Maybe

The first time he violated my consent, he said, “I only did it for a few days.”
The second time he violated my consent, he said, “I didn’t realise it would bother you so much.”
He said, “I won’t do it again.”
“I swear,” he said.

When he did it again, he bristled when I defended that limit. That’s how he taught me to be silent, the way all well-behaved property is. Property’s limits are subject to the owner’s preferences. Should the owner deign to respect those limits, property is expected to be grateful.

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Somehow I stayed. I let him do it over
and over
In so many different ways.
He treated my body as though it couldn’t break.
Or maybe he didn’t care if it broke.
Maybe…

Maybe is a word I say a lot these days because I stopped trusting my own perception of the truth the day I believed his first apology. Maybe I did push his buttons. Maybe the ‘it-was-just-the-tip’ argument had some merit—not for others in similar scenarios, you understand. Just for me because maybe I really am all he says I am.

Maybe it was all my fault.
Maybe.
Maybe if I don’t speak, it never happened.
Maybe they’re right: I’m still in here somewhere. Just give me time.

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