Campus Visit Goes BadbyMidnightLove123©
I was practically skipping in my excitement as we left what would be my dorm building in just a few months. I had long since given up trying to play it cool. The fresh landscaped lawns were cut out with old timey cobblestone paths and handsome buildings. Everyone looked relaxed and happy, hanging around under trees or walking to class. Even more importantly, there were no vice principals herding everyone in and out of crappy cafeterias and classrooms and dingy bathrooms and metal detectors.
Richard just smiled indulgently at my enthusiasm and led me around the campus by the hand, pointing out buildings and landmarks. He was only a year ahead of me, a finishing-up college freshman to my just-graduated high school senior, but it felt like he was ages older.
He had the whole casual grunge that appeared to be the norm. I, however, was dressed in my best hot-but-still-school-worthy clothes and I stood out look a sore thumb. For goodness sakes', some of the girls were actually wearing tank tops and pajama bottoms under their backpacks and ipod headphones.
"Baby, I need to stop into the Undergraduate Library for a minute, k?"
"Sure, no problem."
We entered a large atrium filled that was apparently a study room. "Just grab a seat. I gotta find a buddy of mine who's got some notes for me."
I found an empty table and sat down. I considered taking out my phone to fiddle around while I waited, but I was content to people watch through the large glass windows. I was surprised when a boy game and sat down at my table, diagonal to me. No, not a boy, a man. It was my leftover high school mentality that made me think that way, but really this guy was all man. It was hard to say how old, really, but his scruffy jaw, wideset shoulders and stern face made him seem a lot older than Andrew.
He didn't even glance my way, and I realized that other people were clearly sharing tables with strangers too. That appeared to be the norm, although it still struck me as odd to sit with someone and not say anything. He had set down his coffee and his backpack and was pulling out some books and papers.
Maybe he felt me staring because he looked up.
"Hi," I said.
"Hi," he replied. He looked behind him then back at me. "Sorry, was this seat taken?"
"Oh, no. It's fine. I'm just waiting for my boyfriend to come back." I waved a hand toward the recesses of the library. "What's your name?"
He blinked. "Anthony."
"Oh, hi Anthony, I'm Jennifer."
"Ah... nice to meet you, Jennifer," Anthony glanced down at his book.
"Well, don't mind me. Go ahead." I made a shooing gesture toward his book to indicate he should continue. He stared at me for a minute and then opened his book and began reading.
I tried to look out the window again, but the smell of his coffee was tempting me. I glanced at the cup, Starbucks, damn. It had been a long time for me. My parents only drank coffee at work so I didn't have it in the house and they certainly weren't selling it at my high school. I only got to drink coffee on occasional weekend trips to Starbucks so it still had a taboo feeling to me. I surreptitiously leaned closer to his coffee and breathed in.
Or maybe not so surreptitiously because Anthony looked up, then back to his coffee, then me. His mouth quirked up, "Would you ... like some?"
"What? No, of course not," I said, then laughed. "Okay, I would like some, but that's weird. I'm pretty new here but even I get that."
His eyes sparkled and I noticed how incredibly blue there were, how clear. "Well, it is a little weird," he said. "But you look like you could use a fix. And I don't mind sharing, if you don't."
I glanced around, feeling silly, but really wanting a sip. "Okaaay, if you're sure you don't mind..."
He gestured with his hand, go ahead.
I took a sip -- it was heavenly. A little less sugar than I would have preferred, but man, it was great. I couldn't help it, I moaned. "Oh God," I said. "Now, that is good."
Anthony was watching me with an amused look on his face. I laughed and he laughed with me. It was silly, I knew, but sitting there at the same table and sharing coffee out of the same cup wrought a certain kind of intimacy.
"So tell me, Anthony," I said with faked formality. "What are you studying?"
"Engineering," he said cautiously. "I'm a graduate student in electrical engineering."
"Ah, electrical engineering," I said, in my best academic voice. "Transistors, resistors, that sort of thing?"
"Yeah, that sort of thing," he teased. "Why, what do you know about it?" Actually, I had more than a passing interest in science, but it wasn't something that I usually told people about. People took one look at my blond hair and outgoing personality and pegged me as ditzy cheerleader.
"Oh, lots. I did make the Lego Mindstorms with my little brother. Just call me Ms. Faraday," I joked, referencing the physicist.
