She got on the Metro Orange Line at West Falls Church and walked past where Michael was sitting.

He tried not to look. He didn’t want to look. He tried to concentrate on the newspaper, but he couldn’t.

He looked.

Pretty. Very pretty.

He tried to put her out of his head, returning to the sports page.

But she sat down on one of the side facing seats. He had a full view.

Nice legs. The short skirt showed them to full advantage. Reddish brown hair. Green eyes. Must be some Irish in the family background.

Michael shifted his position in the seat. The erection was starting and there was nothing he could do about it.

Damn. Not now. I can’t handle this.

She crossed her legs and the short skirt rode even higher. Michael wanted to go back to his paper. He needed to go back to his paper, but he couldn’t. He kept the paper on his lap to hide the tent forming in his trousers.

Dammit. I can’t allow this to happen.

Then, mercifully, the she got up to leave when the train stopped at Roslyn. Michael fought every instinct that drove him to get up and follow her. Sweat was pouring down his face, his harmones raging, desire building.

Then the doors closed and the train started to move. By the time it reached Foggy Bottom, Michael was calm.

But he still thought about her. She was one of the most beautiful things he had ever seen: Young, pretty, desirable. . .and, at most, 12 years old.

Michael is a child molester. He spent six years in prison in Missouri for molesting an eight-year-old girl when he was 23. Now he’s 34, living with his family in Northern Virginia and trying to live a normal life. He works for a temp agency in D.C. and spends most days performing routine office work. His employers say he is a good temp and offices where he’s worked often request him back again.

The police in Virginia and D.C. know about Michael. As a convicted child molester, he had to register with them when he came here. Twice a week he goes for counseling. He’s served his time, but he will be a child molester for life and that will always follow him. He knows it, he understands it and it scares the hell out of him.

“This morning was an important test,” Michael says at lunch on the day he saw the young girl on Metro. “It would be better if I didn’t get turned on. That’s what I live for. But I didn’t follow her off the train. I controlled myself on that. And I tell you, it wasn’t easy.”

Eleven years ago, Michael saw another young girl and couldn’t control himself. He followed her along a path near the Missouri River and attacked her. He didn’t kill her, as many child molesters do, so she was able to identify him later.

“I’ve read a lot about what makes a man a child molester. They talk about traumatic childhoods. I grew up in an upper middle class family, no real trouble as a teenager. I played football, smoked a little weed and dated. I lost my virginity when I was 17. No big deal. I went to college and got a business degree. But then one day I saw that little girl and I followed her. Everything changed on that day.”

He’s tried dating since prison, but women his own age do nothing for him. He was raped in prison, a ritual that most child molesters face behind bars.

“That little initiation was over in a hurry. They figure a molester is a fag at heart. Later I took a broken saucer and used it to cut him up pretty good. He left me alone after that.”

For 16 months, Michael has been living and working in the Washington area. He hoped things were improving. The “urge,” as he calls it, hadn’t hit: Until the girl on the Metro.

When he told his counselor about it, she increased the sessions to three a week. She also filed a report with the cops, who placed Michael under “administrative surveillance,” just to make sure the urge didn’t get the better of him. He knows he’s being watched.

“I know I can’t let it happen again. It’ll mean life in prison. I can’t go back. If anything, it’s the fear of prison that keeps me from getting up and following the next one out the door. As long as I’ve got the fear, I’ve got the motivation to stop. If the fear ever stops, God help the next young girl I see.”

–Doug Thompson
Washington, DC