossible to say.
"You're fifteenth birthday, Eddy," Double D replied with the typical superior, annoyed tone he always adopted when he felt Eddy was being unreasonable. "I will not wear that ridiculous hat."
"I like your hat, Double D," Ed said sagely. As per usual when Eddy and Double D were heading into one of their spats, he went ignored.
Ed didn't mind, though. In truth, he minded very little, and not because he very rarely seemed to grasp what was going on. He was smarter than anyone thought, including him. But he was amiable, perhaps the person for whom that word had been created. Not much ever really bothered him, and because he was so tall, no one ever really went out of their way to bother him, either.
So when he began to scream, it did not go ignored.
Eddy and Double D immediately left off their squabble and turned towards their large friend. He was yelling, and pointing – and when the other boys saw what he was gesturing at, they suddenly knew why he was afraid.
May Kanker stood not three feet from him, smiling.
Before any of them could move or even draw breath to scream, Eddy and Double D were knocked to the ground. Eddy landed on top of Double D, forcing the air from his lungs in one long whoosh. Lee Kanker was suddenly there, on top of Eddy, holding him down, trapping both him and a still breathless Double D beneath him. Marie Kanker knelt over Eddy, though it was not instantly apparent to any of the Eds why.
May Kanker grabbed Ed before he could run, and without much resistance from the stunned Ed she was able to stick a needle into the crook of his elbow. After a moment, he collapsed to the ground, hard.
"May," Lee called out, the first time any of the Kanker sisters had spoken. "Come help Marie move Eddy."
"Me?" Marie squawked. "He's your boyfriend! You move him!"
"But it's your boyfriend he's on top of," Lee pointed out, still pinning the now unconscious Eddy down in order to keep the still struggling Double D down. "You wanna reach him dontcha'?"
"Then stop your yappin'!" Annoyed now, Lee yelled again. "May!"
"I'm comin' already!" The blond left off her fond admiring of Ed's doped up, slumbering face and approached.
By now, Double D had recovered his lost breath, but still not his lost voice. He couldn't seem to find any words to say, though they pored through his mind like someone had opened a floodgate in the place where his thoughts were kept.
Drugs? He wondered, as a bickering May and Marie struggled to lift Eddy off of him and Lee reached around them to keep him pinned by his shoulders. What kind of drugs cause such an immediate reaction? Almost instant unconsciousness – I should know this. I should. I'm the smart one. Everyone knows that. I should know this. I should. I really should.
He was still thinking such thoughts when the darkness came and swallowed him.
Eddy woke up first. He was slow to wake, groggy, disoriented – until he felt the ropes binding his wrists and ankles.
Then, he woke up quickly.
The first thing he saw upon opening his eyes was Lee Kanker bending over him. Without meaning to, he hissed, "Kankers." She grinned wickedly.
"Happy birthday, Eddy," she said. Then she kissed him.
He recoiled, but there was nowhere for him to go. She kissed him until he was almost out of breath, only letting him go with a sharp cackle when he was gasping into her mouth. Only after he'd regained his breath did he hear a soft moan from beside him. He looked over-
Ed was beside him on the bed, also tied. But he hadn't been the one to moan. On Ed's other side was Double D, also bound-
And he was naked.
Eddy turned away, flushing furiously. The implication of Double D's shocking nudity - and his own, which he was not yet aware of – didn't register with him at first. He was too caught up in the surprise of seeing his shy best friend so horribly exposed.
Then, Lee Kanker put her hand on him.
And he finally understood.
Later, that would mortify Eddy beyond anything else he was forced to endure that day, his fifteenth birthday. Lee's mouth on him, her hands, her forcing him to come, and come hard, inside her – Ed's openmouthed, staring fear and incomprehension, Double D's blatant fright and begging on Eddy's behalf, not asking but begging, begging, pointlessly begging until Marie gagged him – the way the sisters teased him, made fun of him, even as Lee raped him – he could handle that embarrassment.
But he cried.
And that shamed him.
Then it was Double D's turn. Marie removed the gag, but he didn't say a word. Not when she kissed him. Not when she got between his legs and made him hard with her mouth. Not when Ed began to ask questions, terrible, hurting questions.
"What's going on, Double D?"
"Why are you and Eddy naked, Double D?"
"What's Marie doing to you, Double D?"
"Why are we tied up…" "Why is Marie taking off her clothes…" "Do you like her now, Double D?"