He raised his eyebrows, "Oh ho, Ms. Faraday, is it? Color me impressed." He considered me for a moment and then leaned in furtively, like he was imparting a secret. "Do you want to hear a joke?"
I smiled, "Sure."
"One atom says to another atom, 'I think I lost an electron!' 'Oh no,' said the other atom, 'are you sure?' The first atom replied, 'Yes, I'm absolutely positive."
A laugh burst out of me, "God, that's horrible." His grungy bad boy image was totally incongruous with his engineering degree and corny physics joke.
Anthony was chuckling, too, "I know, right. And I have more where that came from."
"Oh, hey, you met Anthony!" Richard said, walking up to us. "He's my RA," he told me.
When I just looked at him blankly, he said, "Resident Advisor, there's one on each floor." He shot an apologetic look at Anthony and said, "She's just out of high school. Gonna start here next fall." The way he said "high school" sounded like the way he might say "training wheels" or "diapers" and I flushed with embarrassment.
Richard and Anthony made small talk about some building party coming up.
Anthony got up and nodded goodbye, "See you around, Richard. Jennifer." He walked off down a hallway and I followed him with my eyes until he turned the corner. When I looked back, Richard was looking at my face. "Come on," he said, "let's go to my place."
The apartment itself was damp and I could hear the shower running in the bathroom. Richard shared a bathroom with his roommate, but that was loads better a communal floor bathroom like I would have in the dorms. I put my backpack down and perched awkwardly on the bed while Richard pulled out a beer from the mini fridge.
He took a sip and then tipped it to me, offering. I'd had beer before, a few sips, at parties, but it felt weird to drink it in his apartment for no reason. I didn't care too much for the taste but I think it was all they had to drink and I figured it would help calm my nerves.
Richard was telling me something about his calculus class -- some scheme that involved sitting diagonal to a smart guy he paid fifty bucks during exams. I was only half listening because I knew I wouldn't approve but I hated playing the prude with him. He tapped the beer can and said, "Drink up" and I did.
He turned to me and kissed me, softly, just the way I liked it. He started touching me all over and I squirmed, "Richard! Nathan is right there." His roommate, Nathan, was still in the shower and could come and catch us any minute.
Richard just laughed, "Relax baby, he's not here now. Besides, he wouldn't mind."
He kept kissing me and I got caught up in lips on mine and his hands under my shirt. "God, I've been waiting for this for so long," Richard groaned. I was afraid that I did know what he meant, since we had made out plenty, but hadn't gone all the way yet. I didn't feel particularly ready to do it now either, but I didn't stop and correct him.
Without missing a beat, he pushed me back onto the bed and slipped a knee between my thighs. Then he pulled back just enough to slip my shirt and bra off before resuming kissing me. Already this was farther than we'd made it before. He'd seen my when he had lifted my bra before in the backseat of his car, but I'd never been completely topless with him, and in a bed, no less. I felt exposed, but also womanly and desirable.
I heard the water shut off and then the bathroom door open a minute later. I gasped and tried to cover my breasts with my hands. It took Richard a second to notice that Nathan had walked into the room, still wet but wearing a towel. Thankfully he didn't seem to stare, but neither did he turn away and give us privacy.
Nathan snorted. "Don't mind me," he said as he walked over to the dresser and started rummaging through the drawers.
"Shh, it's ok, baby. It's just Nathan," Richard told me. "I trust him. Don't worry."
He started kissing and touching me again, but I was still stiff. I couldn't relax knowing Nathan could see me. I had met him a couple of times before, but I didn't really know him. Not that I would be comfortable being exposed like this to anyone, except Richard. Richard didn't seem to notice my discomfort, and with my arousal cooled, his grabbing hands were more uncomfortable than pleasurable.
I glanced back at Nathan and then away quickly when I realized he had dropped his towel and was donning boxers. He saw my glance and sat down on his bad, facing us.
"It's ok," he said. "Richard and I, we're buddies. Right, Rick?"
"Mmm, yeah," Richard said, against my breast.
"Uh ... Richard ... " I said. "Please..."
Finally he stopped what he was doing and looked me in the eyes. "Lydia. Baby. I love you, you know that. Don't you trust me?"
"Well... yes..." I hedged.
