“Knock knock! Julie? You there? Up for a talk?”
The residence campfire was complete, and I was happy it was done, proud of myself too for leading a couple of songs. Yet in the back of my mind was the thoughts about Devon. And how exposed I felt in that large group at the campfire.
“Hey Aime, how was the campfire? I could hear it from my room. The sound carries great at night, bouncing off the water too of Lake Tamblyn.”
Julie smiled at me as she looked up from her books.
“It was fun Julie, I liked leading the songs I suggested when we were planning the campfire. And Shelley was happy. So, you wanted to talk about the letters from Devon? I am worried and scared from his letters. And I saw a couple of the guys who are living with Devon in Eagle River and they are worried too.”
“That’s good to hear. It sounded like a good time. And yes, Devon and his letters. You have no plans early tomorrow do you? We might be here a while into the night. Let’s talk.”
“No, nothing till mid morning, so it’s all good. What did you think of the letters?” Taking a breath and looking at Julie, taking a sip of my water. I started to wring my hands in nervousness.
“Aime, this is not good. I am worried. He said in a letter he still wants to be with you. And that he loves you. Devon also said he does not know what he will do when he does see you? Have you seen him yet?” Julie looked concerned.
“Yes, I have. He has come through the dorms here with Rob and Charlie. My stomach does knots, and I feel like I want to puke. I’ve also seen him in and around the residences.” I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I was scared.
“I think you need to go and talk with Tessa. Tell her what happened. You need to be safe.” Julie said to me.
We had a good long talk, talking for a long time. It was close to 2am when I finally left Julie’s room. “Thank you, Julie, for talking with me. I appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.”
I left her room and went down the halls to Tessa’s. I think she was sleeping, so I put a note on her white board asking her to come and find me to talk when she had a moment.
The next day Tessa knocked on my door. “Hey Aime, I got your note, what’s up?” Tessa had bouncy dirty blond hair, that she wore a lot of the time back in a ponytail. She was in the Outdoor Recreation program.
“Hey Tessa, thanks for coming. I need to tell you about something from last year and I am worried about how it could carry into this year. I had a boyfriend Devon, and he ended up being controlling and emotionally abusive. I have seen him a few times coming through the dorm and I freak out every time I see him. Could we have something said at our first house meeting about safety in our house, like not letting in those who do not live here?” I let out a big breath, I had been holding my breath and nervous when sharing. Would Tessa believe me? What would she say?
“Aime, thank you for telling me, safety is important in the house. This talk we are having does need to happen. I suggest you walk at night with Foot Patrol. And yes, I will bring up safety at our first house meeting. Have you gone to J.N. to tell her?”
“Thank you, and no, not yet. J.N. is so busy. Yet I guess I should talk with her as well. You think?” I looked at Tessa with a worried look.
“Yes. You can trust J.N. And come see me if you need to again.”
J.N. was the overall residence manager at university.
Little did I know that I would be knocking on J.N.’s door sooner than later….