Female, 15, New York
I did and didn’t want to sleep with Ted. He was cute and nice enough, but wasn’t my type. From the day we met, I sensed he had the type of problems I didn’t want near me. If I hadn’t been so desperate to get over Andrew, I may have kept my Jockeys on when it came to him.
Andrew was the one I really wanted to lose it to. He was tall, thin and androgynous looking with his long blond hair and model cheekbones. I thought he was the most beautiful face I had ever stumbled upon while wandering the beach one night on vacation with my family. He played guitar, read Dante, and smelled like Drakkar Noir. We’d hang out on the boardwalk, talk music and the books we liked.
The day we were both scheduled to leave, I snuck out of my hotel and met him a little before dawn at the Super 8 he was staying at. I felt like Romeo and Juliet. The way we stood on his balcony with our arms wrapped around each other, both of us crying and promising we’d keep in touch. He was fifteen and I was fourteen.
Our phone bills were ridonkulous. We’re talking hundreds of dollars here. He’d come to see me during school breaks or I’d hop a train to visit him.
We were these angsty teenagers who felt at odds with everyone, especially our peers. We got each other’s jokes and eccentricities. We became a sanctuary for one another. We’d spend our days analyzing the lyrics to songs or huddled together while he played his Gibson Les Paul and I wrote. When night fell, we’d find ourselves half naked in one another’s room, exploring each other’s body ferociously. I had made out with boys before and had even given what I’m sure now had been an abysmal blow job. But being with Andrew felt different, like I was waking up to the possibility of there being something deeper and more substantial than the feelings of butterflies in my stomach.
We’d dry hump til one us would pull back to catch our breath, our skin moist from sweat and saliva. We’d listen to the creaks of the house, making sure no adults were coming to investigate the noises we were making. One of us would mutter something about it being better to wait until we could be together longer than a week at a time. We had already discussed how having sex only to be separated would be too much for us to handle.
Almost a year to the day we met, we parted ways. I saw it coming. He had grown distant. My friends said I’d get over it, but after months passing with the ache in my chest still alive and kicking, I didn’t feel so sure.
My inability to get over him made me feel like a tortured freak and I began trying to force myself to have crushes on other guys. Ted and I had known each other for years. He did not play guitar or read the classics, but that didn’t matter. What mattered was that he was single and not a virgin. The way I figured, if I couldn’t have sex with the person I wanted, then I would have sex with someone who knew what they were doing.
One night while driving around together, I asked him to pull over. We made out for a while and then I asked if he wanted to take it further.
“Have sex?” he blurted out, messing up any delusion I had that this would be slightly romantic in a wild and reckless teenage sort of way.
We took off our jeans and Ted crawled into the passenger seat with me while I silently cursed myself for wearing the type of underpants you only wear when you haven’t done laundry or are on your rag. I watched the clock on the dash over his shoulder and forced a groan into a moan when it hurt. We looked each other in the eyes a few times, but that just made me want to squirm so I closed my eyes in a feigned state of coital bliss. It wasn’t bad by any means. It just wasn’t my dream, you know?
When it was over I turned on the radio to the local alternative station. “Give it Away Now” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers was playing.
“This is appropriate,” I said and he laughed but didn’t get the joke.
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