Author: Anonymous Middlebury College Student
I am trapped. It is finals week and I am sitting on the lower floor of Davis Family Library with you less than twenty yards away. I see you sitting across the room as soon as I walk down the stairs but I join my friends anyway for a brief moment before excusing myself to the restroom, something like shame boiling over in my chest. When I get back, my friend has noticed you too and asks me if I want to move upstairs. Despite the familiar weight in the pit of my stomach, I can’t bring myself to leave, silently and defeated. I don’t leave because you do not own me. Every minute I remain seated just feet from you is my small, after-the-fact protest against you and all that you are and all that you took from me.
You are twice my weight. I remember the haze of Palmer, the confusion leading up to what you did. I repeated that fated word: “no” over and over, but either you didn’t hear me or just didn’t care. Suddenly I was in your room in Coffrin and my clothes were off and you were on top of me and inside me and all around me and I froze. I stared up at the ceiling and you asked if I was a virgin. I was far from it, but I didn’t give a definitive reply either way because maybe it would make you stop. It didn’t. Instead you flipped me over like a piece of meat. Your hands pinned my arms to the mattress and my tears, stained black by mascara, seeped into your blue gingham pillowcase. The whole time I simply lay there, unable to scream or kick or punch or even open my eyes, and I thought, “You’re going to get away with this.”
There are no tears now, not in this basement with no windows. Not like the ones on the walk back to my room, or when I counted the bruises the next day, or when I saw the faded, water-stained poster in the bathroom stall, or when I read through the Sexual Misconduct Policy over and over and imagined all the ways you would get yourself out of it: “She was drunk. No one saw us. She went back to my room. She’s probably lying anyway— how many guys has she hooked up with so far this year that she ‘regrets?’ She wanted it.”
Sometimes when I see you around campus you look uncomfortably at the ground, probably considering regret or remorse or whatever the hell it is you feel when you rape someone, but maybe you don’t know what you did and more likely you don’t care. You probably loathe the idea of me—of a girl not wanting to have sex with you, the irresistible athlete, the Varsity god among men. But as much as you hate me, I can guarantee that I hate myself more. I did want it, didn’t I? God knows I deserved it.
I can tell you see me now too, and you’re fidgeting in your seat across the room, wishing I would leave.
I’m not going to leave.