I was not long turned 19, not long out of a dodgy relationship and back in a hostel. It must have been the end of August, possibly very early September. I’d started a new relationship with someone a couple of weeks ago.
One of the girls there, an 18 year old chubby blonde came to me one day detailing a sketchy plan to go to London on her own and meet up with someone. (The details of which I can’t remember and aren’t particularly important here anyway.) Alarm bells went off in my head, nothing about it felt right. I tried to deter her from going but failed miserably, so instead I offered to go with her. Not for one minute actually thinking she was genuinely going to go.
A couple of days later we were packing a bag for the night and getting ready to head out to what was supposed to be a quick trip to a friends house to grab some cash before jumping on a bus to town.
I had honestly hoped that the obstacle of leaving her friends house without any cash would have deterred her from this silly mission but no. It saw us walking into town and heading to the train station anyway. She was hoping to jump the train. I was hoping she wouldn’t.
I don’t know how but somehow in the middle of a busy train station while I stood outside smoking she managed to find an old drunk with money who was looking for directions to the hotel he wanted to check out of. Apparently he’d offered to buy our return tickets to London if we helped him find his hotel. It seemed like an excessively large payment to make for us literally walking him down the road. I should have left at that point. The whole thing was odd but at the same time I didn’t want to leave her on her own knowing what she was planning on doing. Going with her was the only real option I had. There was no way I could live with myself should anything happen to her. Not knowing I could have stopped it. We took the drunk to his hotel and then guided him back to the train station where he did indeed keep his word and buy two returns for us.
Looking back on it now, I get the feeling she told him we were prostitutes and would fuck him for train tickets.
But that’s off topic. So back to the story.
Whilst waiting for the train to arrive the drunk pulled out an entire carrier bag full of cigarettes out of his holdall and put it on the floor by his feet while looking for another carrier bag full of bottles of spirits. She took the opportunity to lighten him of three or four bottles of various spirits after ‘accidentally’ knocking over the cigarette bag. Vodka and Southern Comfort if I remember right. All litre bags She also lightened him of 6 sleeves of cigarettes while ‘helping to put his stuff back in his bag’ handing me half of it to put in my bag while he was distracted with a bottle of jack Daniels, he was about to pass out, which was good. He was quiet. Maybe we could slip away? No. She cracks open a bottle and starts drinking from it. She hands it to me with an expectant look on her face. Like a shadow I follow the lead and swig as much of the neat spirit I can handle. At some point not too long after the train arrives and we get on. The drunk follows and sits near us. It’s crowded, loud, and a little bit too warm for comforts sake but on the plus side we’re sat at a table seat. A couple more swigs and off we go. The bloke opposite us starts chatting and I stop taking any notice of reality as the alcohol starts to hit me. The train clears out a bit and the random guy on the other side of the table has gone. Our drunk is still by our side. He’d getting leery and a little sexually predatory. I make for the toilet, at least that’s what I said. I went looking for someone to improve the situation. The conductor improved the situation, slightly. I mean, they dropped the drunk off at the first station they could and let us sit in an empty carriage for the rest of the journey.
So there I was. Drunk beyond reason on a train to London with a girl I barely knew and a bag full of alcohol and cigarettes.
My phone rings. A text from an unknown number. The guy from the table seat. How did he get my number? I didn’t give it to him. Did I? No. I didn’t. She must have done. I thought maybe somewhere in that stupid head of hers she’d had a moment of sanity and thought to make sure someone made sure we got to our destination alive. Slightly curious that she gave him my number and not hers but I didn’t think any more of it. Why would I? Again, I look back and I think she told him we were prostitutes. I should have ignored it. I normally would have but I was drunk beyond reason. I don’t remember getting off the train, or where we got off at, but I do remember texting the table seat guy to say we made it, again something I wouldn’t have normally done but drunk me had decided to ensure I kept my promise of texting when I arrive. I remember it was warm, it was also dark. We giggled while waiting for whoever to show up. Someone showed up, they must have done because I remember something to do with sitting in a car or taxi, really needing a piss while outside at some point, I remember a bucket of KFC and then I vaguely remember a B&B room. Two double beds and a small en suite. I don’t know if I kept on drinking because it was my idea or if I was continuing to drink because I was being made too. Some time passed, I have no idea how long, it was a blank. It was then and it is now. Almost the whole night was blank.
