Male, 16, New York
I was 12 when I first met J.L., and she was 13. Her family had just moved into the brownstone next to mine. I was very foolish back then, and made it painfully obvious how infatuated I was with her. Skinny, brunette, tall, with creamy hazel eyes, pale skin, and the most adorable freckles. I tried learning guitar so I could woo her, I tried writing her poetry with clever puns, and I tried impressing her with my vast knowledge of Tolkien literature. Inevitably, she chuckled at all my attempts, always telling me how much she liked me as a friend. For years I pined after her, as she and I became troublemakers throughout the city together — always hanging out, always talking on the phone: J.L. telling me about all her boyfriend problems, me telling her about all my girlfriend problems (the big problem? The girlfriends didn't exist).
And then one day in early August, she told me she had a very special surprise for my birthday that year. She refused to tell me what it was, but she promised me that I'd absolutely love it. The only condition was that I be free the actual day of my birthday. My interest piqued, I double checked that the day would be completely available, that I wasn't going to have any impromptu surprise parties of lazer tag or paintball, as my friends and I are wont to do. Eventually, J.L. revealed to me the big surprise: she had decided to take my virginity. I couldn't believe it. "Really?" I asked her. "Are you sure?" It took several days for it to sink in, and then, as August gave way to September, soon it was all I could think about. For days and nights, I waited for the end of the month, for my big present.
The morning of, I woke up at 4:00 am. I had decided it was best not to talk all night with J.L., I didn't want to be too tired (I'd heard it is a physically exhausting experience). I took an hour-long shower, and I think I used up almost an entire bar of soap making sure my body smelled amazingly. The day was planned out perfectly — I'd walk to school, but double back home after 20 minutes. No one would be home except my very pregnant mother, and she was always napping by that time of day. J.L. would also cut school. My sister always left the TV in our living room on, so for any sounds that my mother might hear, I had a plausible cover story.
As I walked back towards my apartment building, my body was tingling all over. Could this actually be happening? Could J.L., the love of my life, finally realize that I was made for her, and she was made for me, and that we are supposed to be together forever? I waited in front of my building. The seconds seemed like hours and the minutes were unbearably long. Five minutes passed. Then 10. Suddenly I became nervous, what if something happened and she didn't show up?
But then she did, and I realized that everything I had thought, about how she and I are supposed to be together forever, was true. I'll never forget the bright red dress she wore that day (she always hated wearing dresses, but she knew I loved it when she wore them, and she knew red is my favorite color), or the black shoes with pink socks, or the little $5.00 necklace she was wearing, that I had bought for her the previous Valentine's Day.
I could barely mumble a hello, and I couldn't look her in the eyes. She was too beautiful, standing a good three inches taller than me, and I was afraid that if I looked right into her perfect eyes that day, I might cry and explode and vaporize into nothingness. She laughed, took my keys, and led me into my own home. As we tiptoed across the living room, I saw the T.V. my sister had left on. There was a commercial about going on a tropical vacation, and in that moment, I felt as though I was about to enter a dream of eternal bliss, the kind of happiness you only see on T.V. shows like Friends, where the star-crossed buddies eventually fall in love and marry and grow old together and live forever.
As we went into my room, and we sat on my bed, I was too nervous to do anything. She tried holding my hand to make me feel more comfortable, but I was still paralyzed by nervousness. So she decided to turn on the radio, to help me relax. We tried talking, but all I could manage were a few idiotic mumbles. And then one of my favorite songs of the year came on — Snoop Dogg and Pharrell's "Beautiful." I finally worked up the courage to say something to her in a normal voice, and I decided to sing Pharrell's lines to her. She smiled at me, said "Come here, cutie," and the long dance began.
I remember everything about my first time with J.L. I remember how smooth her beautiful skin felt, I remember how she tasted like all those mints she used to eat, I remember how we spun around in my sheets as I awkwardly fumbled around to take her clothes off, I remember how "Hey Ya" by Outkast came on and we took a break to dance with each other underneath my sheets. I remember how the dancing quickly turned into sloppy teen-kissing, I remember how quickly she took off my pants, I remember how her breasts felt in my mouth, how nervous I was that I would rip the condom apart, how she squealed when I finally was inside of her, and I remember how nothing I had ever felt came close to how amazing it was to be with her. When I climaxed, she lay down beside me, wrapped her sweet arms around me, and kissed my chest and lips as she whispered to me, "I'm so happy I know you."
Image via Martina Photography.