Hero in a Tiny Package.

It’s profound. The effect a man’s actions on another person can have on yet another individual or population. Without witnessing, without feeling, without knowing, the view on an individual can change with a sentence.

Tuesday, March 21st 2017 at 3:17 am a text is received. An emergency it says. Not read for another two hours and fourteen minutes. At this moment, I learned that I had a hero.

A girl.

Sixteen

Raped.

Never in my life have I been so honored to be a part of something so horrendous. So vile, evil. WRONG. What I experienced, however, was not weakness. I experienced strength, tenacity, a will stronger than any I have seen before.

I was the one that was contacted. Out of all other possible people (mother, father, sister, friends or other family), I was chosen. I was the first to know and for a few hours, the only one to know.

First a fight. Surprised. Chloroform and a much larger adversary. Most details are not mine to share. I will not share. But a grown man, trained in combat, had to surprise a sixteen year old girl with a chemical in order to win. It’s possible he wouldn’t have. She beat him once before.

It’s over. Beaten, battered, confused. She runs. A pharmacy. A pill. Home. Sends the text.

Hours later, everything is over, all information passed on to those who need it. This whole time, she is in control. Head is held up. Laughing, joking. HAS NOT BEEN BEATEN. Innocence was lost, but spirit was intact. Recovery.

Scared, frightened, but pushes through. Returns to the site of the attack 48 hours later and again the following day. Completes her work day. Getting stares, remarks, and scared of who could walk through the door. Scared to leave, the parking lot was dangerous nights before. But pushes through.

Saturday, March 25th. 3:38. On the phone with the cops. He’s found. But he’s not alive.

Suicide.

It’s over.

From a distance I witnessed, and am still witnessing, a young girl defend herself against not only the attacker, but other people who condemned or are still condemning her because they did not know the story. She has been unstoppable in recovery. Has shown strength and wisdom in an extraordinary situation. Had the courage to willingly return to the scene and go through with a work day. Overcame her fear and plunged right back into daily life. She has not faltered. She has not stopped. She is my hero.

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