A few months ago, my cousin was out with a few friends, celebrating her 21st birthday.
They all hit the local bars, and eventually her friends (most of them guys) convinced her to go to a strip bar.
It took a few more drinks in her for her to agree, but they finally convinced her it was harmless fun.

When they got to the club, it was pretty packed because it was amateur night. They were there about an hour before one of her friends suggested she get up and tries her hand at it.
Again, it took a lot of convincing, but she finally decided that you only live once, so she went to the manager and went into the back to get ready.
I have no knowledge of what really happened. I was out of town visiting my girlfriend at college, and all these events were later relayed to me.
Supposedly, she has her turn at the 'pole' and apparently did so good that she won the amateur pot for the evening. And a few new friends too.
After she got her clothes back on and headed back out to the bar, she noticed some of her friends were trying to pick up some of the regular dancers.
The rest of them had just left. After asking them if they were ready to leave, they all got into a fight. My cousin, Jessica was really drunk, just stripped in front of God knows how many strangers, and wanted to go home before she passed out.
Her friends on the other hand, were intent on staying back at the bar to pick up on the strippers. (As if they really had a chance anyway.)
So she decided she didn't need to wait for them, she was ready to go home. One of her admirers from the bar happened to be waiting outside for her. He made small talk for awhile, and finally offered her a ride home.
For three months before her birthday, Jessica had begged me to come out with her. I had to keep telling her I already had plans to travel down to New Orleans to see Alicia, but she still insisted. Finally after a bitter fight, she stopped asking, and I left on my trip.

The guy that picked her up took her, not to her house, but his own. Once at his house, he proceeded to tie her up, rape her, and then strangled her.

I have had this re-occurring nightmare for the past three months. It looks like something that would come out of a Tim Burton movie. Dark and gothic, with a scent of decay. And at the end I can always hear her screaming my name for help.

And that brings me to this poem I wrote for her.

Narcissistic Echo

There is an echoing
In here
But not of sound
But of rhythm and sorrow

There is an echo
In here
From the bottom of your soul
It’s ringing in my ears

Does it make you feel better? Starfucker
Does it help to ease the pain? Life sucker

Jessica, I was only a boy then
Trapped and helpless, from this world

Jessica, I can't think of the words to say
I hope this can be explained, in some way

I love you; I won't hurt you
I love you; I won't hurt you
I love you, and I wouldn't hurt you

There is a need
In here
Its not desired
It is not wanted

There’s a pleading
In here
To lock you in a bubble
Of my love and protection

I hope you got what you wanted,
But it is what she wanted?

Jessica, can you hear me?
You’re awfully cold and your eyes
Have rolled to the back of your head

Jessica, can you see me?
I'm carrying your limp body
And I won't let you go

You were so young and so bold
Now your dead and so cold

Your hair is matted and caked with mud
And my soul has become a lifeless dud

There is an echoing in here,
In my head
I wish I was the one that was dead

There is an echo
In here
Of you screaming
When you needed me so dear.