It was the spring quarter, in 2004. My name is Misty and I would graduate in just one more quarter. I was taking my college at a University in the USA. You see, I am from France. My father named me Mistique, and I love that name. But one of my USA friends called me Misty recently, and I fell in love with that name too. Well, I cry a lot… But I am from France. My English still is not the best, and I still make mistakes, say funny things. But I hope I am catching on quickly! I seem to be fitting in as I see, flaming red hair and all. I tried changing my hair color when I first arrived. My red hair, well I was easy to, I stood out is the phrase I think. My first two years at University, I tried to change the color, dye it and such. It was hard to tell if that made a difference. It was a lot of work, and my studies took a lot of time as it was. My hair is red. I decided I wouldn’t fight it. But I do stand out. I like my hair long, and that doesn’t help. Well, the boys here seemed to like me enough I think. So, maybe my red hair is not so bad.
During the week, my days were very predictable. When my alarm went off, I dragged myself out of bed. I took as many early classes as I could so I would have more time to study in the afternoons, evenings. Well, I usually had a lot of homework, too. And the closer it came to completion (graduation), I seemed to have more and more homework, and a growing amount of meetings, visitations, things like that. It just seemed like every day of the week I started early but already late, and worked until I fell into bed late that night. From the girls I am friends with, I don’t think I was alone. We all seemed to do that, even some of the boys, I think. Then I spent most of Saturday getting caught up, re-taking tests I scored low on, doing a lot of reading. Reading in English, that was very difficult for me. I knew some English when I left France, and I thought that would be fine. But so many of the books I had to read, they required much better English. I had to learn a lot, and learn while reading. I would spend a lot of Saturdays doing my reading, going back and forth between the dictionary and the book I was supposed to read, trying to understand. For the first year or two, that took most of Sunday too. Then, when the week started over, I would wake up late but early, and just keep going. I am very glad that my mother and father have enough money that I didn’t need to work. Some of my girl friends actually work on top of going to school. I don’t think I could survive that.
After the first two years perhaps, I realized I needed a break. Well, that and I was getting a little better at English so my reading wasn’t so difficult. I tried to start taking Sundays off. I might go for a walk, watch a movie or something, something different. I spent some time with my girl friends, doing stuff together. That was always so much fun. A small group of us girls, working towards the same degree, the same major, we just sort of banded together, worked together, studied for tests together, sometimes failed tests together, and studied even more. That made the work a lot more fun I think. And we started to spend time together on Sundays too. Well, one by one, they had boyfriends of course. This happened on and off during the school year, and boys drifted into and out of the lives of the girls in our group. That wasn’t too much of a concern. And honestly, I didn’t even think about that for myself. I just didn’t have time. My mother and father were already spending so much money, to get me here, to keep me here, to pay for my classes, my books, my room, my food, things like that. Those first two years I worked really hard, and just didn’t have time for much else.
But when I started taking Sundays off and just relaxing, things began to change for me. Some of the girls in our group were consistently off with their boyfriends, and that was probably ok. But I just began to feel that, to feel like I wanted that, maybe I needed that, needed something, I don’t know. Like I said, the first two years, I worked hard, and didn’t give myself any time for anything else. But then my school-work began to get easier. I started to watch, watch my girl friends and their boyfriends, and to feel that, maybe that would be nice, for me. Wow, I felt like such a “noob” is the word I think. I was pretty sure I knew what love was, and such. But I had no idea how to even get started with boys. Maybe after two years of nothing but homework, studying and tests, I had forgotten. Well, one of my girl friends suggested what she called a double-date. I felt this would be easy since she would find a boy to go with me. That didn’t work out so well. My friend picking out a boy for me is what didn’t work. Well, I jumped in, I guess. And I quickly realized what maybe I had suspected all along. Many boys seem to know exactly what they want from a girl. And, I guess I was pretty naive about that, and they got it a number of times from me before I even knew what was happening. Well, they got me going, and… It was rather disturbing that the boys who did that never talked to me again. Like I said, I was naive at first. “Was that all they wanted?” I asked myself whining one morning. But I just thought that, as girls, this was all just a part of what we were expected to do.
I had to learn the hard way to be a lot more selective, a lot more careful. Well, I learned that there are some nice, amazing feelings involved too, and I appreciate that. I was not alone there. But I felt increasingly like I was trying to find a nice boy fishy like me, while swimming in shark infested waters. Well, with each failure, I learned to just be even more careful. I learned that I had to watch out for myself, draw lines, to do my best to require… hope for more than just 10 minutes of “bench time” one of my crying girl friends called it once. I guess I was not alone in this growing frustration I was feeling. And, I guess, talking to some of my girl friends, I must have been pretty lucky. I didn’t get pregnant, but that makes me worry I can’t even have kids when I want too. And I have not been given any of the horrible STD’s I keep hearing about, not that I know of, anyway.
