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Revisions Pt.1

Amsekhmet

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 It's important to me to state off the bat that I recently got back in contact with H., we had a very long talk about what happened, and she really didn't know what was going on. I believe her, and her not knowing his intentions explains a lot of her words and actions during all this. Pt. 1 covers what happened, Pt. 2 covers the aftermath and the effects of going into denial, and Pt. 3 covers how I managed to finally find a sense of peace with it all. The whole story covers almost 23 years, so I needed to break it into smaller sections for easier reading. 

*****Trigger Warning**** 

I was drugged by someone I thought was a friend many years ago. I had just turned 19 about a week and half before and I was roommates with both of the people I'm going to mention, one male and one female, although they weren't the only ones living there. Lee is the male, and the female I'll call H. I knew her from work and she introduced me to him there. He very quickly became one of my "refuge" tables that I'd go to when I needed a break from the patrons, and I was always happy to see him come in, which he did with increasing frequency. We'd end up talking the whole night and then go wander around Walmart together when my shift ended. By the time everything went to hell, I had known both of them for a total of maybe two or two and a half months, but I only lived in the house for about the last month of that period. The entire time I'd known him he'd been this consistently gentle, friendly, funny guy who I'd thought I was forming a close friendship with. I knew he was interested in more but I'd made it clear I wasn't and he seemed to respect that, so I still felt safe moving in when she offered me that room. He always came off as a perfect gentleman, always so respectful of the boundaries I had set. We'd hung out in my room alone just to talk with no problems numerous times, so the side I saw that night came completely out of left field. I actually thought he had given up and moved on to a friend of mine. 

 There were several red flags along the way, but I missed them. My therapist years later didn't, though. When I described his behaviour, she told me I was giving textbook descriptions of traits associated with sociopathy and narcissism, although she couldn't say for sure that's what he was without actually talking to him. I started looking into it and saw exactly what she'd been talking about. For one thing, he'd been gaslighting me from the word go, but if you've never encountered someone like that before it's almost impossible to recognize it for what it is. He had been toying with me since we met without me realizing. We had talked about a lot of things in the club over those first few weeks, but he didn't start changing what he said until after I was in the house. I remember once fairly early on after I'd moved in he did that with the city he'd told me he was from during one of our talks between sets at work. He'd told me one thing, but then when it came up a few weeks later during one of our now near--nightly talks in my room and I asked what high school he'd gone to in that city, he looked puzzled and told me no, he was from XYZ, not ABC. I could have sworn he said ABC, but he convinced me I must have forgotten or that I was thinking of someone else. It was such a simple thing, the sort of thing anyone could make a mistake on with a new person so I decided he must be right and let it go. That's how it all started and it only escalated from there. It seemed like the harder I tried to pay attention and keep my facts straight with him, the less I was able to do so.

Before long, I had also gotten where he was stationed in the Army wrong, and I couldn't keep his work schedule straight to save my life. He would tell me when he'd be there so I could pop in, then when I got there I'd find out he'd been scheduled off. I thought maybe it was a last minute change or something, but no, I'd be told that the schedule hadn't changed since it came out, I'd just gotten mixed up on what he'd said. Towards the end it turned into him snapping at me when my back was turned and then denying it when I tried to confront him. By the time I turned around, there was nothing about the way he looked that supported him being irritated or anything, so I'd figure I must have misheard him and apologize. It was always little stuff, easily dismissed, things that were totally out of character for him or that wouldn't make any sense for him to lie about, so I figured it really must be me. I thought it was just sleep deprivation from adjusting to working nights. I almost wanted to start using a tape recorder or take notes every time we talked just for the sake of my sanity. It got to the point I was constantly double checking with other people too, thinking I must be getting things wrong with them as well, but he was the only one it was happening with. Of course I questioned it, but it didn't make sense. I tried asking one of the other roommates, (I think it was Kyle) how well he knew him, if he'd ever known him to do things like this or caught him in a lie, but he couldn't shed any light on it since they never really saw each other that much. I felt wrong even asking, that I could even suspect him like that. I decided I was being silly and dismissed it. After all, what would be the point of him confusing me on purpose like that? What would he possibly stand to gain? Nothing, at least not that I could see. It must just be that I was tired by the time we usually had our really long talks and I just wasn't tracking well. That had to be what it was. 

