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Monochrome V — M. Elizabeth Hershey

 

TRANSPORTED

— Ria Hill

I was twenty-three when I got my superpower. It was the one I had always wanted, but as

soon as I had it, I felt like the man at the start of that X-Men movie, sobbing and clipping his own

wings. This was the power I had wanted but not a power that was useful to me.

I was twenty-three the night I was walking home from the subway and a stranger

punched me in the face. After that, the power I always wanted in a way I never wanted.

Teleportation. All it took was footsteps behind me on the street, the right shade of khaki, a

clenched fist, a duffel bag, any of these things sent me through space and time, right back to that

night when I was walking home from the subway, and a stranger hit me.

I was twenty-three when I said I was lucky the man had meaty fists, and PTSD was

something soldiers had.

I was twenty-five when I gained a new time and place where I could teleport. An

apartment near a train station, two stories tall, but I was always on the upper floor. The bed is

soft, but I am wishing I could teleport anywhere else.

I was twenty-five, that is to say, when I was raped by someone who I had thought was a

friend. Someone who, in retrospect, had been waiting for me to slip up. His propositions,

whether he was drunk or sober, only came when I was drunk.

I was twenty-five when I was finally too drunk to do anything but follow when he led me

to his bed. Soft. Messy. A single boy’s bed. It was three days after this that I recounted the story

of the bad hookup to a friend and she labeled it what it was. Rape. Now all it takes is a thick,

pale hand, a stray word, the smell of vaped marijuana, a single pushed boundary, and I am right

back in that bed and wondering if perhaps I stop moving he will stop.

I was twenty-five when I said I was lucky he had only used his fingers, and PTSD was

something from the movies.

I was twenty-eight the most recent time I was contacted by the man who transported me,

drunk and unwilling, to his bed. I am not sure how old I will be when I will feel secure that it

was the last time.

I was twenty-eight when PTSD became something I could own, a shield against self-

blame, a bandage on my clipped wings.

I was twenty-nine when I returned to the train station near the apartment where I was

raped, and that was all it was to me even though dozens of friends lived walking distance from

the same tracks. I got into my best friend’s car, and they told me I was safe. Then, I was safe.

I will be thirty soon. Perhaps I can learn to teleport to their car instead. To safety.

 

Ria Hill is a writer and future librarian with a BFA in film from New York University. Though their heart will always be on the east coast, they currently reside outside of Boulder, Colorado, where they are pursuing a master's of library and information science and working on too many writing projects for their own good.

M. Elizabeth Hershey is a Philadelphia-based freelance photographer who specializes in events and weddings. She continues to pursue artistic endeavors from inks, painting, and paper designs to different photographic projects.