I am lying on my bed in the dorm room, waiting for my roommate to get back. It's a weeklong swim camp at a college; my roommate always goes out and forgets his key, so I've left the door open. Since it was a long day today, I am already under the covers, about ready to go to sleep. Someone knocks at the door, so I say, "It's unlocked, come in."
It's not my roommate; it's the enormous seventh grader from down the hall, though four years younger than me, he's easily six inches taller and fifty pounds heavier. I am very tired from the workouts we did today, and it's already two hours past lights out, so I make no motion out of bed. I ask him to leave, but he refuses because he wants to talk to someone, since his roommate left him after the first night.
Then he stuns me: he walks over to the bed, strips off the sheets, and crawls onto me. He has pinned me; I can't move. Every move he makes I can feel: the shifting of his feet with the shoes still on, his arms holding mine down and crushing me in a hated embrace, his face in mine, his breath rancid in my face. He leers at me, "I've got you where I want you. 'Fraid?"
I can't move; I can't speak; I can't think. He shifts his weight, and my body moves without my brain directing it. I roll away and grab a chair that I hold between him and me. "Yes," I whisper. "I'm afraid."
I'm at college now. I've met new people, people like me who have gone through this and worse: I am not alone. I'm older now, and I realize something: I am not at fault. The kid's face haunts me but no longer scares me; I have healed: I am free.
About the author: Mike, now 18, is a gay college student in southern California. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org