It's important to note a conversation I had with two of the other roommates, Jason and Mercedes, a couple who moved out shortly before "that" night. I came into the kitchen where they were some weeks before everything happened, and some comment I made started them teasing me about Lee's very obvious interest and asking why I wouldn't give him a chance. I got embarrassed and tried explaining that the chemistry just wasn't there, that he was too much like my brother for me to feel any attraction, that it would be weird, etc, but they wouldn't lay off. It was all good-natured joking around, but it embarassed the hell out of me. I knew Lee was a good guy and I felt a degree of guilt that I couldn't return his interest. He would have been perfect for me if it hadn't been for a few things and I knew that. For the sake of full disclosure, Lee had a severe weight problem, and I have to admit that his appearance was a factor in my lack of attraction to him. I knew it was shallow of me and I felt guilty about it, I knew it wasn't fair, but it was one of those things I just could not get past. Of course, even if he had been smaller it wouldn't have mattered because of the other issues, but I'm sure he thought my wanting to just be friends was only about his size. I was trying to shut them down and finally told them to stop, that it was never going to happen and that the whole idea was disgusting. The problem was that I said that last just as he was coming out of his room into the kitchen where we were. I froze and my stomach dropped through the floor because I knew how awful it would have sounded and I wasn't sure if he'd heard it. I knew he wouldn't have heard the first part about my brother at all and I knew why he'd think I said it. I felt horrible, but he didn't act like he'd caught it, and I was too mortified to ask. A day or two after that was the first time he snapped at me, and my first thought was, ok, he did hear me and he's pissed. He has every right to be, but now we can get this straightened out. I thought he was being what we would now call passive aggressive and tried to ask if there was anything we needed to talk about, but he said no and denied he snapped in the first place. I very stupidly let it go at that. 

The other red flag was that he told me he'd been accused of sexual harassment in the Army. He said it was dismissed as groundless, that she had misinterpreted what he'd said or something and reported it, but that his superiors had cleared him. I was dumb enough to believe his explanation. It was Lee-- it had to be a mistake. He wasn't like that. The one that really struck me as odd was one he told me not long after I moved in. We were sitting in my room as usual, talking about who we lived with before and why we moved. He told me that he had lived with another couple but that the wife was crazy, that she'd go off for no reason. He said one night she started screaming at him and hitting him with a cast iron skillet. What threw me was what he said his reaction was. He said he just stood there and took it until she ran out of steam and then calmly looked at her, totally deadpan, and asked "Are you done?". It almost felt like he was bragging about his reaction, but the way he talked about it gave me the creeps. It's hard to describe how he looked when he got to that part, but he was almost glowing, like he enjoyed the effect it had had on her. If he'd said he got angry and yelled back or defended himself, I would have understood that. That's what most people would do, but no reaction at all, not even to block the pan or get it away from her? Looking at it now, I think what bothered me was that he seemed proud of being able to intimidate her that badly rather than it just being something he used to get her to back off. It bothered me that he took pleasure in it. On the other hand, the lady was hitting him with a frying pan, so I thought maybe I shouldn't judge what he did in response too much. Maybe it was better for him to make her believe he was crazier than she was to get her to leave him alone. He said she steered clear of him from then on out, but it wasn't long before they asked him to leave anyway. It crossed my mind that maybe he was exaggerating, that he was trying to make himself sound tough or impress me with his self control. Ultimately I dismissed it, not giving it another thought until after everything happened. Again, I had dismissed something that I should have paid attention to because it was incongruous with who I thought he was. I was getting very good at that. After what he did to me though, I had to wonder what the real story was on what caused her to go off.

