Willie Wilkins had all the moves, what the in crowd called swagger; he knew it and so did everybody else who looked past his feigned over achiever image. He attended the prestigious university not because of his nearly perfect athletic build, but because of the gifted mind that was hidden behind the chiseled facial features. Standing at six feet and two inches he was well suited for the sports teams, yet spent all of his time in the libraries and study halls helping the other students less talented than he was in the intellectual capacity. A few of the locals and upper classmen knew it had been more like he helped himself to the overly impressionable young ladies that arrived each semester who eagerly welcomed his assistance within his role as a student liaison. Willie quite literally stood above the crowd of nubile ladies arranged three deep at the orientation three weeks previous and secretly decided that one Celeste Maynard would be his next conquest, well that is if Melissa Hampstead didn’t get in the way. Up to this point every attempt to corner the fair skinned, curly haired nineteen year old had been unsuccessful thanks to the ever-present Ms. Hampstead. Perhaps Melissa’s status as one of his formerly favored freshmen provided her with the correct motivation to ensure no other would get the chance to feel as betrayed as she did each time he looked upon yet another poor unsuspecting debutant. Instead of displaying outward hostility to each other the ex-lovers maintained their composure when their paths crossed as they did right at that moment.
“Good Evening, Celeste. You’re here a little late. Are you finding it difficult getting a grasp on Professor Higgins’ lectures?”
It was obvious that she found him attractive and the true difficulty at the moment had been hiding the rush of blood to her face his attention elicited.
“Well it is a bit much, but…”
“But, I managed to get through it with a pretty decent average and he’s more than likely not going to change his syllabus until next year when his new book is published. So, we are good here, right?”
The good Ms. Hampstead had come to the rescue yet again.
“Well, hello stranger. I didn’t realize you’d be here. I thought you’d take Thursdays off all of this semester.”
“You aren’t the only one that gets off teaching our newest students how things work around here.”
His smile only faded slightly as he moved on to the next table and engaged another of the new arrivals.
“Celeste, I hope you don’t fall for the old, I’m here for you whenever you need me, tactics. The story starts off nice enough, but it always ends badly.”
Still only half convinced that her judge of character could be so poor, the under classman merely acknowledged her warning.
“Okay, thanks again.”
Melissa was no fool and noticed that the naive youngster would never heed her warnings without evidence of Will’s treachery. Content to let her learn a little on her own, she decided that maybe Celeste should see just for herself what her suitor was capable of. She left the study hall and shook her head at Willie before looking back at the girl.
Taking the abrupt departure for his cue to move in, Mr. Wilkins circled the room like a shark until he’d worked his way back to his prey. Not without street smarts, he realized that moving too swiftly would only serve to warrant his detractor’s behavior. With that in mind he spent extra time with a candidate several tables down in hopes that curiosity would get the better of the proverbial cat.
Four study sessions had passed without an appearance from Ms. Hampstead and things could not have gone better in his opinion, so that night had been his first time suggesting meeting away from campus.
“Oh, I can’t say that I have not thought of it, but I am nervous considering your reputation.”
He put on an exaggerated hurt expression as he responded.
“My what? Who would say such a thing?”
“Did she also tell you that we were an item once?”
“I didn’t think so. Come to think of it, has she told you that she still holds a candle for me?”
The unfinished statement hung in the air only long enough for her to bite her lip and agree to meet him the next night for dinner plus a movie. He even allowed her to pick the movie, but the restaurant would be a bit of a surprise. Celeste walked back to her dorm with a smile on her face right up until the moment she rounded the corner to her hallway to see Melissa waiting for her.
“Uh, oh, I know that look anywhere. So when is the big night out?”
“Are you asking because you’re still waiting for him to come to his senses about the two of you or are you really concerned for MY feelings?”
Her emphasis on the word “my” provoked a faint reaction from the older student, but she settled herself before speaking.
“Well, Mr. Altruistic seems well on his way to another notch on his bed post.”
“Huh, oh wow! I must need my head examined, I should have seen this coming.”
“Seen what coming? The fact that you are going to get used like a new toy and cast aside when your new finish has worn off? Or worse yet, you might end up like a couple of others who were so embarrassed they left and never came back rather than deal with the shame.”
“Give me a little credit, I’m a big girl and I can take care of myself.”
“Well, I’ll be here for you when the time comes. Just promise me you’ll remember that?”
Melissa didn’t wait for a reply before briskly walking away.
The dinner went much better than she anticipated and to her surprise the restaurant had been a quaint guesthouse not far from campus that specialized in what could only be surmised as home cooked food. The owners had it set up just as if you had gone home and were eating with your extended family. The buffet style meal was presented in chaffing dishes and you both sat yourself, and then cleared your table. The movie turned out a little different because somehow Melissa ended up at the same venue and had obviously argued with Willie prior to Celeste’s return from a quick trip to the ladies room before they were to take seats. Whatever the disagreement had been about had surely gotten ugly as was clearly denoted by the popcorn strewn on the floor. Before anything else could happen, Melissa shoved her popcorn into Celeste’s arms and stormed out.
