It took Sarah’s death for me to realise, and remember, that this even happened. Like most women, I ignored it, brushed it to one side of my brain, never to be thought of again.
I don’t think I was even 18 yet. I had gained some weight and my usually thin figure was looking a little curvier. My neighbour had obviously noticed. I think I was complaining about my weight. And without missing a beat, his huge, rough hand stroked down my waist and he gripped my hip.
“Some men like it to hold on to,” he said. “During…” He made a crude reference to sex.
The world could have stopped, and I would not have known. My breath hitched in the back of my throat and a tight knot formed in my chest. I remember feeling mortified, my cheeks burning a deep red. I don’t think I said anything to him, just an awkward laugh as I moved away, making eye contact with his wife as I did so. She looked away, laughing with him.
Now that I’ve remembered, I can sometimes feel his hand on my hip, and I feel physically sick. I wish I’d said something, but like most women, I was wrongly taught not to.
Words by Chloe Wright