She was the one who drank too much. She was the one who was too trusting of strangers. She was the one who went into this man’s apartment. She was the one who drank the bourbon he gave her. And she was the one who sat there as her clothes were removed, whether she remembered it happening, or not. She didn’t say no. She had probably closed her eyes as he touched her, and removed herself from the situation mentally. Pretending that it was someone else, anyone else. Anyone she trusted. But it wasn’t. It was a stranger. And she was too weak to avoid letting them do what they did.

Nicole knew all of this. She sat there, hating herself. Hating her decisions. Hating whatever it was inside of her that led her to make these self-destructive choices. Was it unavoidable? If it wasn’t this horrible choice, would it just be another? If it wasn’t the bourbon, would it just be another type of poison? If it wasn’t the man who had followed her out of the restaurant, would it just be another stranger from the streets? Why did she let this happen to herself? And why couldn’t she stop it. That was the question.

* This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.