I had decided not to go to work that night. It was a strip club, I had only been at it a few months and I was still adjusting to it, and for some reason that night I got to the door and I just could not do it. Lee had given me a ride in and I decided that since I'd had to work on my birthday, I wanted to get a bottle of something and go back home to hang out with him and H, like a belated sort of thing since it had only been a week and half or so before. I gave him money and sent him to the liquor store next to the club. Once we got home, he was making my drinks all night, although H. decided not to drink at all and he stopped after the first one. I kept going and they just sort of kept an eye on me. Everything was fine through the first several, but at some point I went too far and went into the bathroom feeling sick. H. came with me, I was ok, and she went out ahead of me. I don't want to go into too much detail about what happened, but when I came out there had been an accident involving one of the cats' kittens that upset me badly. It just happened to be the same one I'd been playing with earlier, the same one I'd been considering adopting from H. once it was old enough. I do remember Lee's reaction though, or his lack thereof. He was leaning up against the counter, arms folded, just watching it with this weirdly neutral expression. No concern, no upset, just...nothing. That wasn't like him at all and I couldn't understand it. I sort of chalked it up to shock because he was the one that caused the "accident". I went to it, asking why they were just standing there, trying to convince them that it needed help, that we needed to get it to a vet, and H. kept trying to tell me it was gone even though I could see it wasn't. It was very still but it was still breathing, it still had muscle tone and it wasn't losing heat. The only thing wrong with it that I could see was that it was unresponsive. I know their version of what happened to it, that it was a completely accidental head injury, but there were no marks on it at all and it just didn't add up. I'm not convinced he didn't test the drug he gave me on it first. From what I saw, it was in exactly the same condition I was going to be in later on.

H. pulled me back into the bathroom, still saying I was wrong and it was gone, that Lee would take care of it. She got me somewhat calmed down, accidents happen, etc., and again, she went out first. When I came back out a few minutes later, Lee was at the counter with his back to us. I noticed his movements were odd though, like he was trying to keep his arms too close to his body. I sort of looked at her and asked what he was doing and tried to cross the room to see. As soon as I stepped forward, she stopped me and steered me back against the wall, saying he was making me another drink, that it would help me calm down, just to let him bring to me because I'd fall if I tried to walk across the kitchen. I was very intoxicated by this point so I decided she was probably right and stayed put, talking to her, and when he came over to us with it I noticed that weird look he'd had was gone and he was back to the Lee I knew. I wondered if I'd really seen it at all, or if I was just so flipped out that I misinterpreted it. I knew that damn drink didn't look right, but I blew it off, thinking it was probably just a little stronger or something. I downed it, and I've never had a drink make me feel that sick that fast. It turned my stomach almost as soon as made contact, way too fast for it to have even begun to be absorbed, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I don't even remember leaving the doorway after I drank it.

I must have passed out because I woke up in the bathtub, undressed and leaning against the far corner with the rest of me in the water, disoriented as hell. I tensed, trying to clear my head and figure out what was going on, then I saw both of them standing there and relaxed. I knew it was ok, that they were looking after me, and I slipped back out. The next thing I knew I was waking up on her bed in her room with both of them standing over me. I asked where Michael was, (the guy I was seeing), for some reason thinking he was in the house. My eyes were closed and I heard him say, “I’m here”, but when I opened my eyes to respond, I saw it was still only Lee and H. in the room with me. I must have looked confused because H. told me no, he’s not here, then glared at Lee and told him not to mess with my head like that. It seemed to piss her off that he did that, and I remember him not looking too happy with her, either, but I thought he was just playing because I was so drunk. I didn't understand why she came down on him like that. I found out the next day that I was half hallucinating, not making any sense before I wound up in her room, so it’s not surprising I was convinced Michael was there when he wasn’t.

 I remembered waking up for those few seconds in the tub, and I asked them about why I'd been in there. I was still completely undressed, uncovered, and they told me that my heart rate had spiked while my breathing had gotten sporadic and then slowed almost to a stop, only a few shallow breaths per minute, to the point that they that would start to get worried it had stopped entirely and then suddenly I'd inhale again. They told me I was undressed because they had put me in the tub until my vitals settled down, but when they tried to get me dressed again I wouldn’t let them, saying I was too hot, so they left them off and laid me out on her bed as I was. I really wasn’t too worried about it to be honest. I thought I was among friends and it really wasn’t much more than they’d seen in the club anyway, so I let it go, too far gone to give it much thought.

