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me too – a story in three parts [part I]

Over a decade ago in the summer of 2007, I became a statistic. Among undergraduate students, 23.1% of females experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.

Months before, I had finally broken it off with a long-term boyfriend. He had been a jerk. Most likely, I had been a jerk too. We shared mutual friends — many of which, were his fraternity brothers. One such fraternity brother had been very kind to me during our drawn-out breakup. He and I had both indicated mutual interest in each other but both had conflicting feelings on getting together so quickly after my breakup. My ex had also made it clear to his fraternity brother that I was not to be dated by any of them. So this guy friend and I agreed to take things slow. Still, I was already telling many of my close girlfriends about the possibility of us one day dating once the dust from my breakdown died down.

You can imagine my surprise then upon finding one of those close girlfriends making out with the guy at a party. At the time, I felt hurt and betrayed by them both. And like many non-rational college students, I decided that the best way to deal with the rejection was to get drunk. And get drunk I did. I’m not proud of my behavior that night or some of the things I said and did. And in those moments, my anger at my girlfriend and my crush was overwhelming (everything is dramatic when you are young, right?) and I lost all sense of self-preservation. My drunken behavior at this party only served to isolate me and eventually another male friend offered to take me home.

I can now vaguely recall getting in his car — still muttering profanities under my breath at the entire situation.
And that’s it.

Until the next morning.

I woke up in pain. Understandably, my head hurt but so too did my body. I rolled out of bed slowly, struggling to understand exactly what was bothering me besides the killer hangover. That’s when I saw it — blood on my sheets. I looked down to see that I was just wearing a shirt (with no bra) and nothing else. I reached my hand underneath me, to the source of the pain, and discovered blood. I was dizzy with confusion.

I remember going to the restroom, sitting down on the toilet, and realizing my rectum was covered in a mix of fresh and dried blood. I was sore too. In fact, I ached in a lot of places one wouldn’t consider normal for just a hangover. I examined myself in the mirror – there were no bruises to account for but I felt an overall physical pain.

I rushed to my phone to call my best friend to ask her what had happened to me — only then did the entire night flood back to me. I couldn’t call my closest friend — I had yelled at her for kissing the guy I wasn’t technically dating. Dread started to set in so I decided instead to take a bath. As the water rushed over me, a sense of isolation did as well. What happened to me? Could it be what I think it was? If so, who did it? Why did they do it? And most importantly, what could I do about it?

Soon my roommate, who was also at the party and a good friend, came home. We sat on my bed and she asked me how I was doing. Her tone made it clear that she wasn’t asking about the blood on my sheets (which were now being soaked in the washing machine), but rather about my best friend kissing my crush. We talked and while I was still upset about the whole situation, more than anything I was terrified of what happened to me after the party. Casually, I asked my roommate how I got home. She replied, “Oh, Brian* took you home.”

Suddenly, I remembered getting into his car and I felt an instant wave of relief flood over me. Brian was such a nice guy. He was the jokester of the fraternity and usually the one that would allow sad, drunk girls to cry on his shoulder. Of course Brian had taken me home, I thought. That was such a Brian thing to do. I still could not explain the blood or the pain, but I instantly felt reassured about the whole situation. Whatever had happened to me, it wasn’t that. Brian wasn’t that kind of guy. I would just need to ask him about it the next time I saw him and I was sure he would have a satisfactory explanation to it all.

But before I got the chance to speak to Brian and soothe my remaining worries, rumors began to fly. My ex started telling people that I was a slut for sleeping with Brian. I was enraged. I didn’t sleep with Brian. I specifically remember telling my roommate that the allegation was ludicrous — this was Brian we were talking about here. Brian was not the kind of guy most girls lined up to have sex with — he was the kind of guy girls would watch chick-flicks with after a breakup. That’s why I was so very confused when, just a few day later, my roommate told me that she had heard Brian was the one telling people we slept together.  Why would Brian say that? Why would he lie? He was already a favorite within the fraternity. What did he have to gain by lying about that?

Click for:
Part II

*Brian is not this individual’s real name.

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