It would have been okay if I hadn’t have had those few minutes of clarity… Well it wouldn’t have been okay. But it would be something I don’t remember. Which would be easier. But easier doesn’t give me anything to write and again not the point.
I must have lay down on the bed, clothes on chicken wing in hand. My eyes closed. My eyes opened, the first thing I noticed was the lights were off. It was still dark outside. The second thing I noticed, the bed opposite, she was fucking him. Or rather he was fucking her. She was on her back and giggling.
The third thing I noticed? There was someone on top of me, fucking me so hard I hurt. I tried to push him up so I could wriggle out. He took that to mean change position. Instead of letting me go, he grabbed me from behind shoved me on my hands and knees and forced himself inside me again. I was confused. What the fuck was going on? Did I say yes? Did I even say anything? No. I remembered passing out while eating. I quickly looked around the bed and sure enough, the chicken I had been eating was there on top of the sheets. He stopped for a moment just to shift his weight, I slid off the bed and very loudly vocalised my lack of consent. Keep in mind I was still so drunk everything was spinning and I may have been slurring my words slightly but I’m certain I clearly stated “stop this now. I don’t want you fucking me. ” as I made my way to the bathroom. I was naked but at that moment, I didn’t give a shit. I hate being naked. Even drunk there’s no way I got myself naked in a room full of people. Each of the six or seen steps to the bathroom hurt. I flicked the light on and looked down expecting to see blood all over my legs. Nothing. Thank god. I pulled the door closed behind me and fumbled for the lock. Hoping a locked door would stop him.
There was no lock.
‘please don’t try and come in’. I thought to myself. I sighed and sat on the edge of the bath trying to hold back the tears. I didn’t get much of a break, I was very quickly followed and intruded on. I looked up as the door opened, he was naked and still hard. As he stepped into the room I again told him to stop but my demand was unheard and unmet. The door clicked shut and I was grabbed, spun around on the spot and bent over the sink where kicked my legs apart and forced himself back inside me, disregarding my gasps of pain and my sobbing for it to stop. Was he ignoring my calls because I was drunk? Or would he be doing it even if I hadn’t been drunk? I had now twice that I know of protested. I caught my reflection in the mirror above the sink. I closed. My eyes and hung my head. I didn’t need to see it. I could already feel it and that was more than enough.
‘At what point does taking advantage of becomes rape?’ I thought to myself. Thinking of drunk, I needed more alcohol to deal with this. Or not deal with it as the logic went.
And that’s where my brain turns to black again. I don’t remember what happened after that. I woke up in the morning, both the guys had left, leaving money for us to get back to the train station. I was still pretty drunk and there was still alcohol left. I needed to drink as much of it as I could. I needed to forget. I sat in the bath of that dirty little B&B boiling and scrubbing my skin, trying to drink enough to forget that I felt like I’d been smashed in the fanny with a sledge hammer.
It wasn’t until we got on a bus I found out where I had woken up.
Brixton. What the fuck. How did I get to Brixton? I don’t know where we got off the train but I know it wasn’t Brixton.
The worst part? My at the time partner had said something to me that frightened me. “If there’s ever another man’s dick inside you, that’s it. We’re over.”
I couldn’t bring myself to tell him. I kept it from him for years. Not just him, I kept it from everyone.
I eventually told him. 10 years later. A year before he himself started to rape me.
A total afterthought here but even then as I scrubbed myself raw I had it in my head that my being there, my being raped ultimately was the lesser of what could have been two evils. There was every possibility this girl was going to end up dead in a ditch on her own. At least my being there made it a lot harder for that to happen. If I hadn’t have been there she would have been outnumbered. Call me selfish or whatever but I think my putting myself in that situation made an already dodgy situation slightly less dodgy.
I never actually asked if she had consented. I assumed she did, we were there because of her after all.