So, to put it simply, I was a little shit as a kid.
I use to steal from stores and family, swear and throw things at random people walking down the street, was smoking from the age of twelve and didn’t give a shit about anyone but my friends. They were my real family, or so I thought, and the group of all five of us would cause trouble every single day.
My parents, though in my later years have told me they should have been more effective in their discipline, really weren’t to blame. I was just a mixed-up kid. I use to think that doing all this stuff made me cool. I can’t really describe how superior I felt when I made grown adults afraid of me, but it made me feel powerful, and power was something I craved when I was younger.
I could go on and on about my sins but the fact is, I was just fu***d in the head. I’ve made amends where I can to who I could but you’re not here for self-flagellation, you’re here for the revenge.
So long story short, when I was 16, my parents finally had enough, and despite all my tantrums and screaming and even some physical violence against my dad, they decided to put me in a ‘school for troubled youth.’ I call it a school, but what it really was, was a military institution that taught discipline in the most brutally effective ways while throwing in some literacy and numeracy classes along the way.
Without going into much detail I’ll say that this school changed me. While aggressive, violent, cocky and near homicidal when I was first dumped on their doorstep, the men who ran this camp broke me down. I was there for just over a year. No phone calls, no visits home, no access to the outside world. For one whole year, I had this camp and these counselors, these real-life hard-ass men teach me just how much of a shit stain I really was.
By the end of my second summer, I was a changed kid. I had fought and screamed and gotten my a** kicked more times then I can count but eventually, I was beaten down. These men taught me that real men simply don’t act the way I did, and that the type of path I was headed down would lead me either in jail or dead. They were brutally honest about it, especially this one counselor J. By the end of my ‘stay’ I considered J a second father. Though I hated him at first for making me feel inferior, he really did me a favor teaching me how toxic my behavior was, and to this day I still think of him as something of a hero. He was the main person who deemed me ready to return home.
But the back story is getting really long, so let’s get to the real story.
When I returned home I had changed from an abusive little prick to a ‘somewhat’ civilized young man, ready to take on my last year of high-school. I was nervous to go back, since I had adapted to the disciplinary school lifestyle, but I was also excited. I missed my friends, and hoped they would just accept me back despite the fact that I hadn’t spoken to any of them in over a year.
And to my relief, I was accepted back with open arms. One of my closest friends had moved states since I’d been away, but the other three were ecstatic to see me. Over the next few weeks I settled down, I didn’t spend a lot of time with them outside of school. My parents were kind of testing how much I’d matured since returning, and were setting boundaries on when I could go out, how long I could stay out and where I could go etc. I was determined to prove to them I wasn’t the same f**k up that had ruined their lives all those years, so I followed their rules, and so only really talked to my friends during school.
All of this is relevant, because of what happened next.
I had joined the school football team all three friends were a part of, and one evening after practice, all my teammates were in the gym, sweaty and dirty but pleased with ourselves. I was laughing and chatting with my three best friends so much I didn’t really notice that we were the last left in the gym. But that’s when the conversation started turning bad.
One of my friends, I’ll call him F1 (Friend 1) for simplicity, started telling me about a college party they were all planning on going to, and how they’d been crashing college parties for a few months now, since it was easy access to girls and booze. I was hesitant about it because I didn’t think my mum and dad would agree to let me go, but then F1 started talking about this girl he was planning on inviting. A girl who went to the same school as us but not one I thought F1 had any real relationship with. I knew her, but I didn’t know her. He started to tell both my other friends, and me, that he’d been trying to get her into bed for a while and she kept making ‘excuses’ so he planned on taking her to the party and finally ‘smashing’. When I asked him, in a joking way, ‘what makes you so sure she won’t reject you again?’ He looked me dead in the eye and said as casually as you please the most chilling sentence I have ever heard in my entire life.
“I’m just gonna slip something in her drink. It’ll loosen her up, no problem.”
At first I just kind of awkwardly laughed, thinking it was some crazy joke but they weren’t laughing with me. When I asked him if he was serious, he told me he was sick of her ‘bullshit games’ and knew she was just stringing him along, and that the ‘pills’ would just ‘make things easier.’
I could not believe my ears.
I excused myself from the conversation pretty quickly and practically bolted home, most likely driving through several stop signs but I really don’t remember. I spent the whole night convincing myself my friends were just messing around.
A few more days pass and the conversation in the locker room is all but forgotten, though they hadn’t shut up about the party, and kept insisting that I just sneak out and join them. I got called a ‘loser’ repeatedly for telling them I wasn’t going because of my parents, but again, I just brushed it off.
