I will be in Paris in a few weeks. Excited, I was, last night, before I went to bed, to be specific, before I recalled back what happened the last time I was in the so-called most romantic city in the world.
I never realized how traumatised I am by the experience. Last night, I wish it didn't happen and I absolutely refuse to go through the ordeal again. I remember how relieved I was when I saw the first familiar face after being surrounded by strangers in a foreign country. I remember how I wanted to cry but I couldn't. I remember how much I wanted to tell but I was too embarassed by my mistakes. I remember the lessons I've learnt and the promise I made to myself.
I kept searching the details in my mind but somehow, I managed to bury them deep.
What if I didn't do what I did to save myself? I could have lost my virginity that day, hell, I could have been raped that day. And it could have been worse than it sounds, lose my virginity, get raped, by a drunk man, by a total stranger, who is 20 years my senior, during a vacation, in a country that most people speak French, when I was there all by myself.
I am surprised myself by how calm I was, soon afterwards. I didn't run but I had everything planned in my head. I am not stupid and I consider myself to be a pretty good observant. If things didn't go my way, I knew what I'd do, what item to grab to defend myself, I took mental notes about where the exits were, I remembered how I got there, I knew my hotel address in case I got lost, I was careful to watch him without staring to make sure he didn't put anything alien into my drinks.
I didn't tell anyone what really happened because perhaps, I was the one to blame. Perhaps, I led him. I remember how pleasant I was, I trusted him, I thought he was just being friendly. Although he seemed decent, although he introduced me to his friends, he was under the influence of alcohol. I didn't want to offend him, I didn't want to trigger his outrageous behaviour. I thought he understood until he started to touch me inappropriately. That's when I finally spoke up, I told him 'No' using my most stern voice and most serious tone. The message did get through. He apologized and tried to coax me to stay but I was firm with my decision, I just wanted to go back to my room, I'd survive skipping the dinner he was preparing for me.
I am the sort of person who is open to new things. Now I know not to just welcome any opportunities that come my way or I might invite the wrong experience to scar me for life.
5 hours ago