When Did No Ever Mean Yes

We broke up on the same night. You held back your tears and a few more hours separated me from my worst of fears. Flash back 5 hours and I’m in my room turning up my music doing my make-up. I may have been the CA on my floor but I was off duty for the night. Everything felt right, almost too right. I snapped a quick pic of my outfit of the night to my boyfriend and that’s when my great night started taking a turn for the worse. Our messages became fewer and more far in between and every new bar we visited made the night become more sober in my sight. We were in another fight but this time I had no idea why. I called you at 3am and you said we should talk in the morning. That’s when I knew you were going to be ignoring me for the next couple days. I gave in and started to cry. Why did it seem that every night had to end with a fight. You began yelling and my pillow became stained with tears. I didn’t know what to do and that’s how it all started with you.

Facebook makes it so easy to connect, no matter the hour there’s always someone on the internet. You were still up and I was feeling sad. You became my shoulder to cry on, and it’s that exact moment I wish I could take back. The next day my boyfriend became my ex. We had been too long together shuffling back and forth through this mess trying to pick of the pieces we both knew we should have long laid to rest. It was a few days later that I started seeing you more. We became ex-buddies. You were there for me and I was there for you. Our friendship blossomed and we started hanging out a couple times a week. I was determined to make my senior year everything my last three had not been. I found myself taking shots, hurrying through assignments, and living for the weekend. If we weren’t drinking something felt like it was missing. I didn’t see a problem though. It wasn’t until my best friend said something that I had even given my new habits a second thought. We were just having fun and living it up.

You and I would come home drunk together and go our separate ways. We always texted each other just to make sure we had made it safely to our rooms. We were both CAs after all and looking after our friends was just in our nature. Months passed and our traditions stayed strong. I was finally getting over my ex but hated that he was my last everything. I told you that and you shared horrible advice but we both laughed it off. Later I got a text from you to meet up with you and some friends at the bar. It was already 11pm but I figured what the hell and went for it. It was me and the guys. On my walk there a strange feeling started coming over me. I might just have had a crush on two of my guy friends who happened to be each other’s best friends. I showed up. Sober of course and you guys welcomed me with open arms. I said I wasn’t drinking but I should have known with you guys around that is never the case. The next thing you know I am finishing off someone’s daiquiri and giggling my head off. That’s when I said, “Let’s play a game.” I have a lot of regrets about how we started and ended our friendship but I can’t help but feel responsible for instigating most of the situations I ended up regretting. It was as though I was secretly sabotaging myself. That was the night we all shared our first kiss. It was a dumb game. It honestly wasn’t even really a game. It was something drunk people do but I wasn’t drunk. I walked you home because well we lived across from each other. You invited me up and I said sure. We snap chatted, talked, and gossiped about our friends. That’s when you told me you wanted to try kissing me again. So we did but somehow it didn’t just end there. We awoke the next morning confused and wondering how we let this happen. The worst part is I was completely sober. I had made a horrible decision completely sober and I had nothing and no one to blame it on.

We met for breakfast and agreed that it was a one time thing and that we would go back to just being friends. But blurred lines and alcohol have never mixed well together. So we revised our agreement and decided to keep all feelings out of it. At this point my life was spiraling in a direction I had never wanted it to go in. I was becoming “THAT GIRL”. I had never wanted to be “THAT GIRL.” I had to confess. I told one of my dearest friends but that hardest person of all to tell was my best friend. I was finally seeing the worst of me. This wasn’t me and I promised I would stop. I met up with him to end it but jealousy was in his eyes. You said you were okay with it and honestly it was never something we both had to agree on. I said I was done.

Weeks went by and I started to realize our friendship would never be the same again. We saw each other less and less and I had to be okay with that in order to fix we had done. It was around then that you had invited me out with a mutual friend. We went to our favorite spot on Welch Ave and somehow I ended up completely wasted. You guys were sweet and both walked me home. I said I got it from here but you insisted you come inside just to make sure. I got in my room and crashed on my futon. You came and sat next to me. We hugged and I said thanks for a goodnight. We started kissing and from there I don’t remember much. But what I do remember is that I told you no and that I wanted to stop. I didn’t want to have sex and you knew that. You knew that before you walked me home, before you hugged me on the futon, and before you kissed me. My memory still on flashes in and out but I do know that we had sex that night against my consent and against my will. I was so drunk that I blacked out and when I woke up you said don’t worry about last night.

I was hurt, afraid, and confused. I refused to label myself as a victim of sexual assault and definitely not of rape. I spent weeks blaming myself trying to play it off in my mind that we were just too drunk college kids. That maybe I didn’t say no loudly enough. But no matter that way I put it I knew I was wronged and that you had hurt me. I didn’t know what to say or who to tell so I kept it a secret. I told people I was mad at you and it wasn’t until we graduated that you apologized to me about that night after me prompting you on it.

I allowed a lot of time to pass before deciding to speak to you again. I was in pain and I didn’t know how to verbalize it. No one ever wants to be a victim of a crime and when they say it’s usually someone you know I always thought none of my friends would ever do that to me. But someone did. He did, and his name is AJ.

It has been over a year since this experience, and I still struggle with labeling it as it is. It is thanks to the wonderful man I have in my life today that I am able to share my story with you all. Rape is rape no matter how you dress it up or play it down and that night someone who I considered a dear friend broke my trust and raped me. I know that I am stronger than any situation, evil, or harm inflicted on me because my God is bigger and stronger than anything this world could ever throw at me.

This is my story and it doesn’t define me or the life I lead. I encourage anyone and everyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted to free yourself of the sin others have cast on you because you are not their sin.

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