And It Was Wrong

I thought I did everything right

My roommates and I went to a pool hall by our house for a relaxing evening. I've never been good at pool, but it was always fun. It was a college town. You might not know everyone, but if you talked to someone for 10 minutes, you would find people you had in common. So it wasn't at all unusual when someone I didn't know started talking to one of my roommates. My roommate had been on student council with this guy in high school. He was a senior her sophomore year. Now he was a medical student and was home for spring break. We all talked for awhile and played more pool.

At the end of the evening, you asked me for my phone number. I asked you for your phone number instead. I wanted to talk to my roommate alone before opening myself up to whatever. She said that she didn't know you very well but remembered that you were a great student and that your peers respected you. I decided that you couldn't be 'bad' seeing as you had been admitted to medical school. I called you and we arranged for me to pick you up for dinner since your car was still at college. And I thought I would be safer if I had my car. I told my roommates where we were going and jokingly said "If I don't come home tonight, send out the SWAT."

My memory of that night is blank in many spots. I remember pieces here and there. I remember you offering to get me a drink with dinner but I refused. I didn't like how alcohol made me feel. I didn't like the feeling of not being in control of my mind and body. Things don't come back into focus until we were at the park. I remember agreeing to go to the park. There was a tiny voice in my head that said "NO! BAD PLAN!! BAD BAD PLAN!!!" but I told that voice that I hung out in parks at night with friends all the time. Besides, you weren't much taller than myself and I'm short to begin with. I could take care of myself if I had to.

We sat on the play structure, talking about I don't know what. Then you started kissing me. I remember feeling uncomfortable with that. I remember trying to stop. Trying to pull away. I remember thinking "Wait, this can't be happening." That's when I tried to push myself up and you pinned me down. You held my hands by their wrists. I tried to move but I couldn't. That's when I got scared. You kept touching me. With your hands. With your mouth. With the weight of your body on top of me. The more I struggled, the more I realized that I was overpowered. That's when I got terrified. I tried to come up with a plan to get away from you. My ex boyfriend's parents were only three blocks away. If I could just get free, I could run to their house and be safe. Then there was pain. Pain on my neck. Pain on my face. You were bruising me, biting me.

You had been silent while you did what you wanted to my body. But then you broke the silence with words that have haunted me for years. "I can do anything I want right now." I started silently crying because I knew you were right. I felt the warmth of my tears rolling down my skin. Then, for no reason, you stopped. You let me sit up. My mind was confused by this turn of events. Should I run? Should I hit him? What the hell should I do?! You asked me to take you home. You acted like everything we normal. That everything was fine. We walked back to the car and got in. I drove you home. Six blocks later, I pulled over and started sobbing. What had just happened?!?! Why did I agree to go to the park?!!? Why did I give him a ride home?!?! No one will believe me that something bad happened because I gave him a ride home.

When I got home, I went directly to bed. My brain shut off. The next morning, I looked in the mirror and saw the marks you left on my body. The right side of my face was swollen and bruised. My neck was blue and purple. There were bruises in less visible places like my breasts too. My roommates asked what happened. I couldn't tell them the truth because I agreed to go to the park and I agreed to give him a ride home. I set myself up for this. I should have known better. Why hadn't I listened to that little voice? I couldn't admit my shame. But I couldn't come up with a lie that would explain the marks either. I refused to talk about it.

A month later my driver's license expired and I had to get a new one. It had been a month but my face was still swollen and the bruises had turned brown, green and yellow. I had to look at my driver's license picture for years and see what you did to me.

Over time, I realized that I hadn't been the one that did something wrong that night. You did. I was an object to you. I was a means to satisfying your desire for power and control. I was nothing more to you. Nothing less. That you would do it again and again. And that what you were doing would only escalate. At some point, a woman whose path you crossed wouldn't be as lucky as I was. You would use your charm and status to make women feel comfortable so you could find their vulnerabilities. To this day, that's the only part I feel guilty about. That I didn't do anything to stop you from doing what you did to me to someone else. You took advantage of my naivete and false sense of security. And it was wrong.

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