What I Remember About That Night

Trigger warning: This article contains content involving sexual assault and rape.

What I Remember About That Night
Ben Waardenburg

I don’t remember exactly what time of year it was. I just remember it was too hot to wear long pants, so I wore cut offs. March, maybe?

I don’t remember much, actually. I remember the way the music vibrated in my chest, but I can’t remember the song that was playing. I remember the taste of lukewarm alcohol, and how it burned when it went down, but I don’t remember what exactly was in my cup. I remember being invisible in a room full of your friends, but I don’t remember any of their names.

It’s not alcohol that erased those memories. I was barely even drunk. It was a mixture of time and will that stole those moments from me, mercifully and gracefully.

The details are all fuzzy, but I remember the big stuff. I remember your damn Hawaiian shirt, the one that I detested. I remember that I loved you and that you didn’t love me. I remember being two drinks deep, but being positively drunk on your kisses. I remember letting you lead me into a bedroom and I remember the door locking behind us.

I remember saying, “No, I’m not ready” and I remember your voice whispering, “You have to at least let me do it for a minute.” I remember my hands being pinned above me as yours wandered to places I begged them not to go.

I remember your hot breath of my face as you whispered, “Don’t worry, I’m not going to rape you.” I remember thinking that maybe you didn’t quite know what that word meant. I remember that the guy you were in front of your friends wasn’t the guy you were behind closed doors. I remember feeling so frantic as I tried to wiggle out from under you. I remember you grabbing my hand and putting it in your boxers.

“I’m not ready.”

“I am.”

I remember your five o’clock shadow on my neck. I remember you finishing on the shirt I was wearing, the shirt I haven’t worn since. I remember feeling so relieved when you fell asleep on the other side of the bed, and I remember listening to your snores until the sun came up, because I was afraid to move and wake you. I remember sneaking out at six in the morning, running to my car without my shoes and without looking back. I remember ignoring my roommate when she asked how your party was. I remember standing in the shower for nearly an hour, letting the scalding water and salt cleanse my skin. I remember wondering if I’d ever feel clean again.

I remember walking into my classroom to take an exam an hour later, and praying that nobody looked at me. I remember the nice boy who walked me home, because he said I looked like I was having a bad day. I remember being a little afraid of him.

I remember that now, even three years later, I’ve never told a soul. I remember that I never will, because I followed you into that room, and I let you start kissing me. Because you didn’t violate me in the felonious sense, but I still remember how violated I’ve felt every day since.

I was assaulted and I remember everything. TC mark

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