Read Sex Crimes Online

Authors: Nikki McWatters

Tags: #Fiction, #Psychological, #Retail, #Suspense, #Thrillers

Sex Crimes (19 page)

BOOK: Sex Crimes
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***

 

12.

Olive Bergin

That morning I got to school and found a picture from a newspaper, sticky-taped to my desk. It was that photo of Dad with those horrible girls. Someone had drawn tear drops on his eyes and a penis in one of the girl’s mouths. I just ripped it off, scrunched it up and shoved it in my pocket. I wasn’t going to bite back. I knew it was Taylor Mersky and her bitch brigade. You’d think by that stage she would have moved on to something else but she was just having so much fun with my family drama.

It’s was so good having Dad at home but he was different somehow. Quieter. More jumpy and nervous. He was having trouble sleeping and I could hear him wandering around the house at night, watching television, playing guitar in the den. He’d been trying to write songs but said he was ‘blocked’. Mum was still treating him …well…kind of carefully. She was so hurt by it all and it will take some time. She was sleeping a lot. Whenever the baby was asleep, she slept. So, Dad and I were doing all the cooking and cleaning together which was kind of nice. I loved having him home. He promised us that he was never going on tour again. Yahhh!

But back to the school story. Ever since I got suspended a few months ago for that graffiti incident, I really had to watch myself. Mum and Dad told me to ignore it and just hang out with kids who are nice, like my best friend Caitlin and Toby who were the funniest kids in school. The three of us were tight. We sat in the same spot every lunch time and made up fantastical stories. Mine were always supernatural, Caitlin’s were always tragedies and Toby’s hilarious comedies. I took notes and then went home to write them into tales on the computer and print three copies. We called ourselves the Weird Wordsmiths. Clearly I got my interest in writing from my mother who is a writer of young adult books. She’s really good. I’ve read all her books including one that hasn’t come out yet. We’ve got her book launch coming up in a month or something. I’d like to be a writer when I leave school too.

The weather was warming up and it was just a count-down to the end of year school holidays. This year we were going to Byron Bay. To get away. So next year I’d be in year nine and get better subject choices.

So, anyway, I was sitting with Toby and Caitlin at recess. The older kids were always giving me weird looks and to be honest it was always a bit uncomfortable when Dad dropped me off on days that I missed the bus because everyone stared at him and I knew what they were imagining. I just tried to ignore it but it made me feel awful in the stomach. When I saw Taylor and the gang headed our way, I knew there was trouble coming.

‘Watch out Toby,’ Taylor laughed, while she fingered her flaming hair. ‘Those two girls might rape you.’

‘Oh, shove off,’ Caitlin squinted up at them. ‘You’re not funny.’

‘Did you like that picture I left for you, this morning?’ Taylor asked me, reaching out her foot to tap me on the leg. ‘That was pretty hilarious don’t you think?’

I knew she was baiting me. She had been trying to make me snap since that last time but for months, I’d held it inside. It felt like a volcano. Just brewing up inside, like red hot magma.  She wanted me to jump up and hit her or do something that would get me another suspension or worse. I really had imagined punching her in the face, just splattering those marmalade freckles up into her wiry, dry rusty hair.

Taylor was fourteen and tall. She’d repeated last year but she still hung out with all her old year niners. I heard a teacher once say that year nine kids were the worst in schools because they’d shaken off being the youngest and newest at high-school but they weren’t yet seniors and Mum said she thought all the hormonal changes around puberty meant that at about Year Nine things were really at their peak.

I imagined that that Libby girl who was fifteen when she, you know, with my Dad, I imagine that she was a bit like Taylor Mersky. A bully, a big-mouth and a brat. Taylor was the youngest of a big family and her father taught at the school so even when she got into trouble, her punishment was never as serious as the rest of us. And to be honest, I think the principal was harder on me because I was the daughter of a celebrity. Sometimes over the years that has been a bonus but not at high-school.

‘Is your father still going to court next month, to try to put a kid who raped him in jail? Isn’t she pregnant with your little bastard brother or sister?’

‘No, stupid. You clearly are only looking at the pictures and can’t read the articles,’ I lobbed back.

‘There’s probably schoolkids all over the world who are getting knocked up by your druggie father.’

