I WAS ALMOST RAPED, MY BEST FRIEND WASN’T SO LUCKY
By Anonymous, (From the Midwest)
My hands are shaking as I type this on my laptop and my stomach hurts. I’m thinking about running to the bathroom, but I really want to get this done.
- 683,000 forcible rapes occur every year, which equals 56,916 per month, 1,871 per day, 78 per hour, 1.3 per minute
She’s beautiful, 5’9” or 5’10”, thick black hair, great smile. People say she could model. She says her bones are too big. (I’m going to call her Joy because that’s the way I’d like to think of her – she was always happy.) I’m 5’3”, wavy brown hair, bones like a bird, and I weigh 103 lbs. At the time this happened, we were both 17.
Over the summer Joy and I followed a particular band that we liked a lot. We went to an outdoor concert and that’s where we met them. Two gorgeous guys, cousins who actually looked like brothers. We noticed that they were staring at us. Joy stared back and I glanced over a few times. I was flattered, nervous, excited, awed?
They came over and offered us beer, which they had already had in their hands. We took them. I hate the taste of beer – it makes me gag – so I didn’t drink it. (I spilled it out slowly when the guys weren’t looking. It’s a trick I learned – if you spill a little at a time the guy thinks you’re drinking it. I didn’t want him to buy me another one. I even put it up to my lips occasionally so that they thought I was drinking.) My friend finished some of hers.
The rest of the night we talked, laughed a lot, and learned more about these guys. They were hanging out for the summer – working, partying, going to hear bands. Mike was staying with Jess and his roommate for the summer. They were both 19 and in college. At the end of the night we exchanged numbers.
The next day Joy received a call from Mike, inviting us to their place that afternoon. I’ll save those details, but we said yes. I was feeling really nervous about it, maybe because we didn’t really know them, maybe because they were older, maybe because somewhere deep inside I had a bad feeling about it and was trying to push it aside. (It’s moments like this that I hate myself for not listening to my gut.) Joy told me to stop worrying about it, so I did – at least out loud. She told me I needed to live more, have fun, stop being a @#&*.
So we went – what can happen to two BFF when they’re together, right? That’s what I tried to convince myself.
Here’s what happened.
Mike asked Joy if she wanted to see something in his room and she said yes. Jess and I were left standing there. He took my hand and I followed him. He wasn’t forceful or anything. He had a nice smile. We walked into his bedroom and put music on. I was feeling really nervous, eyeing the bed and I stood there feeling frozen with my back against the wall. Jess locked the bedroom door. (Okay, I’m crying now. Not then – I mean while I’m writing this.)
Jess was looking at me and standing near the bed. I was in complete panic mode, but didn’t say a word. He started to take off his clothes. First his shirt, then his pants, and then his underwear. He must have seen the panic in my face, I can’t say for sure. He didn’t move.
I don’t know how I found my voice, but I did. This is what I said. ‘I don’t want to do this. I’m a virgin. I want to stay a virgin. So, please, please don’t do this.” I didn’t cry, but I was definitely begging.
Jess had this look of utter shock on his face and he asked me why I was a still a virgin. His question surprised me. Who talks to strangers about these things? He started putting his clothes back on and sat down on the bed. I think that I finally breathed, but still hadn’t moved. So, I told him that I had never been truly in love with someone that I was willing to take the chance of having a baby with, that I believe in waiting for marriage, but wasn’t sure if I would. The conversation was just as shocking as seeing him take off his clothes.
He offered me a seat next to him on the bed and promised he wouldn’t touch me. We talked mostly about his hometown, college. At some point, Jess told me that since we agreed to come over, he and Mike were thought we were interested in hooking up. That’s when I started to worry about Joy. She was a virgin too. I wanted to leave, could have unlocked the door, but I didn’t.
When we finally heard some noise outside the room, Jess unlocked the door and we went out. Mike leaned over and gave Joy a kiss on the cheek and we said good-bye. The second we got into the car I told Joy what happened. I was so overwhelmed with my own experience that I admit that I didn’t completely pay attention to her – I should have. Finally, I asked Joy what happened to her.
“Nothing,” she said and she turned on my stereo.
The truth is that I should have pushed her – I should have been a better friend. I could see that she was upset, but didn’t want to talk about it. The horrible truth is that I didn’t want to even think about what could have happened to her, because I was thinking about what could have happened to me.
For the next few weeks Joy and I kept our same schedule, going out, and everything seemed normal. We never mentioned Jess or Mike again.
Sometime later, Joy was in a @#%*! mood. I asked her what her problem was – not so kindly. ‘You, you’re my problem,’ she said. ‘How the hell did you get away with saying no?’
At first her words didn’t register, but when she broke down crying, I put it together. She refused to say exactly what happened, except that she had sex with him. He had locked the door, taken off his clothes – pretty much the exact scenario as what I went through, but with different results. She didn’t want to report it to the police. No proof, no evidence. Her word against his. She did say no, but didn’t exactly fight him off.
So that’s it. I haven’t talked with Joy in a long time. We drifted a part and I can’t help but feel like I could have been a better friend. Though I told her a few times, I can’t be sure she believes it. I hope she knows that I’m really sorry.
A note from Liza Wiemer: Rape is a horrible misuse of power, an act of violence against one human being over another. At the time of this rape there had been no drugs or alcohol involved. It even occurred during the day. The statistics are staggering. When I speak with young adults, both male and female, we talk about boundaries. It doesn’t take much for someone to cross them, and alcohol and drugs blur the lines. I have heard many stories about girls having sex with boys at parties because they were drunk. If they were sober, it would never have happened. Our bodies (males and females!) are not something to be used.
Making love is the most intimate experience a human being can undertake and an incredible gift to be given every time. It should be beautiful, wonderful, meaningful, amazing, enjoyable. You should not feel dirty, depressed, hurt, violated, ashamed, embarrassed, or used. It means something every time. Think about it – what are you giving, what are you receiving and are you with someone YOU REALLY, REALLY CARE ABOUT! If not, well… it just might be worthwhile to give the implications some serious thought.
September 21, 2009: In the original version of this blog entry I had said, “Rape is not about sex.” I altered the statement because of the following comment, which I am quoting from a male friend of mine: “Rape may be primarily about power, anger, dominance, but it is expressed as sex, especially date rape. The two are powerfully intertwined, and for (some men) hard to distinguish in the “heat” of the moment. It’s also about heat. We use that word to refer to anger–a heated argument–but also sex–in heat, isn’t she hot, etc. (To say rape isn’t about sex also would be misleading) more so with alcohol and drugs. You don’t always see the line before (it’s crossed).”
My friend’s comment is extremely important because rape is rape. Obviously the line gets blurry and crossed when one is impaired and that’s not okay. This, I believe, is one of many reasons why so few women report the crime to police. Lately, I’ve heard statistics as high as 1 out of 3 women may have lost their virginity this way. The lowest statistic was 1 out of 6. Both are staggering.
Please share this story with others with the hope that more and more young women will be aware and hopefully protect themselves for this horrible, violent crime.
As always, your comments are welcomed.