Why now?, asked my mother. Why are you telling me this now? If you had told your father something then, he would have slapped him hard with a slipper, she added holding her palm up as if it were a slipper. I knew this was coming, I had seen it a mile away. I knew this question would be her response when I told her that yes, I too had been sexually assaulted. But the brutal manner in she had tossed it back to me. As if it were my fault all along for not saying much, for keeping quiet, for rolling the words over and over in my mind and each time faltering at the last hurdle. Why are you telling me this now? That question again. Why have you remained quiet for so long? So I told her then that I had not the words for assault of the kind I had endured when I was a child. And when as an adult, I had confessed, there were no slippers that were raised, no anger that was displayed but a mere cowardly silence. And quiet words asking to be left alone. Deal with it yourself, it seemed to say. I will not join your fight. I will not even raise my voice in anger or display disgust, fight your own battle like you have always done. That voice that fights so many other battles, refusing to lend its weight behind mine. I fight alone like I have always done.