A/N: I am writing an insane amount, I know. Anyway, I decided Parker needed some love. And study. Because she's the quintessential Broken Cutie. So enjoy.
Disclaimer: 'Tis not mine, 'tis Rob Thomas's. Lucky bastard.
Parker Lee is a normal girl.
She was raised in a two story house in Denver. She had friends and boyfriends throughout high school, none of which really went anywhere. She had parents she didn't get on with that were too strict, but did care for her. She had decent grades, but nothing special, she had a dog and an aunt she only ever saw at Christmas and a locket she wore for good luck.
Parker Lee was a normal girl.
She wakes up special.
Her tongue is thick, her head is spinning. The world won't slow down. She can barely move. She feels wet and sticky. She's lying on top of the covers. She's naked.
She slowly pulls her pajama clothes on. She doesn't understand. She can't understand. She can't think what happened. She can't think period.
For those moments, she's special.
Then she looks in the mirror.
She just wants to stop. To rewind. To undo.
She is ugly, she is dirty, she is broken. This... thing had gotten to her. He has taken her, shorn her of her hair, touched her, grabbed her, marked her with his semen and made her his own.
He has made her special.
It's a lie, of course – she's the fourth in a list, a statistic, another broken china doll. People walk on eggshells around her; it's like a game, how close can you get to Parker (mommy's fine china) without her breaking? How will she looks when she breaks?
Splattered, bloody and bruised from a great hight? (Spreads like an infection a cancer they are as filthy as you are press send to blow up the world leave your girlfriend crying and naked and alone press send) Soaked and silent, pale and full? (wash away the pain the hate the crime the reason undo undo undo) Lying on the bedspread, offered on a crucifix (every moment every second it makes you deader you can't stop it you try not to think you need to stop stop stop!) good luck charm twisted and tangled around her neck?
She throws the locket away.
The world keeps turning, why does the world keep turning? It spins around her, filling her head with noise until she's backed into a corner, screaming and terrified, begging them to stop.
It's not like she's anyone special.
She throws up at the scent of citrus.
It is burned into her skull, into her skin, it's juice coating her. She wants to wash it off, to be reborn, to come out small and pink and bloodstained, a child.
Mac finds her once she's scrubbed herself raw enough in the shower, washing blood down the hole. Mac soaks up the blood with a towel, and Parker doesn't have the energy to explain, to stop her. It didn't work anyway.
The shape of the blood on the towel fascinates her, moves her, she runs her fingers over it. She looks for patterns, for logic, for a path the blood will follow – she finds none. She was never one for rules and structure anyway.
The blood soaks through, and in that moment, she knows it won't come out. The image is beautiful; the red, anger and passion and lust, seeping through to corrupt something pure and white, to make it broken.
The symbolism is powerful. Maybe she should major in English.
Mac tends to her raw skin with some sort of soothing balm, something soft and girly. She likes the feel of that, of being cared for, protected. She smells a lemon on her skin.
She throws up on her roommate.
Veronica changes things.
Veronica was there. Veronica could have stopped it. Veronica was meant to save her, save her like she saves everyone, super-Veronica, to the rescue!
Now Veronica's standing in front of her, full of facts, dates and places, times and names. Some girl called Shelley in 2004, some fuzzy details and a world spinning too fast.
She remembers she isn't special. That they're not special, the only thing that makes her conga line of illness different is a buzzing blade, soft locks floating to the pillow. But Veronica is right there and she doesn't really want to know. She doesn't want to identify with Veronica, to take the girl's weight as her own.
"I didn't know."
She still doesn't.
She looks for him. She cannot find him, yet he is everywhere. His voice rings out, his hands are all over her, yet when she turns, he is nowhere to be seen. She wonders how such a confusing, contradictory, mythical creature came to exist; her nightmare, her monster. Her creator, her builder. Her father. Her God.
God is cruel.
She reads what she can. She wants to see what he could be, who he could be, she looks for whatever hint she can as to who he is, as to who took this from her. The only hint she finds is that she will find no hints, she expects she will see a normal guy, uncommitted, generally nice. She looks for him everywhere.
It's almost like she sees him, she's fairly sure that's not him, but he's close enough. He is not the God who smited her down, but maybe he's an angel in the council above. She can't quite remember the hierarchy of heaven.
He is normal.
He is uncommitted.
He is nice.
"What's the story with him?"
She is normal.
She is uncommitted.
She is nice.
The slime drips off him, oozing from every pour, every orifice. He isn't the hateful, monstrous God she imagined.
