by: Kate Hillenbrand
It was a typical Friday night. I was headed out on my long trek to work at the Penn State University Police. I was supposed to be security at another campus event, same as every week. After the long walk, I arrived at work, to be met with funny looks. Apparently I had no job to do that night, and they forgot to tell me. To say I was a little ticked may be an understatement. I had just walked probably a mile in early April and I wasn’t going to get paid. So I just hiked all the way back home. There was this boy. I met him at the beginning of junior year in college, maybe in September. He liked me, he really really liked me. We went to a party, him, his friends and my friends. Yeah he was cute, problem was, one of my best friends had a huge crush on him. I did go to that party with him, and I’m sure doing stupid party stuff ended the night giving him my number. However, after thinking about it, I told him I was not interested, trying to do the good friend thing. The following eight months, he called me every weekend, without fail to ask me out. Fortunately for me, I had to work, so I always said no. My friend never made advances at him, never went out with him, or told him of her interest and then went to study abroad. This Friday night was just like all the previous weekends, except I didn’t have to work that night. I figured, if he likes me so much, I might as well give him a shot. He was after all really cute, and seemingly nice. So on schedule he called me, and I told him yes I would hang out with him. I put on a dress, and walked to meet him, he had a couple friends with him; they had just left a party. I agreed to go to his apartment with him to hang out for awhile; he lived in the same building as my good friend, just two floors up. When we got there I sat down on the couch and got a soda. Everyone else had left except for his roommate, his friend from Cornell and him. I felt awkward at first, but I excused it as social nervousness. His roommate retreated into his room, and I was left with these two guys. We talked awhile, his friend was noticeably drunk from the earlier party, but the guy I was there to see didn’t seem so. I do not remember all of it. It’s hard to remember all of it. I remember my date making advances at me, we kissed. I said no to anything else, I didn’t know him well, it was our first time hanging out, and I was menstruating. I hadn’t been out with him before, and I was feeling uncomfortable. I think there was a joke about him and his friend from Cornell ‘double-teaming’ me. At that point when I think back, I should have left. But there are no should haves in this life. I remember my date saying that he was going to run downstairs to the pizza joint to get some food quick. And for whatever reason I remember the look in his eyes as he was leaving. Eyes can speak, whether you believe it or not. They can speak very loudly at pivotal moments in life. They said to me, haha, you shouldn’t have ignored me and denied me for so long, no you’re going to get it. As if it had been planned. I know I saw that. I know it. When I close my eyes I can still picture that look, and feel his eyes. He quickly left, and I was unsure if I should leave, or if he would be right back with food for both of us to have. His friend was being weird, asking me for sex. I told him no, and also I was not with him. I thought I should just wait maybe ten minutes for my date to come back, and then I would leave. I got up to go to the bathroom, closed the door, but didn’t lock it. I remember his friend coming in as I was washing my hands, again asking for sex. I said No. I remember him telling me we could do it in the shower since I was having my period. I said no, and I wanted to leave. I don’t remember how long of a time this transpired, it seemed hours then, when I look back it seems like it was over before it began. I remember him turning on the shower, taking off his clothes, pulling me in, and ripping my underwear off. I was still in my dress. I remember falling and laying face down in the tub him on top of me, entering me, anally. I remember him being rough, telling me how much I loved it. He was tall, and he was strong. I remember him pulling me up and pinning my hands above my head, pushing my head down and I remember him anally raping me. I remember him slamming my head into the shower wall as he went on. I remember his words, ‘your ass is sooo money, your body is soo money, your ass is sooo money.’ I remember nothing of what I was thinking. I was in shock; I couldn’t move anywhere when I was lying down, and when he pulled me up, I was completely blank. I couldn’t think to shout, I was I guess trying to figure out what was happening. And then he stopped. He got out of the shower. He dried off. And then he went to the bedroom and passed out on my dates bed, naked. I got out, dried off what I could, my clothes wet. I went to the bedroom and shook him, and he didn’t move. I figured he passed out from being so drunk. I collected my things, texted my friend, ‘I think I was just raped.’ She called me and told me to go to my brother’s apartment down the street, the police were being called, I’d be ok. I hobbled the block to my brother’s apartment. I remember stopping at the quick mart right next door to get some matches for a cigarette. I remember what I looked like, soaking wet hair, clothes, make-up running down my face. I met my brother, and the police at his apartment, gave my initial statement, and gave him my clothes. My brother’s roommate was there, I felt so stupid. My brother gave me a pair of his shorts and his shirt to wear on the way to the hospital. I remember that my brother farted on the way to the hospital in the back of a cop car, I remember his laugh. I laughed too. I was hurting. I had bruises on my neck and arms. I saw the nurses. My parents and my friend drove three hours to wait there while I got checked, and evidence was taken. I remember the pure humiliation as they gave me the exam. He had ripped me so badly inside, that everything just ran out of me. I held the blanket over my head. I remember the advocate being there, I didn’t feel like talking. I didn’t know anything at that point. I remember the policeman telling me he found them, partying loudly and drinking heavily, about a half hour after I had left. I talked to detectives, advocates, DA’s, so many people, its hard to remember. I was numb all over; I didn’t want to think about it. Ever. I couldn’t think of what I would say to my family, how do you tell family a horror story? I still never have. I stayed at a hotel with my family for the next couple of days, looped up by drugs the doctors had given me. They went home, and I shut down. I sat with a detective and called my rapist to make him say he raped me. I did it, I don’t know why, I wanted to hear something, but he didn’t really say anything convincing. They told the police I wanted it. Eventually weeks later the assistant DA got back to me, they weren’t going to press charges, lack of evidence, too hard to convict in that county, other bullshit. That was the end of it, for them. But not for me. I struggled, and continue to struggle. Though I may not know the answers yet, I am alive, and for that I am happy.