“Enjoy the show and whatever happens next!”
The two of them debated leaving, but decided not to let their first date be ruined and went into the theater just as the opening credits began to roll. Celeste found herself unable to remain focused on the show as it went on and had actually looked forward to heading back to her dorm as soon as the movie ended.
“I’m exhausted. I don’t know if it is from the late nights studying or just lingering effects from the Hampstead encounter.”
“Well hopefully our next outing will be a better one.”
As they got into Willie’s car for the ride back, she laid her head back and closed her eyes for a moment.
The nonstop chiming had begun to become annoying and she wished that Willie would either take the key out of the ignition or close the damned door so it would stop. When she opened her eyes to tell him to make the noise go away, she realized that she was in a room and not a car; coincidentally the noise came from an alarm clock instead of a car. The confusion proved unsettling enough, but when she realized that she had been completely nude except for her bra and socks; panic and bile rose up from her stomach. As fate would have it, bile beat panic and she vomited violently before she could utter a sound. She looked around frantically to gain her bearings only to realize that she was in her room, but what was she doing undressed and why couldn’t she remember coming home? Something even scarier worked its way into her mind. She felt unclean and violated in the vilest of manners. Emotions got the best of her and she rushed to the shower, then cleaned up her side of the room.
It took her a few hours to work up the nerve to leave her room, but when she did her first instinct had been to find Melissa. She must have looked like hell, because as soon as she entered the study hall, the upper classman had rushed over to her and pulled her outside to talk.
“What happened? Are you okay?”
It took all of her strength to say it and as soon as it came out she collapsed against the alcove wall.
“He raped me.”
She said it in a whisper, but had been sure the entire campus had heard her. She looked around for the stares and glances, but none were to be seen then. Only Melissa’s eyes fell upon her in the passageway.
“Don’t worry, we’ll make him pay for this. Come on and stand up. You’ve got to be strong in front of him when we see him.”
“I don’t want to see him. My God, just thinking of what he did.”
“No, you’ve got to see his face. Look him right in the eyes so he can see his world come crashing down. Together, you and I can do this. I’ll even back you with my story of what happened to me.”
Celeste watched the conviction in her face and drew inspiration from it. The tears stopped along with the trembling and she found that her legs indeed worked, so she rose from the ground, threw back her shoulders then calmly walked with Melissa to her car. Her friend ensured her that she knew exactly where the debaser would be at that moment. He always went fishing on Sunday mornings and he would be completely unprepared for their onslaught. They would force him to turn himself in for his crimes against them both and even without the physical evidence; two upstanding students complaining would draw enough scrutiny that others may come forward. During the drive the younger student apologized profusely for doubting Melissa’s intentions and swore to do everything she could to make sure that she received justice for her injury as well. They parked their car close to Willie’s and trekked their way through the brambles to find him sitting on the bank with his rod in his relaxed hand. They were able to sneak right up to him because he had headphones in his ears and stood there for a while before Celeste startled him by pushing his shoulder.
“Hello sleepy head.”
His demeanor changed somewhat after his opening comment when he realized she didn’t look happy to see him and his former flame had been present as well.
“Your game is over and you’re going to jail this time.”
“Don’t pretend that you don’t know why we’re here. You may have gotten away with doing it to her, but I will not let this rest.”
Willie dropped his rod and focused on Celeste.
“Let what rest?”
“Rape! You dirt bag!”
The look on his face only served to piss her off further, because he had really seemed bewildered. It made her think that he’d gotten away so many times that he couldn’t believe someone had finally decided to confront him. She turned to encourage Melissa to join the conversation, but everything went black.
“Melissa, what are you doing?!”
The collapsible baton hit Celeste solidly in the temple and emitted a smack loud enough to reverberate from the opposing bank of the stream. She fell instantly and started to convulse, but that did not stop the deranged upper classman from manically striking her over and over until her face was unrecognizable.
“Do you think she’s cute now?”
Not wanting to push her further over the edge of sanity, Willie kept his distance as she stood from kneeling over the dead freshman.
“You what? You didn’t know how much I loved you?”
“I always thought that you were just being spiteful. If I knew it would drive you to do this, I’d have…”
“What? Do you think this is the first one?”
“There were others?”
“Do you really think that you were that enthralling that they couldn’t bare to be around you after you played your little game of hit it and quit it?”
“I never touched her!”
“I know. That was me. It’s amazing what a little rufilin sprinkled on popcorn can do. After that, all I needed was the master key to the dorms once you dropped her off, a realistic phallus and a compassionate attitude for the morning after.”
Everything began to come together in Willie’s mind and the full extend of her psychosis proved too much for a mind even as sharp as his to process coherently. He was still standing frozen in the moment as she took the two steps to close the distance between them. He heard her speak just before the world went dark.
“Never again my love.”