The second time, I didn't even know it was the second time. Not until the month after.
I asked myself, what am I doing wrong? Do I have a sign on my head that lets men know I'm an easy target?
I read the article. How he was arrested with "trophies" and with photos from the victims. All with the same story; that was my story. They were all identical stories with what happened with me.
All 45 of them.
I had written it off like nothing had happened. But his M.O. was the same each time. It all matched my recollection of that night. It all matched my experience ever since.
Before, I called that time a mistake—if I called it anything at all. I wanted to forget. I was embarrassed. I laughed about it, even. Playing it off like no big deal.
Looking back, at first, after the news media saying he was facing 45 counts of rape, I was conflicted. I felt sad, surprised, unsure, but okay—because he was going to get what was coming for him.
The police told me they had photos of his victims asleep, naked, in his bed. The police told me, that they had photos of me, asleep, naked, and in his bed.
I said no. He was 19 years older than me. I said no.
I didn't testify. Only two women did.
He got 8 years.
Forty-five women. With "trophies". . . photos, taken against women's will; or worse, unbeknownst to them until seen on the news and from the police.
He'll be out by 2020 on good behavior.
Only two women testified. I wish I did too.
Today, my boyfriend asks me "What's wrong?" He knows what happened. But how many times is it acceptable, or anything less than extremely uncomfortable, to say that I'm being tormented by my past? That I love you, but I don't want you to touch me. That I have nothing to say, again, at least for right now.
It's weird how such a simple question has such a complicated answer. I, myself, don't even know how to answer it.