That’s right. I’m going to tackle this one head on. I (still) cannot believe this happened to me. That someone looked at..ME..and thought “She’d be perfect to assault.” As I might have mentioned, I am athletic. 5’10”. I proudly played Division I volleyball. At the time of the assault, I was about 155 – a healthy weight for me. And, I’m a New Yorker! I mean, I deal with cranky cabbies, rude commuters, and impatient everyone. Who would mess with me? I’m a badass.
When Marco and I left the Stardust Cafe by Piazza Navona, it was then that he asked me if I wanted to see his apartment with the patio that he did so much of his work on. I declined. He asked again and I laughed, but declined. He then whipped out his ID card – he called it his “document” – and handed it to me. He could see that I was hesitant and felt this would put me at ease, that he was who he said he was and he meant no harm. I kept the ID card and agreed to go with him.
Wow, that was pretty easy. I decline street vendors, panhandlers and anyone who smells of “scam” all the live long day in NYC, yet this person was able to get me alone…TWICE. I went and saw his apartment, then we left and went to an Enoteca near my hotel, and then..even though I really was ready to end the night…I let him guilt me into going back up for what I figured would be 20 minutes or so. I was really tired. If I could just get that moment back. That is what I wished for months.
With the exception of one now-former friend, no one has ever made me feel I deserved what happened. But part of me still gets annoyed with how I made choices I normally wouldn’t because I was in Rome and because I felt I had shown enough of my “I’m tough, don’t mess with me” persona that Marco wouldn’t be so stupid. But he was.
I know that it was not my fault. But I no longer feel invincible, and that is a good thing. It makes me look at myself as more vulnerable and causes me to take more caution – also a good thing.