“Are you sure about this?” Chris’s voice cut into my thoughts. I had been zoned out of our make-out session for God knows how long, going over and over my decision in my head.
I looked up into his eyes—those hazel eyes that always seem demonic, calm, good-humoured, and sweet all at once. “I’m sure,” I replied, though I wasn’t. “Why wouldn’t I be? You think I’d lie to you?” Sensing that I’d dug myself into a deep hole, I shut my mouth and awaited his reply.
“Well, it’s just that you made that promise . . .”
I’d forgotten that Chris knew of my giving up on sex to my former boyfriend, Joey. In the beginning of our relationship, I’d been completely honest with him, telling him that in the past I had been sexually active with only one guy, but I was now giving it up in favour of waiting until my wedding night for my next encounter. That way, I told him, it would be more special to me.
“That was my last boyfriend,” I pointed out.
“Oh, so you just didn’t want to have sex with him anymore.” A devilish grin spread across his face.
“No . . .” He had pushed me beyond the point of explanation. I could offer up nothing now that wouldn’t be a lie. So I grew impatient. “Christopher, I’m sure. Okay?”
“Okay.” He stared at me for a long moment. “There’s just one problem with what you’re suggesting,” he told me. “Um . . . well, since we haven’t been . . .”
“I have one,” I blurted. That had been the only regulation on my sex life with Joey—that he was never allowed to enter, even for the shortest of quickies, without first donning a condom. He had given me six of his stash of Trojans to keep at my house for when he came over. After six months, I only had one left.
“Okay,” he repeated softly, nodding. I leaned over the edge of my bed and hunted through the shallow drawer of my night stand for the pink handbag which stored my lone leftover condom and my birth control pills—which I’d chosen to continue taking for reasons relating to my period—and finally was able to hand him the small blue package. He took it solemnly, again meeting my eyes for a moment before rolling over onto his back on the other side of my double bed.
Not wanting to watch him put it on, I began to slip off my shorts under the blankets. My body wanted this, badly, but it hadn’t yet managed to convince my mind. I was doing this for Christopher, I told myself. I wanted him to be happy.
I guess he had gotten himself ready, because he was sliding around under the blankets, positioning himself on top of me. Catching my eye, he shot me a mischievous grin and a quick hike of his eyebrows, and, sliding his forearm under my knee, moved my left leg up toward my shoulder. “How do you like this position?” he teased.
I only closed my eyes against the tears welling up in them. I’m doing this for Chris, I assured myself firmly. I didn’t want to deprive him of me any longer. I wanted him to know I loved him.
It would only be a few minutes of my life, a half-hour tops.
It wouldn’t be the end of the world.
Why else would he bother with me, anyway? Of course he wanted sex. I was sixteen, going on seventeen in a month. He was twenty-seven. What could I have to offer him otherwise? I was probably just a nice little piece of meat to him.
I shook my head to clear those thoughts. Chris loved me—the age difference didn’t matter. And if he loved me, he would wait until I was ready. Besides, us sleeping together now would be illegal, although, I admit, that didn’t have much precedence over my decision.
I gulped. I couldn’t do this.
“Chris . . .” I whimpered. “I can’t . . .”
There was no whine of protest, no physical teasing, nothing. He only backed off, holding his hands up, palms out, in a gesture of surrender. “Okay. We can stop,” he assured me.
The burden, the heavy urge to cry, was suddenly lifted from my body. I murmured a quick, breathless thanks to him for understanding. He understood. And then, I threw myself forward into his arms for a long, tight hug.
“Thank you,” I repeated.