When it became obvious that nothing was going to come of it, we went back to our room. I was shaking and emotionally distraught: I was nineteen years old, and he was the great love of my life. Babbling, he said that the reason he hadn't been able to get it up was because of those girls, they were bad, they were degrading me and that's why he couldn't do anything, let's do it now to take the taste of it out of his mouth. "Please," I told him. "I can't."

I only have snippets of that night, really. I remember him shaking me by the shoulders again at one point, shouting "Snap out of it!" and I remember waking up totally aware that I was blocking it out, actively forgetting it and making excuses.

I wrote a letter to my mother saying that I knew what abusive relationships were like, and threw it away.

I have never been so afraid as at that moment.

He came to see me in France, where I built roads in a medieval town for three weeks, and accused me of cheating on him. I ran out into the streets of St. Vincent des Barres, followed by Louis, my work-party crush, a sweet young Christian boy around my age. In tears, I explained that Wolf was mad at me and tried to explain why: that he had read my journal and found references to people he didn't know. As I choked out these words to Louis, Wolf came around the corner, his eyes wilder than I had ever seen them, and I was really, truly afraid. I have never been so afraid as at that moment. Louis took off, and I can't say I blame him. Wolf yelled at me for hours, only finishing when I admitted what a worthless person I was for not telling him everything, all the time, for ever lying.

Satisfied, he decided he was hungry and had to have something to eat. It was the last night at the work group, and there was a party in town. I knew the others were dancing and having fun, but when we got back to the main building, I started to shake and couldn't stand up. I almost fell; Wolf caught me and laid me on a bed nearby. I remember someone coming in, to make sure I was okay. Louis had told them what was happening. They must have been afraid he was going to kill me. They asked me to come back out to the party, and I looked to Wolf for permission.

I looked to him for permission for everything after that: what to think, who I could touch, where I could go, what I could write in my journal. My journals of that time are edited; I remember some of what I never wrote, but not all. I edited them because he read them, every entry. He never apologized for anything. The only time I have ever been drunk in my life, on the rooftop of that hostel in Sevilla, I remember telling him that I was going to leave him if he kept being so mean to me. "You're drunk," he said dismissively. "You don't mean that."

 

Tonight was the first time I have been around Wolf drunk since then, and I was trapped; he had my car keys, having driven my car up to the restaurant. We were there for hours, since it was a Fine Dining Experience, and all I could hope for was that the evening would be over, that I could leave and be alone. When we got home, he collapsed on the floor with the dogs, still huggy and loving, and started poking at Molly, trying to get her attention. I left, went to bed. And about fifteen minutes later, what I was afraid of happened: he knocked on the door, asked for a hug. Unable to say no, I shakily let him in. He drew me backwards onto the bed, in his arms, and heavily pressed his face against my hair. I lay still, thinking, "If anything happens, I'm running out the door." Because in the morning, he won't remember it.

But nothing did happen; he gave me a kiss, and went away, leaving these memories.

Molly asked me years ago, as Wolf's advocate, why I wouldn't consider getting back into a relationship with him; I told her everything, because someone else knowing the details means I'm not crazy. Tonight, I had so much going on: the fear, the shock, the stillness like something waiting for a blow to strike, mixed with concern and affection for the loving smile and open arms.

He will never apologize. And I don't have to listen any more. But now you understand why I am afraid of drunk people.

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