I couldn’t wait to get to college. After the stifling atmosphere of an all girls’ school in a tiny town where everyone knew my dad and my elder brothers, I was looking forward to life in a big city. A co-ed college. Boys! Freedom!
I am a pretty looking girl, a bit on the “homely” side. After years of conservative dressing, I could not adopt cropped tops and short skirts that a lot of the 'cool' girls in college wore as my daily uniform. I stuck to jeans and T-shirts. Sometimes I’d be daring and wear a spaghetti top, but that was about it. And I was kind of shy around boys – obviously, because I had never really interacted with them.
But there was this one guy. He was super sweet. In a group, he would make a special effort if he saw I was uncomfortable. And I really I liked him. One day, he asked me for coffee. I agreed. And that’s how it started. Over the first year of college, we were together constantly.
He was my first boyfriend. The first boy I ever held hands with, the first boy I ever kissed. He lived not that far from college. Sometimes, we would slip away from the gang to hang out. One thing let to another and once after a heavy makeout session, I got nervous and made my excuses and ran. I wasn't ready for more.
He acted like he understood. Over the summer break, I was back in my dusty little town with nothing to do. We would spend hours on the phone, texting, chatting on FB.
Late one night he messaged. “What are you doing?”
“Nothing much,” I said.
“Send me a photo of you, I miss you.” Touched, I sent him a selfie.
“Now send me one of YOU,” he said. I was feeling quite bold. I sent him a revealing photo.
I was convinced he loved me. I knew I loved him.
Second year began. First day of college, I was super excited to see him. I saw him walking up the corridor towards me. I had a big smile on my face. “Come,” he said. “I want to talk to you.”
He took me aside and said that this evening I should come over to his place, there was something important he wanted to discuss. A bit confused with this cryptic message, I agreed to see him that evening.
I got to his house. He was a bit off. We started chatting. Then out of the blue - he showed me photos. Some that I had sent to him. Others he took, when I thought I was just posing, but they looked very suggestive. He showed me texts I'd sent him, the ones I should never have sent. He said, “You have to sleep with me, or I will tell everyone and put it up on the internet.”
Horrified, I almost burst into tears and ran out of his house.
I could not sleep. I was petrified.
This blackmail continued for almost a week. He was careful not to text me. But whenever he would see me, he would say something.
One of my teachers noticed that I was constantly pale and lost. She talked to me kindly. I was on the verge of a breakdown, I told her everything.
She went over to his house, spoke to his mother. Luckily, they were able to scare him into deleting all the photos and burning the prints.
That was the end of our “relationship”, of course. He would look nastily at me in college after that, but he was scared of my teacher failing him and never said or did anything too unpleasant.
I’d had a narrow escape. The day those photos were deleted, I promised my teacher and myself that I would never expose myself to such risk again.