The Fallout: Non-fiction

2021.09.26 03:20 gayboi769 The Fallout: Non-fiction

Names of people have been changed for privacy. This is a work of non-fiction. It contains sensitive events, trigger warning for anyone that has experienced the fall out of rape.
The Fallout
I can’t remember the exact time frame of when it happened or even the guy’s name. Then again, maybe it’s a blessing that I don’t remember the small details, the details that can truly drive a person even more insane than they’ve already become. I remember his fire red hair, the chemical smell of poppers that followed him, and the way he forced me to his will. The way he raped me during Memorial Day weekend (the closest I’ve been able to get to the exact date).
Closing my eyes on some days, I can hear him grunting and saying “Where the fuck do you think you’re going? Don’t fucking crawl away from me!” And my nose fills with the poppers burning, intoxication, and sickening smell.
Please don’t kill me, I think and I can feel myself naked and afraid again, going limp as he neared his climax. My body remembering the pain, the stabbing, and the searing that rocked through my frame.
Maybe this is the end, I thought as it continued and time seemed endless as he continued his grunting. His domination.
God, I thought. Please make it stop! Please! Kill me…
“You’ll have a hard life,” my mother said, over the phone, when I came out. “You’ll probably die from AIDs and be raped.”
Maybe this is what I get for being gay, I thought back then, even though that wasn’t true. Sexuality never truly plays into these kinds of things, only the monster’s hunger does.
Jesus, why me? I would find myself thinking in the coming months.
When he was done, silence fell and I sat up. Taking in his living room with its couch, glass table, and a flat-screen tv radiating one of those skylines of some fake city, looking for my clothes. But, to my dismay, they were nowhere to be seen.
“Where are my clothes?” I asked, keeping my voice as calm as possible. Trying to ignore the heavy-handed smell as my stomach churned, eyes watering some.
“You’re not staying?” he asked.
I shook my head, “No, I have to get up early tomorrow. I have studying I need to get to.” Finals were coming up, after all.
“Okay,” he said, getting up to go get my clothes. He had put them in a closet while I’d gone to the restroom apparently, along with my beat-up Nikes.
When he brought them to me, I dressed briskly and left his house. Walking through empty streets that soon turned from houses with lights out to downtown Bellingham. Restaurants and shops closed well past their hours by then, sending the majority of the nightlife home. Taking deep breaths, trying to cleanse my nose of the smell to no avail. A smell that would always stand for suffering. My head raced with what happened, jumping back into assault, reliving it as I would for a time still unknown to me.
Halfway home, I decided to text my best friend Miles. I’d known him for about a year and I trusted him with everything, so I told him that I thought I was raped.
“Maybe he just did something you didn’t like,” he texted back. “Tell me what happened.”
And I told him every detail. That I had laid boundaries, said no on a few occasions. Told him (the Beast) that pain for pleasure just wasn’t my thing and how he forced me to do things against my will. Breaking the foundation we’d set before we decided to hook up, turning consent to dust.
“You were raped,” Miles texted.
“I can’t tell my parents,” I texted him. “Don’t tell anyone. Not even your boyfriend.”
“I won’t,” he texted back. “I promise.”
Why won’t the pain stop, the thought raced into my head.
Fear raced through me that my life would fall apart even more than it had that night if people knew that I was raped. That so much judgment would fall on me because of something that I couldn’t control. That they would ask me how I could let this happen. How could I let this happen? I mean I did want sex, just not that. Not what he wanted. Maybe it really is my fault. I did something wrong. I had to have.
Silence is the best thing, I thought as it ate me away. There is no other way.
When I made it back to my dorm room, I fell into my bed and let the painfully wash over me. A pain that would return like a phantasm I would discover in the summer. I thought of crying, but it wasn’t worth it. If my roommate Roy heard, that would be unwanted attention. He couldn’t know, there would be too many questions. Plus me and him would probably stop talking after the end of the school year, we were just random roommates picked by the university. We weren’t super close, not like me and Miles were.
I wish I was dead, popped into my head as I silently grieved in my bed. Maybe he should have killed me.
The feel of his touch was still prominent on my skin, yet I couldn’t make myself go to the shower, it would raise too many questions about going to the shower this late in the middle of the night. Roy was too caring for a roommate. . The shower would have to wait till the morning. So I just laid in my bed, under my warm blankets, and waited for sleep to wash over me.
