I wasn’t even that drunk, if I’m being honest with myself. Everyone was much worse than I was, and I was only having about one drink (and a glass of water) to everyone else’s three or four. But they were all the level of drunk where you just assume that everyone is like you, mostly because you imagine that it will make the night more fun. It was a big house party, one where I could have easily left if I wanted to without offending anybody, but for some reason I didn’t feel like making the entire bus trip back to my apartment by myself. My guy friend, Josh*, was one of the few people I knew well enough — and someone that I knew, without a doubt, would walk me home if I asked him to. He was having fun, and I didn’t want to ruin his good time, so I waited on the couch and made small talk.
Two A.M. came by, then three. By the time we realized how late it was, it was clear that Josh was not interested in making the journey home, and the host offered us his out-of-town roommate’s room to spend the night in if we needed a place to stay. “Just don’t have sex on his bed,” he told us, “or he’s going to kill me.” At that moment, I could have never imagined that I would have sex with Josh. He’s been my friend for so long that, even though he is objectively cute and a good guy, I never really considered him romantically. When we laid down next to each other and he opened that little crook in his arm/chest for me to place my head on, I still somehow thought that it was in friendship. When he leaned down and kissed me, Jack Daniels still evaporating on his lips, I kissed him back for reasons I still don’t understand.
I haven’t had a boyfriend in almost a year, and though I’ve never really felt the pressure to force something just to not be alone, there is always something nice about being wanted. Like I said, I wasn’t that drunk, but I was still more than buzzed enough to just kind of go with it. I leaned into his touches, I got on top of him, I bit his neck. There was no part of it that I wasn’t participating in, even if a sober me would never have initiated that kind of thing. By the time we found a condom in the roommate’s night stand, I knew that this was only going to make for serious problems in the morning. The way he did everything showed — even if he was wasted — that he was really into it in a way I wasn’t. I could tell that he liked me. The sex wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t something I’d ever want to repeat.
The next morning, I woke up early and gathered all my stuff before he woke up. I took the bus home smelling like Jack Daniels and cigarettes, and avoided everyone’s eyes. I took a long, hot shower, scrubbed every bit of myself, and fell asleep for the rest of the morning. When I woke up, I had about ten worried texts from Josh asking me if I was okay, where I want, how I got home, and if I was upset at him. Putting on my best “hungover” voice, I called him back. He was freaking out. I explained to him that I was fine, that I got home okay, but that I didn’t remember anything from last night and that it would be better if we never talked about it again. I could hear the disappointment break in his voice when he told me it was totally cool, and that he was really sorry if he did anything he shouldn’t have. He even tried to backpedal a little bit, pretending that his memories were a little hazy, too, and that he wasn’t really sure what we even did. Even with a phone full of his panicked texts, I went along with the charade. I laughed at his weird attempts at jokes, and pretended I had something else to go do.
It was easy to tell that he thought of that night as the start of something, that he was finally getting to do all of the things he wanted to do with me, but I couldn’t let him know that I was as much of the control of the situation as him (if not more so). Though he might feel badly for sleeping with someone who was blacked out, it’s much better than having to tell him that I was fully aware of what was happening but already disgusted with myself for doing it in the moment. There is nothing wrong with him, but he is simply not for me, and I’m not interested in leading someone on who is only going to become more and more difficult to let down easily. Things have become a little bit strange between us, but every time I reassure him that there are no hard feelings, he gets a little less uncomfortable. I guess it’s a lesson every girl needs to learn at some point in her life: When you’re tired, listen to your instincts and take that bus home right away. It’s worth it.