Anonymous Story: (Dis)Orientation

Anonymous Story: (Dis)Orientation

Waking up in the middle of the night is typically a disorienting experience. Your first night in a new place can intensify that feeling. Weirder still, is waking up to someone kissing you when you know you went to bed alone. The first time I woke up at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was the moment my life changed forever. In that moment, fond memories of the past were forever tainted, old pictures were ruined by his presence in them, and my future was drastically altered, all because one of my best friends decided he could touch me.

I think about that night all the time. I think about it every time I drive by his old neighborhood. I think about it every time I see a RAV-4. I think about it on his birthday that I can’t fucking forget. I think about it every time he’s included in a Facebook memory of a play we were in together (even though I’ve long since blocked him). I hate thinking about the countless hours I spent at his house in high school. I hate remembering all the fun times we shared together. I hate that at one point I actually had a crush on him. I hate seeing his stupid fucking face perfectly in my mind even now as I write this. What could I have done differently? Should I have screamed? Why did I let him sleep on my not-yet-moved-in roommate’s mattress afterwards?

It was mid-August 2013. I don’t remember the exact date, and I don’t want to, because that would just be one more time I’m forced to remember that night. I had moved into my dorm that day with my mother’s and brother’s help. My brother was a senior at UNC, and “Eric” was a junior. As a transfer student, I was so grateful to have them both there to show me around and introduce me to people. My mother had offered to stay, but I shooed her off, eager to explore my new home. I went to his fraternity house that evening to hang out and meet his brothers and others who were excited to be back at school. I had two drinks. I poured them myself and never let them out of my sight. I had a strict “Two Drink” policy because I know my limits, and I wasn’t going to let my guard down–especially my first experience in a real “Frat House,” on a completely new campus on which I didn’t yet know my way around. It wasn’t really a party per se. People came and went from room to room. I hung out with Eric in his friend’s room, with a few people and another transfer student we knew from high school, “Sean”. Sean and I lived in the same dorm, so once it got late we walked back together. We parted ways at the elevator, and I went to settle in to my new home, happy and content.

It wasn’t long before I got a text from Eric, saying he wanted to come over and talk. Of course that was fine. He was one of my best friends and I could tell he was upset! It must have been close to midnight when he got there. He was pretty drunk when he showed up. I don’t remember him being that drunk when Sean and I left. He was upset because he felt like he was pretending to be someone he wasn’t for his “brothers.” He felt like he was changing or compensating to fit in with them, when he just wanted to be himself. I understood completely, of course. I knew how good of a person he was! He didn’t need them to “be cool.” I told him to just do what made him happy and if they didn’t like it, he didn’t need them! We talked in circles for a few hours. I was dozing off towards the end of our conversation. I know it was after three when we went to bed. I had climbed up to my lofted bed at some point while we were talking, and he was on my roommate’s bed (she would be there in the morning). I don’t remember falling asleep. I’ll never forget waking up.

I was so confused. I didn’t know where I was. I didn’t know who was kissing and touching me. I didn’t know why. I was trying to push him off of me but I couldn’t. My arms weren’t working. I kept trying to sink down in my mattress and disappear to get away, but that wasn’t working either. He kept pulling down my pants. I’d reach down and pull them back up. He’d pull them down again, kissing me the whole time. Not on the mouth. I was turning every which way to avoid that, but he got me a few times. My cheek, my neck, my chest. His hands reaching down my pants again and again. My hands fighting his off. Crying. Tears falling but unable to make any sound. Why couldn’t I speak? Why couldn’t I yell? Why the fuck couldn’t I have fought harder?

“I know you want this.”

“Shh, just let it happen.”

“Do you want me to fuck you?”

He moved down to pull my pants down once again and I was able to put my foot on his chest and push him off. Finally the words came, “Get the fuck off my bed.” The next few minutes I can’t recall, but I woke up a few hours later to daylight. I knew my new roommate would probably be there soon.

I climbed down and just stared at him. Sleeping soundly. Under my blanket. With one of my pillows. I don’t know that I’ve ever hated someone as much as I hated him right then. How could he sleep so peacefully after what he’d just done? I threw another pillow at him to wake him up. I didn’t want to touch him. “You have to go.” He got up, stumbled to put on his shoes (Sperry’s, no socks), and left. I got in the shower and cried. I tried to wash the last few hours off of my skin but it was no use. Every shower since, no matter how hard I scrub, that night is still there.




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