"Don't you want to please me?"
"Yes, but ... "
"Baby, this is how things are in college. I know this is all new for you, but I've been really patient with you," he said. "I could get this from any of the college girls here, but I've been waiting for you."
Even though I could see the guilt tactics he was using, they still affected me. Maybe I was being a prude, again. I'd heard enough stories to know that this was normal, and lots of my friends in high school had already done this. I maybe wasn't as opposed to having sex with him as I was to the way this was happening. It was all going too fast and his roommate was here in the room with us.
I tried to relax as he pawed my breasts and I tried to ignore that Nathan was looking at my body and stroking his hand over his boxers.
I felt something like panic rising and I said, "No. I'm sorry. I'm not okay with this."
Richard didn't respond to me this time and that was actually scarier than when he was trying to placate me. I used my hands to try to push him off of me but I hadn't realized how strong he was until now.
"No," he said. "Don't do that. It's too late for that."
I started pushing hard, trying to really get him off me, "No, Richard. Stop it!"
I saw Richard glance over at Nathan and apparently it was some kind of signal because Nathan got up and came over to the bed. He grabbed my hands as he sat down near my head and pinned them to the bed.
"Richard!" I cried, scared.
"Shh, just be quiet and take it. It won't be so bad, you'll see," Richard said.
Richard was pulling off my jeans then, and my panties. In the fight-or-flight mode my mind had snapped into, I saw that I could kick him now. My aim was undoubtedly bad but still I could probably do some damage at this angle.
But I was still lucid enough to wonder what would happen after that. If I hurt him but didn't incapacitate him, it would just make him angry. And either way I had Nathan holding me down.
I guess Nathan saw me thinking about it because he shook his head at me and said, "I wouldn't think about that if I were you. You wouldn't like what happens to you." And something in his eyes made me believe that he was right about that. I knew Richard just wanted to have sex with me, but something told me this guy might really hurt me and might enjoy it too.
I thought about screaming, but again, I wasn't sure how they would react to that. I had to weigh the risk of that against what would most assuredly happen if I lay here and took it, as he said.
I felt tears prick my eyes and focused all my attention on not crying. I had a feeling Nathan would enjoy that, too. It was a very small thing, but sometimes that's all you have.
Richard spread my legs and pushed into me and it really burned. I sucked in a breath. Don't cry, don't cry.
I heard him moving faster and his breath was hot and wet against my face. I knew the pain was still there between my legs but it had almost stopped registering. I just kept feeling the push and push and push of his thrusts rocking me like some twisted parody of a comforting motion.
He pushed hard one last time and I watched dispassionately as his face turned red and he made a small cry.
I felt him slip out of me wetly and he stood up. Nathan stood up too and they switched places. I was free for a moment but I didn't even try to fight them. It was still two against one and I was almost frozen in place anyways.
Nathan was bigger than Richard and I felt a spearing pain every time he thrust in. He grunted with every thrust and twisted my nipples with his fingers. I heard myself cry out but it was like it coming from far away.
As I watched Nathan's face scowling over me, the picture of Anthony's face rose up in my mind. I pushed it away though; I didn't want any of this ugliness to touch my thoughts of him.
My mind scrabbled desperately for some topic to latch onto, as if I could distract myself from what was happening here. But everything I thought of -- school, my friends -- I could feel it just becoming associated with the shame and the pain being pounded into me. In the end I settled on thinking of nothing and just enduring, which actually helped me almost relax. With my mind blank, a sort of hazy cloud protected me, with the pain only piercing occasionally but not really touching me.
Nathan put his hand around my throat and squeezed. It wasn't too tight but the threat was obvious and I wondered inanely if I had miscalculated how far they would go tonight. He climaxed while squeezing my throat and blocking off the air, making my eyes burn again. When he released me and got up, I curled up into a ball on my side, gasping for air.
I heard them get up and putter around the room, getting ready for bed.
Richard came over and sat down next to me. "Here, it's your turn in the bathroom."
I still hadn't moved. Richard sighed heavily, but didn't look me in the eye. "Don't be dramatic, Jenn. Go get ready for bed."
I thought about several "dramatic" options, including going to find Anthony who was presumably somewhere on this floor. But then what would I say?
