Female • 17 years old • Mobile, AL
I grew up in a place where sex was rarely discussed. In southern Alabama, schools teach abstinence. Sex is learned through whispered words between schoolmates, or worse, from your parents at the dinner table.
I was fourteen when I first met him in Algebra class. His backpack said "Korn." I was reluctant to talk to this grubby-looking weirdo, and when I did, he talked about things I wasn't familiar with: Wicca, marijuana… blowjobs. But I still noticed his torn baby-blue backpack and the way he stared at me from across every class we had together.
Illustration by Thomas Pitilli
Three years of back-and-forth chasing ensued. He'd advance, I'd retreat. He'd date all my cousins, I'd type at him in all caps on AIM. Finally, in the spring of my senior year of high school, I relented.
I couldn't help it; I was in love. I always had been, really. He was my first real kiss, in his driveway, in the front seat of my Oldsmobile. We had been dating for about a month when his whole family decided to leave the house one afternoon for his little brother's baseball game. I sat on the kitchen counter while he heated a Domino's pizza in the microwave. It was hot. The windows were open. The sweat dripping down my back felt like bugs crawling all over me.
He sauntered up to me and kissed me. That was it. He led me to his bedroom, to his bed. Somehow I was stripped down to a black tank top, and he was completely naked. As he slid into me I moaned in pain. It felt like someone was ripping out my insides with their bare hands. But I begged him to keep going, to keep ripping into me, because the pain was as intense as my feelings for him.
When we were done, we lay there a long time in silence. His family came home soon after; we rushed to get clothes on, and walked out into the living room to face bright lights and accusations. I'm twenty-one now and I'm no longer with him, but he is constantly on my mind.