‘That’s funny coming from someone who hangs out at the skate-park, smoking weed,’ I shot back.

‘We should invite your horny dad along one arvo for a session, eh?’ she laughed.

One of the others decided to chime in with some shitty, messed up comment.

‘So if he likes little girls so much, he must like you a fair bit. Does he still bath you and help you get dressed and stuff?’

‘It was a one off,’ I said softly. I know Mum said to never try to justify or explain the situation ever but I couldn’t help myself. ‘The combination of drink and drugs in his system made him behave out of character!’

‘He doesn’t even remember half the night,’ Taylor hissed. ‘How can he tell his side of the story when he was totally bent out of shape? He probably does do it all the time and just doesn’t remember!’

‘I’d be out chasing houso scrags too, if I was married to your mum,’ laughed one of the spotted boys who hung around Taylor.

I gritted my teeth and folded my hands into fists. The lava was really bubbling in my belly. Taylor noticed.

‘Yeah, she’s fat. Got four arses and bingo wings,’ Taylor laughed. ‘At least those little rapists had pert arses and tits. And you know how I know?’

I was trying to breath but my throat was constricting and I was starting to see spots. My face was getting hot and I could feel Toby and Caitlin, touching my legs but it was like I was in a tunnel. A vacuum.

‘I know because that little sex tape Libby and Abbie made? It’s all over the internet. And I’ve got to tell you, it’s hilarious!’

‘Anyone who downloads it is getting arrested for watching kiddie porn,’ Toby shouted. ‘I read that in the paper. They’ve already nabbed hundreds of people for looking at it and anyway it’s all been shut down. You’re just full of shit Taylor Mersky!’

‘Am I?’ she grinned and held out her phone. ‘Really? Do you want to see your Dad and that little girl? Libby O’Neil is a legend. We set up a Facebook fan page devoted to her.’

Taylor held out her phone and I looked up, the sun, blinding me and in the halo of light I saw that hideous face of hers and it morphed into Libby O’Neil’s. Those black eyes and blood red lips. That girl who had put on the slutty clothes and drugged my Dad so he acted mental and then she did disgusting things to him while he was unconscious. She had all but killed my Mum who woke up with her pillow soggy with tears every morning and my Dad, he wasn’t the same man anymore. In those smoking moments in the playground, I was staring up at Libby O’Neil.

She was laughing like a hyena with the pack behind her baying and howling.


Give it to me baby, aha, aha
,’ she sang in a cackling voice. ‘
And all the girls say, pretty fly for a white guy!’

I stood up and went for her. I felt nothing, no pain, just livid anger. I took her down. Ripped the phone out of her hand and began smashing it into her face. Into her mouth to make her shut up. I could feel someone trying to pull me back but it was like I had super strength. People were chanting. ‘Fight. Fight. Fight.’ And I couldn’t stop. I just couldn’t stop. I actually, really and truly, deep down, thought I was attacking Libby O’Neil. And I wasn’t sorry. I wanted to kill her. She had stolen my loving family. She had killed something inside of me and I wanted her dead.

Unfortunately for my family, the footage of that unfortunate incident with Taylor Mersky made the six o’clock news. She got two stitches and I got expelled.

***

 

11.

Patsy Weller

‘You’re looking well, Libby,’ I complimented her as she walked into the room.

Her pregnancy was showing and her features had softened. The edgy Emo look was gone, replaced by a pair of grey track suit pants and a green t-shirt that stretched over the six month belly. Purple Converse sneakers on her feet.

‘Ready for another session with the sociopathic narcissist?’ she said with a sly smile.

I nodded tersely.

‘I wondered how you would feel about that assessment. I stand by it Libby, whether you like it or not. It doesn’t mean I don’t like you or want to see you have a good life but you need to balance your perspective and develop empathy.’

‘Why?’ she said and slumped back into the soft chair in front of me. ‘I’m happy with me just the way I am.’

‘Really?’ I asked, raising an eyebrow. ‘You’re content with how you’ve painted your life, how you’ve shaped the character you present to the world. When you say ‘me’, who are you talking about. Tell me all about Libby O’Neil. The good and the bad.’

She sighed. I knew it was a good ice-breaker to ask a narcissist to talk about themselves.