I remember the three of us talking, joking around like always after that, and I think they were amused by how out of it I was. I know I was laying down the whole time and I kept wanting to close my eyes. It feels like there's a blank spot here, it's fuzzy, like I was going in and out. I can’t remember what we talked about, just that the overall mood was good and they were sort of teasing me about overdoing it. I know she left to go call James and then came back. Everything felt very far away, like I was 20 feet below them, sort of dreamlike, like nothing was quite real and everything they said seemed so funny.

She came back in, we kept talking, and the conversation turned to sex at some point. I know Michael's name came up again somewhere in there, but I can't remember when or what the context was. I didn't know any of this was going to be important later, so none of it really stuck. It was nothing specific that I remember, just in general, just friends talking, and I remember her asking me something but I can't remember what. I remember still feeling so far away, kind of in a haze, eyes still closed, and the exact question and my exact response have always been blurry. It seems like it was part of a line of questions, like we were talking about different guys we knew, but that's only a very vague impression I have of the discussion, more of a feeling about the tone than anything. It was something like, "What would you say if he wanted to" but that's as close as I can get. I've tried for years to remember the exact words, the exact context that she asked it in, but I was only half paying attention and while I know I said something about using protection before drifting back out, that's all I've ever been able to recall. I felt like I was floating there, feeling so far away and content, so peaceful, and I just sort of said the first thing that came to mind without thinking. It was almost like an auto response. I always used protection and so that was the first thing I thought of, not of who would be using it. For some reason the idea didn't set off any alarms, it felt like the most normal thing in the world, just like with my clothes when they explained why they hadn't put them back on. It's hard to describe the state of mind I was in, but it was like how in a dream, nothing, no matter how insane it would be in reality, seems out of the ordinary at the time and you just don't think to question anything that's happening until after you wake up. I don't know how long it was after that, but I remember being annoyed, wondering why she wasn't leaving. They were still talking and it was irritating me, it kept pulling me out of that deep, peaceful place I was in. In that moment I honestly didn't care what happened as long as I could stay there. I think focusing on why she was still there snapped me back to reality and I had this this moment of panic like, "oh god, wait, what did I say", remembering where I was and who I was really with. This was Lee, what the hell was I thinking? I had to stop her from leaving. 

 I opened my eyes and went to correct it, to take it back, but it was like it hadn't happened. I was relieved because there was nothing in their behavior or the way they were talking to indicate I'd even spoken out loud, so I thought there was nothing to worry about. I figured I must have misunderstood, that she wasn't talking about him at all. The reaction would have been very different if she had been and I answered that way. H. wasn't leaving, Lee wasn't acting like I'd just agreed to anything, so I thought it must be ok, that I didn't say anything that needed to be walked back. It was just an offhand question, part of the conversation and no one took it seriously. Thank God. They'd already moved on in the conversation, talking about a bill that came in or something. They talked for a bit longer and the subject never came back up, but something inside was still yelling at me to fix it. It nagged at me and wouldn't let it go. It would have been weird to abruptly bring it back up then when it seemed like it wasn't even an issue, but what if he did try to start something thinking it was ok? How much more awkward and hurtful would it be to try to shut him down if I waited until then? I wound up saying something about going to sleep just to make sure he wouldn't actually try anything, but that was as close as I got to reversing what I'd said. I never stated it flat out. I didn't want to embarrass him or me if I didn't have to, and I thought that saying I wanted to sleep was enough to gently let him know it wasn't going to happen without making it personal if he was thinking along those lines and without making things awkward if he wasn't. I knew if he tried anything anyway I would have to directly shut him down then, but I was trying not to have to do that. I can't count the number of times in the years since that I regretted that decision. I should have been more clear. 

