A Penned Memory (The Letter – REVISED)

 Dear Christine,

You’ve been asking to know what happened at the Halloween party for over a month now, but I still don’t think I could ever bring myself to tell you this face to face, so I’m going to let my pen do the dirty work for me. I can’t really stand it anymore – I need to tell somebody how dirty I feel. No matter how many times I shower, the faint ghosts of his touch still linger all over my skin. I can’t look at my own body without feeling disgusted. I’m ashamed of letting myself drink so much, but I had thought that drinking with him would make it easier for him to finally make his move. You told me that he was flirting every time he came over to our room, even when I didn’t believe you. You always said it was just a matter of time. I was the impatient one though…maybe if I hadn’t tried so hard that night, I wouldn’t be so ashamed of myself now.

I don’t even think Sim cares, because no matter how many times he has apologized, it won’t change the fact that I was just a mistake to him. I’ll probably never be anything else. You’re my roommate, so I’m sure you know Sim was involved. We’d been texting so much more, and he had seemed pretty excited when I invited him to our party. He explicitly told me that he liked spending time with me more than with his girlfriend. I believed him, but look at the texts he sent me when I invited him to the party – wouldn’t you have believed him too?

Me: Hey Sim, party @ my place tonight. Wear your costume
Sim: Awesome, can’t wait to escape Cindy and party w/ u.
Me: I’ve never heard u say anything positive about her…
Sim: Only bc you’re so much cooler

I guess I’m writing you this letter to sort out my own feelings about him and about the night. It does help that you’ll stop bothering me about it after you read this though. I like him, but you already know that. I just didn’t think he liked me back. Not only that, he was still dating Cindy then…well, the night I invited him over (Halloween), do you remember when I left our room with him for a couple minutes? He told me that Cindy had suggested they take a “break” – as if relationships are like real-life board games you can pause, grab a snack, and come back to. On second thought, that’s probably how Sim decided to take things too, because now that I’m writing out the order of events to you as they happened, I’m starting to realize I was the “snack” he wanted to grab while his relationship was on pause.

But I told myself I wasn’t going to worry about any of that, and just focus on having a great Halloween party. I’d already had two shots of vodka by the time Sim arrived. After we came back in the room, we both had two more shots each before heading over to my bed.

This is where the night got scandalous.

I already knew they were on a break, and we were cuddling in the bed together for some reason. Nostalgia had settled in on us both, and we were just swapping old memories. The first time we’d spoken to one another online, met, fallen asleep on the same bed. Then suddenly he was leaning me to promise me that he didn’t really like Cindy, and I tried to tell him that it didn’t matter to me but his lips were so close to my own that before I could say anything, I was kissing him. Or maybe he kissed me first?

After we shared that first tentative kiss, he moved his face toward mine again. Our lips met and this time, I discovered that he was an aggressive kisser when the pretense of caution was no longer necessary. When we kissed, my senses felt as if they were suddenly ten times more acute. I saw the stubble on his chin, heard his quiet whispers between each kiss, and best of all, felt his lips on mine. I felt as though I could hear his heart thundering in his chest. I felt as though, if I turned around fast enough, I’d see flecks of fairy dust swirling magically around us.

I loved kissing him, but I don’t think it was as magical for him. When I was in the moment, I was perfectly happy, but every moment after he left has been torturing me. We were in the dorm room, not yet fully alone, but that hadn’t stopped him from setting me down next to him and lowering his lips to mine, moving us backward so I was laying on the bed and then sliding his hands all over my body as if I were already his. I feel sickened now, but at that time, all that mattered was that I liked him and he was single, so I let him continue.

The next part is what I’ve had the most difficulty explaining away. It’s the part that’s been haunting me since, and the reason I haven’t just been upfront and explained to you why Sim and I haven’t spoken since Halloween.