Then the shit finally hits the fan.
During yet another, after-school training session we all end up the last in the lockers. And F1 does something I never would have expected in a thousand years. All three of them have been talking about the party this whole time, then F1 starts rummaging through his gym bag. He tells us all to ‘look at this’ and tosses F2 a small bag of little pink pills.
Immediately, I feel the blood drain from my face, and like a bombs going off in my head a voice in my mind is screaming ‘holy shit, this is really happening, this is serious.
Its really hard to describe what I was feeling when F1 started going into detail about how he planned on inviting the girl to the party, slipping something into her drink and ‘making use’ of one of the frat boys bedrooms for a few hours.
I was sick. Like literally could have hurled everything from my stomach all over the floor as I listened to all three of them talk about how ‘awesome’ the party was going to be after just describing how they were planning to rape a girl.
I couldn’t take it, and again I ran off.
I actually did end up puking later that night, going over and over in my head what I had just witnessed. I almost couldn’t believe it. These three boys had been my friends for 15 years. I thought of them as my own family, thought I knew them better than anyone, but one year away and this?
I’ll tell you that I actually broke down crying that night. I’m not ashamed to admit it. What I am ashamed of is how long I took to actually get a grip and handle it.
I knew I should have told someone, but in some way, my loyalties were still screwed. Don’t crucify me for it, I know now what I should have done, but I was seventeen, and these were my best friends. I didn’t want them to get into trouble, but at the same time, I knew I couldn’t let this shit go down, so instead of reporting all I’d heard to an adult like a normal person, I decided I’d sort it out all on my own.
So I went to F1, and told him not to do what he had planned. Told him it was stupid and dangerous and would ruin both his life and the life of the girl he was planning on drugging.
He didn’t even blink. He got right in my face and told me that the school I got sent to had turned me into a coward. That he hated how much I’d changed and had been trying to change me back with F2 and F3. Even told me how they’d been talking about me behind my back, and how they’d planned to ‘give me a turn’ on the girl once F1 was done with her, just to show me what I was missing out on. Then he said something I’ll never forget. He told me, word for word,
‘I’m doing that little bitch a favor. She’s a virgin. And after this party, your mum won’t be the only one finally getting some.’
I punched him.
We fought, and we both got sent home on suspension for fighting.
I could not believe it. I was seething.
My best friend had said that to me. My best friend had told me he was going to rape an innocent girl at a party, and I was a coward for not wanting to join in? I was disgusted. Sickened to my core. And I was done with him.
My parents were disappointed I had gotten suspended so shortly after coming home, but I just sat quietly while my mom cried and my dad screamed at me. I know now that I should have told him, but after what F1 said to me, I had this insane notion in my head that I was going to get him back all on my own.
And now, to the revenge.
After a weekend of being grounded, I went back to school, and the first thing I did was seek out F1. He was about as bashed up as I was, but he was sporting a nice black eye from where I’d hit him in the face. F2 and F3 were standing with him, and they all glared at me as I approached them. Then I did something that made me feel sick. I apologized to him. I told him I was sorry I hit him, and that he was right, I had changed, and I hated what that school had done to me, and I wanted to go back to being the old me again, and surprisingly, they all bought it. F1 and I even hugged it out, and I put the cherry on top when I told them I’d be coming to the party.
Now, for my dumb-ass teenage plan.
First, I started recording them whenever we were alone together. I wanted to get everything they said about the party and the girl they were planning on victimizing on tape. I knew I needed some kind of proof, or it would just be my word against theirs. And after a few days, I had gotten more than enough. But I wasn’t done.
No, my stupid self had a plan and I was going to fulfill it to the fullest.
So the next thing I did was track down the girl, take her aside, and tell her everything. She was pissed, and scared, but I begged her not to go to the police or tell anyone. I know now that was stupid as well, but for some reason, she listened to me. I had a plan. A crazy, stupid plan to teach them all a lesson. So I told her to tell F1 that she was going to meet him at the party, but to just stay home, so she could stay safe. Later that day F1 started bragging about how the girl had accepted his invitation and everything was going to plan. And I sat there, phone half out my pocket, recording the whole damn thing.
So night of the party finally rolls around, and I sneak out, because, you know, I was grounded.
I think it’s worth mentioning that I wasn’t filled with vindication and self-righteousness throughout the whole night. I was second guessing myself, I had doubts, but in some strange way, I felt betrayed. These three boys had been my brothers since before I could throw a punch and I felt betrayed that they had gone down this road. What made me mad in the head even more was the possibility that I might have been just like them if my parents hadn’t sent me away. It was a strange moment of realization to come to in the middle of a crowded frat house surrounded by drunk idiots, but you take what life throws at you.