At some point later Kyle stopped in the doorway and made a crude comment about me laying there like that, making me stop floating and open my eyes when I heard him. I paid attention, thinking I was going to need to say something, but H. froze him out before I had to. She seemed irritated, as did Lee, basically telling him, "hey, she's drunk, we've got her, you don't need to be in here". I remember being relieved and feeling grateful to them for being so quick to look out for me that way, like ok, I'm fine, they're taking care of me. It was the same feeling I'd had during those few seconds in the tub. He left, but it seemed to open the door to the subject and I heard Lee start telling her about how he'd been trying to get with me for weeks and gotten nowhere. I thought H. would shut him down, too, for the same reason, but she didn't. I heard "Well, she's right there if that's what you want to do", and I immediately tried to sit up, to reiterate that no, all I wanted to do was sleep this off, but nothing happened. I hadn't felt anything change, but suddenly I couldn't move and I couldn't make a sound. My body simply would not do what I was telling it to do, like a computer with the keyboard unplugged or a remote with no batteries. It was just suddenly non-operational and I was trapped inside, down to nothing but my thoughts with no way to express them. Confusingly, I could still open and close my eyes at will, but that was it, that was the only movement I could produce. 

I was panicking, I couldn't figure out why I was paralyzed, but I kept thinking it would be ok, that she wouldn't leave without asking me if I was ok and then when I didn't respond they'd know something was wrong. They kept talking about various things that were unrelated, just like before, but neither of them said another word to me. I kept closing my eyes, thinking that they'd try to wake me if they thought I'd passed out again, but as far as I know neither of them even looked down again. I couldn’t get their attention to let them know I needed help. I desperately wanted them to just look down, to just check in with me one more time before she left, to ask if I was sure I was ok. I couldn’t figure out why they weren’t. I wasn't speaking up so I assumed they must be thinking I was good with it, but I had turned him down so many times that it would only make sense to check with me. My mind was racing and I kept looking for saving graces, thinking she'd at least tell him to move me to his room if she really thought this was about to happen and then when I didn't get up to go with him they'd question why. I thought surely she wouldn't let him use her own bed, right? Nope. She just kept bitching about that stupid phone bill and going on about how pissed she was. It was like I was no longer in the room at all. In fact, neither of them said another word to me until well after it was already over. I heard her say she needed to call James back about the bill and then she left, telling him she'd be in the living room if he needed her.

 I kept waiting, thinking he'd check in with me, make sure I was ok with it. I knew there was no way he'd go ahead without doing that. I was right on the edge of the bed, so I was sure if he thought we were going to do something then at the very least he'd ask me to move over to give him room, that he'd say or do something, but he didn't. He just started getting undressed. He wasn't saying a word and he didn’t look right. He was completely blank, almost bored looking and I couldn't figure out why he wasn't talking to me, trying to get me to engage in some way. I thought maybe since I wasn't protesting then he must be assuming I was ok with it, and I kept trying everything I could think of to get his attention, anything I could think of to let him know I needed help. I tried closing my eyes every time it looked like he might see it, thinking that if he thought I had passed out it would get him to stop, to check on me, but as far as I could tell he never actually looked down at me. I tried looking like I’d stopped breathing, but I couldn’t keep it up long enough. I was having trouble with that as it was because my chest felt so heavy, like there was a weight on top of it that I was having to fight against. It felt like I was having to drag air in, and so not breathing at all was nearly impossible for more than a few seconds at time. I was perpetually feeling like I’d held my breath underwater too long as it was. He wasn't paying enough attention for any of it to do any good anyway.

Once he was finished undressing, the first thing he did was reach out and run his thumb over my lips, just sort of watching me with that weird blank expression. It was such a bizarre thing to do and it confused me, but I thought, ok, I'm clearly not reacting so now he’ll definitely get it, now he’ll know something's off, but he didn’t. He didn't even seem concerned when I didn't respond, and I started to have a growing sense of unease even as I tried to keep telling myself he wouldn't. This was Lee, surely he wouldn't. He turned and started to walk towards the end of the bed and I thought ok, he just hasn't figured it out yet. I know I opened my eyes during that, but I wasn't sure if he'd seen me do it or not. I remember the frustration, thinking I'd missed the perfect chance to get his attention, to get him to question things and figure out something was wrong.

