SummitCreek LaneThis is how ithappens.Step one. Ignorethe statisticsJust look atyour hemline You will neverbe that one in five Step two.  Trust everyone, and do not listen to your instinctswhen they tellsyou to be careful.

Step in yourselfYou have alwaysbeen smarter than this. Only dumb girlsget themselves thereKeep being smart.Step four. Whenhe flirts with you andtell how manygirls he has been polite. Step five.

Pretend not to notice when he looks at youstretching inyour track shorts. You’re the one who picked out these clothes.Step six. Remember—thisis typical, this is normal.This is okay.

Step seven.Remind yourself that you know himhe is a playerbut not a predator.He gets goodgrades and pays when you go out.Predators don’tpay for pie shakes.

 Step eight.Don’t question anything.  You’re havingfun.

Step nine. Knowthat you’ve been here before, past the piano where he playsBeethoven and Mozart for you, behind the 70-inch flat screen. Step ten. Saythank you when he says you’re attractive. Say sorry for being in the way whenhe grazes you breast.

Tell him he’s funny when he talks about much fun yourboyfriend must have with you.Step eleven.Don’t use the word rape. Do not use the word rape.Step twelve. Remindyourself that you didn’t say no, right?Step thirteen.Write. Write until you remember the reasons,or invent themif forgotten.

Step fourteen.Try to forget everything. Forget the letters to your name, forgetthe half-opencase of Assassin’s Creed on the shelf,the arm of thespeedometer stretched out for help,the feeling ofhis hand on your neck and his residenceinside you. Step fifteen. Forgetabout what happened last time you turned left on Summit Creek Lane.

Tellyourself it didn’t happen for 481 daysSo that when heasks you to hang out again,you won’t beafraid.Step sixteen.When he asks you to come upstairs make sure youhave a good enough reason to decline.Step seventeen.

Say no this time,even when you’repressed up against the walleven when leftcheek abrades his Egyptian linen.Step eighteen. Remembermonsters only exist in fairy tales.Step nineteen.Picture him as a child.

Maybe that will make him human again. Step twenty.Remember there is never a good enough reason.

He will get what he wants fromyou,Even if he musttake it.

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