It was my first week in a foreign country.
I didn't know you, but a friend said you'd be a "good, unsketchy buddy" who could show me around the city.
When I met you, I felt relieved. You seemed nice, looked normal and made me laugh like my friends back home. I let my guard down...
We had dinner, listened to a live band and roamed the cobbled streets. We talked about your girlfriend (who sounded really nice), friends, life, travel. And then we started drinking. You gave me a local liquor (which you conveniently forgot to say needed to be watered down).
I lost track of time and panicked when I realized the bus to my place had stopped running an hour earlier. I was out of cash. I didn't have a local phone yet. I had no way to get home.
You offered your couch but said I couldn't tell your girlfriend as she wouldn't understand. I thanked you over and over again and promised I would be gone as soon as the sun came up.
But then you tried dancing with me at your place. I laughed nervously and told you to go to bed. You followed me to the couch and told me to come lie in bed with you. "I won't do anything, just come keep me company."
I was shocked, dumfounded. I tried joking it off, as you were drunk. But you kept coming back in the room. And then you tried lying beside me. And you started stroking me and tried to kiss me.
I pushed and said no over and over again, more and more forcefully, but you wouldn't stop. And just as soon as you'd leave and I'd think I was safe and alone, you'd return and start all over again.
I was afraid to sleep, not sure what would happen. I begged you to leave me alone. I was tired and scared.
You laughed at me and tried shrugging it off as if nothing had happened. But then you tried again.
Your room mate was there the entire time. And yet he did nothing, said nothing.
I cried all night. And as soon as the sun came up, I was gone. You sent me messages afterward, saying nothing had happened and that I was overreacting.
But I know what you did. I'll never forget it. And it was wrong.
Months went by...the nightmares faded only to come back with a new face.
This new one, you also lied.
We were over. You surprised me with a plane ticket but assured we'd be going on two separate vacations. Simply enjoying the same beach, you said over and over...I gave in.
You said there'd be two separate rooms. And then you laughed at me and called me "naive" when I asked why you were putting your bags in "my" room.
Mirrors and white walls everywhere. Fluorescent lights and beds -- on the balcony, by the bar, on the beach. Strippers, alcohol on every surface and at every time of the day.
I told you I was a virgin and that I was waiting for marriage.
You said you wouldn't touch me. But then you called my decision "stupid" and "childish."
What did I do?
I was in a foreign city, unsure of my surroundings. I felt lost, ashamed, naive. I should have listened to my gut feeling from the beginning.
I was furious, am still furious, with myself for talking to you, dating you, kissing you. I cringe when I hear your name.
I tried to ignore you. Keep my distance.
But then you came onto me twice after you ogled women all day and said aloud which ones you'd "fuck, even if they're worthless bitches."
I had enough and booked the next flight home.
You followed and had the nerve to ask me why I was ignoring you.
I still feel dirty. I still shudder when I think about that weekend. And though nothing between us happened (and thank God for that), I will never forget how cheap you made me feel.
And it was wrong.
My boss makes domestic violence jokes and shakes heavy objects at me.
A guy followed me and pulled out his penis on a bus.
For so long I blamed myself. I must be wearing something wrong, doing something wrong, saying something wrong. I changed how I dressed, stopped smiling as much, walked with my head down.
But there's no excuse.
And it was wrong.