For today, that's changing just a bit.
Saturday night started like any other Halloween- dressed up with one of my BFFs, headed down to Clarendon, hit a few bars, then decided to migrate to our old "home away from home" bar. We were totally coherent, not yet drunk, and were being smart about everything we did. We sat down and talked with the manager and bartender, charged our phones, and ate some pizza.
Next thing I know, I'm in an ambulance. They're hooking me up to oxygen, and I'm having a panic attack. I'm alone, my friend is gone, and I'm making a cop and EMT promise me to find my Minnie Mouse friend. It was terrifying.
Once I was able to calm down, they asked me a lot of questions like "which year is it?" and "who is the president?" It was difficult to answer every question, but I think I got them all correct. They informed me I had probably been roofied and that I needed to be admitted to the hospital, but they had no information on me. Turns out the only thing I had on me was a phone charger. No phone. No ID. Just a retractable charger.
It's all a blur. "Static memory loss," they called it. I didn't even remember what had happened a few minutes ago. I had no idea how I ended up in the ambulance or the emergency room later. I didn't know what they were sticking in my face or why they were pricking my finger. There were several times I just hid under the blanket and sobbed because I had so many questions I couldn't get answered. It was an actual nightmare. I couldn't explain everything, I just knew it was terrible.
Once I got out of the hospital, I tried contacting anyone I could to get in touch with her, but couldn't. Her phone was dead. It wasn't until 8am the next day she was at my apartment, we're all crying, and finding out that our parents found out via text "EB is in the hospital because she was roofied and ____ is missing." CAN YOU IMAGINE GETTING THAT TEXT?! And then not being able to contact either of us?! I can't apologize enough to my family.
Since Saturday night, I've been able to get a few clues. Bartenders told me I was fine one minute, then a "walking zombie" the next. "You had no soul in your eyes," they said. I had been seen asleep in the bathroom of the bar, then again on the stairs. We had tried to walk to the metro but were too exhausted and sat down to take a breather. For some reason, I left my friend at one point.
This is when things could have gotten bad. Really bad. I could have "gone UVA." [Something I say in complete fear, not to make light of a terrible situation.] That's when the good happened.
A couple of girls helped us out. Separately. I have no idea if they knew each other. I have no idea who helped me, what she looked like, what her name was. I just know that at some point I was at someone's dorm. They were trying to help me find my friend, but ultimately gave me the ultimatum of "find your friend or find a cop." I chose a cop.
Meanwhile, my friend was being helped by someone else. She had her phone so she was able to call a ride. This girl sat with her for an hour or more until a ride came. Then she got her phone number and texted her later to make sure she did in fact make it safe. Earlier today she gave a little more insight into how we were found and what went down in the moments she saw us.
In a world full of terrible news headlines that make me terrified to go out and live my life, these girls brought the light. I'm sure they had much more fun plans for the night. They didn't know us. They didn't need to cancel their plans to babysit us, but they did. They stayed with me until 12:30 and my friend until after 1. They even checked up on her, something that I couldn't do from the hospital, or any of our other friends who had no idea there was anything terrible happening.
I wish I could thank the girl who helped me out. Not just for helping me, but for being a good human being. For forcing me to stay safe and get in the ambulance. She's a hero, really.
And the guys who dropped everything to pick us up- they deserve something too. Knight status or something. They're not our boyfriends; they had no obligations to do it.
As my boss said to me this morning, my life is a constant stress. Things happen to me that don't happen to others. That shouldn't happen to others. At this point, I'm used to it. I'm used to accepting that terrible things happen and being able to refresh quickly. I can find the funny in situations and focus on that. [Like when I was mugged a couple years ago, I thought it was hilarious that I was able to kick a dude in the face, then ballsy enough to go back to the playground my phone was tracked to with a knife as defense.] As for Saturday night, I love that I was so attached to my charger and that when I was released I put my tutu back on and danced around the hospital singing "I'M FREEEEE!!!" I also made the cops and EMT pinky promise they wouldn't call my parents or make it awkward when my ride [who happened to be my ex] came to pick me up. Even through the tears, I can be pretty silly.
It's been a little different for my friend, I think. She's probably the one reacting appropriately- freaked out. I just keep thinking "why freak out about something not in your control or something that's in the past?" We did everything right. We couldn't have changed the fact that someone else drugged us. We're safe.
So in the end, I'm happy it happened. I'm not ashamed or even angry at this point. I don't think I'll be going back to that bar again, but I went through a crazy learning experience that I hope will bring my friend and I closer... and one that actually gives me faith in humanity again because I have to focus on the good, not the douchebag[s] who tried to take advantage of us.
I will be forever mad that my phone and all my Halloween pictures are gone, though.