He stopped about halfway to my feet, stood there for a second, still without a word, then took my arm by the wrist and moved it off my stomach to my side. I was so close to the edge of the bed I was worried that any shift could cause it to fall off, dragging me with it and pulling my head into the corner of the nightstand. He must have noticed the same thing because he stopped, sort of looked at it like he was deciding something, then pushed part of my hand a little bit underneath me before he moved on. As soon as he did that, I felt this sickening shock hit me that, oh my god, he already knows. He knows something is wrong and he just doesn't care. He isn't going to stop. I had been so certain that as soon as he figured it out then everything would be fine, that the first thing he would do would be to yell for H. and then call an ambulance. I remember how crushing it was to realize that it wasn't that he didn't know, it was just that he didn't care. I had been clinging to the thought that it would all be ok soon, that help would be on the way the second he knew I needed it, that the paramedics could figure out what was wrong and at least try to fix it, but now that hope was gone. Help wasn't coming. Somehow he knew I was paralyzed and instead of calling anyone, he was going to use it to his advantage. He knew I couldn't say no this time. It was crystal clear where this was going, the the condition I was in didn't matter to him. The swirl of hurt and confusion, the sense of betrayal I felt is impossible to describe. I had stayed calm because there had been no doubt in my mind that I was safe specifically because it was him in the room with me. I'd expect this from Kyle, maybe, but never him. This was my friend, why would he do this to me? He had to know I needed to get to a hospital. Why would he take such a horrible risk in delaying getting help? And for this reason? I was trying to keep a grip, to stay calm, and I held onto the idea that even if he did go through with it, I wouldn't be able to feel it. I thought that because I couldn't move I wouldn't be able to feel anything either, so all I would have to do was keep my eyes closed and it would be like it wasn't even happening.Then it registered that I had felt it, I had felt it when he touched me. I wasn't numb like I'd thought and I was going to feel everything.  

 I started trying to throw every rationalization in the book at it in an effort to stay calm. I thought ok, he's just going to take what he wants and then he'll get me help. He can't just leave me like this. Then the horrible realization that if he went through with this, he wasn't going to be calling anybody. He couldn't. He had to know this wasn't right and he wasn't going to want anyone to know that he did this. Getting me help was not going to be in his best interests. I had this fear that maybe the longer I was like this, the more likely it was to become permanent without medical intervention, that there was a finite window of time before it would be too late for them to do anything for me. In my head I was pleading, begging him to stop and think about what he was doing, reminding him that we were friends, to just stop and pick up the phone. He could still call as long he hadn't crossed that line yet and I was desperate for him to snap out of it and do the right thing before he hit that point of no return. This wasn't him, this wasn't the person I knew, this couldn't be happening. Finally I couldn't take it and thought ok, never mind that,  I need to focus on why I can't move. That's the real problem, not what he's going to do. I can't help that. I kept telling myself that yes, the circumstances were horrible, but at the end of the day it was still just sex. It wasn't like it would be painful and it wasn't like I'd never done it before. It wasn't like it would kill me. I couldn't say the same for whatever was wrong. 

I still didn’t know how serious this was. I thought at first that maybe I'd fallen and hit my neck the wrong way, but that didn't fit because I hadn't gotten up. Maybe a bad reaction to the alcohol? It occurred to me that he might have drugged me, I knew that last glass didn't look right, but I couldn't think of anything he could have gotten hold of that would do this. But then how did he seem to know in advance that I couldn't move? Had he seen someone react to alcohol this way before?  What if it was progressive and it was about to shut down my heart and lungs the way it had shut down everything else? The heart was a muscle too, so what was to stop whatever this was from getting worse and paralyzing it as well? I was trying so hard to stay calm. I remember having this thought that it might be something like a spider bite, that maybe it was something in my bloodstream and I could slow the progression if I could just keep my heart rate down as much as possible. 

I remember being worried about what would happen if he put any of his weight on me. I was already having trouble getting air in as it was, so any significant pressure on my ribs or abdomen was going to be impossible to overcome. Just having that little bit of weight from my arm being moved off to the side had made a difference, so I knew if he wasn’t paying attention I could asphyxiate underneath him and there would be no way for him to know it was even happening. He had to have weighed at least three hundred pounds, more than enough to force the air out of my lungs and make it impossible to inhale again, and because of the paralysis there would be no outward sign at all. I could suffocate and he would have no idea until it was too late. It was at that point I decided the only thing I could do was start trying to accept that I might not live through this. I had no idea how much longer I really had, if the rest of my life meant years or if I was down to my last few minutes and I just didn’t know it yet. Between him and whatever was wrong, there were just too many ways I could wind up dead by the end of it and there was nothing I could do about any of them. I remember making that decision and then realizing I had absolutely no idea how to do that. It was like knowing you have to change a fan belt when you’ve never worked on a car. I had no idea where to start. I felt stuck, trying to find a way forward with it, feeling like it was my only choice, then furious that I was having to think about it at all, then realizing how useless anger was in that situation. Anger is energizing, it makes you want to move, so feeling all that with no way to release it was just making things worse, more tortuous and frustrating. I gave up and went back to trying to just accept it. That I had control over. 

