High Heels and Lipstick, Deep Secrets and Hope Book 3, Harmony Ink Press, March 2015
Chastaine Rollo follows her own rules, even starting rumors about herself before others have the chance. Others’ opinions don’t matter. Her life is fun, and she likes being a rebel, until now. When she comes forward as a date-rape victim, pinning a popular former student as her attacker, the entire school turns against her.
Two months ago, Chastaine admitted to her friend Guillermo that Jim Frankel date-raped her, and Guillermo coaxed her to report it. When word spread about what had happened to Chastaine, a freshman girl, Maryellen, reported that she had also been raped by Jim. Since then Chastaine and Maryellen have endured nasty messages, cyberbullying, and threats in school.
Chastaine has lost many of her so-called friends and now leans on Guillermo, his boyfriend Evan Granger, and Evan’s cousin, Holly McCormack, for support. Especially Holly.
When Jim pleads guilty to the charges against him, Chastaine’s happiness is short-lived when she realizes the truth won’t change the way her peers view her. Unable to take the news and the way people are treating her, Maryellen attempts suicide, and Chastaine blames herself for not being more supportive. However, Chastaine needs support too, and Holly is one of the only people she can now trust, but Chastaine isn’t sure whether her attraction to Holly is only because of that or if it’s something more.
It took a minute to sink in. I wouldn’t have to sit in court and tell people what Jim had done to me. I’d already told way too many people, so not having to go through it again wasn’t a bad thing. And Maryellen had barely been able to get a single sentence out about what he’d done to her before she completely broke down. I’d had to take her to the nurse because she started crying so hard she couldn’t breathe.
That was all I wanted to focus on. We wouldn’t have to talk about it again, at least not to strangers. I would keep talking to my counselor about it, because I was supposed to. I didn’t know whether Maryellen was in counseling or not, but I hoped so.
“He admitted it,” I said slowly. “He didn’t try to cover it up or say it didn’t happen the way Maryellen and I said?”
“Right,” Dad said.
“They can’t let him go if he admitted it. They have to sentence him to something. More than some stupid probation or community service or whatever.” I didn’t know enough about the legal system to figure out what they would do to him, but it didn’t matter. Somehow or another, he would be punished. He would have more of a record, at least for now. Maybe it would be erased when he turned eighteen or twenty-one or whatever age someone wasn’t a juvenile anymore, but for now, it would be right there in writing. He would never be able to deny what he’d done.
“They aren’t letting him off,” Dad said. “As I said, he hasn’t been sentenced yet, but he will be. It’s over. That’s the point. You won’t have to testify, and maybe now people will leave you alone. It isn’t your word against his anymore.”
“Yeah.” I didn’t bother correcting him. Dad had no clue how the world worked. Some of the people who’d been posting and saying crap about Maryellen and me wouldn’t care that Jim said he was guilty. They would still say she and I had led him on or lied or deserved what he did. When a girl slept with more than one guy, she was a slut and “couldn’t be raped,” as one moron had put it.
When a guy slept with lots of girls, everyone clapped him on the back and congratulated him.
Double standards really pissed me off, but a lot of people thought that way. Which was how I knew Dad was wrong. The harassment wouldn’t stop.