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Stories from Bumper Alley – Sexual Assault

Bumper Alley - Sexual AssaultIn my last posting, I told you the story of The Dobermans gang, and of my naming of a certain section of the gang’s “turf.” That section, of course, was “Bumper Alley.” In that posting I mentioned that I believe I may have saved a young girl from being sexually assaulted on Bumper Alley one day. In case you were interested in finding out more about that incident, I’ve decided to go into it further in this post.

Near the eastern end of Bumper Alley there was a small section, perhaps not quite twenty feet long, where the space between the ivy draped chain-link fence on the north of the alley and wooden fencing to the south widened out by about six feet or so. The increase in width at this section was due to the fact that there actually wasn’t a wooden fence to south here. There was, instead, the windowless side of a house, and the wooden fencing on this side of alley began at the western end of this widened out section. The eastern end of the Alley at this point opened up onto “The Field.” Across the twenty-ish foot length of this widened section was a width of about six or so feet of grass between the bumpy asphalt sidewalk of the alley and the side of the house. Bumper Alley - map of wider area.(I have included a crudely drawn map to help you visualize the area) The layout of this area, as was explained regarding the nature of Bumper Alley in the last post, was such that anyone in this area was still very much secluded from view.

One summer afternoon, myself and few of my friends had gathered at this spot and were sitting on the grass section just hanging out and discussing various things. There were four of us there that day — three boys and one girl. I believe I was thirteen years old at the time. One of the other two boys was a close friend of mine, and of about the same age as me — give or take a couple of months. The other was a little more than a year older than us — past the age of fourteen. Him and I weren’t close friends, but we were friendly. His family lived a few doors down from us. For the purposes of this retelling, I’ll call him “Robbie”. I’ll call my close friend who was there with us that day “Andy.”  The fourth person present was a young girl, who was around the same age as Andy and I. I’ll call her “Tanya.”

And, oh… perhaps I should mention that Robbie was a bit of an asshole. Well, more than a bit, really. He came from a rough, lower-class family. He grew up in the projects, but his step-father had recently found work and his mother had recently found slightly better work. With the added money they now had coming in, they decided the family had the means to get out of the crime-ridden project — Which we commonly referred to as “The Low-Rentals.” I spent at least the first decade of my life not realizing the name referred to the fact that the housing in that project was of a low-cost rental pricing structure. It was actually a “rent-to-income” housing project where the specific amount of monthly rent you paid was determined by your level of income, and the rest was subsidized by the government. I had just always assumed it was a sort of given name for the place. I thought it was simply two words — Something along the lines of “The Loewrentils.”

There was a certain type of person– a certain type of family– that commonly inhabited that project in those days. Today, I suppose, we’d refer to that type of person as “poor white trash.” That’s not to say that everyone from there fit that description. But, many of them did. And, Robbie’s family was most certainly one of the families that did. Most of the people growing up in that project would see the inside of “juvy” (What we called the young offender’s detention center) before they were out of their teens. And, of course, most would go on to various felony convictions in later life.

As I mentioned before, the four of us had gathered on this spot on this day and were spending our time discussing various things. Tanya was a very petite– even for her age– and pretty girl. She was from a good family and a good home. She had long, very straight and very blonde hair. She was a very girlish and very pretty little girl. The problem, of course, was that our group on this day was made up her and three young boys who happened to be on the very cusp of adolescence. And, we were all alone in a very secluded area. As I’m sure you can imagine, it wasn’t long before Tanya became the focus of the group’s attention, and much light teasing soon ensued.

At first, it was very innocent sort of stuff– very playful. There was a lot of laughing, joking and goofing around. And, Tanya was enjoying the attention every bit as much as we were enjoying giving it to her. The teasing and kidding around did, however, seem to slowly, yet steadily escalate. And, it wasn’t long before Tanya was being asked to reveal certain parts of her body. She somewhat reluctantly, yet, ultimately, willingly, complied with lifting her dress up to show us her panties. I think I even still remember what they looked like. I believe they were cotton bikini style briefs with thin, horizontal stripes that alternated between black and light gray. Tanya would, however, go no further in revealing herself than this.

