It was the hazy flashbacks that haunted me. He was on top of me, and then nothing. I remember feeling tired, pushing away but never saying “no.” He should have stopped, he should have known that me losing consciousness meant I was not willing to have his body near mine, taking, taking, taking.
Waking up, feeling that achy sore feeling and not remembering when he stopped. The not knowing and uncertainty tainted my usual carefree nature. I was no longer comfortable with myself. No longer able to simply kiss anyone without the anxiety overtaking my body at what could happen, what might happen, if just for a second I lost control.
But then you came along. You came up to dance with me. You were goofy and told me you would like to buy me a drink. We talked, you asked me questions. Never once did I think back to that room where my old self was trapped, buried under regret and confusion.
You left that night with my number and I left with a smile. You texted me again the next night and met me out at the bar where we quickly danced, kissed and went home together. At your place we laughed and talked and eventually things started to escalate. You made eye contact with me. You asked me what I wanted, made sure what you were doing was what I liked. You made me feel like I was in control. I was the one making the decisions.
In the morning when I woke up next to you and your sleepy smile, I smiled back. For the first time in two years I felt optimistic about a sexual experience. There was no fear or regret or mystery. Instead, there was just me and you and our sheepish smiles, morning breath, and slightly awkward morning after conversation.
We parted ways with promises to call each other and reassurances we had a good time. But we both knew it was one night. We both knew we were just having fun.
But I know something that you don’t. I know that your kindness and respect for me and my body has empowered me to move away from my past. You led me out of that dark and hazy room and into a new light where I was confident and in control. You helped me smash through a wall I put up between myself and other guys. A wall of fear that my lack of good judgment one night meant I wasn’t smart enough to make any healthy decisions.
So, thank you to my one night stand. Thank you for showing me that I can make carefree decisions without endangering myself. Thank you for helping me bring back a piece of myself I thought I lost two years ago. Thank you for reaffirming my faith in the opposite sex and in myself. And finally, thank you for helping me close the door to that dark room with an unmade bed, a drunk girl, and a selfish boy who thought he could take something I wasn’t aware I was giving out.