**This contains sensitive content**
My grandmother was gone for days, and I literally didn’t go back home other than to sleep at night.
If I had the day off work I would either be home alone, or go hang out next door. If I did have to work, I would go to the neighbors house afterwards and just hang out there until I got sleepy and then I would go home and sleep. We would have dinner together, watch movies together, and sometimes they would even take me to work. We all got really close those few days we spent together. The day after the fight with my relative, I went over to their house and stayed there all day while he was at work. Me and the neighbors son got along really well too and became friends just because I was there all the time.
Once my grandmother got back home, I still frequently went next door and spent time with them. The son played basketball recreationally at the local community college he went to, so sometimes he would take me with him to watch him play. We liked each other, but nothing serious developed, we just enjoyed spending time with each other. Just teenagers hanging out, and due to the circumstances and us basically living in the same house, it was convenient and fun. My grandmother actually started to not like me hanging out over there so much now that she had come back home. One night, they invited me over for dinner, which I had been doing just about everyday while my grandmother was gone, and she said no. We got into an argument about it because, for me, there was no good reason as to why she didn’t want me over there all of a sudden. I was so pissed. I slowly had to stop spending time over there, but every now and then she would let me go, but it certainly wasn’t as often.
The more their son and I hung out, the more I started to like him. I was still very reserved around him, just being untrusting of guys, but because he had been there for me through that fight with my relative, my guard was down and I started to feel fairly safe around him. Plus his parents were cops, so I definitely felt safe with him so my reservations became less and less.
One day, I went next door to hang with the neighbors. The son was home alone at the time, so we hung out in the basement (not a typical place we usually hung out) where his room was. I was a little uneasy so I told myself I wouldn’t stay long ( simply because I didn’t want to hang in his room). He sat and played a video game and I sat on the bed on the opposite side of the room from him, and just watched. We talked and laughed about random stuff and then I told him I was going to head back home. I don’t know if he heard me or not, but he didn’t say anything. A few more minutes went by and he paused the game. He came and laid on the bed next to me like he was exhausted, and kept talking. I was still sitting up on the edge of the bed. Mid conversation, he slid to the bottom of the bed, bent down and pulled something out of a box. I couldn’t see what it was, and didn’t really question it at the time. His head was down but he was still talking. “What in the world was he doing?” I thought to myself. He finally got up and with his back still to me, and I heard him unzip his pants. Before anything really registered, he turned around, exposed, and just started crawling on the bed up towards me.
I was shocked. It was nothing I had expected, nothing we had talked about…nothing that had been planned…
And nothing that I wanted to happen.
It felt like, before I could even react, he gently pushed me down to the bed, got on top of me, moved my underwear to the side (I had on a dress that day), and just…entered. It hurt, but I just laid there in shock because I couldn’t believe that this was happening. I had only been with one person one time before this incident, and this definitely didn’t feel the same.
I didn’t say no…. but I didn’t say yes.
I mean, I kinda liked him, so was that the permission? We had spent so much time together, and had fun together, so was that the permission? He was there for me during a hard time over the summer, so maybe that was the permission…
I let him finish, he got up, and he un-paused his video game. I got up. Fixed myself, and immediately left.
I’ve always felt some kind of way about that encounter. He and I slowly stopped talking and hanging out after that. I wondered if he ever felt some type of way about that situation or if he felt my hesitation at all?
He probably never thought about the incident again I bet.
My grandmother was right. I didn’t need to be over there that much…. and now I understand why.
I didn’t realize until I got older, that situation could have been described for some as rape. I never considered it that way, nor carried the burden of it that way, but It was an encounter where I did not give consent. I had been intimate only one time before that with someone I loved and trusted, and so this situation was one where I felt something was taken from me, and at the time I didn’t know what that was…but later realized it was my voice and my choice that was taken away.
I could have “fought back”, and I could have said no, but in that moment, I didn’t know the power of consent. I didn’t know how to say no to someone I had already been hanging out with, and even liked a little. As a young inexperienced girl, I wasn’t taught that I could do that. I wasn’t taught that these things could happen. I wasn’t taught boundaries and confidence… I was just told not to do stuff for no reason so all the warning signs that flagged that should have led me to get up and go, even the uncomfortable feeling I had in the first place being down there, I didn’t know how to act on. No one talked me through life like that. I had to just watch and learn from those around me or… just learn the hard way myself.
And that I did.
I had much to take back with me into my second year of college that year….and you read how that went.
Oh sweet nineteen….