Our third apartment was probably the nicest. It was in a low-income complex called Regency Park, and though the application process was a little more difficult than our last apartment, we were still approved and able to move in on May 1st. Our roommate was an elderly woman named Suzy, who had a roommate a little older than me that was moving out to go to dental school. Suzy had a dog, an old basset hound named Charlie. Charlie brought me a little joy in my life plagued with stress and worry, and spending time with Suzy put me at ease, although Theo was not thrilled about meeting Suzy’s roommate(as usual, he thought she had a crush on me and that I was giving her the “fuck-me” eyes). Naturally, I was lectured on Theo’s thoughts about the girl and he told me I was to stay away from her and limit contact, because she could corrupt me. This was fine with me as we saw very little of each other.
The day we moved in, I took advantage of the hot tub, but I couldn’t go all the way in because I didn’t have a swimsuit. While Suzy was out of the house we did what work we could on Theo’s computer, which consisted of him using a free program to make music. His music was pretty unoriginal. He rarely used vocals but ripped off sections of music and his favorite YouTube videos, laying tracks over instrumental loops. I wasn’t very impressed with it at all. The one song I did sing on, a Nine Inch Nails remix that I’m not very proud of either, I picked the wrong song and didn’t feel like I did a good job on it. When I asked him to redo it, he got angry at me and told me I sounded just fine. In our previous apartments, it would also set him off if I sang--even quietly. He told me that the walls were thin and that someone would hear me, realize there was a new woman in the apartment, and might break in and try to rape me. Of course, he said a lot of ridiculous stuff like this. On our second night in, Suzy had complications with a condition she’d been telling us about, got sick and had to go to the hospital. Thankfully the neighbors across the street knew her and could take care of her and give her a ride back from the hospital since Theo didn’t have a car. The next day, since she was still in the hospital, I was alone with Theo. We went to the mall and he took me into Spencer’s to buy sex toys and other paraphernalia, including edible strawberry peppermint lubricant. That night, and the duration of the stay at Suzy’s, he had me give him oral using the gel, and to this day peppermint still makes me ill.
A couple hours after I’d fallen asleep that night, Theo woke me again to jerk him off. After numerous attempts and with my back sore from kneeling in an awkward position (along with sleeping in the tent, etc.), he told me to stop touching him and give him oral. I was tired and sore, and made the mistake of refusing him. He guilted me into it, telling me how much he’d done for me, and then brought up how I’d cheated on him, just like Keeley, and finally when he’d broken me down enough, I gave in. I felt weak and helpless, but there was nothing I could do about it; I had no control. I’m not sure if it was sexual frustration or anger, but that night he seemed particularly rough. He grabbed my hair and thrust himself in and out of my mouth, making me swallow once he had ejaculated. He’d started this practice a month earlier because since then we hadn’t been able to have normal intercourse. I’d been so sore that even Theo fingering me (which wasn’t much gentler than real sex) brought on tears. Every time I refused, he called me a cheater. I couldn’t make him understand how much I hurt.
Suzy came back for one night before returning to the hospital. I didn’t see her the rest of my stay. The night after she’d left again, I told Theo I missed my family and wanted to save money to go back for my youngest sister’s birthday in August. At first the discussion was civil, until he told me it would be okay if I didn’t see my “boyfriend”. He referred to a good male friend who I swam with regularly on my high school swim team. We’d never had any romantic feelings towards each other; the relationship was more like brother-sister than boyfriend-girlfriend. The minute I tried explaining this to him, he shut down and told me I wouldn’t see my sister because we weren’t going to Utah. This was my ultimate breaking point. At the beginning of the journey, when I’d first left, I never realized how much I would miss them and how much I needed them. Shutting me off from ever seeing them was the deal-breaker. The more I pleaded and begged, the angrier he became. It escalated to yelling. He became so angry that he smacked himself in the head, gashing his forehead open with his ring, and at one point, when we were inches away, he told me when Keeley had made him this mad, he’d strangled her. While I was in tears, literally fearing for my life at this point, he demanded to know if I still loved him. The words would not come out, even though I didn’t mean them and I would be lying. Nothing came out of my mouth. I sat there in tears and stared at him, in shock he could ask such a question after he’d basically threatened to strangle me. I realized there was something really wrong with him, and that I couldn’t expose myself to his presence any longer.
The next day I called my dad just to talk. I missed him, and realized that I had taken for granted the attributes of a real man. I knew he wouldn’t ever treat my mom like this. Theo had jumped in the shower, so I took my chance to spill what had happened the previous night, taking caution to speak low. Theo must have heard something, because as I was finishing talking, he came up behind me. I quickly wrapped up the conversation and hung up, but this time Theo’s suspicions were right. I’d told my dad what had happened, and naturally it made him upset because my dad would think he was a lesser man. I’d also confessed to my dad that I was thinking about moving back home. Even with the brave confession, I was still nervous about leaving. I was scared to think Theo heard me, but I didn’t know how much longer I could last in the situation.