The days after the assault turned into weeks, weeks into months as the silence eroded my sanity, and nearly every other day I returned to his living room. To his floor, naked and afraid as he grunted. The intensity grew much like a bottle of fine wine into its prime. Wrapping my mind in sleepless nights and terrors of the next panic attack, when my head would cave in once more like glass and I’d be naked and afraid once more, in his living room. Trying to crawl away from the pain, from the cruelty of rape. Begging for death, the sweet bliss from what had become a tragic life it seemed. Upturned by the hand of a red-haired beast covered in a chemically sickening smell.
In that time frame, I don’t know what kept me from killing myself. Perhaps it was the prospect of what the future could hold one day, the family I always wanted. The dream I had of a husband laughing, holding me as we watched our children playing. Two boys and one girl, with the family dog, a German Shepard. Its tail wagging away as it barked happily. Or perhaps it was the thought of Miles that kept me going. How it would possibly destroy him, the muscle head with a heart for dogs and anime.
It didn’t help that I was stuck in my hometown without much to do except read, watch tv, play video games, or talk to my mom. I had wanted a job, but my parents wouldn’t allow it, they wanted me at home, my mom more than anything so she wouldn’t be lonely while my father was away at work in the orchards and warehouses during the cherry season.
This made the summer drag on and my bones crave the return of Bellingham, a college town on the Western side of Washington state where I attended the University of Washington. Where I had just declared myself as a creative writing major. Where my friends were. Where my bother Miles was. Where I could distract myself easily by a simple hike, a stroll downtown, or a trip to the mall for Bubble Tea or a new book. And where I would be able to get to know my new roommate Brian. Someone who would become like a younger brother to more, more than a roommate. Who I would discover shared a love for horror films and who would introduce me eventually to my new love of comics.
And that’s exactly what happened when I got back. I had distractions, though the assault still ate at me. The smell still lingered on the tip of my nose, filling me with such mad sickness.
I tried to tell Miles how things really were when I first saw him after that summer. How the summer really was, but my mind wouldn’t let me tell him truly how alone I had felt. How isolated and in pain I was. Every time I tried to tell him as we sat at a table in one of Western’s dining halls, I began to cry at the thought of that summer. A summer the thoughts that had been filled by relapse after relapse of the assault. Something that felt daily, that pushed me back into being naked and afraid. On his carpet, breathing in the sickening smell.
Miles never did bring it up after that. Thinking back, I think it’s because he wanted to protect me and distract me from it, but also, he wasn’t fully sure how to handle this. How to grapple with a friend who silently was breaking apart day by day and trying to tape the pieces back together with what felt like no avail. Fuck, how would anyone be able to handle this when they lacked the experience on what exactly to do for a friend in this situation. So few people have the mindset and skill to deal with the brutality of rape in all fairness, no matter their standing to the victim they care for.
But my new roommate didn’t have that block. One night, while my roommate Brian and I were laying in our beds he spoke out of the blue with a voice laced in hesitation.
“You don’t have to respond,” he said. “But... were you raped, Jose?” he asked.
This had been a few days after I had told him that making jokes about sexual assault or saying things like “that exam raped me” was not alright. That it had bothered me. That he didn’t know who he could be saying things like this around, who might have possibly been assaulted.
At that moment, I didn’t say anything and just let the silence cover us. My heart thumping in my chest and my head racing. No idea on what was ahead and racing towards me as I pushed back against the hesitation and nausea the rising smell was threatening to bring. The nightmare of the red-haired monster.
“You don’t have to say,” he repeated. “But I stand with you if you were.”
Tell him, a voice in my head whispered. You can trust him.
Silence returned again as I took a deep breath and with a shaking voice, trying to hold back tears, told him that I had been raped. Well, not with the word ‘rape.’ My mouth refused to say rape or any suffix of the word. It could only form the term ‘sexual assault,’ something I still struggle with on random days.
At that, there was a rustle as he got out of his bed, told me to sit up, and pulled me into a hug as I softly cried into his shoulder. Letting the pain and relief wrack through my body.
“It’s okay,“ he whispered. “It won’t ever happen again.”
That was the first time I felt safe fully after the assault. Not knowing the growth that would happen in the coming year and the stepbacks that would occur along the way to heal and recover from such a violent thing.
It won’t ever happen again…
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Example output:

Reading package lists... Done Building dependency tree Reading state information... Done Starting pkgProblemResolver with broken count: 0 Starting 2 pkgProblemResolver with broken count: 0 Done Calculating upgrade... Done 0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded. 
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