For the last half of her junior year, senior Kayla Wilton was romantically involved with a boy though she was not officially dating him. Wilton and he went on dates, like taking her dog to the dog park, and Wilton said he was a genuinely nice and considerate guy. He brought her lunch during his senior skip day, and Wilton thought he was going to date her, but he did not.
The night of prom, Wilton went to an afterparty with a group, including him. That night was the first time she encountered alcohol in a setting where she could openly consume the substance, and she said she took advantage of the opportunity and drank more than she should have. In her altered state of mind, Wilton told the boy, who was also drinking though not as heavily as she, she wanted their relationship to become official
“That night I was like, ‘Am I not enough for you? Why won’t you commit to me?’ And he was just like — I don’t remember him really responding,” Wilton said. “He was just like, ‘It’s okay. You’re okay,’ and all that stuff. I was thinking, ‘Oh, we’re going to date. It’s going to happen,’ and it just didn’t.”
Instead of continuing to listen to Wilton’s grievances, the boy took Wilton to an upstairs room in the house to wind down for the night and eventually go to sleep. Wilton was a virgin, and she told the boy she did not want to do anything sexual because she needed to be dating someone for a while before engaging sexually, and the boy had not committed to her. Wilton said she told him the week before prom that they were not going to have sex even if he wanted to.“He was fine with [me not wanting to have sex],” Wilton said. “He was like, ‘I don’t expect that from you, and I’m totally fine with that.’ We were [going to sleep] in the same bed [on prom night] and he was like, ‘That’s fine. That’s enough for me right now. I understand where you’re coming from. You don’t know me that well. We just met.’”
Initially, the boy did not try anything with Wilton while they were alone together in the room. Then, the boy kept wanting to have sex with her. Wilton said no to him repeatedly, but she said he continued to pressure her, trying to convince her by explaining he had condoms in the car. Wilton said the boy told her, “It’s okay, we can do it.” After he continued trying to convince her, Wilton gave in.
“He finally got me to say yes somehow. Then I woke up, and I didn’t remember most of the stuff that happened,” Wilton said. “I remember him going to his car to get a condom, and then he came back, and then I remember a little bit of stuff but not like a lot, and then I woke up, and I didn’t know [what happened]. I guess he said he threw [the condom] away, or, like, threw it down the trash because I tried to look for it in the morning to see if it actually happened and stuff. [I didn’t find it]. He said he flushed it down the toilet.”
“I remember him going to his car to get a condom, and then he came back, and then I remember a little bit of stuff but not like a lot, and then I woke up, and I didn’t know [what happened].”
Wilton said she is not sure if the boy had sex with her. She does not remember what exactly happened that night, but when she told her mother, she said Wilton should have been sore, so Wilton believes the boy told her they had sex when, in reality, they did not.
Today, Wilton is still conflicted on if she believes they had sex or not because she does not remember in full.
“I thought that we [had sex] because he was making it sound like we did,” Wilton said. “We were both kind of like, ‘We shouldn’t have done it. We weren’t in the state.’ I was thinking that we [had sex] and stuff. I was kind of fine with [the thought] at the time because I was thinking that we were going to date eventually or soon or something. Then we didn’t, and that’s what made me mad.”
After prom night, the boy got back together with his ex-girlfriend. She used the boy’s phone to block Wilton on every social media platform and mode of communication. Because Wilton could not come into contact with the boy, she said getting over the event and the boy was easier for her. The week immediately after prom night, however, Wilton said she freaked out daily.
“I was so scared [about] the fact that I hadn’t had my period, that maybe I was pregnant because I didn’t know what all happened, and that scared me,” Wilton said. “I could kind of sleep, but I had to make my mom sleep with me because I could not focus and just go to bed. All these thoughts would go into my head, and it [scared] me.”
The combination of a late period and lack of sleep affected not only Wilton’s mental health, but also her physical health, as she lost five pounds after the incident. Still, Wilton said the support of her friends and family helped her move on from what happened that night. She said her mother was not extremely mad at her because she knew Wilton had discussed with the boy about not wanting to have sex. Still, her mother was a little disappointed in her, Wilton said, and told her, “That’s what alcohol does to you,” and, “You just have to be smart [with] how much you drink and the occasion that you’re drinking.”
A month or two after prom, Wilton’s mother approached her about using birth control as a precaution in case anything like what happened that night was to happen to her again, especially since she would be going to college in a year. Although she took precautions for the future and recovered from the event, Wilton said when she saw the boy at a concert about a year later brought back memories of what he did to her.
“I trusted him, and he knew that I didn’t want to do that and knew that my thoughts didn’t change, yet he still pushed it,” Wilton said. “[I was sad he took advantage of me]. That made me so mad. It made me mad about myself more because I was like, ‘Why did I let myself do this?’ It made me question myself, and I did not want to. I kind of [blamed myself], but I also blamed him for pushing me when he knew that I didn’t want to do it.”
Art by Moy Zhong