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If you could change your most painful memory, would you?

By Toni Bean
On March 19, 2014

Everyone has that one day in their life they will never forget.
It is burned into their very being like a brand on a cow's back.
For some, that day was the best day ever, and for some, it was the end of life as they knew it. In my case, the latter is true.
The only normal aspect of that day was the school bell ringing its announcement throughout the halls.
The student body was especially rowdy, because kickoff of the first football home game was scheduled for a mere four hours later.
What wasn't normal was the fact that every football player's vehicle was missing from the parking lot.
You see, every day after school I would walk through the back doors into the parking lot, and I could name to you every single one of the football players' cars.
I was a manager for the team, meaning I was at every practice, every game and I made sure the boys had clean uniforms and water to drink.
The only reason I took on this position is because I had gotten into some trouble with a boy my eighth grade year.
Therefore, my mom had given three options:
1) I attend high school in the town I was born in.
2) I attend high school in the town we lived in, or ...
3) I become home-schooled.
The option I choice was to attend high school in the town we lived in, which meant I would be going to school with one of my brothers, and all of my cousins.
The only kicker to this option, though, was the fact that I was not allowed to ride the bus.
My mom was too afraid I would find a way to contact the boy I had gotten in trouble with.
So the only way I could get to school was to ride with my cousin.
However, my cousin was a football player, so he had practice after school every day.
Because of that, the football coach allowed me to take the position as manager.
What I didn't know at the time, however, was that this position would change my life forever.
On that August day, when I walked outside and realized no one was there, I panicked until one of the other managers caught me and explained that all the boys went to eat before the game.
So she drove me to where they were.
I didn't think anything about it when my cousin said two of the other boys would be riding back to school ... until we didn't head back toward school after we were done eating.
My cousin drove to the shooting range which is in the middle of nowhere, with no houses or anything else around it.
I knew then something was not right.
I will never forget the words that came next. The boy in the passenger seat said this, "Flash him, Toni. He has never seen any before."
The 'him' he was referring to was a freshman football player, who was in the back seat with me.
After being told to do it several times not only from the boy in the passenger seat, but from my cousin as well, and after refusing just as many times, the one in the passenger seat reached back and pulled up my shirt for me.
He then allowed the freshman to stick his face in my chest.
Just when I thought the worst was behind me, we went to another place.
Still, to this day, I am unsure of where we really went.
All I know is that the little Ford car my cousin had at the time should not have been driven where we were because it was bottoming out every two seconds.
After driving the trail ­- it wasn't even a road - the property opened up into a wide open field surrounded by trees. It was the perfect spot, because no one could see or hear what was going on.
I tried to delay as much as possible by putting on my makeup in the car, but after a while the boy who had been in the passenger seat pulled me out of the car, stood behind me, and wrapped his arms around my waist.
Then, all three boys took their turn having their way with me.
When I woke up that August morning, I didn't know my life would be changed forever.
I didn't know the unthinkable would happen to me.
However, today I do know I would not change what happened for anything.
Yes, I realize I just said I would not travel back in time if possible, and stop myself from being sexually assaulted, and yes I realize how stupid that may sound.
What one must realize though, is that although that day did change my life, I would not be who I am today if it hadn't happened.
Do not regret your past, because it has brought you to where you are today.
If a similar experience has happened or does happen to any of my readers, and you need someone to talk to, I will always have an open ear.

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