As the semester went on, Alan muddled along. He did not let things get out of control to the point where he had to go back to the student health center, but he was definitely not back to normal. His bowels were irregular and his bottom was still sore so that when he was successful, it was still an unpleasant ordeal. He sometimes had to bolt to the bathroom in the middle of class as things were so unpredictable. He knew that his academic performance was suffering as a result of this.
He was socializing a bit more and every Friday evening he’d go to a party on the floor above him in his dormitory. Sarah was usually there. At the latest party, he was a bit intoxicated from beer and got into more of a conversation with her. Feeling a bit more uninhibited, things were going well as they chatted over the loud music. In order to hear each other, they would have to lean forward and speak close to the other’s ear, and Alan liked the closeness as he could smell her hair when he did this. Finally, Sarah told him she had to move on, “I have to make the rounds and check on the other Freshmen. By the way, I heard about your trouble at the student health center. You need to come and see me. Come to my room tomorrow afternoon after lunch.”
With the loud music, Alan was uncertain if he heard her correctly. He nodded yes as his mind raced wondering if he had truly heard what he thought he had. He took a big gulp of beer as Sarah smiled at him and then walked off. He wondered how she could know. He was certain it must involve his mother. He was too angry to stay at the party and went back to his room. He was buzzed enough that even with his anger, he passed out pretty quickly.
He woke Saturday morning with a moderate hangover. His head was foggy enough that it took a bit to remember what had transpired. That it was reality was plain enough when he picked up his phone from the floor and there was already a text from Sarah telling him to come to her room at 1:00PM.
Sober and hungover, he was now mad, anxious and a bit scared. He called his mother. He thought for certain there would be no legal way she could have access to his medical record, so he would demand answers. His mother quickly reminded him of the form he had signed over the summer that allowed her access to his electronic health record at the student health center. He had thought nothing of it at the time and certainly did not envision a scenario in which she would immediately share it with his RA. He was now mad at himself as well. He hung up and ignored her apologetic texts. Feeling too queasy to go to lunch, he flopped back down on his bed and dosed off with music on.
When he woke, his phone was buzzing with texts. When he looked, they were all from Sarah, “Where are you? You‘re late. Come down to my room now or I’ll come up to check on you.“
Alan jumped out of bed and quickly got into the shower. He was reminded of his predicament when the harsh liquid dorm soap from the wall dispenser created a burning and stinging when he lathered up the raw skin of his anus. He quickly put on a t shirt and jeans and head down the stairwell 2 flights to Sarah’s floor. When he got to her door, he could already feel his heart racing and his mouth get dry.