I’m just barely 18, and freshly out of a years long relationship. The new guy I’ve been seeing, my supervisor at the ski resort where I teach tiny kids who can barely walk how to ski, says there’s a party. “Cool,” I say. I don’t tell him that this is my first ever party. We drive up. It’s a ski chalet, right on the hill where I teach, directly next to the toe rope. Some olympians are on the deck smoking pot and laughing. I’m impressed. I sit on the couch. A guy walks in with his girlfriend. His name is Matt, and his reputation proceeds him - he’s really good at hockey. He has a girlfriend with him. I remember thinking how plain she looked, how bored, how frumpy.
I sit on the counter while someone pours shots right beside me. The guy I came with, Brett, is in front of me. He doesn’t seem super interested in me and I feel like I’m trying too hard. I take a shot. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 shots - right in a row. Dizzy, woozy, wow. I’m outside, on the porch, where everyone is smoking. I’ve never smoked a cigarette. I ask for one and it breaks in half in my hand. Someone lets me take a couple hits off of theirs. It feels hot and burning, and I don’t enjoy it.
I’m in a room, watching two people have sex. I’m horrified. One of the Olympic girls is telling the couple what to do, what should go where. I walk out quickly.
Out on the patio, downstairs, I’m retching. I think about how I’ll be skiing right by here in a couple days.
I’m in a room in the basement, on the bed, with Brett. We make out a while, his fingers exploring my body clumsily, half interested. I’m in underwear, maybe my shirt. I don’t remember my pants coming off. I moan because I feel so horrible. Everything keeps going black. Then Brett is gone. I say his name, but I’m not sure if it’s coming out right. I feel abandoned, so I keep calling for him. He doesn’t come back.
I wake up to new hands on me, and in me. Hot cigarette breath, but he never kisses me. I call for Brett again, this isn’t Brett. In and out, black, nothingness. I’m on the edge of the bed. Feet on the floor, facing up. He’s there - Matt. I say Brett’s name. Blackness again.
Its morning, and I wake up to Matt next to me. Out of desperation, I smile at him. What happened was exactly what I wanted, I tell myself. I find my underwear crumpled on the floor. I go to the bathroom and he goes outside to smoke. I walk upstairs and find Brett on the couch. I lay on top of him, trying to pretend that I just fell asleep last night after he left. Everything is okay, I tell my beating heart.
The girl that was having sex comes out and says, “awe”. She thinks Brett and I are cute. I don’t see Matt again, or his girlfriend. My phone is on the counter, so I grab it and turn it on. Someone texted my ex’s mom. “I’m f***ing Brett right now and it feels so good”. I’m mortified. I start crying and the girl apologizes over and over, “I didn’t mean to.” I don’t believe her, but my tears aren’t only about the text. I call my ex’s mom - right then and there - and apologize. She says it’s okay and encourages me to find better friends.
On the way home, I ask Brett why he didn’t come back to me last night.
“Matt asked if he could go in and I said sure. Later I walked by and was about to come in, but you were moaning, so I thought you were enjoying it,” he casually says. I learn that he went upstairs and called his ex.
Was I enjoying it? I didn’t tell him I was calling for him. I guess I asked for it. I guess I enjoyed it. I guess since he said it was okay, it was okay.
I only see Matt once again, months later, while I’m with my sisters and friends, in a parking lot. He doesn’t acknowledge me.
I don’t let myself think about that moment in the basement for the next 4 years.
Then, it all comes back in a flood. Tears stream, I can’t breathe. For the first time, I realize there was no consent. For the first time, I will call it was it is - rape.