Most girls dream of weddings and fantasize about future homes. I however, can’t stop thinking about the look on my parents faces when I tell them their best friend raped me.
He was an attractive older man. Tan and lean with the best sense of humor. He had always been my parent’s favorite friend. I was 17 and we were all on a family vacation together, sailing on a rented sail boat through the Caribbean. Beach bars and too many cocktails were an everyday occurrence and this day was no exception. It was an especially hot evening and most of the boat decided to sleep on deck for the breeze. Stargazing and chit chat slowly ended as one by one everyone fell asleep.
Only after everyone was asleep did he anal rape me. His wife and my younger brother were merely feet away but my voice was nowhere to be found. I completely froze.
I awoke the next morning, alone in my cabin, and thought the whole ordeal was a dream. But the the soreness was overwhelming. I laid there and quickly contemplated my options:
1. Walk out of my cabin, meet my family and his family, interrupt breakfast and announce that he had raped me. The vacation would immediate ended, along with his marriage, and promptly ended my parents 20 year friendship with him. Yeah NO.
2. Pretend it didn’t happen.
I couldn’t shake the feeling that it had been my fault. I was tipsy and most importantly I didn’t say or do ANYTHING. I went with option number two. I went up to breakfast. Had some coffee. Went snorkeling and drank my favorite beers. The day was completely normal to everyone else. The vacation eventually ended and I started college two weeks later.
My first weekend home from college my parents happily announce that he and his wife are coming over for dinner. At that instance I realized that surviving that vacation was not the end of it. And it wasn’t. They come to ALL of the birthday parties, art shows, potlucks, happy hours, graduations, and funerals.
I have thought extensively on how I would tell my parents. About anonymous letters or emails, whether to bring it up casually, or have someone else tell them (a few of my friends/ex-boyfriends know).
I have decided to tell them when he dies.
I am not sure what I expect when I tell them. I want a thank you for bearing all the pain just to ensure everyone’s happiness. Happiness that his daughter doesn’t know her dad raped someone her age, happiness that his wife didn’t need to get a second divorce, happiness that my parents kept their “amazing” friends. I want a thank you for hugging him when I was expected to. I want a thank you for not allowing my boyfriend to punch him even though he shakes in anger when he sees him. I want a thank you for letting them stay in my room while they are visiting.
But what I will get is therapy sessions, guilty faces, and years of questions.
It is four years later and all I want is a thank you.