She decided to take a shortcut and walk alone in the dark.

She wasn’t thinking about her mother,

she wasn’t thinking about personal responsibility,

and when he grabbed her she wasn’t thinking at all,

she was falling.

And when she woke up face down in the gravel

she wasn’t really anywhere.

Thoughts of her mother floated about,

and the work she hadn’t finished that day.

She lay in a fog, buttery and struggling.

Then she started negotiating.

When you’re done I won’t scream, I won’t move, I won’t tell.

And it saved her life.

But later on, she told.




Shelley Stolaroff Segal is a playwright, actor, composer, and essayist living in Greensboro, North Carolina. My Son, her play about autism and race, premiered in New York City and was presented as a TED talk at TEDx East. It continues to tour following a production at the International Civil Rights Museum. Her non-fiction essays and articles have been published in the books, Voices from the Spectrum, Cup of Comfort/Autism, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Multiples Illuminated, and the magazine, Autism/Aspergers Digest. Her music has been published in conjunction with the Miles Davis Jazz Orchestra and used in indie films. Blog: shelltells.com.