Author: Anonymous Middlebury College Student
My story hasn’t fully formed yet, I’m not sure how to connect the dots yet. But, through memories of the five-month span when my story took place and the year that has now past since then, I will try and share it with you now.
I knew the stats. Female students, girls, women get raped on college campuses. 1 in 4. That is fucking horrible, I thought. 1 in 4. It would not happen to me, I thought. 1 in 4. I had only kissed two boys, I thought. I was setting off on a Gap Year. I was not even going somewhere dangerous, I thought. 1 in 4.
He held my hand and I tensed up. “I don’t want to be more than friends,” I said. “Oh of course!” he said. We’re on the same page, I thought.
“If you cannot believe what I believe in, I cannot teach you what I know,” he said. “Why are you crying?” he said. “… I don’t know.” I said. “Yo ne se, de verdad.” I said. “No se por qué” I said. It was out of desperation. Out of refusal to let this opportunity slip by. Out of desire to continue the friendship that we had. I had known him two weeks.
“Don’t you want to kiss me? Don’t you want to know how an indigenous kiss feels?” He whispered. “No, no quiero” I said. “I don’t want kiss you. Stop.” I said.
We were out in the sheep’s field. Feeling the wind on my back as he begged me to tell him the truth, to swear by his grandfather’s name. My story never changed and neither did his acceptance of it. “Yo no soy una puta! Soy una mujer y te amo!” I said. I cried over the embracing wind. “I am not a slut. I love you.” “Soy indio, no tonto” He retorted. “Don’t take me for an idiot.”
I found myself in total confusion. My mom was hugging me, “he hurt you.” “No mom,” I said. You don’t understand, I thought. “He hurt you, you just don’t know it yet,” she said. He was 46. I was 17. I thought it didn’t matter. No, that’s a lie. He said it didn’t matter. He convinced me that it didn’t matter. I don’t believe him now. Sitting in my mentor’s living room, watching Samantha’s face contort in an attempt at self-control, I knew I didn’t know what had happened.
On my birthday, I drove through the night with my mom. “Thank you for bringing me home” I said. “…from Chile,” I said. The windows down, I cried as we drove through the warm August breeze. It had been five months since leaving. I was 18.
My counselor’s couch was comfortable and familiar. “I was sexually assaulted,” I said. “And then I fell for him,” I said. How could that happen? I thought. He was unstable, but so optimistically hopeful. He was so jealous. He had such a skewed image of women, of gringas. “He hurt me and I didn’t even know it. I didn’t know that it wasn’t ok.”
Dear listener. Please keep listening. It’s not ok. It will never be ok.