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“Blue marguerita,” the tiny voice tells me on Saturday as the sun goes down – and I go cold.
That’s our codeword we decided on hardly a week ago for “I’m in trouble” with some dick (excuse the pun) who doesn’t know his zippered place.
“Just answer yes or no. Are you safe?”
“No.” He is with her, I realise.
The “Are you home? In a pub? Do you know him?” all got a “no” – and I hear a lot of “blue margueritas”.
Ten minutes later I know she’s sitting at a sidewalk table in a “cute” restaurant, having a pizza after a day on the beach – and he joined her; uninvited and full of himself.
We make one-syllable plans: “Tell your waiter you feel unsafe.” She does.
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“Now go to the toilet and hide until they get rid of him.” She does.
I hang up with the promise to phone within 10 minutes when she is safe in her Uber on the way home.
Neither me, nor her, knew he would minutes later barge into her “safe” toilet and assault her.
“Not physically,” she’s quick to assure me later. “Emotionally.”
I’m not so sure. A man barging into a toilet, pressing you against the wall and fingering you is, for me – and the law – rape.
I remind her of the new law the night after tears: insertion of any object or body part constitutes rape.
Finger penetration? Rape.
But I can’t answer the one question she has before she tackles the rape journey: “Will they find his DNA inside me?”
So she showers 24 hours later and washes him out of her hair.
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“I’m not going that route. Let me be. It happened to me and I’ll deal with it the way I want to.”
But I am raging. There are no nice folds to put this in.
Forget the “real men” I heard from after last week’s attack. The message is simple: no is no. Always. Not a new trend, even in “my days” always has been: no.
And, real men, don’t you dare tell me that her not taking action is wrong “because it will make a difference”.
You’re wrong. It’s not up to her to make a difference. It’s up to you. It never should’ve happened.