He's a million times worse.
She followed the angel, the messenger here, and she thinks she knows why. She can see it in this... thing, this creature. She can see him in her head, slime and sperm and citrus, flowing from his penis into her vagina – and she cannot stop it.
She walks away on Veronica's arm. She feels like she's been dosed again, she feels woozy, weak. The lingering smell of citrus cologne buries into her, squirming in her ears and stomach. She tries to explain.
She starts Armageddon.
She doesn't understand. She doesn't understand how he could have not done it. She doesn't understand.
But there it is, plain as day. The radio show. The jail cell.
She doesn't understand.
She sees him everywhere, she tunes into his show religiously, she lingers outside his classes. She's trying to understand. She can feel him in every moment, every second, he can feel his hot breath over her, she can feel the cold razor on her scalp.
She guesses she's going crazy.
She wonders if anyone else is.
She volunteers at Take Back The Night out of duty, more than anything. She wants to do the right thing. She wants to help people. She wants to use her "experience" for good.
She wants to stop being a Victim. She wants to be a Survivor.
She doesn't want to take the night back. She wants to run into the night, to hide, to drown herself so deep in pain and darkness that the light will stop stinging.
She doesn't. She refuses to be that Rape Victim – the broken mess, the girl on a path of destruction, booze and pills and a corpse. She can use her experience to help – she can use waking up alone and hairless, in pain, violated, torn, marked with semen, she can use it to help. She can justify it, make it purposeful, make it save some poor girl.
She just doesn't know why she should make being raped the best thing to ever happen to her.
She ignores the question. There is no going back now.
So she volunteers. She hands out coasters and whistles, she helps as much as she can.
She takes back the night.
She is a hero.
Everyone says it. She found the rapist. She saved another girl. She stood up to the man who did this to her. She took back the night.
She knew she, she had always known it, she wanted to laugh and rub it in, to prove I knew, I knew it was him. She feels slime all over her, but she doesn't mind so much now. Because she knew and the slime proves it.
That's why she isn't a hero.
Mac hugs her, and hugs Veronica. Parker's never really seen anything sweet or naive in Mac, but the girl loves with her soul, she embraces her friends with her heart.
People keep telling her she's amazing, and she wants to scream at them – No! I'm not! Leave me alone!
She's being irrational. What she did is objectively, amazing – standing up to the one person who hurt her worst in her life, purely for the sake of another. When the "another" walked in and out of her "experience." Most of the world doesn't know that last bit, and Parker tries not to think of it because she's tired of being bitter.
She wasn't a hero. She didn't want to save Veronica. When she heard that whistle, she wanted to run away and hide, to scream at an unfair world that did this to her. She wanted to abandon her sister in a moment of need, because a sister had done it to her, even if she didn't know it would be the same girl.
She's not a hero, but people keep forgetting that. They look at her like she's amazing.
The next day, she orders fruit salad for breakfast. She makes sure it has orange in it.
She likes oranges; they're tangy and sweet on her tongue. Their bright and happy, they give healthy vitamins. There is no reason to have anything against citrus, not anymore.
Her hair has grown back quite a bit, just not enough to stop wearing the wig. It doesn't really matter, everyone knows who she is (sickening pity turned sickening respect) and that she wears a wig (a symbol a stain a victim.)
She sees other girls in wigs. She knows their names as a list, and she wishes she didn't. She's tired of remembering she was just one in a line, she was just one of many dumb sluts this bastard broke. She wants to feel like she mattered to him, it's wrong and broken and fucked up, but she wants to feel like there was a purpose that this happened to her, to Parker Lee, who was a sweet girl, if not that bright.
Her head reminds her of the truth. She wonders where her long golden hair went, where they would put it (Rapunzel Rapunzel throw down your hair), she wonders if it would twist and tangle like the chain of a locket, if it would hurt and suffocate her on a soft, fluffy crucifix, she wonders how a golden rope would look around a golden girl's neck. But she has no idea where her hair is.
Instead, she tries to get over it. She "forgives" Veronica (come on in sister are you my sister do not leave me sister I am with you sister is it all in your pretty little head sister?), she ignores the "Evil Angel" she once saw (I'm so over that... I am whole and fresh and reborn) she doesn't think about the upcoming trial and she swallows the lump in her throat as she eats a bit of orange (burning).
She lives in her dorm room, she calls her parents every now and again. She makes friends and finds a boyfriend, she makes decent grades and misses her dog and buys herself a new locket.
Because Parker Lee is a normal girl.