That night I imagine I texted him asking if I could take him up on the offer. Giddily I’d clutch my phone trying to stabilize myself, and cross and un-cross my legs. I’d think about tidying up my hair, and go to push my hair behind my ear, but instead, with uncoordinated hands, smash my fingers into the side of my face. Someone would pass by and ask if I wanted another pull of vodka, and eager to not disappoint, I’d chug until they were satisfied. I’d already taken a pill of Xanax, and despite prescription warning, I had drunk profusely that night. I’m not even prescribed Xanax. He would come in the front door, asking where I was and after being pointed towards me, run to me like a prince saving the day. He’d wrap his arm around me stabilizing me and I’d watch myself get put into his car like a little kid. I’d ask his name, tenderly at first and then more urgently. He’d laugh something I couldn’t discern; words were all foreign to me. The car took off, and I’d watch as street lights came and went like comets in the sky. I’d try to say something and he’d say he didn’t understand me and that it was okay. When we’d park, he’d carry me in and I’d stumble to the floor, asking for a blanket. Maybe he’d get me one, or maybe he’d just pick me up from the off the floor, laying like the crumpled doll I was, and place me on the bed. We’d lay there and I’d say something and he would still not hear me, so I’d pull him closer. Is this your house? And he’d come in closer and get up on top of me, kissing my neck and my body. When did you come get me? And he’d begin to unzip my jean skirt and pull them off. I’m too drunk, I don’t know. And he’d furiously pull the hem of my panties down and below my knees. “We don’t have to if you don’t want”, he’d breathe through clenched teeth. Don’t want what? I don’t know. And that was all the permission he needed. I imagine a lot of stuff happened after that. I imagine that that’s how it all went. Maybe I’d thought I was in some sort of dream. Of course, I don’t know.
I only know what happened a few hours after, when I sobered up enough to realize I was in my friend’s bed. I screamed, and jumped out of the bed. I asked for my clothes, which he said he couldn’t find so I stole a pair of his joggers and a tee and furiously walked out of the house. I began to cry. I had no idea why. If I had ended up at his house, I must’ve planned to go right? He followed me out and tried to catch up with me. I knew my friend’s house was only two blocks away. When he did, the first thing he said was “you texted me. You wanted me.” Hot tears streamed down my face. We’d been close friends for a month, and although he’d petition me to come over a few times, every time I had turned him down. I’m not interested in you. You’re not my type at all. If I wasn’t willing to come over drunk, it means I’m not willing to come over at all. And yet, the game changer was in a single pill. I’d forgotten who I was. It was like I was watching things unfold before me. Until things stopped unfolding, and everything became an inscrutable mess. I ignored him and continued to walk briskly, until finally he stopped defending himself and began to plead with me “I’m sorry. I’m sorry, I didn’t realize how fucked up you were”. I’d get to my friends and stumble into the kitchen. My friends would look at me in the joggers and wink at the boy running after me. “Ay nice man”, they’d say, and he’d pull me aside. “Please, I’m sorry, I didn’t know. You texted me. You wanted me”. Sorrys and excuses combined together, until my silence finally forced him into silence as well. He stared down at his hands, as if there were blood staining the palms. Softly, I whispered, please just go home, and he did.
I tried to tell my friends, and the first thing my friend told me was “no it was college, think I want every hookup? It’s just college. You must’ve wanted it deep down if you texted him while on bars and drunk”. I tried not to think about it. I drank more that day, more than I’d ever and convinced myself it was okay. Convinced myself I wanted it. It’s just a college hookup. And I could force myself into believing it was. “It’s just sex”, she told me. That night I messaged him again. And under another pill of Xanax and heavily drunk I went to his house again. It’s just sex. And the next day I took more Xanax and drank and went over. And the next day I took even more Xanax and drank and went over. It’s just sex. The drugs will convince me of it. It’s just college. It’s okay. And when he drove me back home the day after and kissed me on the cheek, I told myself maybe it wasn’t okay. And so I blocked his number. The same friend messaged me to tell me I was over reacting and that I needed to stop being so mean to him. I gave in and unblocked his number. It’s just college. It’s just sex. It’s okay. He asked to come visit me, and I was scared. “Don’t do drugs this time if you’re gonna keep regretting it”, my friend said. And so I forced myself to have sex with him sober in the back of his van in a parking structure. He asked if I was okay, and tried to hold me, but I pushed him away. I just want some space please. It’s just sex. It’s just college. “Okay”. Our friendship fell apart after that.
I think about it a lot. Did I get taken advantage of, or was it me? I think about how I woke up with my skirt off and ran away from him. How I started crying and how he kept telling me he was sorry even though I wanted it. How I’d came into my friend’s house crying and he’d pull me away to tell me more aggressively “you wanted it” but then stare at his hands, knowing what he’d done. I think about how I tried to erase the feeling of contempt towards him by sleeping with him again and again until I could take the pain away. It’s just sex. It’s just college. It’s okay.
But it wasn’t.
Others who weren’t okay: