that afternoon in the backseat of Victor's
car, I haven't been feeling much like
talking to anyone. I don't even like to
think about what happened or what might
have happened if Miguel hadn't come back
when he did. I feel angry and scared and
sick inside. Why should I have to be
afraid just because I'm a girl? Why is it
that guys can do what they want and girls
have to always be on the lookout and be
ready to defend themselves. There's
something really screwed up about all
this. It's all so unfair!!
took out my watercolor paints this
afternoon. I carefully filled two clean
plastic containers with water. Water is so
pure. You can see right through it. I wish
that I could feel like that. Just the way
I felt when I was a baby. Simple and pure.
took out a large piece of watercolor paper
and I soaked it in the sink filled with
warm water. I remember an art teacher I
had in fourth grade said that if you like
to use lots of color and lots of water on
your paintings you should "stretch" the
paper first. You do that by putting the
paper in a warm bath (the sink really) and
then you take this really wide tape that
people use for sealing boxes... my dad has
a roll of it, and you smooth the paper out
on a board or something that's stiff and
strong and won't bend. Then you tape the
edges of the wet paper down onto a board.
like doing all this stuff before I start
painting. It's like a ceremony that has
certain steps. And I feel proud of myself
that I know all the steps. I didn't have
any idea what I wanted to paint. I decided
to just going to let my imagination or my
feelings to choose the colors and guide
mixed a lot of blue with a little bit of
red. I got this cool purple and swished it
around on the paper. Then I cleaned off
the brush. The clean water got cloudy
purple. Not pure any more. I guess that's
what happens to us when we get older. We
get all cloudy.
I added more water to the paper, and with
my clean brush I choose a dark green and
added a touch of bright yellow to it. The
colors swirl in the water. And as if
there's a current flowing on the paper,
the water takes the color onto parts of
the paper where my brush never touched. I
like watching it and wondering where it's
going to go and what it's going to look
like when it gets there.
a while I started thinking about what
happened in the car. I called Becca and
told her everything. She listened and
didn't interrupt me or anything. Then she
said that she was feeling really angry at
Juan and that even though I had told her
what happened, I needed to tell someone
who could do something about it.
Miguel?" I asked. "He could beat up Juan.
That would teach him not to mess with
thought that was a good idea, but Becca
didn't think so.
about girls who get bothered by creeps
like Juan and don't have boyfriends to
was right about that. And thinking about
Miguel maybe getting beaten up, well I
didn't like that idea. Becca told me about
this book she read called "Reviving Ophelia". It's about girls only being
valued as sex objects in our society and
because of that, not feeling safe. She
said that it would be sexist for me to
believe that I couldn't deal with Juan
myself. That I should be strong and tell
him that I'm not afraid of him and that if
he ever touches me again, I will charge
him publicly with sexual
wasn't sexual harassment! He didn't rape
me or anything."
harassment is not only rape. Any unwanted
touching or sexual words or flirting
teasing stuff that makes you uncomfortable
is sexual harassment. You should tell Ms.
Harden, the counselor. She's very
told her I didn't know about talking to
Becca said, "Dee, what Juan did was wrong.
It's against the law. He's got to know
that he can't do that to you or any girl,
I thought about the possibility of Juan
bothering other girls I knew that Becca
was right. I had to talk to Ms.