 I wondered if it was true what I’d always heard, that you saw your relatives when you died. I hoped it was. I’d never met my grandfather and I missed my grandmother terribly. I remember latching onto that thought hard, how good it would be to see her again. It allowed me to calm down and think that maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing if I went. It certainly sounded better than where I was now. I didn't even bother praying that it wouldn't happen, that I wouldn't die or that he'd come to his senses and not go through with this. I knew things didn't work that way, so I just prayed that someone would be there waiting for me when I got here and that it would be fast, painless, and hopefully before he actually did anything. That was what I really prayed for, that if I was going to die anyway, I would go before he started. I realized it was the only way I was going to avoid having to go through it, and it wasn’t long before I found myself actively hoping it would happen. It wouldn’t matter what he did to my body then; I’d be gone.

Then there was him. The way he was acting was so strange, so far from the person I knew I might as well have been with a complete stranger. When he'd first reached for my arm, I was expecting his hands to be sweaty, nervous, but instead they were dry and cool. I knew that was odd, it surprised me, and the thought ran through my mind that he'd done this before. He was just too calm and too methodical, which in a way only made the whole thing more frightening and confusing. I still wasn’t scared of him directly, but his whole demeanor was so cold and so detached that it was unnerving. I'd never seen anyone be that flat. He looked bored, like he was no more engaged than he would be if he were doing the dishes or laundry. It actually pissed me off. I was scared out of my mind, terrified that every passing second was bringing me closer to never being able to recover, and he was costing me that time in order to take something he didn't even seem to really want. I didn't understand how he could do this so casually, how he could look so indifferent. It was the same look I'd seen on him earlier in the kitchen, only now it was directed at me. If it had been someone I barely knew it would have been one thing, but to be put through this by someone who I'd thought of as a trusted friend only an hour ago was just... It made it so much worse. It was like he saw I was injured and instead of trying to help, he decided to burn me alive because he wanted to see what it looked like and he had some time to kill.  

He came back towards the head of the bed and for a second I thought that he had changed his mind, that something had clicked and he realized how wrong this was, but he had only come back towards me to get a condom out of H’s drawer. On one hand I was relieved, if he was going to do this at least it made certain things less of a concern, but it also told me he was serious, that he really was going to go through with it. Nothing was going to intervene. He wasn't suddenly going to have a crisis of conscience and come back to himself. He wasn't suddenly going to turn back into the friend I knew. He wasn't going to stop.

I kept trying to figure out what I had done to make him turn on me like this, what I done to push him to this point. There had to have been something. This felt vengeful, like he was punishing me for something, and you don't do something like this for no reason. I thought I must have provoked him somehow, and then I felt a violent stab of guilt as I remembered what I'd said in the kitchen a few weeks before. I knew him reacting this way was over the top, but it was all I could think of that even might have done it, that made how he was acting towards me make any sense at all. There hadn't been any other problems between us, so that had to be it. I actually relaxed once that hit. He wasn't doing this for no reason. He did hear me, he'd been simmering for awhile, and now that I was down it presented him with the perfect opportunity to get back at me for it. I hadn't acted as a friend when I'd said it or in how I handled it, I'd let my embarrassment get the best of me on both counts, and now that I needed that friendship to protect me it wasn't there. I broke it, not him. If I just hadn't been so superficial or if I'd had the courage to straighten it out right away then none of this would be happening. It felt like karma, the consequences of my own bad actions. It didn't mean I wouldn't keep fighting to move, to keep it from happening, but at least now I had a way to get my head around why it was happening. It made it less frightening to have a way to understand it.


 



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