My classmates and I sat together on a weekend trip, enjoying the tameness of Mike’s Hard Lemonade in room 101 of the Holiday Inn. Five years back, on the bed to the far right, was a blotch of scarlet that made me think, “Oh, that poor maid.” Not saying much, my first true boyfriend unpeeled his Trojans accordingly, to toss them away in Wal-Mart bags the morning we left the hotel. Only tension stood, and release did not relieve.
Twelve days after our first date, thrilled, confused, ashamed on and off, I called him. Despite the lack of ejaculation, I tried to make an argument for why I was pregnant. The way his bones jammed into mine, my breasts left red with a vigorous squeeze. I still didn’t know that babies were made by tadpoles swimming upstream.
My cycle, for the remainder of August, warped like an abused clothes hanger.
We continued to try again, in hotels for the next year and a half. He told me that excessive sex cheapens all relationships, no matter how good it feels, and regardless of happy monogamy. Although I discovered he didn’t keep his word, blaming his Hugh Hefner robe and lack of boxers for a night with Mackenzie and Leah.
I only saw them in Facebook pictures, they day after he told me. “He is a man. You should be used to it,” my mother laughed beside me. “And she’s prettier than you.” They shared a commanding eroticism, easily dismissing this American girl who spent her Fridays dancing to Britney Spears in Levis and a sports bra. I always wondered if he compared me to them whenever we fucked.
“I can smell you,” he always said. “Yes means no, and no means yes.”