At our 25th or 30th Fisk reunion (our class meets the years that end in zeros and fives), again with the support of my friend Glenda, I arranged to meet with “B,” the man who had raped me all those years ago. We met in the lobby of our reunion hotel. I had decided, hoped, that confronting him would help me let go of the assault and its residual effects on me.
My stomach was in knots and I was beyond nervous. “B” showed up at the appointed time and place. He looked worried. “What did you want to talk about?” he asked. “I think you know,” I said; “I want to know why you did what you did to me. Why you raped me.”
“B” seemed surprised, but he did not say what I expected. He did not say he didn’t do it. Instead, he said, “I thought you wanted . . .” His voice trailed off. I was incredulous and I’m sure my face and voice showed it; for a moment, I was literally speechless. “You thought I wanted to be raped . . . by you and ___? That makes sense to you?” At this point “B” said, “I’m sorry if I misunderstood . . .” Again, his voice trailed off. He wanted to characterize his crime, his rape of me, as a misunderstanding! It shocked me and made me angry and sad.
And that was that. I do not remember the rest of the conversation if there was any “rest.” It was disappointing. I don’t know what I expected, but I certainly did not expect to be told that “B” thought I wanted to be raped – by two people no less! I am really lucky that our other classmate refused to take part in the assault. I guess what I wanted, what I hoped for was a full-throated apology, but as you can see, I didn’t get one.
The statute of limitations has long since run out on “B”’s crime. I have done my best to let it go, and exposing the decades-old secret did help some. But I never will forget or forgive what “B” did to me. For now, I am determined to let it go, though I do hope that one day I will have the nerve, the courage, to say his full name in a post so that he can experience the shame and burden of his crime as I did for so long. I don’t want there to be any “misunderstanding.”