Disclaimer: The following is completely consensual. It is not rape. I do not endorse rape. The guy in the following entry does not endorse rape. There is a difference between aggressive sex and sexual assault. I really do not think a disclaimer is necessary for this to be clear, but since so many commenters have expressed concern for my well-being, I thought I’d assure everyone that I’m not being abused on a regular basis.
I woke up Saturday morning with my cheek pressed into his chest and his hands softly gripping my back. My skin was sticky against his, and when I gently pulled away from him, I felt the faintest sting, as if I had peeled off a layer of myself in the process. His body had absorbed mine overnight.
I yawned and got on my side, turning away from him. I was awake, but barely, and I would’ve headed straight back into slumber if it weren’t for the three alarms — his desk lamp, his watch, and his cell phone — going off at ten minute intervals, much to my annoyance. He kept pressing snooze. Instead of deep sleep, I drifted in and out of consciousness for the next hour while he slipped one arm beneath my neck, the other around my waist, pulled me closer, and breathed into my ear. He touched his lips to my neck. I pressed my ass back against his crotch and felt him harden. We were both still half-asleep when I turned my head all the way around to kiss him. His mouth felt hot and I was hungry for it, even or maybe especially, in the morning when he tasted slightly bitter.
“You feel better?” he asked. He pulled away and rested his fingertips on my cheek. I nodded.
“Good,” he said. “Then maybe I won’t be as nice I was last night.”
He let his hand drop, lingering at my throat to briefly encircle it. I swallowed and closed my eyes. Practically asleep again, I started to murmur something about not being in the mood.
“You what?” he demanded fiercely. I jolted from my haze. His hand was back around my neck now, tighter this time. I hesitated before answering.
“I’m … tired,” I said carefully. “I don’t feel like having sex.”
“You don’t feel like it?”
He made it sound like the most inadequate explanation he’d ever heard. I shook my head. I felt like a girl.
“If you don’t feel like it,” he continued. “Then you shouldn’t have woken me up by rubbing your ass against my cock and making out with me.”
He had a wicked look on his face, the same one he had when he dragged me around his living room by the hair and forced my head down on his cock so hard that I had to strain to catch my breath. He didn’t have to say a word and I knew I was fucked. I was going to be fucked.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered.
His grip tightened.
The night before, I cried in front of him.
We stayed in. He broiled tuna steak, pan-fried asparagus, and poured Riesling from the bottle we picked out earlier. He chose it because he’d visited the brewery in which it was made. “How bougie of you,” I had teased when we were in the store.
While he made dinner, I sat in front of my laptop, deep in conversation with Kennedy over video chat. She was three weeks into her semester in Germany, and I was getting more and more anxious about the separation. Her first serious breakdown was the night before. I found out about it by reading her blog. Like with most things, she didn’t volunteer an explanation. I’d have to prod her for the full story.
So I did. I got her on webcam despite her insistence that she was sick and couldn’t speak, and for the first time since what seemed like forever, I saw her face. Kennedy was all there and she didn’t fall apart. Not even close. She told me about her new acquaintances and how German boys couldn’t dance. She said she was bored with the repetitive meals of sausage and potatoes. She spun her laptop around to show me her room. I listened. I laughed. I indignantly recounted my experience getting ignored by cashiers at the local piercing place, where my floral dress and platform heels made me look like Alice lost in Rebel-land. I marveled at her hair, still spirited and wild. We giggled about things irrelevant and irreverent. I introduced her to the man moving in and out of the frame behind me. He waved at the camera and said hello to her like her reputation preceded her. I’d already told him countless tales about this 5-foot wonder.
By the time dinner was ready, my conversation with Kennedy had already moved from the uniquely German (”Everyone eats gelato!”) to the mundane (”School starts in two weeks”). But I didn’t feel any more at ease after I logged off. Sure, Kennedy seemed fine in Germany. But she always seemed fine. Even when she was still at Harvard and not at all happy, it rarely showed. It took me well into our sophomore spring, a year and a half after we met, to even find out that she was depressed. I just didn’t know, I could never tell, and this was one of my best friends. I thought sleeping against her back for two months when I was 18 and lonely meant that I knew everything about her. But no one really did.
She was perfectly normal when she spoke to me hoarsely from her side of the world, and in a way, that only made me more worried. I didn’t want to see Kennedy fine. I wanted to see her honest … not that this wasn’t honest. It just wasn’t how I imagined she’d be the day after the tears and panic and anger I read about on her journal. I wanted to see that. I wanted to witness all of the worst, because I figured that watching her fall apart couldn’t possibly be as bad as simply imagining it.
He served dinner, and I could only think about my little friend in Germany. I sliced up the tuna on the plate and brought it to my mouth, once, twice, again, mechanically, but I couldn’t respond to the taste. I had to concentrate hard on his words, even harder on chewing, on each bite, because each piece after piece of food down my throat only brought the lump inside closer to the surface. I couldn’t swallow for fear of crying, so I barely said a thing.
