Dez V’s Story: I was assaulted by my best friend…

Dez V’s Story: I was assaulted by my best friend…

Shame. Shame was all I felt. It was my fault this happened. I led him on, right? What did I think was going to happen? He was older, and it was obvious that he was into you, why did you put yourself in that position? That summer was supposed to be MY summer, the summer I remembered forever. Well, I got the forever part…

I met Mark* [name changed] when I was 13. He messaged me on Myspace and told me how he thought I was pretty and how we should meet. He was quite a bit older, and I was flattered. I mean, all the boys at school teased me about my weight and my big boobs, so it was nice hearing such nice a compliment from him. I, of course, said no to the meet up, and we continued talking weekly until we lost contact about a year later.

On the summer of my 16th birthday, I get a call from a weird number while I was on my way to work. I answered, and it was Mark! He said he found my number and wanted to catch up. We talked for close to an hour. I told him about my new job, how my mom had gotten really sick and was constantly in the hospital, and how I finally had permission from my mom to start dating. He told me about his girlfriend, his job, and life in general. When I finally got to work, I told him I needed to go, we promised to keep in touch and we hung up. Mark and I spoke pretty often, once or twice a week, and every time, he would mention meeting up. After weeks of the same, I agreed. We met in Manhattan (as it was halfway for both of us), saw a movie, and had some fast food. We talked, we laughed, and I came home alone. He continued to date his girlfriend, I had started to date my boyfriend, and we agreed to just be platonic.

After a year a talking, Mark became one of my best friends. He understood what I was going through when my mom was hospitalized for good. We spoke about music, politics, and relationships. We could vent to each other without any judgement. He would come over my house every so often and we would just chill.

One day, we were doing our usual (pizza and conversing), when he kissed me. It caught me off guard, and I immediately pulled away.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“I just couldn’t help it,” he said.

“M, I have a boyfriend. You and I are just friends. That’s all we’re going to be.”

“You’re right. I get it.”

The subject was dropped, and soon, he fell asleep on my couch. While Mark did his usual daytime nap, I laid on my bed texting my boyfriend. Suddenly Mark was on top of me, trying to kiss me again. When I tried to push him off, he put his hand on my throat and pushed me back down. He pulled down my pants, and stuck his hands down my underwear. I begged him to stop and started to cry when I heard his pants hit the floor. I continued to try to push him off, but he kept his left hand on my throat, applying pressure whenever I moved. He tried to pull my underwear down from inside my pants, and when he realized he couldn’t, he removed his hand and tried to pull them down normally. Suddenly, it stopped. I don’t know if it was my crying, or the sudden realization of what he was doing, but he stopped. He got up, apologised, and left.

I was frozen for what felt like forever. When I finally came to my senses, I ran to the door locked it and put the deadbolt on. I had started to bleed because of how far up he shoved his fingers, and all I wanted to do was feel clean. I called my best friend, Katy, and asked her to come over. She did, I cried, but never told her what happened. She just thought I was emotional because I was without my mom. I took a shower, wanting to get rid of the evidence of the day. I knew I should call the police, but after going through filing charges as a kid against an adult who molested me, I knew what the process was like and I didn’t want to go through it again. To be honest, I felt guilty. Did I lead him on? Was what I was wearing too revealing? Did he really mean to do it, or did he just think that because we were alone at my house that I wanted him? Will B be mad at me for being alone with Mark while he and I were dating? Did I ask for it? I scrubbed every part of me, trying to erase the memories.

A couple hours later, Mark called me from a blocked number. He apologized profusely, told me it would never happen again, and said he didn’t know what got into him. He said he blacked out. He told me that he thought that I was into him, and that he was sexually attracted to me.

I didn’t speak to him for months while I tried to figure out what really happened. Did I imagine it? Did it really happen? Was I going to lose one of my very best friends over this?

It took me years to admit to myself what happened, and in those years, admittedly, I still spoke to him. Each time I did, he acted as though nothing happened, and when I brought it up, he insinuated I was overreacting. I moved away a short time later.

It’s been a long road since then. This happened years ago, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. I still have flashbacks. I hadn’t told anyone about that day until a week ago when I told my boyfriend. He was quiet, and held my hand. I was so worried that he would be mad at me for being alone with a guy when we were dating. He wasn’t. He didn’t judge me. He just let me speak. I told my doctor, too. She, now, understands why I’ve been having panic attacks. She referred me to a psychologist, and I’ve made an appointment. I still feel guilty sometimes, but I know, now, I didn’t ask for it. It doesn’t matter if I said yes a million times, the moment I said no, it should have stopped.

I don’t know where Mark is, and I really don’t care to. I just hope that someone else didn’t fall into his trap. It’s not always a stranger who will hurt you; sometimes it could be your very best friend.

*name has been changed.



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