Note: Rape does not turn people into rapists. That's a myth. The number of abusers is small in comparison to the number of victims, and even if some abusers were abused, the majority of rape victims do not rape others. PSA over.
“Did you know that most rapists were raped themselves?” he asked morbidly, “It’s psychologically proven— abuse can turn you into an abuser. It’s sad, but that’s how it is. Rape’s not something you should take lightly, and what Gentry is doing is very dangerous and… offensive.”
“Yeah, well. What else is new? Maybe he had water in his ears. Maybe it doesn’t leave his ears, maybe it flows the other way...”
“This isn’t funny.”
Zach reached over to turn off the blaring Bollywood music, then fell back into the barely-there folds of the sleek black couch.
“I’m not trying to funny.” He sighed, “But you’re being too serious. It isn’t as if it’s a death sentence.”
“It can be.”
Zach peered up at him and brashly replied,
“So can walking down the street.”
“A car might hit you.”
Zach moved to sit up, yet Mikey shifted his weight to keep him in place.
“—Anything can cause trauma.” Zach grunted, “What I’m trying to say is that we’re only human, and probability says you will be hurt. But that doesn’t mean that you’ll become a bully or a victim or the walking dead. In the end, it’s people that decide their actions, not their problems.”
“Hm. So…” Mikey’s voice trailed off, and he glanced away.
Zach continued on, awkwardly. He didn’t notice how Mikey was tersely looking away, present in body but not in mind.
“People have problems, but that’s not everything there is to them… let’s be reasonable here—”
“But you still think it’s wrong, don’t you?”
“And you think victims shouldn’t be re-victimized?”
“But what? Last summer, I volunteered at a counseling center. They told us about how dangerous these misconceptions are, so it’s really messed up what Gentry’s doing.”
Zach’s eyes narrowed, distant from conflict. After about a minute he took a long, labored breath. Mikey leaned in to peck him on the lips, but Zach turned his head away. At this, Mikey wordlessly moved off him and said,
“Why don’t you stand up to Gentry on this remark? If anyone can do it, it’s you. You’re smart, and you know rape is wrong.”
Zach looked at him from the corner of his eyes, then replied in a strained voice, “It’s not my place—”
“So he has you where he wants you.”
“No.” Zach scoffed, “That’s not it.”
“If you won’t stand up to him, I will.”
Mikey’s lips parted, and his eyes lit up in a way which made Zach squirm. The look quickly faded, and Mikey shrugged and calmly moved off him, taking a seat on the armchair opposite the couch.
The sunlight shone in from the bay window, illuminating rings under his eyes. There was a look about him, the look of someone who never sat still, someone who was just now sitting down to think. He knew Zach well enough to know that it took a lot to shut him up, and he wondered what was in it for him. People didn’t deserve things, they wanted things. He reasoned that Zach must want something. He was not sure, however, what he wanted with Zach.
“You know, Zach.” He murmured, “Any way you slice it, a rape survivor will never be normal again. Think about that.”
Zach sighed as he sat up, “Why does everyone have to be normal?”
“Because people who aren’t make things too complicated.”