freshman year of college was a pivotal time for me. I was on my own for the first time ever and wanted nothing more than to enjoy that freedom to the fullest. after an amazing first semester in school and the start of a great second semester, I decided to immerse myself in the spring break experience by attending a party to kick off the week. I had been invited by an old friend who I hadn’t seen in a few years, and aside from him and another girl I had met a few years back, everyone was a stranger to me. the house was huge and packed with about 40 people; a beer pong table set up in the kitchen, karaoke projector reflecting off of a barren wall, and an ever-growing truth or dare circle forming between the two – I knew it was going to be a great night. to say I over-indulged in the wide spread variety of liquor and beer is an understatement, and before I knew it I was drunk belting out one song after another on the karaoke machine.
as the night went on, I conversed with many of the people there and was offered to stay the night so that I did not have to drive home drunk. as weary as I was, I felt safe there and accepted the offer. around 2 a.m. my two friends came and said their goodbyes, and shortly after I laid down on the couch with a blanket from the host (a really sweet girl) and passed out. I remembered being alone when I laid down to rest, so when I was roused from my sleep an hour later by a body climbing in behind me, I did not understand. part of me thought it might have been a dream, until I felt a hand slide under the cover and struggle with the button on my shorts before finding its way under my shirt. still dizzy from the liquor, I mumbled and moved as I tried to wake myself up enough to speak coherently – unfortunately, he took my mumbles as an invitation. as his hand cupped my breast and he began to play with the rim of my bra trying to find my nipple, I heard a voice say “hey, ****! what are you doing?”
everyone’s voice was unfamiliar but I recognized the name as someone I’d spoken with earlier in the night. he had seemed so nice; as we talked I smiled and laughed – we had even exchanged numbers. but smiles and laughs are not consent.
the boy behind spoke and said “chill dude, I wasn’t gonna do anything” and he inconspicuously slid his hand from under my shirt. the unfamiliar voice replied, “if you need to sleep it off, you can sleep over there.” and I felt arms slide around me as I was lifted off the couch and taken upstairs. in any other situation, I would have been terrified of what was about to happen to me, because I was still too groggy to move. but the unfamiliar voice had just saved me, and I will never know if he knows how grateful I am for him. As we reached the landing he took me into the host’s room and laid me down on the floor with my blanket. I remember him saying “you’ll be okay in here”, and as my vision cleared a little and adjusted to the darkness, I realized I was in a room full of some of the girls I had met throughout the night. with a sigh of relief, I allowed myself once again to fall asleep.
when I woke the next morning, the room was empty – but someone had been nice enough to lock the door from the inside so that I could rest in peace. there was a note saying everyone went to IHOP and to find my shoes in the foyer and let myself out when I was ready.
I’ll never get to thank the boy with the unfamiliar voice who saved me, but I will always be grateful to him for being the kind of person this world needs – the kind of person I want my son to be. the kind of person I want my daughter to know. I am eternally grateful.