“Hello Katie, come in,” Mr Conan said as he walked past me towards his office.
His smell reminded me of something familiar, perhaps it was my dad but I hadn’t seen him since I was two years old so I couldn’t remember. I got up off the chair and picked up my coat, reluctant to enter the room. I didn’t know what to expect and I was so nervous. I closed the door behind me as he told me to take a seat, sitting down on the cushioned brown bucket chair and looked around. The room was cosy considering it was his office; it had plenty of books peppering the walls and one of those standard globes that all ‘important’ teachers seem to have.
“How are you?” He asked as he sat opposite me.
“I’m not good Mr Conan,” I responded, noticing his socks, “I just feel I need some help.”
“Call me Bill please, Katie,” I smiled, his voice putting me at ease. “So are you asking for counselling?”
“Yes please, Mr Co…I mean, Bill.”
“I told you to call me Bill because if I am to be your counsellor, Katie, you can’t be thinking of me as a teacher. So, when do you want this to begin?”
“Today? Tomorrow? Next week, next month?” He bombarded me with options.
“Now? In an hour, in two hours? After that I have other appointments.”
“Now..?” I asked, unsure if I was ready and what to expect.
“Ok great,” He smiled, “Now there are a few things we have to go over and a few forms to sign. As you are a student on campus you can get this service free if you meet the criteria.”
Bill went on to explain how my sessions would work and we set up a programme I was happy with.
I attended counselling several times before I felt I could talk about my problem; it was during the 4th session I told him that I had been raped on campus. I went into detail about David, another student who would act suspiciously uncomfortable every time he would see me; I explored Jeff Banks who had been suspected of rape before, but there was not enough evidence. I told him about my roommate across the hall who seemed to always be in the vicinity when I was getting ready for the shower or getting changed or how he’d just walk in at the moment I’m half dressed.
“I thought he was gay so it didn’t bother me much till after the attack and I found out he wasn’t. Looking back now his behaviour is weird,” I said.
“Let’s concentrate on the attack shall we?” Bill leaned forward slightly, ready to hear what I had to say. His eyes looked focused and his face welcomed the terror I was about to face. I told him I was raped in my dorm room, when it happened and how…
“So you were restrained?”
“Yes, sir,” I responded, putting my head down.
“How did you feel?”
“I was frightened, devastated, horrified. I felt dirty!” I looked back up with tears in my eyes.
Bill was engrossed in my story, every ounce of him was listening to me. I had never had that before, not even from my mum, so it made me feel uncomfortable.
“He was so heavy,” I continued, “I could hardly breathe.” Tears fell freely down my face and Bill handed me a tissue from inside his jacket.
“Continue, Katie. Tell me about the worst point for you.”
I paused as my eyes filled up again. Tears dropped onto my lap as I stared at the diamond-shaped pattern on his socks.
“Come on, Katie, you can do it,” Bill leaned in closer as he tried to encourage me to talk, but for some reason I was mesmerised by his socks.
“Katie,” Bill called my name softly, breaking my trance. “The worst point for you!”
I was uncomfortable but I continued, “His face was covered but I could see his eyes. I will never forget those eyes. He stared at me and said… ‘Bitch, Daddy’s home’.”
I started to cry as silence ascended the room. Uncomfortable with the silence, I shifted my focus from the diamonds on his socks and looked at Bill; his face looked distorted through my tears. I blinked, his face was…
“What were his eyes like Katie?” He asked slowly.
I transported myself back to remember; I could smell him, that smell…Those soc…
“His eyes, Katie, tell me about his eyes.”
At that moment I realised I couldn’t look up. I couldn’t bring myself to look into my rapist’s eyes any longer…