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I Remember Being Happy

I remember being happy to bump into you and smiling as I spoke to you. I remember feeling good that u invited me in and were not mad at me for staying away. Then I remember thinking that I must have given you the wrong vibe when u wanted to have sex.

So I said no again and again! I even said I was serious while trying to keep a firm hold onto the elastic band of my shorts. It didn’t matter because as hard as I held you pulled harder. My fingers hurt from trying to grip so hard. One of us made a scratch across my right hip bone. I froze, not because I wanted to have sex but because I didn’t think I could stop it. I didn’t feel like the same happy 19yr old and I certainly wasn’t prepared to fight someone I thought was a friend, someone I thought was just as happy to see me.

You didn’t seem bothered by the lack of participation, you didn’t seem to care that I wasn’t there. I felt a million miles away staring at your shield w/red & white panties hanging from either side. I wondered where they had come from. I don’t know how long it lasted but I remember how your distorted face & grunts made you look & sound like a monster when you came.

I didn’t know how differently we felt about that moment until you smiled. I can still see your smile 24yrs later. The only thing I wanted to do was leave before a tear dropped. I left and I cried like I never had before. You taught me what emotional pain felt like, so much more than the silly sticks and stones msg ever could.

After many more crying spells over several months, I thought I had sat there in church and “given the situation to God”. I forgave you and convinced myself that you were young & dumb. There was no way you understood how you made me feel. Until 6 years later, the day you unknowingly assaulted me again.

I went over to the apt following graduation. I was shocked to see you there. I felt as if I could tell you I had forgiven you, but I wasn’t comfortable speaking to you. You spoke to me first. I was so unprepared for what you said.

There you were, smiling again but this time you were acknowledging the assault. “I know why you did not want to have sex with me that day…you were burning…you burnt me!” Still smiling, like we had just shared a moment.

I don’t know if you had really contracted a STD, but I have never had one so it certainly could not have been from me. Or was this some kind of psychological ploy to minimize my suffering by suggesting that you believed you suffered from that experience as well? I don’t know or care. I know I cried again as if it were the day of the original assault.

After several months (years), I still cry. I never know what will trigger it. I think I’ve forgiven you. I have even been receptive to speaking to you, sharing things with you, redefining the adult “us”, explaining the betrayal & pain away as youthful ignorance. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t.

Unfortunately, like that day, it’s not my choice but I have to live with it when it comes up. I remember being happy to bump into you and smiling as I spoke to you. Your daughters will be in college soon. I pray this isn’t something they will have to experience.


  • Alissa Ackerman
  • Stacy


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