I said no.
I said it more than once. I said it quietly, to a man who said he loved me. I choked it out louder, through tears as he ripped into me, and then the pain made me mute. It took everything I had for me to say it again.
There were a lot of other words then. Stop. Get off. You’re hurting me.
And the man, who said the sun rose and set with me, who said I was an angel, who said I was going to marry him and give him babies, replied, NO.
And he didn’t stop.
When it was over, I called the front desk for new sheets to replace the blood soaked bedding. When the boy working room service came fifteen minutes later I smiled, so he wouldn’t know I had just been raped.
The man and I went out for food because he was hungry. It was hard to walk. It hurt to sit. I was ashamed of myself because I had allowed him to take my virginity, and now I was ruined.
He was proud.
Today I read an essay about rape. I wept, and I wrote.
I’ve never used the word rape before. Not really. I always said “a kind of date-rape thing” when asked about my first time and then I changed the subject as fast as I could. I always felt horrible about it, and I tried to forget.
You don’t forget.