What I’m going to tell you is going to make you uncomfortable, but you’re a teenager now and I’m not going to sugarcoat this for you.
I have lain on my back staring at the swirls on a lampshade trying to figure out what I did to deserve being pinned down, sweated on, and told to shut the fuck up. I have wiped fresh blood from between my legs while crying in the bathroom. I have watched the trash truck drive away with the dress, the shoes, the underwear.
Your mother was raped.
“You want to share a cab?” said Mike, as he signed his name on the receipt for our bar tab in an odd cursive-print combination.
Mike was cute. Mike laughed at my jokes. Mike said I had nice hands.
“Sure, why not.” I’m a lightweight. I always have been. Two beers and I’m drunk. Three and I make bad decisions. On this night I’d had four beers.
I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror of the bathroom. The band was playing “Tempted (by the fruit of another)” and the singer was flat on the high notes, which made me cock my head and squint every time he got to the word “another.” I looked good, I thought. The world was moving a little too fast for me to track, but I knew at least I felt good. Really good. Reborn, actually. I was freshly divorced and still vibrating from the power of saying “I want out!”
We made out in the cab all the way from Chelsea to almost 110th Street. The driver had a lead foot and slammed on the brake way too late for the stop lights. Mike kept trying to run his hand through my hair, but I wore my hair curly then. It took a lot of products to keep it from frizzing into a cotton candy bouffant. I thought about stopping him, but he was so into it, and I didn’t want to kill the mood.
“Do you want to come in? I’ve got chocolate cake my sister made,” he asked.
“Come on, you’ll love it. The frosting is to die for,” he said, kissing me again.
When we got to his apartment I noticed right away how tidy it was. I hadn’t ever been inside a tidy guy’s apartment. Actually, I hadn’t been inside any guy’s apartment in years. My marriage was a little like being on a grand jury. Other people might have thought it was cool and interesting, but I just felt sequestered and eager for it to be over.
It was a nice place, for a studio apartment. Windows that looked out onto something besides a brick wall, a couch, a four-poster bed, and a kitchenette with all the standard things: fridge, coffee pot, knife block.
“Do you want some coffee?” he asked.
“No, coffee gives me insomnia.” I instantly realized how stupid that sounded at two o’clock in the morning.
The cake was stale, but I ate it anyway while he had a Miller Lite he got from the vegetable crisper.
His bathroom was small, with a window that looked painted shut. In the full-length mirror I noticed that my hair had frizzed and my lipstick was smeared under my nose. Why hadn’t he at least told me?
When I came out of the bathroom he was no longer on the couch. His beer sat empty on the nightstand. The lamp was off.
“Hey there, gorgeous,” he said, patting the white cotton sheet. His clothing, underwear, and shoes were lying in a pile on the floor.
I lay down. With my clothes on.
He took them off.
I let him. He was really into it. Into me.
“One second,” he said, and slipped a condom from his wallet.
He unwrapped it.
He put it on.
He got on top of me.
“Wait.” I said.
“What?” he said, continuing to kiss my neck.
“I …” I pushed his hand out of my hair and scooted myself backward toward the headboard, trying to feel less pinned.
“What’s wrong? What’s the problem?” His voice was flat, like the singer in the band.
“I’m… just.” I tried to move left.
“Are you kidding me?” He rolled off of me, slapping the bed hard with his right hand. I could tell he was pissed. I could tell he felt cheated. I pulled the sheets up to my chin and sat all the way up. I couldn’t remember the last time I blinked.
“God dammit!” He ran his hand through his hair and wiped the sweat from his upper lip.
I gripped the side of the bed. “I’m sorry.”
He stomped into the bathroom and slammed the door. I put my clothes back on and let myself out.
Son, your Mom was raped, but not by Mike. I’m not saying Mike did all the right things. He shouldn’t have had so much to drink. He should definitely not have tried to take home a very obviously drunk person. He could have controlled his frustration better. But, when Mike finally figured out that I was not into it? He stopped.
Mike stopped and I NEED YOU TO STOP TOO.
I don’t give a shit about how horny you are, how hot she is, or how long it’s been. The minute you get the slightest inkling she’s hesitant, you stop. It’s that simple. No woman, NO WOMAN, deserves to lie there under you hoping it will be over soon and wondering what she could have done to keep it from happening. Blaming herself for something that is 100% not her fault.
I cannot be un-raped. Neither can the six hundred people who are raped every day in this country. One person every two minutes. EVERY TWO MINUTES.
Don’t be that guy, son. Be better. Just stop.