Snippets of a conversation I picked up between two college aged women overheard at the coffee shop as I purposefully tried to avoid today’s hearings that was just as heartbreaking and as reflective of the world we live in because it laid bare the fact that we can no longer escape the truths our mothers, sisters, daughters, friends, coworkers, and fellow citizens have been trying to tell us because these stories have always been here but we have not been listening, as I happened to be trying not to today, but could not help it because these conversations are happening all around us and have been for a very long time…

“There’s just, like, no one else to talk to and, like, the school can’t really do anything because, well, it’s not like anything, like, happened.”

“Well, I think there are, like, support groups or something I’ve heard about. You know, like, so you can talk to other people, like, besides me of course.”

“I know, I’ve heard of those too… I just feel so alone.” The young lady begins to cry and, her friend, moves her chair over to embrace her and is now beginning to cry too.

“You know it’s not your fault…”, one says to the other as they are now sitting side by side crying and hugging each other.

“We were just having a conversation and then, suddenly, he just reaches over and starts feeling me up. I was like, ‘Wait, what?!?’”

“That’s just totally not cool. You have a right to feel safe, comfortable… I’m so sorry… OK, enough of this. Tell me something good.”

“Yesterday was, like, really good.”

“Tell me why?”

“I don’t know, it was just, like, I didn’t feel sad. I don’t know why. I just didn’t think about it.”