Jersey clutched his side as he ran trying to relieve the stitch that was making it hard to breath. His cheek hurt where the guy had punched him. His body ached and throbbed in places it shouldn’t. He’d thought the shelter would be a safe place. He’d been wrong. He kept his light brown eyes on the crumbled sidewalk, saving himself from any nasty spills on the ice. He’d lost his jacket when he’d fled the run down building that housed the transients of Trenton. He hadn’t had any idea where he was headed when he’d left the shelter, but anywhere had to be better than there. He could feel the cold sting of tears on his face. He just wanted to go home. But that was no longer an option. He had no home anymore. His father had made that very clear…with the back of his hand. Parson Devonshire had never laid a hand on Jersey before, and Jersey had been so stunned, he’d not defended himself. He’d cried like a baby. Sobs that matched his mother’s. Then, his father had called him an abomination against God and shoved him out the door, his mother screaming for him to stop. It had made no difference. Jersey had found himself alone, abandoned and nearly freezing hours later.
He’d come across the shelter by pure accident. He’d been standing in a doorway, trying to get out of the biting winter wind when a girl, not much older than him, had told him about the shelter. She’d taken him there, and then disappeared into the night. Jersey had thought her to be an angel of mercy, until he found out she was a runaway and prostitute. Jersey’s religious upbringing had forced him to forgive her. But then, he really didn’t think he had room to be judgmental anyway. The people who ran the shelter had been kind, though persistent in trying to find out where he lived and why he was out on the streets at fifteen. He couldn’t bring himself to tell them he wasn’t a runaway. Couldn’t bring himself to tell them why his father had turned his back on him. He stayed at the shelter for days. Until he started being harassed by some of the older men. Men who wanted something from Jersey. Something he wasn’t willing to give. Soon, he was full of bruises for fighting back, protecting himself. He wasn’t very good at it, being so small. Only 5’4” and barely weighing a hundred pounds. There had been too many close calls. Mostly at night, when Jersey tried to sleep and the workers of the shelter were not around so much. Then came this night, when his fighting back was useless.
He’d gone to bed on the cot assigned him, pulling the thin blanket tight around him. He’d been given a few clothes, warmer clothes and the precious jacket. He never took anything but the jacket off and his threadbare shoes. Hadn’t dared take a shower in all the time he’d been there. He was almost asleep when he felt a large weight settle on his body. He tried to shove the man off, but couldn’t. The man’s cheap alcohol breath choked Jersey. He felt cold, callused hands shove the blanket aside and pull at the fly of his pants. Jersey heard a whimper of fear and realized it was from himself. He struggled, but the man was too large. One big hand grabbed his wrists and held them tight enough to hurt, the other managed to pull Jersey’s pants and briefs down until he was exposed from waist to knees. Jersey wanted to scream, but his breath was frozen in his throat. He pulled in enough oxygen to beg.”Please…no…no. Don’t…please.” He managed in a whisper. The man laughed cruelly. Jersey couldn’t stop the man from removing his pants and briefs the rest of the way off and shoving him onto his stomach, the cot creaking from the weight. Jersey felt as if his heart was going to burst from fear. He could feel hot skin and wiry hair against his butt, and the man’s hard shaft. Something wet trailed from the end of it. Seconds later, the man was completely on top of him, his knees pushing Jersey’s legs wide and his hard manhood shoving into Jersey’s body. Jersey finally screamed as white hot pain shot through him. The man’s big hand clamped over Jersey’s mouth and he suddenly couldn’t breathe. He bucked in panic, but that only made the man sink deeper into his body and increase the pain. Jersey concentrated on choking back sobs and breathing, even as the man began to grunt with each hard thrust. Jersey felt as if he were being ripped apart, the agony was so great. But even through the overwhelming pain, Jersey felt something that made his own manhood harden. Humiliation and self-loathing filled Jersey. He wasn’t supposed to feel this way. Why was his body hardening when he was being brutally assaulted? An eternity later, the man’s panting and grunting changed to a long low moan, his body thrusting and holding against Jersey’s and Jersey felt as if hot lava was filling all his insides. Seconds later, the man’s heavy weight went limp on Jersey’s. Jersey shoved and the man twisted and fell to the floor. “You little whore!” The man snarled as he stood up, fixed his pants and loomed over Jersey. The man grabbed Jersey’s hair and punched him hard across the face. Blackness invaded Jersey’s sight and he lost consciousness.
When he came to, he was laid out on his stomach on his cot, naked from the waist down. Everything ached, but fear made him move. He hurriedly grabbed his pants, pulling them on and ignoring the stinging pain they caused and the sticky wetness that traveled down the back and insides of his thighs. He shoved his feet into the old tennis shoes he had and ran. He heard someone call out, but ignored it as he hit the door and kept going. Sobs robbed him of breath and he stopped long enough to gulp a few lungfuls of frigid air. A noise behind him had him speeding away again. When he could go no further, he sank to the ground, pulled his legs up against his chest, wrapped his arms around them and hid his face against his knees. He was trembling with cold, fear and disgust. He knew that man raping him was his fault. He was tainted. Was the abomination his father had called him. He’d heard enough times how pretty he was. That’s why he attracted men. Knew deep down, he welcomed the attention…sometimes. Jersey suddenly leaned over and vomited, his self-loathing overwhelming him. He wanted God to strike him dead that very minute. He thought about cutting his own wrists, but he was already going to hell for just breathing and absurdly didn’t want to add another sin to his soul.