Warning: The following article contains possible triggers for victims of sexual assault.
I’ve never been good at confrontation.
When I’m alone, I argue like a pro. When there’s nobody to cut me off, I put everybody in their place. When I’m lying in bed, thinking about what I wish I’d said, I make flawless points that win every argument. I’m great at saying no… after the fact, when it’s not to your face.
In real life, though, I’m the worst pushover ever.
I’ve been having weekly staring contests with a boy in class. Finally, he introduces himself to me. I repeat the name in my head and look him up on Facebook later: “In a relationship.”
“Who cares?” says my friend. “He’s only dating her because he hasn’t fallen for you yet.”
She’s so right. So when he runs into me the following week (by chance or on purpose, I wonder) and asks me if I want to take a ride to Walmart with him to get a part for his car, I say yes.
Mistake number one.
What do you do with your hands when you’re in a guy’s car? He keeps looking over at me like he’s trying to read my face. All I feel is nervous, but I hope he can’t tell.
In the store, he keeps smacking my butt, playfully. He stands really close to me. He puts his face right next to mine when he talks, forcing eye contact. I feel weird, but I don’t say anything.
Mistake number two.
Driving back, we pull up to the town’s only stoplight. I hope he’ll turn right and bring me back to campus. Turn right, let’s go back. Please turn right….
He turns left.