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$939.00. I’ll never forget that number. Nine hundred thirty-nine dollars. That’s how much the exam costs. That’s how much I owe. $939. 

I couldn’t afford it then, but I sure as hell can’t afford it now.

I remember when the desk clerk said, “We take insurance now. Is it HMO or PPO? Because if it’s PPO, you have to pay out of pocket. In total, for the full exam, it’s about $419 on average”. I just left. 

I didn’t want to talk about it with my mom. I took 2 plane rides home last summer. In between when it happened and finally landing in my hometown, all I had done was think about it. “Why did I fall in the street?”, “Why did I leave my friends at the bar? It was literally fine and I left”, “Why did I have that last shot? I was already drunk I didn’t need to drink more”, “Why did I cry half way into sex with the boy I was hooking up with within 20 minutes after it happened? I don’t blame him for dropping me off at home and speeding away and never speaking to me again”. 

So the last thing I wanted to do was talk to my mom about it. She had already screamed at me. Bless her. I love her, I do. But when I heard those words, “I have told you countless times not to get that drunk”, I just hung up. I laid on the floor. I just cried. 

But now I had to talk to her about it because Planned Parenthood takes insurance now. They never used to do that. Since when are STD screenings and pregnancy tests that expensive? I had never used Planned Parenthood services before, but all my friends had. Its everyone’s go to when you just don’t want to talk about it. I guess, again, I wasn’t as lucky. 

I remember when I went to my mom’s doctor. I actually was having a pretty good day. I hadn’t thought about it much. I had been smiling all day up until I had to strip down and get in those paper-like gowns that are light blue, which compliments my skin. And I talked to my mom until the doctor came in about my post-grad plans. I don’t know why I did. Maybe I just wanted to fill the room with something other than fear. 

The doctor came in. She was the nicest redhead ever. I don’t particularly care for redheads because I’d had my share of really mean redheads. But she was nice. She asked all the right questions. 

My mom almost fainted when she heard how many boys I had had sex with. Then she almost fainted when I had to talk about what happened. She finally said, “Lord I’m going to wait outside”. I actually wanted her in the room with me during the exam, but she couldn’t take it I guess. 

The doctor swiped everywhere. I asked her my risks of anything. The risk was fairly high. I wasn’t really worried. I knew the risks. I got dressed and went into the hall for blood work. I hate needles. I sat there with the needle in my arm and thought about ripping it out. But I didn’t think about why I was in the chair or why the sounds of nurses laughing in their navy-blue scrubs and talking about dinner plans. I heard nothing. 

It’s been months. It feels like it’s been years. I don’t cry about it anymore. I think I cried about it a total of six times. Apparently, I’m in a state of mind where I have completely separated myself from it. I can do that. I guess maybe I am a little lucky. I know it happened. But I don’t have to live through it. I don’t think about it. Most days I don’t remember it happened. 

But tonight I remembered. I opened the envelope. “$604 due for laboratories”, “$335 due to the medical group”.

Now I remember it. Now I remember leaving the bar. Now I remember falling in the street. Now I remember “Come inside I’ll call you a cab”. Now I remember being brought into an apartment that smelled like weed and really old bread. Now I remember it was a studio, so all there was a bed. Now I remember falling down on the bed. Now I remember drifting out of conscious. Now I remember the feeling of a boulder on top of me. Now I remember the no’s, the pleases, the “where is the cab”’s, the get off of me’s, the “why is this so hard to take off”. Now I remember when my legs went open and the finger went in. I remember it taking a few seconds. 

I don’t remember the last part. All I remember was it was after 2am. I remember running out. I just wanted to be with someone. I called the only other person close enough. I went over. I convinced myself I could still have sex. But I couldn’t. I started to cry when he went inside me. He asked what was wrong. I got up. I told him. “But its fine”. He asked me who it was. He wouldn’t stop asking. He said he needed to know in case I wanted to press charges. I cried more. I couldn’t think about it. 

“Fuck it. I’m taking you home”. The card ride was forever. He was drunk and mad. He sped. I sobbed in the seat. “I don’t want to get STDs”. That was the last thing he said to me, forever. 

I forgot about this. I put it away. It was in the back of the closet. It was hidden under a summer of psychology homework and a brief stint at Target in which I was fired for always being on my phone. It was hidden under my nieces first birthday, dinner with my best friend, drives to the beach. It was hidden under the promise of a better year ahead. 

Until it wasn’t anymore. $939 for falling in the street. That’s how much it costs for your monsters to come back. 

I can't afford this monster. I can't afford this monster to come from underneath the pile. I can't afford to write a check to this monster. I can't afford to remember the feeling of my tight white skirt being pulled up. I can't afford to rememebr the plane ride home when I looked out the window and cried at all that could never be again. 

Hellooooooo everyone!  First of all, if you read anything I write, you are golden, and I appreciate you! I am a 21 year old girl from San Diego, California. I am currently a senior at the University of Oregon, majoring in Advertising, and graduating in June. 
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