Sometimes she forgets about it for a while and then she feels those wet blubbery lips on hers and she wants to scream until she can get that image out of her head and the sensation away from her body. She prays fervently that this horrible repulsive memory will leave her and she dreams of replacing it with a sweet kiss from a boy she likes at school.
Jane doesn’t like being alone in the house. but she has no language to tell her mother what she fears. When she said she didn’t like him her mother said he was a good neighbour and to stop with her nonsense. The front door is wide open as always, it is closed only when darkness falls and only locked at bedtime. In a strange way she would feel more frightened inside a locked house by herself, this would be a blatant admission of her fear.
All morning she listens carefully for his car. Despite this, she sees him only when he is almost at the front door. She instinctively runs out, so she won’t be trapped inside. He grabs her and pushes her into the porch. She gasps in shock at his strength. He tries to kiss her as she struggles and wriggles and screams for their neighbour. “Maggie! Maggie!” Everyone knows she can hear the grass growing.
“Ah, what are you roaring for, it’s only a bit of fun, an auld kiss,” he backs off and laughs cockily as he strides off down the path in his big wellingtons and over the road to his car as Maggie comes running across the meadow with the pitchfork.
“I’ll stab the bastard!” Maggie is gasping, the cigarettes have claimed her lungs. She knows she can save Jane provided she is around but can’t prevent him grabbing her again or any other young girl either. Who pays any attention to an unmarried woman who has no property or money and is dependent on her brother for a living when they are plenty of respected men around who laugh at her mad warnings.
“Come on,” she says gruffly, resigned to the reality. “Come on up to the house with me.”
“No, I better wait here for Mammy to come home,” Jane is afraid to leave the house and go up with Maggie, her mother would be annoyed if she locked up the house in the middle of the day to go up to Maggie.
“Alright so, I’ll sit down for a while and wait to see your mother.”
They chat about lots of things except what has just happened until her mother comes home. Jane is grateful. Later she will try to process it by herself and rid herself of that horrible sensation of attempted wet, slobbery, revolting kisses.
Later her mother asked Jane curiously, “What brought Maggie down in the middle of the day”?
“I don’t know, I think she was just checking on the cows and called in, she must have thought you were here.”
Jane can’t think of any way she can tell her mother about what has happened. Her mother thinks that man is great fun and a good neighbour. And it continues, until she leaves home, living in terror of him, hiding behind ditches on the road if she hears his car and watching, watching all the time.
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