‘From the beginning, Libby,’ I smiled and urged. ‘The infamous Libby O’Neil. This is your life…your memoir…share it with me.’

‘You’ll just twist everything and blab it out in a bogus report for the court.’

‘No, Libby,’ I explained. ‘I don’t tell the court any details of events you recount or intimate secrets you share or even your opinions on anything. I simply report your state of mind. Are you stressed? Self-absorbed? Suicidal? That sort of thing.’

‘Well,’ she smiled. ‘Yes to all of the above.’

I looked at her and put the pen down on my pad.

‘You’re suicidal?’

‘Sure,’ she said. ‘Not all weepy, angsty horror and feeling trapped. I just…just sometimes think it’s just not worth bothering about. Life. Yeah,’ she nodded, pleased with her words. ‘Like sometimes I just couldn’t be bothered.’

‘An emptiness?’ I asked. This was most concerning.

‘Like this whole mega-drama has peaked and it’s all down-hill now. An anti-climax. It’s not fun anymore.’

I looked at her, twisting the earring in her ear.

‘When was any of this fun?’ I asked.

‘At the beginning of course,’ she said looking away, out of my window, ‘…it was fun going to a party and then playing with a guy who’d stared at me from posters on my wall for years.’

‘Playing with?’ I queried.

‘Yeah, you know, sexually. It was kind of fun. Kind of a rush,’ she looked back at me and smirked. I got the feeling that she was trying to push me. ‘Power is horny.’

I was a middle-aged professional woman, past my sexual prime, that’s for sure, and this girl was flaunting her sexuality at me. It felt like a taunt. I wasn’t writing any of that down. It’s how I felt though. I’m not sure if I was imagining it or not. Perhaps it was just a case of some dried up old menopausal cow being envious of Libby’s youth, attractiveness and sexual power.

That’s when it struck me. In the sexual power dynamic between an adult male and a girl, the imbalance, we are told, is obvious, particularly in cases where the adult is an authority figure or celebrity. But this girl did have power. She was wielding it over me. I was an authority figure, highly educated and quite successful in my career. A mother, a grandmother. An elder of sorts. A wise woman. But in the company of this girl-woman of sixteen I felt diminished and awestruck by the power of her youth, her potential, her ripe and verdant sexuality.

When a girl owns that power, she can exploit it. The matter of ‘age of consent’ is a black line on a white page, but it’s grey in reality. I had not been ready for my sexual life to make a bold leap into womanhood until about nineteen. Some sixteen year old girls are remarkably innocent and child-like. Others, others like Libby O’Neil and Abbie Proudfoot for example, wielded their newly-found power like little Boadicea’s.

But the raw physicality of their sexual presence was not supported by the emotional framework with which to wield it in a positive and healthy way. I felt that these girls had learned the secret of their power prematurely. Did I wonder whether some-one had initiated them inappropriately at an earlier age? I had many times over the last few months, considered it a possibility.

Libby was sitting there with her fecund belly jeering at me, her full but perfect C-cup breasts curving quite magnificently on her young body.  And if I had been a man, in all honesty, I would have found her very attractive. She was sixteen. Only just. That of course, these days is legal but still considered taboo by polite society. Men in suits, in places of power have deemed that before sixteen a girl lacks the proper emotional and psychological skills to consent to sexual acts. That law was brought in to keep girls virginal for their husbands in the Victorian era. There was no age restriction for the blokes. Over the years it slid up and down the scale from twelve to eighteen and then settled in most Western countries at 16. But not even a century ago, girls this young were being married and having children. In the days when Jesus Christ walked the Earth, young Jewish brides were betrothed at twelve and married off eighteen months later.

Tribal societies still approve unions between grown men and adolescent girls.

But these days an event, a news story, such as Libby’s, explodes across the world with so much horror and offense taken at the idea that girls might not only have the
mens rea
to consent but also to force themselves onto unwilling or reluctant partners. We are outraged. We are morally mortified.

But Libby O’Neil represented the ideal sexual female, the one that every woman strives to capture for themselves and freeze in time. We idolise youth. Youth is a celebrity so much more famous and powerful than Chris Bergin and his hairy band members.

‘When did you first realise that you enjoyed the pleasure your body could provide you?’ I challenged her.

BOOK: Sex Crimes
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