I had joined a bowling league with other people from my school. I got there early that week, and he came up to talk to me, this large man from another team. He was a shit-talker, so historically we had got along excellent. I smiled when he walked up to me.
It started out as a proposition.
“Are you good with secrets?” I always like his drawl.
“Yes I am.”
“Are you good with personal secrets?” I’m hoping he’s going to tell me he’s sleeping with the woman who runs bowling league or something.
“Those happen to be my specialty,” I say cooly. I start to get wary though, and check for a wedding band, find it absent.
“So if I ask you something personal you won’t tell anyone?” Red flags, but I’m curious. I won’t get awkward. I am unflappable. (The irony of his question strikes me as I’m writing this story for others to see.)
“How do you feel about casual sex?”
“Generally favorable.” Unflappable. And honest.
“How do you feel about me and casual sex?”
I hesitate for a second. “Like you and me and casual sex or you having casual sex elsewhere?” I have walked into this.
“You and me and casual sex.”
“Significantly less favorable.” I look him in the eye.
“Why?” He almost looks hurt, even though he is old enough to be my father. He is a large good ol’ boy from Georgia, I am a blonde liberal yankee grad student.
“I have a boyfriend.” It’s not a lie, and it’s the easy way out.
“Casual sex… means no strings,” He clarifies in his drawl.
“Yes, I’m familiar with the concept.” I smile a little. I am familiar with the concept. He looks me in the eye, I stare him down, he shrugs and talks to me a little while about how he had accidentally made a waitress cry that day by teasing her. It seems like everything is fine.
He’s waiting for me at my car after bowling. He finished early I guess, and I usually bolt out as fast as possible. My car is of course parked on the far side of the lot and the light on that side is out, but I see him. I think about grabbing someone from inside, decide it’s not worth the energy. I smell alcohol once I get within 5 feet. I think about turning back around, I look over my shoulder, see some other people walk into the parking lot. They’re far away but they’re there so I keep walking.
He is leaning on my door.
“Hey,” I say as I walk up. He may just be persistant.
“You sure you want to say no?” His drawl is even thicker and he smells like whiskey.
“Yup, I’m sure. You gonna let me get in my car?” I ask.
“I think you’re making a mistake.” He stands up straight. I spread my weight evenly on both feet, face him straight on. Heart pumps.
“Well life sucks that way. I’m not having sex with you. You need to move.” I don’t trust him now.
He puts his hands on my shoulders. I don’t move, he hasn’t actually been threatening yet, and I am unflappable. Now that we’re standing right next to each other I realize how big he is. He is probably 6’2”, easy 240. At 5’4” 140, I’ve had worse fights, but not by a lot.
“You should reconsider.”
I think he’s going to kiss me.
“Stop it.” I look him in the eye. Realize what you’re doing. “I’m not fucking you. Get off me.” My voice is strong, I’m sure he can feel my heart racing.
He grabs my arm, it will leave a mark. “You aren’t better then me.”
“Fuck you.” I pull back a little, testing to see if he’ll let me take the arm back. He doesn’t. He goes to push me into my car, I brace myself and push back against him, but he brings me so I have my back facing him and am shoved against my car with his weight holding me there. He’s pulled my arm behind my back and pushed my wrist up to my neck. This is the shoulder that has dislocated 3x and the newly repaired ligaments scream. He wraps his other arm around my neck, puts enough pressure that my breathing is impaired, but still happens. I push back into him-- if my shoulder dislocates it’s easy enough to fix.
“You’re a fucking cunt, I hope you know that. You aren’t better than me. You know I didn’t have to ask, I could have just taken what I wanted.”
It is these words that haunt me. Not when he shoved a hand down my jeans and pinched me so hard it made my eyes well. The seriousness in his voice, his breathe on my ear, threatening to rape me.
I push back hard against him, he lets me go, grins at me. I turn to face him, I look him in the eye for a second. I hope I look angry, but I am shaken.
“Fuck you.” I say and I get in my car. I lock my doors and I sit there. I will not run away. I will not let him think I’m afraid of him. I turn on loud angry music, he’s standing, grinning at me, I want to get out and punch that stupid smirk off his face. I sit for a little while longer, put on a good song, and look right at him when I pull away. My hands start shaking.
He got mad because he didn’t get what he wanted, he put his hands on me against my explicit wishes, he said he didn’t need my permission, and it was wrong.