“The police found a used condom in the trash, but it wasn’t used on this victim,” her professor said. “It was from another unsolved rape case. This perp was taunting the police.”
Elsie let out a soft cry, but in the near-silence of the classroom, it echoed louder than she thought. All eyes turned to stare at her. She feigned a sneeze and said she was fine, then apologized to the professor. But she was not fine. She didn’t need to be there for the rest of this case; yet she couldn’t leave now.
She tried to drown out details of the case with songs in her head. At first Beethoven and Mozart and when they didn’t work, heavy metal songs played over in her mind. Nothing worked. She was sweating and breathing harder. She couldn’t sit still any longer and rose to leave.
“Miss Johnson, are you okay?” she heard the professor ask.
Elsie turned to look at him and said, barely audible, “Just need some air, sir.” She stumbled out of the room.
She ran outside the building, threw her books down on the stairs and leaned over a ledge, puking. Her mind raced with images, such horrible images.
Three years ago. Her dorm room.Her rape. Her case.