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The Night That Changed My Life

I was a child of just fourteen
In the summer of sixty-two;
So shy and with little self-confidence
From all life had put me through.

Abused at home, abused at school,
I kept mostly to myself;
Not your ordinary teenager,
There were no dreams upon my shelf.

Then one night as I sat at home,
HE came knocking at my door;
My best friend’s older brother whom,
From afar, I had secretly adored.

He wanted me to go out with him
To a drive-in movie, he said;
I held my breath and watched my Dad
Who replied, “Sure, go right ahead”!

Oh how excited I was then,
For Harold was seventeen;
He had a car and a driver’s license,
And I suddenly felt like a queen.

I knew that there was something up
As soon as I got to the car,
For instead of finding it empty,
Another guy was there.

We spent the next half hour
Driving all around the town
Trying to find a date for him,
But everyone turned him down.

So on to the drive-in movie,
We in the front and he in the back,
And all he did was complain about
The pleasure that he would lack.

Oh God, my stomach did flip-flops.
Was this what they had in mind?
My God, I was still a child;
About these things I was blind!

The night was all of my nightmares
Combined into one horror show;
His hands touched me in places
My body didn’t even know.

I fought him off as best I could,
The night went on forever,
I didn’t know what I should do,
I just wanted it to be over.

When I finally found myself at home,
Thank God everyone was asleep;
I climbed in bed with my little sister,
I was shaking like a leaf.

But each time she moved and touched me,
In terror, I shot bolt upright;
Reliving the drive-in movie date,
I hardly slept a wink that night.

Next morning my mama asked me
How my first date had gone,
I shrugged and said “all right,”
But she knew something was wrong.

She finally dragged the story from me
Then, much to my surprise,
These are the words she said to me
As she looked into my tear-filled eyes.

He probably just was trying to find out
What kind of a girl to expect,
And now that he knows you’re a good girl
He will treat you with respect.

Then her next words broke my heart in two,
As she said with a sideways glance:
“I like him, he’s a very nice boy,
You should give him another chance.”

Then she continued to invite him into our home
Every chance that she could get;
Making the horror of that night live on,
Not letting me ever forget.

That was the night that changed my life,
A tale I don’t often tell,
Not only had I been violated,
But my mother had failed me as well.

So I stuffed it all down deep inside,
And retreated from the sun;
I tried to live a normal life
But the damage had been done.

No longer was there anyone
I felt that I could trust,
For everything I thought I knew
Lay trampled in the dust.

And over the years each time I tried
Love’s dating games to play,
The terror rose once more inside
And “Linda” ran away.

So many years I lost to fear
Of things not even known,
I had no real identity,
My mind was not my own.

Though now those years are finally past
And I know who I am
And like that person very much,
Those deep scars still remain.

And sometimes when I’m fast asleep
They rear their ugly head,
And I awaken clutched with fear
And crying in my bed.

T’was in the summer of sixty-two,
When just fourteen was I, 
That my life was changed forever,
When the sun fell from my sky.

~ © Linda E. Newman  ~
All rights reserved. Used with permission
Read more of Linda's poetry Here
You may email Linda on the link for her name

Music "Tears For The Children"
Used with permission  Bruce DeBoar