Rose sat uncomfortably in the waiting room chair. There was one other lady waiting, patiently. Rose couldn’t understand it. This lady seemed rather relaxed while Rose was a bundle of nerves. Ten minutes seemed like an hour. Rose kept looking at the Exit sign and back at the receptionist. Would it be that rude if I got up and left? she thought.
“Dr. Kitche’s office, how can I help you?”
While the receptionist was busy on the phone, Rose took it as a sign and got up to leave.
Rose turned and faced an older brunette woman. She wore glasses and was quite becoming. She wore a dark grey pin-striped pant suit. When she smiled at Rose, Rose didn’t feel like bolting anymore.
“Yes, yes, that’s me.” Rose managed.
Dr. Kitche held out an arm. “This way please.”
She led Rose down the hall to a warm and welcoming room, styled in Coastal décor. It was relaxing. Rose started to feel at ease. Rose had been born and raised in Cape Breton, and the nautical feel of the room brought her back to childhood days and clam-digging in her home town of Pleasant Bay, on the island of Cape Breton.
Dr. Kitche motioned to Rose to have a seat. Rose sat down in one of the big armchairs facing the window. Dr. Kitche sat down in a chair parallel to Rose, also facing the window.
After pleasantries, Dr. Kitche offered Rose herbal tea, which she gracefully accepted, and while Rose sipped her tea, she told the psychiatrist why she had made the appointment.
Rose told the doctor all about Alex. They had been seeing each other for about six months and they had not had intercourse. There was oral and petting, but Rose could not bear the thought of Alex inside her. They had planned a weekend at Wasaga Beach, but when the time actually came Rose froze. She told the doctor that Alex, even though he had been very patient, had taken it personally. They got into an argument and packed up the next morning. The whole trip had been a disaster.
Rose sipped her tea while the doctor made notes. The next set of questions was hard. Rose had been hiding a secret about herself that she never told anyone, and she was unsure of how to start, where to begin. She felt confused, scared, and angry. Tears formed. She fought them. The words were there, but they would not come out. Words were forming, and a tear fell down the left side of her cheek. She swiped at it.
Dr. Kitche waited. Rose tried to compose herself.
In a shaky voice, Rose finally blurted out, “I…I was…I was raped when I was fifteen and never had sex again.”
There. It was out. It was out and it felt like a tonne of bricks had just fallen off her shoulders. She put her cup down and flopped back into the chair. She looked into Dr. Kitche’s face, looking for judgement or criticism. There was none.
“I never told that to another human being. For thirteen years I have been keeping that bottled up inside.”
“And how does it feel to finally let go?” Dr. Kitche said.
“It feels like someone just took their hands from around my throat.”
And so for the next hour Rose told Dr. Kitche about that horrible night.
On the weekend of her fifteenth birthday her cousin had called her up and invited her to a party in New Haven. Rose planned to stay the night with her Aunt—on her mother’s side—and her father would pick her up the following evening after work.
Joni and her boyfriend pick up Rose on Sunday evening; it’s summer break so there’s no school. Joni has been dating David for almost a year. He’s nice to her and although he’s a high school drop-out, he managed to get a job as a tow truck driver and is doing well for himself. He has his own place and lectures Joni about getting an education. Joni lives with her parents and gets along well with them and does well in school. She and David are inseparable.
New Haven is almost an hour away from Pleasant Bay and the conversation is light-hearted. David finally pulls into a small driveway and turns off the ignition. Joni tells Rose that they are at David’s place and that they will hang out there for a bit before going to the party. Rose is fine with that. It is still early in the evening.
The basement apartment is quaint. Joni has put a feminine touch to the place. It is a bit messy, but smells clean. Joni apologizes for the mess and picks up the clothes that are scattered around the place and cleans the kitchen counter. David turns on AC/DC and plays air guitar. The owners upstairs are away for the weekend so it’s okay to turn up the stereo. Joni gets them beers from the fridge and hands them out. It’s Rose’s first time tasting beer and it tastes awful. Joni sees the look on her face and laughs.
Joni, who is two years older than Rose, yells over the music. “Don’t make me drink alone, Rose!” She holds up her bottle and chugs. Rose feels the pressure and does the same.
While the girls are talking about shoes and gossiping about the town whore, David is on the phone. A little while later, a tall handsome guy walks into the house. David walks over and gives him a man-hug. David introduces Rob to Rose; Joni knows him already. They all sit around the kitchen table, talking, drinking, and laughing. Rose is tipsy after two beers, so she slows it down. She doesn’t want to get sick. The beer stopped tasting awful and is now going down like water. Everything seems hazy and she can’t stop laughing. Her lips are numb. Rob is looking good with every sip.
A little while later Joni and David go into the bedroom. Joni tells Rose they are leaving to go to the party in a bit, but Rose doesn’t even think that she can get off the chair. She tells this to Joni and they laugh. Rose is having a good time.
Rob and Rose carry on with conversation and Rose, although she just met Rob, feels at ease and comfortable with Rob. Rob gets up and brings another round to the table. The Rolling Stones is playing and they are both singing along to I Can’t Get No Satisfaction. After the song, Rob gets up and takes Rose by the hand. Rose follows him. He brings her to the other bedroom and throws her on the bed. Rose laughs. He falls on top of her and they kiss, neck, touch, feel. Rob tries to unzip Rose’s jeans and by now Rob is pretty hard. She takes his hand away and goes to get up. She knows it’s gone too far, but Rob has reached the point of no return. He grabs her by the arm and pulls her to the bed. Rose is drunk and weak. Rob is on top of her and is now holding her hands above her head with one hand while his other hand fiddles with her zipper. Rose squirms and kicks, but he’s heavy, strong, and muscular. She can’t get loose. He rips her zipper and with one swoop has her pants off. Her panties are torn off and he forces himself between her legs. She’s kicking and screaming, but then excruciating pain in her pelvis makes her stiffen. She screams, but the music is so loud, no one hears. He tells her to move her butt, but she’s in shock. She’s confused; too drunk to know what’s happening. Before she can comprehend what’s going on, he lets out a groan and falls beside her.
Dr. Kitche has heard this story a hundred times or more.
Rose looked at Dr. Kitche with tears in her eyes. She palmed her face and cried. And then she felt better. She made another appointment and was on her way.
Rose left the office and decided to go to the flower shop. She stopped at Tim’s and ordered lunch for her and the girls. She felt better, lighter, more confident, more in control. Denise and Jessie were glad to see that Rose was feeling better; Rose had called in sick, not mentioning the appointment.
Rose sat with her friends and ate lunch. Up until now, she hadn’t told Denise or Jessie what had happened at the cottage. They knew she had planned a weekend getaway with Alex, but when she got back, she refused to talk about it. Denise and Rose waited, knowing that she would talk about it soon enough; soon enough was here now. Rose told them about what happened to her when she was fifteen, leaving out all the details. By the time lunch was over, Rose knew that she had to tell Alex and give him an explanation. She cared too much for him to let him go. So, later that night, she called him. He went over to her place and apologized for his behavior. She made him dinner and explained why she acted the way she did. He understood.
After another five sessions with Dr. Kitche, Rose and Rob finally consummated their relationship. There was no wining and dining, no fancy hotel, no fireworks. Only two people who had finally shown their love for one another in a more intimate and passionate way.