YOUTHFUL CHASTITY

A Sexual Evolution

Through blurry eyes, I notice a bottle of water on the nightstand. I ferociously attack it fumbling with the cap. The liquid can’t get down my throat fast enough, and I spill half of it on my chest, unsure where I am in the half-lit room. The light is coming in under the cracked door, and my eyes adjust seeing Bigfoot, the monster truck in mid-air, over cars on the wall, and I know. I smell his cologne mixed with the scent of baby powder, and I sit up clutching my head. I’m in my boyfriend’s room — it’s starting to come back to me: the party, the fight, the whiskey. I can’t recall what we fought about, but we always fight, so what’s it matter?

Grumbling and sour, my stomach aches, and I notice my clothes folded neatly on the bed.

What am I wearing? — I sit up, pulling the bottom of the oversized T-shirt to see. Bart Simpson on a skateboard is staring at me, and suddenly I want to die.

The bedroom door opens, and there’s my boyfriend.

Is he mad? I bet he’s angry. Oh my god, I threw up. I threw up a lot.

The events of earlier flood my brain — I’d never been drunk before. I threw the blanket off my legs, staring at my knees, seeing the scrapes. I remembered falling, but it doesn’t seem real; a dream maybe — Did it happen?

“You can’t walk!” I hear yelling, replay in my head, trying to remember. It’s him — Jesus.

“Hey,” is all he says.

“Did I…,” I started, and he abruptly cut me off.

“You threw up all over the house. I hope my mom doesn’t smell it,” he sighs, furrowing his brow.

“Did you clean me up?” I looked at him, ashamed.

“Of course, I cleaned you up. You were a mess.”

“What time is it? I have to be home,” I said, wincing at the empty water bottle.

“9:30, your mom’s probably going to smell you, and mine will be home soon.”

“Thanks.”

Guilt gnawed at my insides like rats chewing wire.

“I’m gonna go finish cleaning,” he mumbled, disgusted.

“Wait,” I put up my hand, motioning him over, unsure what I was doing.

He’s probably going to break up with me.

All my friends were having sex; everyone except Maria. Everyone knew she was gay except her. Bernadette started it, wanting to lose her virginity last summer, and did with a guy she barely knew in a van while I cried outside to his friend feeling dirty for her. After that, it seemed like all of the girls knuckled under, caving one by one.

My boyfriend and I had been together for nearly a year. He’s waited patiently, although, the last few months, he’d been pressuring me. Luckily there wasn’t much opportunity with our parents always around. But everyone’s was, and they were doing it anywhere and everywhere like rabbits. Behind buildings, in cars, sheds — any place they could find. I told him I wanted it to be better, special even; my first time. I meant it, but mostly was trying to put him off. I wasn’t remotely ready.

He sat on the bed, and I pulled him toward me, seeing his eyes widen in surprise. The ghostly bearded man I envisioned as God waved his finger at me and my mother’s disapproving face swirled around my head — whore.

It was uneventful. I lay back, feeling dizzy. My head spun, and I stared at Big Foot, fixating my eyes. He buried his head in my shoulder and moved like the rabbits. I swallowed softly in pain, trying not to throw up, feeling him vibrate on top of me.

He asked if I enjoyed it, and I said yes, smiling, hoping he believed me. He deserved it — Didn’t he?

I reasoned it, justifying it to God and my mother, horrified in my brain — he waited a year.

I didn’t realize once I did it, I couldn’t not do it anymore. I hadn’t thought that far ahead. Now it was expected. After that relationship and a few others, the act didn’t vary much except the people and places. Being taught to hold back, not do it, and bad if I did, without love, without marriage, without commitment — I struggled. But it was something they wanted, and occasionally, I wanted too. Didn’t I have to do it to show that I cared, except who cared about me?

I’d never much thought of what I wanted. It all seemed like a game where I rarely won anything, and it often left me not feeling good. If you gave in too soon, there was the shame and another number added to the slut list I kept in my brain, hoping God didn’t notice. I’d stay longer with someone or create something that wasn’t there because of the number, not wanting to add another. It was exhausting.

Then things start to change. I begin thinking of what I want and need. God doesn’t seem to care so much; he has bigger problems. I like it and feel okay that I do. I stopped the list. I never had to keep it. I don’t stay if it’s bad. I want good, and I expect things more than cleaning my throw-up, although that was nice.

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Dianne C. Braley is a registered nurse blogger and freelance writer from Massachusetts. Dianne has contributed to various online and printed publications.

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Dianne C. Braley

Dianne C. Braley

Dianne C. Braley is a registered nurse blogger and freelance writer from Massachusetts. Dianne has contributed to various online and printed publications.

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