After we’d been kissing for a minute, he tried to slide his hands under my shirt, but I wasn’t about to let him do that when he wasn’t even officially single and available. So I jumped off the bed, adjusting my shirt and smoothing my hair as I walked over to Sara and Misha. They were still in the room making Ramen. I invited them over to our place, but it was more of a pre-game kind of party before they went clubbing. I know you wouldn’t have liked it if I threw a huge party while you were gone for the weekend, so I kept it small. Anyway, I walked over to the other side of the room and lined up shots for the four of us. Before we could take the shots though, Sim walked over behind me and pulled me back into him, hugging me from behind as he kissed my neck. Sara turned around, saw this, and made a face at us, so I told him to go chill on my bed for a bit. He had originally planned on going home, but it was already so late that I told him it’d be best if he crashed here instead of taking the subway home to Queens.

I guess I also wanted to test him and see if he would leave or stay. I thought that if he stayed, he liked me. If he left, then he didn’t.
But instead of listening to me, he was hugging me again and leading me back towards my bed with him. We walked past my bed and he pushed me back into the walk-in closet. I saw him slide the door closed, the carpeted floor and Lil Wayne poster and the dingy yellow lighting disappear as the closet shrouded us in momentary black silence.

After I processed what happened, I squirmed and tried kicking him, but my eyes hadn’t adjusted to the dark yet and I couldn’t see him properly yet. He was too strong for me and lifted me off my feet, carrying me to the far corner of the closet and pushing me up against the corner where my coats are. I writhed out of his grasp and almost fell to the floor, but he wrapped his arms around me, secured me to the flat of the wall, and made to kiss me again. I was confused – I didn’t really see the need to push me into the closet this aggressively if he just wanted to kiss me – but his intentions became painfully clear once he moved to slide his hands under the waistband of my jeans. This time, I didn’t try to stop him. A minute later, he had me out of my pants, but in doing that, he trespassed so many boundaries I had set up for myself. He broke all the lines, and marred my morals and ideals. You know I don’t even want to have sex until I’m married, but still, he took advantage of the alcohol in our bodies and tried pushing me entirely too far.

If I hadn’t been so terrified of losing my virginity, I think I would have enjoyed the “making out” part a lot. But as it is, all I could hear was my own frantic heartbeat. I mean, if I described what he did to me, it would probably sound romantic, but the truth of it is that once the alcohol-induced lust wore off, I still liked him painfully more than he liked me. He traced my body with his fingers and despite the fear, I was still mesmerized by the strange beauty I saw in his lust-filled face. In the darkness, the contours of his jaw were lit up subtly by the crack of light peeping through the bottom of the closet door, and the entire effect of the dim lighting made his face look perfectly chiseled and handsome. I think if the situation had been different, it wouldn’t have left me with such bitterness and regret.

I finally pulled his hands off of my body and pushed him away, all the adrenaline in my bloodstream rushing to help me fortify myself against his strength. I told him to stop and moved to open the door. If he had asked me what was wrong then, I think I would have began sobbing, but he just pulled away and stared into my eyes. His own had a fierce and hungry look, like I was just another thing to abuse and get his way with. I think I froze up with fear and wasn’t able to rush out of the closet in time. The moment lost, he grabbed my wrists in a crushing grip that left me with those bruises you asked me about when you got back from home.

He almost raped me – that part is obvious. I almost wanted him to – that’s the part that leaves me riddled with shame. I wanted things to go far, but at the same time, I stopped him before they got so far that we could never go back to being friends. He’s been apologizing to me since, but I’ve ignored the calls and voicemails. I don’t know if I’ll be able to forgive him so quickly for doing that to me, but I can’t bear thinking that my dignity is gone with him. Because in the end, nothing happened, although everything almost did.

Almost’s just not good enough though. He had the audacity to text me that he thinks he likes me. Here’s what he said to me – “I think I like you, but I’m not sure that I can leave Cindy.” Well, then I need to fucking move on, don’t I? And by writing this to you, I already feel a little bit better. Call me when you get this? I need to vent


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