I wasn't even sure what had just happened. Was it really rape? I knew I had said no, but when he was talking to me and threatening to expose my secrets, I wasn't repeating it, was I? And I knew I hadn't fought that hard, physically. Maybe I had just imagined the physical danger I was in, but I knew I hadn't. Still, the anxiety that had charged the air while they were having sex with me was gone, replaced with discomfort, which was safer at least.
In the end I got up and went into the bathroom. I took a long shower, scrubbing thoroughly in the tender folds between my legs and watching the viscous fluid, pink with my blood, flow down the drain. I felt the filthy burn in my privates as if it were something being done to me, instead of a part of my body anymore.
Surprisingly, Richard gave me his twin bed while he took my sleeping bag on this couch. I still had visions in my head of running crying from the room, but they were even more ridiculous looking next to this small chivalry. It took me a long time to fall asleep, though.
In the morning, I packed my things and we headed down the elevators in silence. Richard sat me down at some couches in the lobby while he went off to do god-knows-what. I clutched my bag in my hands and focused on staring straight ahead.
I was startled when a hand tapped me on shoulder, "Hey, Jennifer, you okay?"
I looked up to see Anthony from the day before looking at me with a concerned look on his face.
"Oh, uh, hey," I replied, hating that my voice was so shaky.
He was focused on my face and I was incredibly self-conscious of my puffy, red eyes. "Are you okay?" he repeated.
"What? Oh. Yeah, I'm fine." I attempted a smile. "How are you?"
His blue eyes narrowed at me and his mouth pursed. He leaned in, presumably to sit next to me, but I couldn't help flinching. He froze and then pulled back his arm. He glanced around and then knelt beside me. "Jennifer. You don't seem okay. Can I help you?"
"No, no. I'm fine. I promise." It really didn't even cross my mind to tell him the truth of what happened. In fact, the only thing on my mind was making sure he didn't find out. I wasn't sure if Richard and I would still be together or how I would deal with this, but I knew for certain that I would never tell anyone, and definitely not him.
Anthony scanned my face for a few minutes as if trying to read inside and I tightened my grip on my bag as if that could hide me. He sighed. "Listen," he said, "I'm going to go get you a cup of coffee." He gestured to the coffee cart in the corner of the lobby. "Just hang tight, okay?" I didn't respond but he was already off.
He was halfway across the lobby when Richard materialized next to me. "Come on," he said. Numbly, I got up and followed him through the lobby and out of the doors. I couldn't help one glance over at Anthony and he caught my eyes. He tensed like he was thinking of coming over to me, but he didn't.
3 months later
Thankfully, my bad experience visiting the campus didn't seem to have any negative impact on my happiness once I got there. I still loved the beautiful historical place and the energy that seemed to buzz through everything. I even loved my tiny dorm room and being woken up by my party girl roommate when she stumbled in late.
The campus was big enough that I didn't need to see Richard, although I was nervous at the beginning. The first time I noticed him was at the recreation center playing bowling with friends from my study group. He was two lanes down and had a girl he put his arm around. I know he saw me; he kept glancing at me furtively. I wasn't sure whether he felt guilty for what had happened or whether he thought I would make a scene or something. I felt a certain negative reaction when I looked at him, like that feeling you get when you walk into a bathroom stall and see something gross left behind, but nothing I wanted to act on. I definitely didn't feel any jealousy toward the girl, more of an honest concern that her experiences wouldn't make me feel like mine had. In the end, though, it was a non-event and we didn't even speak to each other.
Richard hadn't ever called me after he dropped me off at home after my visit to the campus. At first I'd felt not only used, but inadequate, that he wouldn't want to be with me anymore after he got what he wanted. On the other hand, it was a relief not to have to deal with him when I was so upset. And so the breakup was technically initiated by him, but it was so definitely the right thing for me too.
To be honest, I even felt a little surprised, since as far as he knew, I would continue to put out for him if he wanted. And since it was the summertime, he was back with his parents in our hometown so I was convenient. A friend of mine mentioned to me that she saw him at the grocery store with his parents and that his face looked messed up, like he'd gotten into a fight and came out on the wrong side, so I guess he had other things to think about.
I've always been an optimist and I was grateful that that night didn't change that about me. Sometimes you just have to look at the silver lining. In this case, I learned how to be careful -- or more importantly, that I even needed to be careful.