I hadn’t been on a proper holiday with Mr Weirdo in the whole time we had dated before this. We had been a couple of times to a cottage his family owned in Scotland, which had no working bathroom, where they made us pick up leaves in the garden all day before an awkward family dinner.
In contrast Rome sounded romantic and far away so I was keen to go. To this day it remains my favourite holiday destination, it is a truly beautiful city with kind people living there. Going with Mr Weirdo was an obvously bad choice.
Everyday he woke me up at 5am so we would leave the hotel at 6am and take a long walk to all the tourist attractions. He planned out a schedule which we could not deviate from, leaving little time to just wander around and soak up the City. They were all places he had chosen, my suggestions to visit Keats grave were brushed off as a waste of time.
Second day we went looking for the Vatican. With so many tourists, you’re unlikely to be lost too long in Rome so I suggested Mr Weirdo ask a local for directions. He grabbed a passing old man and said, loudly and slowly with the stereotypical hand gesture, “WHERE IS EL VATICANO?”.
I looked at this poor old bloke with horror, trying to convey apology with my eyes. The old man was very sweet about it and spoke to me, blanking Mr Weirdo, “Vatican” and pointing in the right direction. El Vaticano is not how it is said in Italian, obviously.
Later that day Mr Weirdo suggested we should scout out a pharmacy and buy some condoms. We hadn’t slept together much since he’d come back from the other girl at his Uni, and things were still a bit tense in that area. I figured, fuck it, we’re on holiday, it could be quite nice.
We bought the condoms and took them back to the hotel room. Things got started and then just as he went to get it in, I tensed up. I suddenly just didn’t want it, and a feeling of dread washed over me. I was alarmed at myself, I’d never experienced anything like it. He kept trying to get in and then found he couldn’t because I’d tensed up so much it was impossible. So he became quite forceful to try and get in by any means possible.
At this point I did say stop as it was quite painful to say the least. I said stop, then please stop. It was only when I started crying because it was so painful that he clambered off and sat on the other side of the bed. I sat up and pulled my pants back up. There was a bit of blood. The next day my period started and I was relieved as I knew there would be no more attempts in Rome after that.
“The problem with you is you never try” sighed Mr Weirdo as I stood up and went to the bathroom.
I told this story recently to a close male friend and he was absolutely horrified. The sad thing is, pretty much every female I know has been through at least one similar experience. Just look at Scorned Woman #3 and Mr Hotel Room. We start seeing these episodes as just part of modern day dating. I still feel angry about the whole thing, but it’s a resigned sort of anger.
And of course I still didn’t gather the common sense to leave him for another year. I guess in that sense I may as well be just as angry at myself as at him. Hopefully, we learn.