A.T. was extremely nice and attentive during the party. It only took a few minutes of his charm and attention to win me back over and make me forget about him not insisting to walk me home earlier that week. I’m not proud of the fact, but I really liked the attention and would have loved to call him my boyfriend – ugh.
I remember sitting on A.T.’s lap that night, and as soon as my drink got low, he would jump up and refill it. What a gentleman, I thought. Stupid naivety. When he whispered into my ear that same night, I want to wait until after we get back from Christmas to do anything [physical]. I'd even wait to kiss you.” I beamed – BEAMED (ugh) - dying to hear what I wanted so badly to believe, I asked him to elaborate. “Because you are worth waiting for.” Stupid, STUPID naivety.
In my 19-year-old drunken mind, I viewed A.T.’s behavior as evidence of his good manners and genuine interest in me. I had been taught to “stay firm in your boundaries, and the guys will come around; they’ll end up respecting you more in the end.” To me, he had come around and was being a gentleman (I know, I know…). So there I sat – tipsy, drunken, idiotic, googly-eyed me, soaking up whatever non-sense he threw my way.
I was excited when A.T. offered to walk me home that night. I was drunk, stumbling, but I still remember feeling happy and reassured that he was walking me back to my dorm since he hadn’t done it earlier in the week following the movie. I wish I had seen through his gentleman facade. The new me would have seen what was coming. The new me would have found another way home.
Hindsight aside, that night it never crossed my mind that I had reason to worry. After all, we had discussed my boundaries on several occasions (and very in depth just the week prior). Not to mention, we had talked that very night about how he wanted to prove to me that I was “worth waiting for.” He had spent the night in my dorm room on several occasions so him coming back with me was no big red flag.
By the time we made it up to my room, I could barely keep my balance. I later found out that upon our arrival he had given my roommate a nod and look indicating that she was to leave the room. There were papers all over my bed because I was preparing for exams. He stacked all the papers together while I was a bumbling idiot around my room, and then he put them on my desk. I wish that's where the night had ended.
It didn’t matter that I had known him for years. That we had graduation pictures of the two of us together. That somewhere in my room stuffed in a drawer was a stupid Swiss Army knife he had given me as a graduation present. It didn’t matter that on the surface, he was the kind of guy “you bring home to your parents.” None of this mattered. That night he became the person who took my virginity – without my consent. My rapist.