So the night goes on, and F1 is getting steadily more frustrated that the girl he invited hadn’t shown up. I’d made sure to keep him in my sights for the whole night, not wanting him to decide that any old girl would do if he couldn’t ‘take’ the one he wanted. I kept an eye on all of them, watching as they drank and drank while I stayed as level headed as possible with some water in a beer can. When midnight came, all three of them were plastered, and I knew that all the girl’s at the party would be safe by then. By this time the crowd was dying down, and a few people who couldn’t hold their liquor were already passed out around the house. And now was my time to shine. While all three of them were occupied with a drinking game, I hunted in F1’s bag and found the bag of little pink pills. Here’s where I did something I’m not particularly proud of, but I’ll tell you anyway.
I slipped one pill into three beers each and handed them to my ‘friends’, and then waited. It didn’t take long before all three were passed out on the floor, along with quite a few other party guests. I then took out a black permanent marker pen from my bag and wrote ‘rapist’ on all three of their foreheads, took pictures and immediately uploaded them to our schools Facebook page, so everyone who attended our school would see. Admittedly, I didn’t really think this part through, since I not only did this in full view of every other conscious person at the party, but also knew the photos wouldn’t last long on the school site before they would be taken down. But since it was a small school, in a small town, I didn’t doubt that a whole bunch of people would see it before a teacher removed the photos, and that’s exactly what I wanted.
Next came the recordings.
When I got home, I got a verbal bludgeoning from my parents for sneaking out, but they stopped when I finally told them what had been happening. They were both shocked, and a little disbelieving, but when I played them both the recordings I’d saved on my phone, they were just as sickened as I was.
I was silent in the car as my dad drove me to the police station, receiving a lecture about how I should have just come to him in the first place, and what I’d done at the party wasn’t necessary. But I felt like it was at the time. My phone had already blown up with other students commenting on the pictures of my three ex-friends with ‘Rapist’ written on their foreheads. And while a lot just laughed at them, many were questioning if there was any truth to it. It was what I wanted. I wanted everyone to know who they really were, so they had nowhere to hide.
The hours at the police station were admittedly very scary. I was still debating with myself whether or not I did the right thing, but my ‘friends’ had chosen their own fate. I still felt hurt and betrayed they’d allowed themselves to become this way, and even though I felt a little guilt for potentially ruining their future, I did what I thought had to be done.
And long story short, the recordings were enough to get them all on charges of planning to commit a crime. Since the girl F1 had been planning on drugging had been named, her parents were understandably furious, and demanded all three of my ex-friends be arrested. I would have been to, were it not for the girl telling her parents, and the courts, that I had warned her to stay away from F1 and the party. I was charged for my use of an illegal substance, since I admitted to using the pills on my 3 ex-friends, and also for battery, since the permanent marker was seen as a form of assault, but luckily I never got jail time. I did get a boatload of community service though.
All three of them were tried as adults in a case of attempted rape, but only F1 got actual jail time, since he was the one who’d gotten the pills and was the only one who admitted to wanting to use them. The other two only got probation and community service for being ‘accessories’ but were completely shunned in our town. No one ever let them forget.
I was prepared for the backlash, ready to be jumped by them or something, but strangely enough, I think seeing F1 go to jail for what he did knocked some sense into the two of them, and they wised up enough to actually get into college without football scholarships, since they were both kicked off the team. They never came anywhere near me again, which surprised me, but I no longer cared. In my mind, my friends were dead to me long before all of this went down, and by the time I moved away to college, it was all behind me.
I’m in my final year of college now and I still think about those three sometimes. I think about how, if my parents hadn’t sent me to that special school, I may have ended up just like them. Oddly enough, I do miss them at times, but I know its the memory of the kids I miss, not the men they turned into. I’ve thanked my parents continuously for sending me to that place, and even got some approval from J when I felt man enough to tell him what happened. I don’t know what will happen to F1 when he gets out of jail, but a part of me hopes he learns his lesson and moves on with his life, like I have.
J called me a few days ago, just to check up, and I told him this whole story, which is kind of why I’m now telling the internet.
I guess the moral is to stand up to your friends when you know they’re doing wrong, but maybe not in the stupid way I did it. Always involve others more qualified to deal with situations you’re not sure about. Even if you’re a headstrong, stubborn as f**k teenager who thinks you know everything.