I'm frequently asked why I decided to start training in the martial arts. There are many reasons, but my date gone wrong is one of the things that drives me to continue training.It was the summer after my freshman year in college. My friend arranged a double blind date that I was not at all interested in. At first I said no but was eventually talked into it. I had a funny feeling about this guy after briefly meeting him at a dance club a few weeks earlier, and I wasn't at all interested in dating him. But we women frequently ignore our instincts.
A few nights later we met the two guys in the parking lot of the hotel where I worked. I didn't want to leave my car behind and go with them. My gut was telling me not to but my friend insisted, and so I got in their car and off we went.
When we arrived at the house I was uneasy. It was in the middle of nowhere and no one else was home. My friend and her guy quickly disappeared into the wooded backyard to find the pool, and she made it clear she wanted to be alone. My date asked me if I wanted to watch a movie. It was either watch a movie, or stand in the driveway waiting for my friend, so I reluctantly agreed to go inside.
It was a small living room, and the sofa bed was pulled out. He started the movie and sat down in the middle. I sat on the very edge. I didn't want to give him the wrong idea.
I was too paranoid to watch any of the movie. He kept gradually moving closer to me and was making me feel uncomfortable. He tried to hold my hand and I fixed my hair with it instead. I was not interested. I wanted to make it clear.
Apparently, I wasn't clear enough.
It all happened so quickly. He grabbed me and pulled me down into the center of the sofa bed. He climbed on top of me. He was kneeling on my thighs and holding my wrists down with one hand while he worked on the button on my shorts.
I immediately told him to stop it, firmly. I started yelling, loudly. I told him to get off of me. I screamed for him to knock it off, but he was not listening. He was in this terrifying zone and I had to do something quickly. I squirmed a little bit and was unable to move him.
Then something snapped in me and I got completely FURIOUS. He WAS NOT going to succeed.
What came after was fast and furious. I managed to get my legs out from underneath his knees, pulled my knees up to my chest, planted my feet on his chest and launched him. I remember watching him literally fly across the room as he slammed into the wall.
After the initial shock of what I had done to him was realized, he charged me; but I was ready. I was on my feet, crouched. He was met with fists flying at him. I hit him in the eyes, nose, mouth, neck. I didn't stop, because I knew I couldn’t. He was going to keep coming at me unless I put up a real fight.
After hitting him multiple times in the face as hard as I could, he staggered backwards and I saw my opportunity to run. I darted out the door and then quickly turned to face it. I didn't want him surprising me again. I began SCREAMING at the top of my lungs for my friend.
My attacker appeared at the screen door looking disheveled. He didn't dare venture outside. I told him to stay away from me. The voice that came out of my mouth was not my own. It was primal, and it was protecting me. From the safety behind the screen door, he yelled "So you don't want to have sex?"
"What do you think, you idiot? I said NO!" I was shaking something terrible, but my volume was as loud as possible. I wanted anyone within the area to hear what was going on.
It was then that my friend and her date appeared. "What is going on?" she asked.
I told her we needed to leave right away and that my date was not coming with us. The problem was that it was his car. He came outside, and tossed the keys to his friend and asked him to drive. I was absolutely sick about having to get in the car with this guy and his friend again. I don't think my friend understood the severity of the situation, despite the fact that I told her straight out, "He tried to rape me!"
Her date got in the driver seat and she sat in the front passenger seat. At the last second, she allowed my date to climb in behind her and sit in the back beside me. I was furious, but I figured in the car, I had witnesses and he wouldn't try anything.
By now, I think he was afraid of who I would tell and what would happen to him. He kept getting in my personal space and begging me to forgive him. Every time he crossed the center line of that car, I grabbed his face and slammed it back against the window on his side of the car. His face was already swollen and bruised in areas where I had pummeled him during the initial incident. I had no problem adding to his injuries.
My friend seemed upset that her date was cut short, but I was never so happy to see my car. The car had barely stopped and I was climbing out behind the driver's seat. My date still wouldn't stop. He kept trying to talk to me and grab at me. It was like he thought we had a minor lover's quarrel or something. It had been nothing of the sort.
I got in my car and told my friend she better get in or I would leave without her. As I went to close my car door, my date stuck his hand in the frame and told me he wanted to talk. I told him he had two seconds to remove his hand or else I'd be taking it with me as I drove away. He removed his hand.
On the drive home, I told my friend what had happened and broke down. What if I hadn't reacted the way I did? What if I hadn't been able to move him? I was so angry at myself for not trusting my gut about this guy. I knew he was bad news and yet I allowed a sense of obligation to my friend to lure me into a date with him. I would never make that mistake again.
After several years of martial arts training, I can't even imagine what I would have done to that jerk with the training I have now. I hope I never have to find out.
One of the greatest things I've learned during my martial arts training is that you should always trust your gut.
Jessica writes at Black Belt Mama.