I was 15 when I lost my virginity. His nose was too large for his face and he had hungry hands that made their way up my shirt and between my thighs. He rolled on top of me and hovered there with his legs bowing together where his cargo shorts wrapped around his knees. He rocked toward me and I shook my head.
“Just a little bit?”
His nostrils widened as he smiled at me. I shook my head again.
“Just for a second.”
He moved forward and I inched my hips and shoulders back until my neck craned against his scratched headboard, stacked with fruit candy and video games. He kept moving forward. Candy wrappers crunched against my head and my hands became filled with static and weight. And, as they lay useless beside me, he pushed against me, a very motivated battering ram with no real target.
My breathing was fast, my cheeks were hot, and my face was wet. Drops fell to my chest and pooled between my barely-there breasts as I continued shaking my head, more frantically now.
He kept whispering, “Just a little bit.” I wish I had responded by using my fists and elbows and knees just a little bit. I wish I had made him bleed just a little bit. I wish I had broken his jaw and burned down his house. But I didn’t do any of those things. I just shook my head and stared at the laundry crumpled on his floor and the light blue curtains hanging by his window.
And, after all of 30 seconds, when his whispers became heavy breaths and grunts, I let my head roll all the way to the side. My eyes relaxed and the whole picture became a blurred mess of blue and light. When he finished, he straightened over me, and his body tightened and relaxed in all the places that make a boy moan. His tee shirt drooped onto my cheek and stuck to the wetness there. My eyes found his dusty blinds, pulled up on one side and sharply dropping on the other. He let his arms slide out and lowered his body on top of mine, his skin slick with sweat.
He rolled over, letting his feet dangle over the bed. I heard the padding of them drop onto the wooden floor. Then, he sank into the chair in front of his television and resumed the video game he had so romantically paused for the occasion.
The sounds of warriors fighting faded in my brain until it became white noise, sinking beneath the vibrations of my heart. I brought my fingertips to the swollen skin beneath my eyes. I tried wiping away the tears, but my fingers came away black, thick with mascara. I knew my eyes were red and my hair was sticking out. I knew my shirt was still hanging sideways, clinging to one bony shoulder. I knew I was not beautiful.
He stomped out of the room, slamming the door. His mother yelled his name. He returned with a large plastic bowl in his hands. The red-rimmed edges were faded and flattened. It was full of something thick and white. I lowered my nose to the mixture and breathed in sweetness and celebration. Vanilla cake batter.
He threw a spoon toward me and I heard it clank against the wall. I searched for it in his faded, stained sheets as he turned back to his game. The sound of clashing metal and monstrous growls made it difficult to hear him say, “Now, can you stop crying?”
I quieted my breathing, counting them as they left my lips. And I ate the entire bowl.
Note: This is an excerpt from a larger piece entitled, “Then and Now and In Between”, which contains a series of essays exploring pain, place, understanding, and identity.