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He was one of my best friends. We had a tight knit group of friends and we all went to prom together. He was my date. We all went to a friend's afterparty. Mostly everyone was drinking. I had the stomach flu earlier that day so I decided to stick to soft drinks.

We were planning on spending the night at the house, so I changed into some sweats and a t-shirt to go to bed. I laid down on an oversized love seat recliner and he came and laid next to me. He had never acted like this with me before. It had been a few hours since the alcohol ran out so I figured he was bored. He started to come onto me. He kept trying to lean in and come closer. I wasn’t interested in him or hooking up at all, so I told him to stop. He got offended that I would even think he was trying to come onto me and grabbed me harder and wouldn’t stop. This time I yelled.

Surprisingly he did stop, but he was still annoyed with me so he turned around and laid with his back to me. I turned my head and, somehow, fell asleep fast.

I started to have a nightmare. I couldn’t figure out what was happening in my dream. I felt a pain and I was in a small room, surrounded by black and gray. The pain was getting worse, but I couldn’t snap out of it. I tried to wake up, but I couldn’t. I felt paralyzed. Finally, I realized what was happening and where the pain was coming from. I was being penetrated over and over again, but I still felt like I couldn’t move. I woke up in a daze and suddenly things became clear and I saw him on me. I was shocked. I pushed him off of me but it was too late. It happened. He seemed mad and walked into another room. I was so confused. Why would he do that to me? I was asleep! I couldn’t wake up! Why did it take me so long to wake up? I still don’t know if I was drugged or not, but looking back at how the night went, it could have happened.

The next few weeks were a blur, a mess. I didn’t really tell anyone. I was so ashamed and embarrassed. Since he was my friend, I confronted him over text message. He said he was sorry and avoided it. I just wanted answers. I tried to deal with it by not dealing with it.

I couldn’t focus on anything. One day my English teacher kept me after to school to tell me that I was going to fail if I didn’t start putting in some effort. I had a meltdown and told her. She was forced to tell the school and they forced me to tell my mom in front of them. It was awful. I never wanted my mom to know. She made me to go to the doctor and talk to a sheriff about it, but I just wanted to forget about it. The sheriff was a family friend, so he personally went to my assailant's house and recorded his confession for me, but I chose not to press charges because I didn’t want to keep reliving what happened.

I just wanted things to go back to normal.

He ended up telling our friends that I was a liar and being dramatic. I didn’t want them to know anything happened at all. They all took his side and I felt so hated. Soon after, everyone knew that I was “nothing but a liar and just begging for attention”. This went on until I graduated the next year and left that town.

Living with this has been like having every inch of my body covered in invisible tar. He covered me in hot, sticky, suffocating tar. I can’t look at my body the same way I used to. Everyday I feel it. It covers me. Everything is harder now. It weighs on me. My body is now foreign and sensitive to the touch. I have to learn to live with all this tar and act like it’s not there. It’s so painful and I need help, but no one believes me. I can see the tar, he can see the tar, but no one else can see the tar. I just have to live with it while he tells people that “she thinks I covered her in tar.”

Obviously no one would believe me, because no one can see it. They weren’t there. They don’t know. I realize there’s no point in telling anyone because no one has sympathy for an “attention whore.” There’s no compassion or comfort for someone like me who’s “delusional.” I am only criticized, exiled, and covered in tar.

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