In lieu of substantive conversation, we talked about the food. The tuna was good, could’ve used a little soy sauce so he retrieved some. The vegetables were over-seasoned, but more than acceptable. The wine was fantastic, but I already knew this since I’d been sipping on it since I started talking to Kennedy an hour ago. Thank you for making dinner, I said more than once. I should have helped. He assured me that it was fine. I was talking to my friend, after all.
“Are you feeling better about Kennedy now?” he asked.
“Yes,” I lied.
He asked more questions and I gave more answers, short one-word answers, barely emitting a breath as I spoke. I swallowed and swallowed after each response. I fixated on my plate. Dinner was quiet. I was somewhere else. I was someone else.
We finished. I cleaned. He pulled me to the couch. He kissed me, but I wasn’t really into it, and he could tell. He could tell about five minutes into dinner that my mind was unsettled. He wanted me to talk about her, to verbalize how I felt, which really was the last thing I wanted to do. I admitted I was worried. But I’m always worried, I explained. This feeling doesn’t ever go away, not since I found out a year ago what’d been going.
Then I changed my mind about talking. Actually, I told him, I don’t want to talk about this. Let’s focus on something happy. I closed my eyes suddenly and swallowed. He could tell. I could tell. My voice had almost broken. I was going to cry. I swallowed again. It’s okay, he said. Come here. I pushed my fists against his chest as he pulled me closer, but it was an empty gesture. He was stronger. I’m fine, I’m fine, I insisted. I nearly choked on the rising ball in my throat. Really, I’m fine. This repeated itself, a few times, and finally, I gave in.
I don’t cry, I told him. I really don’t do this. He thought I was silly, thought I was trying to be tough or brave or whatever people pretend at when they stifle tears. The truth was that I wasn’t worried about how I looked in front of him. But I would have liked to sustain the illusion that my best friend was perfectly alright. I don’t want to talk about this, I told him. I’ve never talked about this. I’ve never said this aloud or admitted to myself that I am terrified one day Kennedy will just decide to kill herself and there will be nothing that any of us can do to stop her. What if she does it and I don’t see it coming? And now, I could feel the pressure coming up against my throat and nose and eyes and I told him, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not even when we graduate, but what if years down the line when we are 24, 25, when she is far away in Europe again because that is where she will be after Harvard, what if then she decides to do it? What if none of this ever goes away, if I am always scared she will just be gone when least expected. What if my seemingly irrational fear actually materializes? What if I blink and don’t see it coming?
I’d never said any of this to anyone, certainly not to her and not even to myself. It would have made it too real. Admitting all of this would mean that I might not just be paranoid, that the worst case scenario could be realized. And he was the last person I expected to bear witness to my confession that my almost-sister can break my heart when I see how deeply her heart has been broken. I love her, and there are nights like tonight when I am certain I’ll lose her.
My eyes welled and a few stray streaks of liquid cascaded across my face. He wiped off each with his thumb and murmured in my ear something kind. I was surprised at my admissions. I didn’t think I was this scared, didn’t think her depression was this real. Maybe it had taken me until now to admit to myself that Kennedy hurt in a way I didn’t believe was possible for someone I once thought of as unbreakably strong.
We were in bed within two hours. I had barely cried but I felt exhausted, drained by the experience of fighting him for the right to keep my face dry only to lose anyway in the end. I fell asleep curled up next to him on the couch as he rubbed my temples. When I woke up again, I was midair in his arms en route to his bedroom. He placed me down, brought the covers to my neck, and kissed my forehead. He read next to me until he felt ready to retire and then he pulled me against his body. I was barely awake. It was the first time we spent the night together without having sex.
His grip tightened, and I started to gasp for breath. Even though sex had been the very last thing on my mind when we went to bed, I couldn’t help getting wet from the feel of his hands around my neck. By the time he forced open my mouth with his cock, I was eager to spread my legs for him. He always pushed it a little deeper than what I could comfortably take. He was more than halfway down my throat when I couldn’t stand it anymore and had to pull away. He asked me if I wanted him to fuck me and I nodded yes.
He knew exactly the right buttons to push, the right tone of voice to use, the perfect things to say and the perfect moment to say them. The very first time we had sex, he put restraints around my wrists. There were things I let him do that I never let anyone do. There were things I didn’t let him do that he did anyway.
I came on top. He said he wanted me to fuck myself on his cock, so I did. I straddled him and rocked back and forth until my clit throbbed and then everything else throbbed and my mind went blank for a brief, blissful moment. I stopped feeling anything but him inside me. I stopped thinking anything but here, now, this man in this bed in this apartment in this country in this side of the Atlantic.
“Awake now?” I asked him.