And for a while, as his voice comes through the my phone's speaker and slides against my eardrum, I feel sorry for him. I feel guilty for what I've said. I feel bad for feeling like I was forced to have sex with him against my will. I feel guilty for the panic attacks, the nightmares, the uncontrollable crying fits and the need to speak to a counsellor twice a week. I feel bad because I might be ruining his life by telling people that he may have ruined mine.
"I don't know what to say," I tell him quietly.
He's called out of nowhere. It's 7:20 on Wednesday night. I'm at home, instant messaging my sister on Skype while watching that horror flick with John Cusack, 1408. My phone rang, it was a private number. I answered. Cut to present-tense.
"Porscha," he starts. My name in his mouth makes my stomach churn. I imagine his hot breath against my face as I slipped in and out of consciousness. I feel my body rocking with his movement. I remember curling up and turning over to sleep but him continuing to penetrate me, despite my exhaustion and unresponsiveness. "One of the girls at work said you think I did something really bad to you."
I take a deep breath and prepare myself, "I just need you to listen for a little while." My voice sounds like it's fighting to escape my throat, it sounds tired and worn through. "That Sunday when I woke up, I looked around and couldn't, for the life of me, remember how I got there. I couldn't remember anything that happened the night before or anything..."
"Well what the fuck, Porscha. So you had a bad hangover. Now you think I raped you. You can't remember what happened? I'll tell you what happened." He goes on, "You were good, we had fun. I just wanted to have a good time."
Is there ever an absolute truth? Postmodernism says that truth lies in our relative perception. My truth is that I was raped. Someone used my body simply as a means to orgasm and didn't bother with asking my permission, though I was in no state to give it. His truth is that he and I both had a good time. That I wanted it and was okay with everything. The law states that it is completely illegal to have sex with someone who is under any influence whatsoever because it is impossible to fully gain that person's consent.
"So, Porscha, if you ever want to talk, I mean it doesn't have to be about this, it could be about whatever, then just call me," he finished.
I hung up my phone feeling very confused. What was I supposed to say? I called my counsellor.
"Wow, Porscha, I'm sure that has got to be really difficult for you. Now that he's called, you're going back on things and doubting yourself?"
"Yeah, I just feel like maybe I'm wrong. If he thinks that it was all fine, then maybe I'm blowing this out of proportion."
"This happens so often and it's normal to feel confused and doubtful. Sometimes all we can go on is our perception of what happened. If you believe you were taken advantage of then that's right. He could have waited till you were sober; he didn't. He could have stopped at anytime; he didn't. If he thought you were okay, he was wrong because it turns out you weren't but he didn't bother to check," my counsellor assured me.
After making sure I wasn't feeling self-destructive, she told me she'd schedule another meeting for early next week for me and I thanked her and hung up.
I feel a little better now. My feelings are real and I know that. This is my truth.