Ophelia’s Story: Lack of consent.

Ophelia’s Story: Lack of consent.

I am 14. I am drunk. I am drunkenly upset because the boy I think I am in love with is getting off with a friend who knows I like him, at a gig that we are all at. J is an older boy, 16, a friend of a friend from a different school. He finds me crying in the road outside. He comforts me. Hugs me. Make me feel safe, wanted, cared about. Afterwards, we all go back to the house of the boy I like. There is a sleepover in his basement. There is cider, and quilts and music. J lies next to me. Keeps me company while the boy and my friend make out in other corner. Eventually, J and I kiss. Uh oh, I think, this isnt what I’d expected. I am ok with it though. I’ve had a lot to drink and it is fun. I’m showing that boy over there how little I care. I’m a virgin, I do not think at all that J might want sex. Soon however he is touching me all over. I am less comfortable. This is not really what I want. I go along with it, afraid and embarrassed to stop something that I feel I am partly responsible for. I’ve led him on. Suddenly, things quite literally get out of hand. He’s pushing his penis in to me and it’s agony. I know I don’t want this. I really don’t want it. I’m a virgin and this is not what I want. I try to push him away. No. No. No! He carries on. No. He continues.

At some point he stops. He stops himself. Some rational thought, somewhere, steps in and he stops himself. He rolls over and turns his back on me while I bleed in to my sleeping bag.

The next day I ask myself, what happened? That was sex, right? The blood and the pain say it was. I’m no longer a virgin, and I did not ask for this to happen. I know that what happened was wrong. I feel ashamed but I need to tell someone so I tell a friend. Soon I am being called a slut. Nobody is talking to me. J has a girlfriend. I am a slut.

It is 28 years since these events I have wondered over and over again what it was that actually happened to me? The shame and disgust and the lack of consent leave marks that run deep. The word rape reverberates in an ugly way. What happened reverberates in an ugly way.

I would like to know if J remembers. If he feels shame and disgust like I do. I’d like to know if he is more thorough at getting consent these days. I’d like to forgive him but I am not sure what for.




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