One evening, one night, I decided that enough was enough. This boy in one of my psych classes, we were becoming friends. We studied together a time or two, and he seemed ok. Well, his favorite book (he said it was just named after some year, then he winked at me), that book I did not like. He tried to tell me about it once, just once. I stopped him before he got very far. But I still enjoyed being around him, and it didn’t seem like he was a shark or anything. The next Saturday night, we went to a movie together. We had done this once before, earlier in the quarter, and it was just a good break from studies. And he mentioned he had just finished a killer project for one of his other classes. I let him pick the movie, and I bought the soda and popcorn, usually a pretty fair split. Well, the movie was terrible. I thought it was terrible, anyway. He really liked it, and that should have sent all sorts of alarms off, I heard one of my girl friends say. When we got back in the car (late), well I think he was practicing from the movie. Kissing, hugging, I don’t mind that. I like that. But this boy was taking things far too fast. And some responses inside, I can’t just stop. In the middle of these feelings, this boy stopped abruptly, started his car and drove us to his dorm. Well, I never do this. Well, I try to avoid this. I have learned that, if I am to end up in bed with a boy, it has to be in my bedroom. I am better prepared to, well, protect myself. I have what I need in order to be able to do that, there in my room. But this boy didn’t even ask. And as he drove us to his dorm, he was singing this dumb song, and the only part I remember was “I love your body” or something like that. I began to suspect that this was all… By the time we got into his dorm room, I was having trouble waiting, but also felt a growing sense of dread deep inside. Well, it was awful. He went off, and I barely felt anything. He left me hanging. When he was done, he got up out of bed, started singing that same dumb song, and quickly got his clothes back on. He didn’t talk to me at all. He didn’t even look at me. Within a minute, his computer was on, and he was sitting down in front of it, absolutely immersed in some video game. I had seen them before, and it is not like video games are bad. But this… And the music blaring loudly from his computer as he did whatever he was doing in that game, well it sounded as distant and doleful, and really abandoned, as I felt right then… Notes jangled harshly, hopelessly, that was how I felt…
I got up, barged into his bathroom, took a shower, and tried to calm down and get as clean as I could. I got dressed, then, crying softly, I asked if he would take me home at least. He ignored me. He simply refused to even acknowledge me. Wait, I take that back. Just once, without looking away from his video game, he reached one arm far around behind him and pointed to his door. I had to have my room mate come get me, then cried as she drove me home. Maybe sniffling herself, she just said quietly “Oh Misty… So many are like that… They want you to give them the feeling they are after, then they want you… away…” This was all wrong. This wasn’t all I, we were after at all, to just be used like that… I like feeling very nice just like everyone else around me. But I guess some hugging, some relationship, that would be nice too. But I decided what that horrible boy did to me, it was really anti-relationship. That boy just took what he wanted. Really, he took the only thing I had to offer. Then he was done, he was finished, he was finished with me. It felt horrible. Once back in my room, I threw myself on my bed and cried until I fell asleep. I woke up that Sunday morning, the next morning, and had to take another shower, then I climbed back into bed with no clothes on, but feeling so absolutely dirty. I just wanted… needed a boy to hug me, to hold me, to want me, not just want from me. I wanted a boy to stay with me, to value me, to treasure me… Was that asking for so much? Why couldn’t I seem to find that? I was trying. But I felt so alone, so far beyond hope of anything nice ever happening to me, ever… I felt so battered, so distant, just like that horrible music blaring from that boy’s computer game as he ignored me. I would graduate with a Psych degree in a few months. But I just felt emptied. I just felt so abandoned. That boy had devastated me. He had erased every desire I had to try and help anybody else, just to take what he wanted, for wow, not even 5 minutes. Like I said, I was trying to go along with what I thought we girls were expected to do. But it is hard to avoid the realization that we have been lied to. We have to be worth more than just 10 minutes of bench time, more than being trampled, really shattered like that horrible boy did to me.
And I learned that this was happening all over the University, maybe all over the country…
This is so wrong…
Misty was my grand-mother’s sister. I didn’t really need to research this; the girls in our family, we pass this letter down through each generation. It seems that all too many men; they lined up maybe, just to take advantage of Misty’s calm and trusting nature, to get what they wanted, then run off, taking far more then they gave. Well, one or more left behind… Misty never graduated. She died suddenly months after writing this of some horrible disease. She didn’t even make it home. She died young, alone and empty. On her death-bed, she made her sister promise… The girls in our family, we took Misty’s story as the grave warning it really was. But we were never quite sure what the right answer was either. Your research, your experiences have quantified that, explained that, shown us that it doesn’t have to be that way at all. There is a better way. Thank you so much…
E402R7575 / Monique
cycle 178, 2084, N.F.
1. 2084 hen gase is copyright 2018 by Shysage.