"Why, Double D?"
The Kankers found his questions funny. It was Eddy who finally spoke, telling Ed in a choked voice full of pain to be quiet and leave Double D alone. For the rest of his life, Double D would remember Eddy's words, his understanding, the wintery sound of his kindness.
Tears blurred Double D's eyes, but he didn't cry.
Instead, he turned away from Marie moving up and down above him. Beyond Ed's uncomprehending face he saw Eddy. Over a distance of inches made up of miles they gazed at each other.
It was the longest look in the world.
May, it seemed, was shy. Never the brightest, she understood that what she and her sisters were doing wasn't – technically – right, and that it wasn't something she immediately knew how to do, but she would never refuse or fail to do something her sisters had done. Especially with them watching, and judging, and mercilessly teasing.
So she stripped Ed, moving his body around with effort. As she pulled his jacket back, her sisters holding his briefly unbound wrists, remnants of his life spilled onto the dirty bedspread. Trash from the junkyard. Bits of cookies. Candy. The old bones of a dead fish that Double D had secretly treated with a chemical to greatly reduce the smell when Ed wouldn't throw it away. Little mementos of his childhood spread out and callously discarded by the disgusted Kanker sisters when Ed was finally naked and retied.
That, more than anything, seemed to upset Ed. He knew he disliked what May was doing to him, he knew that his body didn't dislike it, but this complex confusion he couldn't comprehend. What he did understand was that they were getting rid of his personal things. This he grasped. And so while May grunted and moved her hips and cried out and shuddered, he kept asking the girls to return his things, to give at least Angus, his lucky dead fish, back to him.
Until May forced him to come. That rendered him mute.
Double D and Eddy watched Ed's obvious suffering with horrified eyes, but their gazes were always inexorably drawn back to each other. Perhaps it was because they both knew that, as bad as Ed felt, as horrified as he was, he could never really comprehend what was being done to him. He could – and did – feel all of the pain and anguish they felt, but he could never understand why.
Or perhaps they stared because, in the end, they both knew that the Ed threesome came down to them. They were the opposing forces, the polar opposites. It was why they fought, and also why they cared. Their connection, raw and obvious and powerful, was what allowed the three of them to be such close friends. It was what their friendship was based on.
But now that connection was being tainted.
Eddy couldn't look at Double D without seeing his naked, vulnerable body, without hearing his strained voice crying out wordlessly in unwelcome pleasure that nonetheless made him shudder violently – and then begin to weep.
Double D couldn't look at Eddy without seeing his permanently pink face suffused with the red heat of need, of unwanted conquest, of unwilling pleasure, without hearing his groans and grunts and cries.
Eddy tried to remember Double D's selfless begging, including a half-forgotten offer he'd blurted out right before they gagged him for Lee to take him instead (and how that had caused such teasing: "He wants you, Lee!" "Your boyfriend wants me, Marie!" The uproar that had caused, Marie's jealousy – how could Eddy have forgotten? And Double D hadn't even been embarrassed, just concerned, worried, wanting to spare Eddy pain). He tried to remember how sweetly good that had made him feel, that kind worry, how understood, how loved. He tried to remember. He tried.
He remembered Double D's long dark hair tangled in Marie's clutching fingers instead.
Double D tried to remember the way Eddy had known to shut Ed up for him (and Ed had shut up, after only one request, but don't think about that, Double D, don't think about Ed, don't think about anything, you think too much, better to not think at all), the comfort Eddy's strangely quiet voice had gifted his broken mind with. He tried to remember the sweetness inside him at a gesture that wouldn't have mattered from anyone else to anyone else quite as much as it did from Eddy to him. He tried to remember. He tried.
He remembered Eddy's head falling back, his straining throat exposed as he cried out, instead.
So they stared.
They tried to remember.
They tried to hold on.
I was almost fifteen. Ed was sixteen. Eddy, of course, had just turned fifteen that very day.
But we weren't children any longer.
I've tried to forget. I know, all that talk of remembering, and what am I doing now? Attempting the exact opposite. But remembering is overrated. Sometimes forgetting is all you can do to survive.
And have we survived? Well, yes and no. We live-
But not really.
I guess it was inevitable. The girls wanted what they wanted, and be damned to us. But that doesn't make it any easier.
Absolutely nothing – not eating, definitely not sleeping, not even something as natural and necessary as breathing – is easy anymore.