I was pretty young—eight years old—the day I started working at the workshop. It was during a school vacation.
There wasn’t internet back then, and there were only two TV channels.
I knew nothing about sex at the time.
There was a 17 year old boy who worked there with me.
He talked to me about sex, masturbation, and various temptations.
He’d pull out his penis so I could get a look at it.
He’d make me hold it under the pretext of teaching me how to masturbate.
Sometime after, he started to slip his hands under my clothes.
At first, I wasn’t okay with what was happening.
He started to take advantage of my young age, buying me food, candy, and the like.
He said there was nothing wrong with what he was doing. He started to touch my privates in exchange for the things he brought me.
We were often alone at the workshop.
He used to take advantage of that by making me help him masturbate and letting him touch my body.
He’d sometimes ask for oral sex or full-on sex.
But I’d say no out of fear.
I thank God I was able to continue saying no.
By the next vacation, I had grown up a bit.
I began to realize that something about what had happened the summer before wasn’t right.
I began refusing to let him touch me at all.
This marked the second part of my struggle, which lasted about two years over two summers.
This part was characterized by violence, endless fights, and complete and utter terror.
Whenever the workshop owner went out to lunch or on business,
or whenever the boy and I were assigned work together, he’d request the same things as before.
When I’d say no, he’d start yelling at me and beating me.
I’d run away from him, and he’d tell onlookers that I was misbehaving and being disobedient.
And then, they’d start yelling at me too.
I remained caught in this constant state of fear for two consecutive summers.
He never had his way with me, though, thank God.
I managed to hold off his advances.
I never mentioned this to anyone, of course.
I’d make up excuses to not go to work. But to no avail.
As I grew up, I became cowardly.
I felt sexually repressed and the concept of marriage scared me.
I’ve thought a lot about tracking the boy down and killing him.
But my cowardice prevented me.
I only saw him once more after that, and never saw him face to face again. Thank God.