I do not know what else to call it. I doubt I said no, but I know I didn’t say yes. I was supposed to go to a fraternity formal that night, but at ten that morning, my date canceled on me. Nonetheless, this story is not about the date that never was.
I was determined to make this night fun, despite the change of plans. I let my friend talk me into seeing her friends at a school down the road. I may have had a reputation there, as I can admit I had hooked up with a few people there. My boyfriend of three years had recently come out of the closet, and I had the stereotypical college hookup phase. Many of these hookups did not include sex, though most people did not realize this. I decided not to party at this school anymore, as I was resolute in not falling back into my old ways. But, I had gone with her a few weeks prior and had a ton of fun, and I knew these boys. They weren’t bad guys… right?
I can’t blame my friend, the boy, or anyone else. I was the one to drink so much. I was the one to put myself in that situation. I honestly did not think too much of it, until I heard stories and saw pictures of me from the night before. I am no stranger to blacking out, but this was different. I do not remember much after our arrival. The four of us hung out in the boys’ room for a long time, playing drinking games and having fun. That’s what the pictures showed, at least. The photos and videos showed me barely sitting up, with my head hanging down drunkenly. When I asked my friend how this incident came to happen, she explained to me that I was sitting on the edge of the bed playing cards, and eventually just fell backwards passing out, and he began kissing me. The other two in the room felt understandably uncomfortable, and left us alone.
I was so angry with her for such a long time; however, I am the worst grudge holder. We are not close anymore, but this incident is not the only reason for our distance. I am enraged one minute thinking of the details of the night, but then I realize that she couldn’t have foreseen what would happen, and she was not my babysitter. It is not fair to place blame on people who may have potentially prevented my own wrongdoing. I just can’t help but wish there was an intervention.
In addition to the emotional struggle I was privately facing following this night, something suddenly made it all so much worse: I had oral herpes. I did not want to seem like the crazy girl. I just was my lighthearted self, and made jokes about the situation. I felt that if I acted seriously about it, then it would become a serious issue. I did not let on how upset about the situation I was, and everyone thought it was just another one of my hookups. But this was different. I started noticing the bumps and sores around and in my mouth, and herpes was the first thing I thought of. My close friends with whom I shared this suspicion laughed it off, saying it was just acne. Within a week, my entire chin was a painful giant scab, and I could only drink juices and smoothies because of all the sores in my mouth. I finally went to the urgent care on a Sunday afternoon, and faced my diagnosis. Of course, my friend asks her friend, who is roommates of the boy, if he had herpes. He explained that he had fever blisters, but it was “nothing to worry about.”
I thought I was doing the right thing by texting him. I said verbatim, “I just wanted to let you know that I went to the doctor today to get my chin looked at, and it turns out that I do have oral herpes, not fever blisters as I was told before. I just wanted to give you a heads up.” He was so defensive and angry; he blamed me, and said that I was only with him for one night that weekend, so how did I know it came from him?
I have thought about this night every single day since. First herpes and associated illness I dealt with for a month was a constant reminder. Now it is my scarred chin, but really I do not require a physical reminder. I thought that when I went home for the summer, where no one knew what happened, I would forget about it, but it has become worse. I have flashbacks and constant fear that no one understands. I know I will never forget that night or the one person that I would most like to forget.