It Reminds Me of You – NSFW

Something you can’t tell by looking at me is that I’m not a hoarder. I don’t keep everything, per say, but I just don’t like to be wasteful. That’s why I still have my same “purity” face wash from 2014. I remember being so excited when I got it – the saleswoman told me I could use it to wash my face AND my makeup brushes. I tell ya, she wasn’t lying. I mean, that stuff is magic. As you can imagine, I wanted to hang onto it for a while, so I used it sparingly. I took it with me on a roadtrip to Vegas and of course, gushed to my friend about it. I pulled it out of my bag to show her what the bottle looked like and I swear, time absolutely stopped as I watched it slip, uncapped, out of her fingers, spattering like thick, white blood all over the floor-length mirror and the hardwood floor of our hotel room.

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Another thing you may not know until you meet me is that I’m pretty outgoing. This is why I was so surprised that I wasn’t all smiles and welcoming glances at the obviously gay boy who kept looking at me during my sociology lecture. As the weeks went on, he gradually stopped paying attention to me, but it was such a small class that I couldn’t just forget about him. I think what really caught my eye was the fact that he was a senior in college still wearing braces. I wanted nothing more than to sit next to him and explain that I understand how badly that SUUUUUCKS. I had adult braces through college and as a matter of fact, had just gotten them off. People treat you differently when you open your mouth to smile, but those tiny metal atrocities glare louder than the pearly whites behind them. I wanted to tell him that it’s all worth the suffering when they’re off and your teeth are slimy feeling again – but I didn’t. I never spoke a single word to him. Over winter break, he slipped to the back of my mind – almost gone completely. He snapped back to my frontal lobe however, the moment he strolled into my Anthropology class at the end of January. You know, I remember when they called attendance that afternoon, he responded to the name “Alberto”.

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I come from a sports family. My grandfather was a boxer and ran many marathons. My dad played football through high school. My older sister played tennis, my younger sister played softball, volleyball, and basketball, and I attempted a few different sports myself. This leaves my little brothers – they’ve played basketball and football since I can remember. I don’t particularly like to watch sports, but every now and then, I’d go to those little shits’ games because I knew it meant a lot to them. When I got to college, I realized that I missed the brats a lot more than I expected I would, so I think I actually attended more of their games after I moved away than I did when I lived in town. Funny thing is, I never noticed who made those football helmets that they decorated with their hard-earned stickers. After December 26, 2014, I would never forget.

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Growing up, I had a lot of weird interests. I came from a different background than other children, but that’s a story for another time. For my siblings and me, it was such a treat to be able to watch a movie. We weren’t allowed to watch TV or listen to the radio, and our parents didn’t even let us watch movies unless they were present. One of our favorite series was Lord of the Rings. My brother read the books and hey, I almost made it through The Hobbit once! My point is, we bonded over this trilogy. Even as we grew older, we would find ourselves quoting the movies at the dinner table, as inside jokes, and of course, over the characters themselves as we watched the movies time and time again. I would recognize the theme music from the title page anywhere. In fact, it would deafen me one night, as the tv glowed late into the night and served as the only light to be shed on the worst moments of my life.

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So what is the one thing that all of these random stories have in common? You. You raped me while we were watching Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Later, you bragged about your position at Riddell; you were so proud of how highly your manager thought of you, how proud your mother was of you for working there, and how important your position in your company is. I was left alone with you, after driving 29 hours across the country within arm’s reach of you, the day after you raped me, to a hotel room in Vegas – where I washed my face – with my “purity” facewash – in the bathroom for 30 minutes just so I had 30 minutes less to spend with you before check out in 18 hours. And that boy in class? Alberto? He was nothing but nice to me, but I despised him because he had the misfortune to be born with your name, in your city, of your ethnicity, with your facial features. It got to the point where I couldn’t bear to look at him or even hear him speak. I emailed my professor from my seat behind him on more than one occasion to let her know that I promise, I showed up to class, but I couldn’t stave off my panic attack long enough to stay.

You are Alberto Martinez. You are my rapist; my sickness. I just want to forget you. I want to move on. But I can’t. Every day, you’re here. You’re here in some way, in someone, in something. You’re the reason my ex-boyfriend woke me up in the middle of the night – he was so scarred by me telling him what you did to me, that it kept him up at night, crying because he didn’t protect me. You’re the reason my current boyfriend lies patiently with me in my closet on the floor until my panic attack subsides. You don’t feel sorry. You don’t even admit that you did it. You taunt me.

But this helps. Expressing myself unreservedly makes it better, even if only for a few hours.

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