Activation Warning: themes surrounding sexual assault
The glance is small, subtle but intentional, a quick head tilt towards the door. My stomach drops and I can feel my legs start to shake a bit.
I thought he said there was going to be a party?
The couple is leaving just as I’m entering; the two boys are muttering something to each other and the girl doesn’t even meet my gaze. Her face holds a sly smile and I realize she’s supporting the other team.
“Where are you headed? You’re not staying to hang out?”
…and then they’re gone.
My keys are still in my hand and I’m immediately aware of how short my skirt is, the dread that is engulfing my body and the mental search for any excuse to leave.
How do I not come across as rude? How do I get out of here without being labeled?
“Come over here. Let’s hang out.”
I nervously chuckle and mention something about how I can’t stay long and that I’m confused why it’s just us.
“Oh, everyone cancelled last minute. Don’t worry about it. Let’s just hang out.”
And there it is…the verbal reassurance I needed that does nothing to settle my insides.
Maybe I do worry too much? I know him. We’ve talked before. Don’t be so uptight…
I sit down with him on the couch and his hands are everywhere. The urgency is palpable and aggressive, almost like additional hands had appeared out of nowhere. I try to guide his touch to my hips, even my chest, but my skirt is already pushed up, inside out and under my ribs. With one hand between my thighs and the other grabbing every curve, his tongue shoves in and out of my mouth in between “come on” and “please” and “I want you”. My eyes are closed and my plan for escape keeps changing intensity while I respond “no” and “come on” and “stop” and “let’s calm down” and “there’s time” and “slow down” and “I don’t want to do that” and “can’t we just kiss”.
Just stand up and leave. Punch him in the stomach. Slap him across the face. Raise your voice, he’s not getting it. But I kind of like him. But he’s a good kisser. But he’s popular. But he’s hard. But your underwear is almost off. But…but….but….but…
He starts pushing my head down. Hard. I push the back of my head into his hand and quietly say “uh…no…I don’t want to do that…”
His hands are becoming less soft. I can feel a shift in his energy; it’s becoming more forceful. I feel the blood drain from my face and realize I have to make a decision. At that exact moment it sinks in that this was the plan all along. There was no party. My two other classmates helped set this up. No one was coming to save me. Parents were not home. No one knew where I was. I was a statistic my mom warned me about. I was stupid. I was asking for it. I was giving the wrong impression.
The worse part was that I knew. I knew when I walked in. Something was off. Something was wrong. But I trusted the external. The empty words. I trusted the girl who left me behind. I trusted the boy who said the right things. I trusted the other boy who was friends with some of my friends.
I hunched over quickly, his pants were already down to his mid-thighs. I knew he wasn’t going to let me leave without finishing and I knew I had lapsed on my birth control. Maybe it was the thrill of invasion or the shift in control but he, seemingly, shuddered a breathy “…stop” within moments. Thinking he had realized what he had put me through, I took a breather only to taste the familiar salty release.
“Uh….that never happens….”
I roll my eyes and wipe my mouth realizing I can use his embarrassment to run.
“Yeah…I’m sure. I gotta go.”
“Wait, wait! I swear!”
Walk / running back to my Jeep, I adjust my thong back into place, pull my skirt down, fix my hair and keep looking behind me. He doesn’t follow.
Like every horror scene of a woman running to safety and trying to unlock her door, my key won’t meet the ignition. I have to use both hands to try and steady myself and line it up. As the engine revs I go through my checklist, just like my dad taught me to. I put on my seatbelt, ensure proper distance to the steering wheel, turn on the radio and check each side mirror before meeting my eyes in the rearview.
You’re fucking stupid. Such a fucking girl.
Before pulling away, I make a mental note “now he’s not going to like you” and do my best to ignore the tightness in my belly, ache in my chest and bile in my throat.
This post is part of "The Eileen Show" Series
A vignette collection of memories, mis-attunements and messy moments that have limited, spiraled and propelled me within and throughout my life.