I climbed onto the tall charter bus, juggling my backpack and suitcase. I realized that I must have been running late; all the seats around my best friends were full. My eyes quickly darted around for an empty seat. He smiled at me from the middle of the bus – my mom’s friend’s son. We didn’t have much of a relationship except for exchanging hellos, but he was always friendly towards me. I sat down in the seat next to him.
We were on a 27 hour bus ride home from our school’s cross-country road trip. Little did I know, this was about to be the worst 27 hours of my life.
We boarded at 7 pm, and a movie later, the bus had grown pitch black dark. He rested his hand on my thigh. I quickly drew back with a “stop,” and a slight laugh due to disbelief. He’d never shown interest in me before. He moved his arm back against the window frame. It was weird, but I didn’t think much of it as I began to drift off to sleep.
Still groggy, I felt a warm hand reach around my waist and grip my hipbone. I didn’t know what was happening. As I grew more awake, I realized that he was trying to take advantage of me. I was frozen in fear. His free hand reached down to my bag and slipped my blanket around my neck. I took a deep breath and flung my eyes open, pretending that I was just waking up in hopes that he’d stop. He looked into my eyes, wrapped his finger through my belt loop, and pressed me into his side.
His fingers wandered around my body to places that weren’t his. I was frozen. I wanted to kick and scream, but I couldn’t.
After an hour, the bus pulled into a sketchy truck stop. The second the lights came on, I wiggled my hand free and pulled off the blanket, sending his hand reeling back. I jumped up and exited the steps first.
I felt like I was going to throw up. An overwhelming darkness of shame and a feeling of being dirty swept over me immediately. I made it into the bathroom and stood before the sink. I looked into the mirror and was taken back by the guilt I read in my face. I didn’t feel like myself. I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed at my hands, desperately trying to feel clean again.
I never though that this would happen to me. I had never even kissed a boy before. But now, I had been forced into a world that I wasn’t ready for. I was sexually assaulted.