A year passed by, and then another, and another… but life did not get back to anything resembling normal for Julie. Over time, her father lost interest in life and started drinking. At first, it was only when he got home from the hospital but then he started drinking in the mornings as well and had missed several days of work because of it.

Julie was now in the tenth grade. She still had some of her old friends but it was difficult for her to make new ones. She was losing interest in study as well and no longer thought about being a Doctor. She never knew what to expect from her father when she walked into the house after school. If he were home he would be in front of the television, and if he were not home it could be late in the evening before he would stagger in. The house had not been cleaned for some time and dinner was up to her.

Even when her father was sober he was distant. She knew things couldn’t continue as they were and so one day decided to try to engage her father in a conversation about their future. She cooked him a spaghetti dinner from a recipe she had learned from her mother, knowing it was one of his favorite meals. They never ate at the dining room table anymore and so she brought the meal to him on a tray, then went back to get her own tray. She was pleased to find him enjoying his meal when she returned and he even complimented her on being just as good of a cook as her mother.“What’s going to happen to us, daddy?” she asked as he finished the last of his meal.

“What do you mean?” he responded, “Is there a problem with the way we are living?”

“Dad… it’s your drinking. You never use to drink when Mom was here.”

“I may have a few drinks occasionally,” he responded defensively, “but you make it sound like I’m drunk all of the time.”

“Well you are, at least you are when you are home, and that’s the only time I see you.”

“Well this hasn’t been all that easy on me you know,” he answered indignantly. “I’m doing the best I can.”

“I know you are, daddy, but I don’t like seeing you sad.” She walked over to him and put her arm on his shoulder like she had done in the past but he turned away from her as if uncomfortable with her touching him.

She picked up the trays and after doing the dishes returned to her room to do her homework. She found it hard to concentrate however and decided to just go to sleep. At some point in the middle of the night, she heard her door open and when she turned to look, she saw her father’s figure standing in the doorway. She could smell that he had been drinking and for the first time in her life she felt threatened by his presence.

“Did I wake you?” he asked, his words a bit slurred.

“Yes dad, you did. Is there something you want?”

“I had a hard time going to sleep… kept thinking about your mother and was wondering um…”

“Wondering what dad?” she asked, almost afraid of his response.

“Well… I was wondering if maybe… if maybe I could lay in your bed for just a while. I don’t want to be alone tonight.”

She was hesitant to answer but thought maybe it would help to heal their relationship if she allowed it… just this once. “I guess it would be okay for just a while,” she answered, as she moved over to the inside of her bed.

He climbed in and lay there silently for several minutes; his breath reeked of alcohol. She dared not move and hoped he would just pass out so that she could climb out over him without him knowing it. She felt his hand moving closer to hers and then he was touching her on the arm. At first, it was just gentle rubbing but eventually, he was touching her in places she knew were not appropriate. She tried to move away from him but he held her tightly and before she could do anything to stop him, he had entered her. She screamed from the pain and horror but he did not stop until he had ejaculated. Then he rolled off of her and fell asleep.

She was trembling as she finally managed to crawl out of the bed. She could feel the insides of her stomach coming up and ran into the bathroom to vomit. She locked the door behind her and sobbed for several minutes before taking a long hot bath, then curled up in a corner and cried herself to sleep.

She awoke to the first rays of the early morning Sun and cautiously opened the bathroom door. Her father was no longer in her room and she thought, just for a moment, that maybe she had dreamed the whole thing… but the pain in her lower abdomen told her it wasn’t a dream. She dressed for school, as usual, not knowing what else to do. She wanted to talk to someone, but knew the seriousness of her father’s actions and didn’t want anyone to know what he had done. After all… it was just as much her fault for allowing it to happen.

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