Im going to give a fair warning that this topic is very triggering and revolves around sexual abuse. You do not have to read this.
I am going to give a few quotes from my favorite book, it is about an abusive relationship between a 15 year old girl and a 42 year old man that is meant to be romanticized. This book is beautifully written and incredibly alluring. It is also twisted and deranged and made me question every single person in my life. The ability to manipulate as well as a sexual abuser is terrifyingly fascinating. This book made me nauseous, and can be painful to read but i think about it everyday and in no way regret a second of the time spent reading it.
“Because even if I sometimes use the word abuse to describe certain things that were done to me, in someone else’s mouth the word turns ugly and absolute. It swallows up everything that happened.”
“It’s strange to know that whenever I remember myself at fifteen, I’ll think of this.”
“I wonder how much victimhood they’d be willing to grant a girl like me.” This particular quote made me sick and furious because it is clear that he manipulated her into thinking every situation was her choice.
“Kneeling before me, he lays his head on my lap and says, ‘I’m going to ruin you.” I cried during this chapter, this feeling was so claustrophobic especially when having to watch Vanessa know nothing of what was being done to her, that was the most painful feeling.
“He touched me first, said he wanted to kiss me, told me he loved me. Every first step was taken by him. I don’t feel forced, and I know I have the power to say no, but that isn’t the same as being in charge. But maybe he has to believe that. Maybe there’s a whole list of things he has to believe.”
“He’s always going to be old. He has to be. That’s the only way I can stay young and dripping with beauty.”
“He’s the only person who ever understood that desire. Not to die, but to already be dead.”
“An older man using a girl to feel better about himself – how easily the story becomes a cliché if you look at it without the soft focus of romance”
“It’s easy to pinpoint when it all started, that moment of walking into his sun-soaked classroom and feeling his eyes drink me in for the first time, but it’s harder to know when it ended, if it really ended at all. I think it stopped when I was twenty-two, when he said he needed to get himself together and couldn’t live a decent life while I was within reach, but for the past decade there have been late-night calls, him and me reliving the past, worrying the wound we both refuse to let heal.”
“It’s just that I’m depraved, my mind so warped by Strane that I misinterpret innocent favoritism as sexual interest.”
“I think we’re very similar, Nessa,” he whispers. “From the way you write, I can tell you’re a dark romantic like me. You like dark things.”
My mind screamed throughout the entirety of this book, it begged for her to run, it wondered if she should stay. And in the end, I realized what this book was meant to do. It is meant to show you how hard it is to say who did it.