Dusty shafts of sunlight slant into the room. Royal blue carpet, faded now to grey. Smell of mildew in the corners. Air hot and still. Water drips in the rusty bathtub across the hall. The only bathroom in this big, old farmhouse.
She used to wait until she was about to wet her pants, and then try to sneak up the stairs to pee. Did they see her leave? Hope not. Quiet, quiet. Pee, wipe, flush. Oh, that's loud. Quick, out the door and downstairs before anyone can get up here.
Nope, not fast enough. There they are, outside the door. Waiting. Push and pull, into the blue room. She struggles in vain. Quiet, quiet. One after the other - sometimes three, sometimes four. Kisses that bruise, sometimes cut the lips. Pinching, groping tender, young breasts. Grind, grind. No actual penetration, they are only twelve and thirteen or so.
Still, she feels dirty, just the same.
Hands let go; she runs downstairs. Face flushed, Mother asks, "what have you been doing?" Accusing tone - "nothing," is the automatic response.
Mother's eyes say "bad girl", and so she believes it.
Sometimes the girls are waiting outside the door. This time there is penetration. "Might as well get used to it - boys will do this to you when you grow up." And they do.
Now the house sits empty. Mildew, and mouse droppings. Soft weeping in the room with the blue carpet. Lost innocence at 10.