“I won’t tell anyone”

Posted: November 23, 2010 by Jender in Uncategorized

Last year, one of the other grad students in my program tried to kiss me. That in itself wasn’t new; he wasn’t even the first colleague to do so that year.

The previous time I wasn’t too bothered. Alcohol was involved on both sides, and my behavior could have been misunderstood as flirtatious. (Lesson learned. Never again.) When I said I wasn’t interested, the guy stepped back immediately, and that was that.

This one was different. He had basically invited himself over to my apartment. There was no alcohol involved. No behavior that could be reasonably misunderstood as flirting. No touching, no close physical proximity, no eye contact. At some point I vaguely saw him stepping towards me, then he grabbed my arm at the bicep, and he was leaning in to kiss me. I was bewildered. And I rejected him.

But that wasn’t all. Having been rejected, he tried to wrest psychological control of the situation. He said things like, “I won’t tell anyone about this,” and “Don’t worry, I won’t think of you any differently.” While I was literally shaking (my adrenaline-fueled physiological response to shock), he wanted to smooth things over and to hug me goodbye. I just wanted him to get the hell out of my apartment.

Several months later, he sent me an apology for “what happened.” Frankly, I don’t think my fellow grad student understands why his behavior was unacceptable, or why it upset me. He seems to have apologized because he thought an apology might get me to stop avoiding him, and might allow us to become friends.

I have no interest in being friends with him.

Comments are closed.