Female, 18, Boston
My first memory of E was in tenth grade study hall, but I must have known him before then. We went to the same middle school, and if we’d made a Venn diagram of our friends, we’d have about a 60 percent overlap. As atheist liberals in a Southern suburb, we became friends quickly. He was cranky, and I was boisterous. We made a good pair.
On multiple occasions throughout high school, I confessed that I like-liked him through text messages and passed notes, at pep rallies, in my backyard. He never responded the way I hoped, but we stayed friends, even became closer. It was mostly masochistic and, for outsiders, genuinely bewildering. Our friends thought we were either destined to be together or shouldn’t interact at all. He dated the only other black girl in our AP classes. She was a shriller, more insecure, less stable version of me. She would ask him about me, if he thought I was prettier or smarter than she was. She made up a fake account on Myspace to monitor our group’s activities and mine us for secrets. Ironically, I had to be the one to talk him out of staying with her.
My senior prom date was a kid I had known since seventh grade, whose girlfriend was away at college. He refused to slow dance with me lest she find out. When he was announced Prom King, the audience demanded a kiss to which the Queen complied. The rest of the night, he cowered in a corner, debating to tell his girlfriend or just wait until she found out on her own.
E and the rest of my friends met at my house after prom. Our parents had provided snacks; we found ourselves a six-pack of Smirnoff Ice and some vodka, which no one really drank. We played strip blackjack, or perhaps Texas Hold ‘Em, or Truth or Dare. (We were very comfortable with our bodies — spending summer days at the pool, streaking at sunset through the elementary schoolyard.) E slowly touched my thighs, hips, and breasts under the blanket we shared with another girl. By that time, he had on only his boxers, and I only my skimpy post-prom panties. When the lights finally went out, we kissed.
For the months until we left for college, we hooked up — hand jobs at parties, making out on porch swings, fingering me in my parents’ basement. He once ate me out the morning after a party, when we thought everyone was still asleep.
About two weeks before I left for college, I sent him a text, “let’s fuck.” We were both virgins, both insanely nervous. We met one night in the park behind our middle school. We walked around looking for a place to rest — the playground, the soccer fields, the bleachers by the softball field.
We stopped in the Amphitheater, an expanse of green grass that surrounds a concrete stage. The trees were twenty yards away, leaving us exposed. The grass was dewy. The temperature had dropped. We laid out a blanket, kissed, made jokes. He fingered me. I wiggled out of my shorts. He fumbled with the condom while I tried to keep from shivering.
It hurt when he tried to enter me, maybe the condom also broke, more likely he came too soon. But that wasn’t the night I lost my virginity.
We left for college in different states.
Over my fall break, I went to visit our mutual best friend, W. He identified as bisexual at that point, and while he and I had drunkenly made out a few times, our relationship was not sexual. That night, we got drunk with all his swimmer friends, and we smoked weed at the soccer field. When we got back to his dorm, I stripped down to my bra and panties, and I got into bed, shivering. I told him to share the bed with me to keep me warm, even though his roommate had vacated and let us borrow his bed for the weekend. I started to fall asleep on his shoulder, then I felt his lips on mine. We made out like old times, and he got on top, looking me in the eye. “Do you want to have sex?” he asked me. “Sure,” I said. Are you sure? Are you sure? Are you sure? We asked back and forth. He got a condom and entered me.
Despite the alcohol and the weed, it was one of the most painful moments of my recent history. So, we tried other positions, fucked on his roommate’s bed. And, from what I can remember, I had a decent time. The next morning, we had breakfast and acted like nothing had happened. It was two days before my 19th birthday.
W confessed to E over Thanksgiving break. E, still unsure of how he felt about me or perhaps feeling insecure or territorial, said he would never have sex or hook up with me again.
But, come winter break, while his parents took his sisters to gymnastics, with their dog Bubbles in the room, and Family Guy on TV, I took his virginity. He took my sober virginity.
E and I hooked up throughout college whenever we were both back home, until we were barely speaking. In a happy ending, W and I still are close friends.
Image via Flickr.