I’m not sure when I first met him, but I do know that we grew very close the last two years of high school. A combination of an early love for attitude alternating substances and a lack of interest in the structure of high school, we would skip class together frequently and party together on weekends. Sometimes knowing he would be at a party was the only way to get me there, since I didn’t run with his circle of friends.
I’m not sure when he started dating one of my good friends, but I think they began their 5+ year relationship during the last year of high school, which only brought me and him closer (Moving forward let’s call him .. Ralph) as friends. One of my favorite friendships, because as a believer in the ladder theory it was relieving to have a 100% platonic friend. I had my boyfriends, Ralph had his monogamous relationship and we never had sexual tension. It was one of the first true friendships I had with someone of the opposite sex.
In 2007/2008 Ralph’s girlfriend and I moved in together, and it ended with our friendship in pieces and an eviction notice. We had a court date with the landlord, which I never knew of, so I was surprised to see Ralph at a gathering one night, yelling at me for abandoning her. It was a friendly chastising and we ignored the gritty details of our external lives. I wasn’t drinking that night since I was driving and offered him a ride to the “after party”, aka Dude #1s backyard bonfire, and I was excited to catch up after a few months of not seeing each other. Ralph knew the neighborhood much better than I did, and the Dudes in question, so I followed his drunken directions. We ended up at the house, which was very quiet, and I just thought we had beat everyone there. I went to the bathroom, and when I opened the door, Ralph was standing there, sprawling his limbs to meet the four corners of the door. He again began berating me for leaving his girlfriend in court and then suggested we have sex. I did not want sex, and I made that clear as I tried to push past him. He insisted that we have sex. I tried to push past him again. I started to bellow “hey, anyone here yet?!” when he lunged at me and undid my pants. He commented that I was “asking for it” since I was wearing his brother’s bands’ shirt. He entered me while I pushed his face away, and almost immediately passed out.
I don’t know if it was intentional or just drunken idiotness, but I found out later that we weren’t at Dude #1s house, we were at a different Dude’s house, with his parents upstairs sleeping.
It took me a long, long time to recognize this as rape. Several years. Shortly before Ralph raped me, I had broken up with a long-term boyfriend who was on a trip with Ralph where Ralph had slept with a girl. “There was no stopping him” he said when I asked “why didn’t you stop him?” (Not that the incident was labeled as rape, but because Ralph was still with his girlfriend and this was his first known act of infidelity). Those words circulate in my head every few months. “There was no stopping him”. If my ex, a larger version of Ralph, couldn’t stop him, how could a girl?
For the next 3-4 years Ralph’s name would come up in conversation, but I never spoke to him. There were rumors that would come up frequently about how he would have girls over after bar crawl, some of them not in a position to consent – and how he rarely changed or washed his sheets (gross). One time, I had a very close friend tell me about how they had sex on a kitchen counter and her words were “I really didn’t want to do it, but he was so persuasive”.
Both myself and this close friend were promiscuous in healthy and unhealthy ways. So it’s no surprise that we would hook up with people in bathrooms or kitchens, but I’ve always WANTED that sex with the exception of three times. Two of those were with Ralph.
The second time falls in line with my close friend’s expereince. “I really didn’t want to do it, but he was so persusive”
It was February 2nd, 2012 and I was in Los Angeles for work. We were at a party … possibly a wrap party? … at a restaurant where I found out Ralph worked. I was excited. My long lost good pal and I .. reunited under the palm trees! Who cares about that one night, four years ago? He was so drunk, he probably doesn’t even remember.
Pause. Those were my actual thoughts. I was worried that he would remember. That it was somehow my fault. I wore the shirt. I abandoned his girlfriend in court. I deserved my punishment.
Ok. Unpause. He seemed equally happy to see me as well, and when his shift was over, we went to his apartment which he shared with a female roommate. We had drinks with the roommate before she went to bed and after another one I told him that was it for me, I had to drive back to my hotel. But he had other plans.
I was trapped. I said “no” more than two dozen times. I tried to leave, he would block the door. “One more drink” “no”. He went to pull off my pants “Ralph, NO!”. I tried to pull them back up, but he whipped them down and pushed me to the floor. I had lost the battle. He entered me. This time he didn’t pass out. But when he was done he said “now you can leave.”
He texted me the next day. “We are NOT friends. Do NOT call me. My roommate heard everything. She’s disgusted”
Since 2012, I have only seen him once. At a bar in our hometown around Christmas. He walked in as I was leaving. He sat down at a stool, I tapped him on the shoulder. He turned around. I slapped him in the face. He went down on the ground. I yelled “rapist” and other bar flys started to kick him.
Not everyone gets that chance, to slap their rapist. To watch strangers kick a rapist on the floor of a bar. For some reason, I’m the one that’s banned from that bar. But he will continue to get served, continue to bring girls home, continue to persuade them to say yes.
— Halley, age 31