I met him in band class, I played flute and he played the trumpet. For the first few years I didn’t pay attention to him until he had the same class together. He preyed on me, I guess he assumed since I was shy I was an easy target. We were friends during the summer health class, and after that we were friends. He started to text me everyday, and then he became controlling. One day when Doc was out sick, we were in one of the practice rooms, studying for a class. He told me that he loved me, but I told him that I didn’t feel the same way, at least not yet. He accepted that, and that night he was going to pick me up so we can go to the library. When we were driving I realized he wasn’t taking me to the library. He took me to an abandoned building near the lake. He dragged me by my hair into the building, which was made out of metal. That is when he beating started, after five minutes of hitting, kicking and body slamming he took my clothes off. I tried to fight back but I was weak from the beating, as I can feel him taking my virginity. I started screaming, he put his hand over my mouth as he forced himself onto me.
I was numb, I didn’t really understand what happened. But as the months passed this continued but a lot worse. I was not to talk to other boys, he called me fast so I was not to eat anything that would be fattening. I needed to ask for permission before I did anything. The beatings and the raping got worse and worse. One time he put a knife to my throat and almost killed me by slitting my throat.
One day in August I threw up in the bathroom, and it came to me that I didn’t get my period. I bought a pregnancy test, and when it turned positive I had no idea what to do. I went to a clinic, which offers help to teens who get pregnant, and under the nose of my family and Marlow I went there, and the ultrasound confirmed that I was indeed pregnant. The nurse said I had to make a choice, carry the child to term or have an abortion. I do believe that it is a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion, but for me in this situation I didn’t want to punish my unborn child for what it’s father did. By the time the baby was to be born I would be eighteen, so my parents wouldn’t be notified. I didn’t want them to know, I was full of shame, and I had no idea what my parents would think. I also knew that Marlow would be furious, so I tried to hide it as much as I can, wearing baggy clothes.
When he found out that I was pregnant he was so angry he went on a beating spree. In a concrete building near my home he kept kicking me in my belly. I tried to stop his blows with my arms but that just got him even more pissed off. He tired my arms and legs, but a cloth in my mouth and tapped it shut. He would drag me across the concrete floor, and he used his lighter to burn me. He kept hitting me, choking me and kicking me. He took my shoes and socks off, and he had a pair of scissors and told me that he was going to cut my toes off. He took out a big black bag, and told me he was going to kill me and no one will look for me. He left me there tied up, in the cold December wind.
I didn’t know at the time, but my family knew something was up. Dmitri saw Marlow hold my arm really tight, and I begged him to stop but he punched my car. Dmitri told my father, and he knew that it should be my mother to talk to me about it. That night when it became dark my mother went to my journal, and read everything. That is when he told my father to call my brothers, that I was raped and pregnant and Marlow is behind my disappearance. Everyone searched all over, including my brother’s wives Irina and Katerina were searching the streets.
By this time I was running home, with out a coat or jacket. My mother was at home, and she was horrified at what she saw. She told me she knows everything and took me to my room where she comforted me.
“I am so sorry.” I said while I was sobbing.
“None of this is your fault my dear.” As she cradled me in her arms. “Your family loves you, don’t forget that.” She wiped my tears off my face, and when my brothers came home each one of them hugged me as tight as a young child holds a stuffed animal. I was sobbing.
When I was talking with my mother, Irina came in screaming saying that Marlow just pulled up. My father said that I should stay here, my mom called 911, and Irina and Katerina took me into an interior room and locked the door behind them. I was shaking as I heard the screaming outside. My brothers stopped him from coming into the house until the police came.
After taking a statement after me they took me to the hospital. I was bruised, cut and burned while I was laying in a bed. When they checked the baby, there was a heart beat. For the interest of the baby, I had to deliver as soon as possible, even if there was a chance that she wouldn’t make it. They induced labour, since I had an injury to my back I had no pain killer. The contractions were intense, as the contractions got worse and worse the room was full of my family. My mother talked me through the pain, and my brother Mikhel was next to me with a damp washcloth to cool my forehead. I told them that the child will not have the last name of it’s father, and my mother then told me that this is my fighting spirit. When it was time to push my mother helped me, counting while I was screaming. When the baby came out she didn’t cry, she was blue. I knew then that it was a girl, but she wouldn’t cry, or even take a breath, she died while I was in labour, my baby was dead. They let me hold her, with a little light pink hand wrapped in a pink blanket. She was motionless, and I was crying.
“We need a name.” A social worker told me.
“Sofia Yulianovna Zhukova.” I say. “I am not having her have her father’s last name.”
During this time Marlow was released from jail after he was charged with domestic violence. His parents told the school that it was me that got him arrested for no reason at all. That is when my whole world came down, I was suspended from the school. My parents, Boris, Mikhel and Dmitri told me that I shouldn’t worry about it, they will take care of it. My Dad’s friend from law school was the DA of Lake Country, and he came to my home when I was recovering to talk to me. If I sign papers to file an official complaint with the office of the DA. One of them was for domestic violence, unlawful restraint, and I signed a paper saying that it was him that killed my daughter. He told me it would take a few days until they will arrest him, but he told my parents to contact the school and prove to them that he did these horrific things. We have to bypass the city’s police department, since they wouldn’t do anything with out orders from the DA. My father called my counselor, my father was about to yell at him but turns out he knows that I was the victim, and he will do what ever it takes to prove to the school that I was innocent.
When my father interrupted the dean of the school and showed him proof that I was the victim, the dean was unmoved. We knew who was pulling the strings, Doc, the band director. He was at the school for years and was close to Marlow’s family. Mr. Tick, my counselor, told them that tomorrow morning that Marlow and his parents were going to meet with Doc. Since it can turn ugly really fast my mother had a plan, since Marlow didn’t know her face, she would first go in alone, knock on the door and ask Doc to unlock the band room to get her son’s stuff. That morning my mother went into the school with her phone on speaker and mute so my father and two older brothers could listen in. When she walked in, Marlow was there alone with Doc, and Doc unlocked the door, Mom gave him a file saying that it is the papers that were for her son’s moving schools. In reality, it was the pictures of me, the criminal complaint, and the pictures of dead Sofia. Doc trusted Marlow was telling the truth, but with this he knew that he did horrific things that my parents told the school.
“I know you are lying.” Doc said to him. “See this?”
“She is lying!” Marlow shouted. “She is a fucking lying cunt.” This made my mother so mad she walked right in there, and slapped him right in the face.
“Do you know who I am?” My mother asked him. “I am your worst fucking nightmare, I am Yulia’s mother!” His parents walked in, right when the other students started to arrive. My father and brothers rushed into the school. It turned into a brawl, with his family yelling at mine, and mine yelling at his. Security guards came, thinking that it was my family that caused the trouble. When they arrived the Lake Country Sheriff arrived. They arrested him in front of his peers and parents.
A few days after all of this drama a hospital representive dropped off a box. I guess someone at the hospital makes these memory boxes for stillborn children. It was light pink, with her name Sofia Yulianovna Zhukova, her date of birth 12/21/12. Inside there were her little hand and footprints in concreate. There was the same hat and blanket that I held her in. And there was a note inside.
“I am your angel, I know that you would have been a great mother.”