At this point, everyone, including Tanya, seemed to be having fun. There was a lot of laughing and the whole thing did still seem like innocent play. But, there was a strange excitement to it as well. This excitement, however, wasn’t anything that seemed in any way “sinister”… yet.

As this went on, Tanya was pressured more and more into revealing her body. Robbie was the main actor driving the requests, but we were all taking part. Tanya would not comply, and her mood seemed to slowly be changing from good humor to a slight bit of annoyance. The teasing then began to get physical. Still, however, not really dark or sinister in any way — it still seemed to be well within the nature of innocent play. There was some tickling and a little bit of grabbing at her clothes with chuckling threats of disrobing her delivered through smiles and laughter which began to take place.

Robbie grabbed Tanya and began telling her that if she wasn’t going to take off her clothes, he’d rip them off. Robbie’s demeanor at this point still seemed quite jovial. All of this seemed to be taking place in a very playful and joking manner. And, Andy and I were both right into it — laughing and cheering Robbie on. Tanya, however, was now appearing to be having less and less of a good time with every passing second.

Tanya began protesting loudly as Robbie began physically struggling with her, attempting to pull her dress up, and pull her panties down. To Andy and I, it was all still pretty funny. Tanya began demanding to be let go. Robbie was ignoring her demands– still he struggled as she writhed and attempted to get away. Still, Andy and I watched and laughed and yelled at Tanya to quit being such a prude.

Then, something changed– something was different. Tanya was trying to escape Robbie’s grasp. She had gotten herself spun around and was on all fours, clutching at the grass, trying to get leverage to pull herself away from Robbie and flee. Robbie was on his knees behind Tanya, his hands around her waist, trying to control her movements to a degree where he could prevent her escape with one hand while using his other to manipulate the fabric of her dress. Andy and I were still laughing. But, at this point, I glanced away from Tanya and looked toward Robbie’s face. Immediately, I had a strange sensation that something was “wrong.” I didn’t understand what. I just knew that something was “wrong.” Something about the situation had suddenly become very different. The smile left my face. My laughing stopped.

What sparked this feeling within me was the look on Robbie’s face. When I looked at him, there was something unsettling about his expression. I’d never seen anything like it before. He was no longer smiling or laughing like Andy and I. His expression looked dead serious. His eyes seemed glazed. He had the look of intent on his face. And, now, all of the sudden, the atmosphere seemed sinister. I didn’t understand the look on Robbie’s face. But, I know it disturbed me. I didn’t understand why it did. But, it disturbed me. I was no longer experiencing any sense of fun.

Bumper Alley Sexual Assault OverheadI rose to my feet and pulled Robbie off of Tanya, saying “That’s enough, man. Let her go.” Tanya instantly shot off like a dart and ran home. Robbie reacted as though snapping out of some weird trance. He looked at me and appeared slightly confused– like being woken from a state of sleep-walking. He had a look of “Where am I? What just happened?” on his face. Then, his presence of mind seemed to return, and he smirked.

“Ah, the stupid little bitch.” He said, “I wanted to get a look at her cunt. I bet she doesn’t even have pubes yet.”

I don’t know what would have happened that day had I not stepped in like I did. I don’t know how it would have progressed– how far it would have gone. But, I strongly suspect that today it would be a bad memory that each of us would be carrying around.

About a year later, Robbie’s younger brother was killed while playing on a construction site that he and some friends had sneaked into when a stack of heavy, concrete building material fell on him. His family moved away shortly after the funeral, and I never had any further contact with them. That wasn’t before his step-dad was brought up on assault charges for kicking the shit out of me, however. …but, that’s another story.

I never spoke to Tanya about the incident. None of us ever spoke about it. Honestly, it didn’t seem like a very big deal.

A couple of years later we moved out of the neighborhood, and I haven’t seen nor spoken with Tanya since. She’s a grown woman now with, I hear tell, a loving husband and two children, and she’s living a happy life. (My mother and her mother still, although rarely, keep in touch — a short phone call around Christmas to extend well wishes. That sort of thing.) I wonder if she remembers that incident. I wonder if she knows that maybe– just maybe– I just might have saved her from having some terrible act being committed against her way back then.

I’m such a fucking hero, huh?