A Friend of a Friend

Disclaimer: This article describes an experience with sexual assault.

It was a typical wild Friday night like most college Friday nights are. I was with my friends having a good time and you were there too, not with us but just watching us. I was with a different guy the whole night and my friends ended up leaving without me. You were still there. I knew you were friends with my friends, so I thought you would be my safe ticket home; however, you ended up destroying my home. 

You were jealous I was with someone who wasn’t you, and you were especially jealous of him because he always had the girls falling for him. You walked me back to my dorm because you lived a few floors above me. I wanted the night to end, but you didn’t. I clearly was out of it and not acting right—you should have known, you were watching me all night long. We went up to your room and I just needed to lay down for a minute. I didn’t think anything of it, I thought you could have been a friend. All of a sudden I felt panicked you started a situation I wasn’t ready for. That whole night I felt like I was suffocating, like I couldn’t breathe or move. I had no control over my body because you took that control away from me. It finally ended and I laid there petrified, not being able to move a muscle, but you were satisfied. I cried myself to sleep in your bed and woke up the next morning and burnt my skin clean in the shower. 

You were a friend of a friend so I kept that night a secret. I tried to move on, but everywhere I went, you were there. I would look in every corner to see if I was safe, I was terrified to leave my room, I stopped hanging out with my friends because I was scared I would run into you, and yet you came knocking on my door anyways. You always said the same things: ”When are you coming back to the wild Friday nights?” “You should come up to my room I got drinks.” “Can I come in?” I don’t know if you know this, but after I was finally able to tell someone about that night, I was so scared you were going to come down those stairs and come banging on my door with all of your rage and anger that I almost never ended up sleeping in my room again. I went to sleep at my friend’s place in an entirely new building almost every night because I was no longer safe in my own room. Do you know how it feels to never feel safe at all during the day? To realize that you no longer have a safe space and you’re constantly on the run? You ruined me. You might say that I ruined your reputation by telling the truth and you may try and hide that truth with your own lies. But the truth is you ruined your reputation even before me, there were others. I know because you were known when I told. I just happened to be the brave one to do something about it. So, no, I didn’t ruin your reputation—you ruined it yourself. 

My one regret is that I never made any legal action. You got expelled from school but i don’t know where you are in this world. I still have panic attacks about that night. I’m terrified that one day you’re going to track me down and find me. I don’t know if you’re ever planning on coming back to North Adams or if I will ever run into you again. Everyday I’m always on edge because I’m scared of seeing your face again. 

You were a friend of a friend, but you were never my friend.