Every girl wants to be the kind that blows whistles on assholes and doesn’t stand to be treated wrongly by a guy, becoming a champion of sorts for all the girls he’s juggling who are too dependent on the sporadic attention to rally and fight back. I always imagined myself to be that girl. Using a leather jacket as armor, I would be the type of girl that was beautiful, terrifying, and couldn’t be messed with. Turns out coming to a college where you know not one person isn’t easy. When no one around you knows who you are, it’s easy for you to forget too. So when the decently cute RA goes out of his way to give you attention, it feels really good. When this RA takes his car and picks you up crying in the city because you lost your backpack and there are men leering at you, he might as well be your knight in shining armor. You look at him and you want to fluff his stupid hair and lie in his skinny arms and watch cartoons and build a false sense of familiarity and safety.
You can’t though, because he’s talking to your friend. He’s talking to lots of girls and their friends. But it doesn’t matter to you because you’re just friends. You talk to him all the time and build inside jokes and hug for a little too long but it doesn’t matter because you’re just friends. He invites you into his bed and you are totally and utterly his, but it doesn’t matter because you’re just friends. Then the night before a break from college, you let him touch you. You forget all about the other girls and their friends, about how many other people have been invited into this same bed, about how he doesn’t know your middle name or your favorite food and he doesn’t care to, even though you’re friends.
You live in this happy delusional world for a little, trading the warmth from your leather jacket armor for the kind that comes from being wrapped in someone’s arms for hours, and the tough exterior you’ve pretended to have your whole life doesn’t seem to be holding up. Turns out some of the strongest fortresses can be knocked down by the right combination of words. Words that are a little too polished and a little too rehearsed in the way they are strung together. But boys like these aren’t about to come up with new material and you’re too blind to see the clean-cut corners and well-timed-out catches in his throat.
You’re too blind until the cracks widen and things fall through. His face hardens and he makes you promise not to tell anyone, he doesn’t want to lose his job. You have to promise, besides even if you told anyone he would just deny it. You’re shaken, but you don’t understand how much he never cared until you realize The Message he sent you, The Message where he told you he could see himself falling in love with you, where he went on and on about how deep his feelings were for you, the first time anyone has ever said those words about you, was copy and pasted to you and someone else and someone else and someone else.
The residence hall that was supposed to be your home-away-from-home becomes a variation of hell and all the residents he’s “assisted” are always going to be around as a constant reminder. So you wait for the year to end, dreaming of blowing the whistle, stopping him once and for all, becoming a sort of champion for all the girls who are too dependent on the sporadic attention to rally and fight back. You hope he can realize that you were never just friends, and that you can realize you were never even friends at all.