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Gry LopezHour 2 pm.1/16/18To Start OverJuly 18,1992 the day my life changed forever.I took a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada; for my 26th birthday, with two of my best friends Ericka and Riki. We landed and went for a hotel that apparently did not have adjoining rooms, settling for separate rooms, we all went our own way. I had just finished unpacking, when someone knocked at my door, answering i saw an over excited Riki with a fancy black dress. She said ”HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!” as she swung the dress over her head and jumping for joy. The dress was short about knee high and sleeveless, lace at the top above the stomach. The lace had beautiful dark purple beads, small and one large in the middle. As i had paused for a few tears and admiration, i heard Erika rushing in and handing me a box saying ”wait dammit i haven’t gave my gift yet” i stayed in awe struck at both my amazing friends and smiled as tears ran down my face, ”wow what a surprise’ i managed to get out. I grabbed the box and opened it to find a purple diamond pendant. They knew how much I loved purple. I had painted my room in our loft just 3 months ago, it was the most beautiful purple you’d ever see, kind of like the sky at night just before it gets to dark and all you can see is stars, ”were going to have an amazing night” They proclaimed as we all hugged and rejoiced. Asi recall now i look back at that being my last great memory.That night, getting ready never felt so exciting. Riki had told me and Erika about club ‘Ambush’ a nightclub she had visited last year, that was planned for tonight after dinner at Las Vegas finest Orlando’s Cuisine, a very fancy authentic greek restaurant.I wore my favorite purple heels that seemed to match almost exactly, like  the beads on the dress and pendant as if the girls had it all planned. We set out for the night ready to go and all ”dolled up”.Orlando’s didn’t do it self justice, dinner was amazing and i got a free dessert for t being my birthday. Erika and i were also celebrating , getting into one of the greatest law firms in New York, GLENN & Mark Inc. Finishing law school was such an accomplishment for me out my age, i was proud at who i had become despite everything that i had been through growing up.We set off for Ambush at around 9:30 pm and arrived to a crowded lit-up rave looking party. Ambush was the first nightclub i had been to i wasn’t the type to g out or be adventurous, i felt like all my accomplishments had made me a new girl. I had been so busy with my school and a part time job at the local library that there was no time for any boys in my life. I was still not yet a woman. The thought scared me but i was ready to move on with my life and beme, and maybe find someone to love.Managing to get a small table finally we ordered our first round of drinks, we all got cocktails and started celebrating with small talk. The waiter brought over drinks as we looked puzzled we said ”we already got our 3 cocktails” he said this is from the gentleman at the bar, i looked over to see one man, tall, dark, definitely handsome pick up his drink and nod at me, i smiled and mouthed ”Thank you” he mouthed ”come over” to which Riki, the more enthusiastic of us, got over and walked to him, chatted about a minute and turned around; to walk back i laughed at her and said ”is he not your type after a minute” she shoved me and said ” he was interested in you, sent 3 drinks as a gesture” i got quiet and my face felt hot from being so red, i did not move, here i was actually getting noticed and i couldn’t move.She shoved me again ” go talk to him” she yelled ”he might be from out of state too”. I stood up and said ”yes i should but im scared, they pushed and i went walking over shyly.I walked up trying to be unawkward which for me was very hard. ”I’m sorry to be so forward, your beautiful, i noticed you when you walked in” a long pause, i was only trying to process everything he just said to me…me of all the beauty in the club. ”Thank you” shyly and probably looking like a tomato, i sat with him at the bar and started small talk, ”I’m Shay, i live in New York and this s my 1st nightclub experience”, he cooed and seemed enlightened ”my name is Mark,im from New york too what are the chances, i came with some buddies, who have already left me,here.I was so in to our conversation when i looked over to erika and riki someone else was at the table and i couldn’t see them anywhere, mini panic attack in my heart. Then i seen them dancing with the crowd. That comforted me,I turned back to Mark as he was saying, he wasa architect in Manhattan and worked for his father’s company, wow this man had it together and had just gotten out of a relationship of 3 years, i felt awe for him. He suggested to get some air and quiet i agreed, i looked over, and the girls were having so much fun i didn’t want to interrupt.We walked outside and passed the crowd. We stopped on the side of the curb and he smiles at me and leaned in t kiss me and i went for it, As we kissed he held my face and embraced me.That’s the last thing i remember about that fateful night.I woke up with a major headache and confused as i lie in a hospital bed. Flowers surrounded me with cards on the wall and  big teddy bear on the chair by the window. What the hell i thought what happened. I tried to sit up and it felt impossible. I waited a while and tried again. I got about halfway when the door opened ”oh my god” i looked over to see it was a nurse in blue scrubs, coming towards me, ”Are you okay? Wow this is amazing what a miracle” psycho i thought as she put me up and helped me sit. I asked what happened and she said she couldn’t say but she would get a doctor and contact, my family right away.  I waited a little antsy and got pissed off.I waited about 20 min and a tray was brought to me with nothing but pudding and jello andi thought, did i have surgery or something what happened, why can’t i remember, i remember being with Mark and kissing him, then my mind went black, what the hell. I don’t know what happened.A tall man entered the room introduced himself as Dr.Kinman,he asked how i felt and began to check me,i asked what was going on and he said,”brace yourself” he paused, and it scared me to my core, what was he going to say, what had happened yesterday, ”you have been in a coma for almost 3 months, today is october 13th 1992,do you remember anything? You can tell me anything”.My heart stopped,was this a joke? What are they saying to me,is this true? Oh god Oh god what, what? He shined a light in my face and asked me to drink water, i looked up and tried to collect myself,he said ”Ms.Tatum are you alright? I’m sorry the news was sudden,its alot to take in.” At that moment, a rushed Erika walked in and came for me,finally someone i knew,we hugged and cried as i yelled what happened!! In what seemed like forever,the embrace ended, Erika looked at me and said ”what can you remember?” I told her upto what i could. She explained, i was found in the back of the club dress ripped off, raped, beaten, with marks all over, one shoe, no pendant, not even looking like myself, she said it had been such a rough couple of months looking for ”Mark” if that was even his name.I was released and went back to the loft with Erika and Riki, still in shock trying to recuperate what my life is.I had to start over, bring myself to do all i used to with just a broken memory, 3 months lost and never really knowing what happened and learning to trust anyone again. I was even scared to talk to to random people  I always keep seeing ”marksface” everywhere.It felt like a nightmare beginning, starting over trying to be my best. Life would never be the same but i had to push forward.I had to keep going.

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