The V Card

I was always told: the first time is unforgettable. And it was.

Days of snaps, chats admitting all that we wished we could do to one another finally came to a head. Stoned and excited, we ditched our friend’s sesh and crossed the street, hand-in-hand, headed straight for my dorm.

I was nervous. Not entirely the nervousness of a virgin who expects to suck in bed. More, the nervousness of living up to your expectation. More fitting, your fear. The fear that made you hesitant to cross that street with me. The fear that in letting me in you, you’d make the mistake of birthing a clinginess, obsessiveness in me that we were unprepared for.

The song that drowned out your moans and my unsure silence couldn’t have been more fitting. “Hella Hoes” by the A$AP Mob. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that sometime while sliding in and out of you, I thought of a man. The only other man who was lucky enough to see you at night. Your boyfriend, of sorts. We didn’t think much of him. He didn’t seem to care when we’d kissed. Plus, you guys were non-monogamous. Right?

About a dozen texts and countless phone calls worth of time passed before there was a knock on the door. I hopped off the bed, recognized the pasty face in the peep-hole. The roommate with little love for me. Afraid that your mother was about to call in another welfare check, like the night your phone died when you slept at his, I cracked the door.

She leaned in. “Is ____ here?”

“Yeah! What’s up?”

“Nothing. Just checking.” She left.

Weird, but I eased back in. Another knock.

Nowadays, this part makes me think of my mother. Don’t assume. Always check the peep-hole. Most importantly, don’t open the door to strangers. But, is it really opening a door to a stranger when you’re looking at yourself? I felt at home in his static pupils, his trembling jaw, his glare crawling across your naked chest. The same heart-wrenching awe I’d felt when past lovers admitted to stripping for and sleeping with others. Others who I always equated to villains in my stories because they had to have known who I was. I was no stranger to them. I was an Other to him.

“Fuck you. We’re done.” He slammed my door.

You two warred in the hallway. I was perched on the edge of my loft bed. Frozen, knees to my chest. I felt like a gargoyle, but not in a superior way. Another knock shook me from my stance.

“It’s me.” Your frail, lonesome figure filled the peep-hole.

That night we never finished. But, you two were.

You retreated to your dorm. I tried to rest in mine. But with every second that sunken face burned itself into my sight. Did you know that closing your eyes or keeping them open in a dark room, you see the same thing? Did you know that covering your ears won’t stop the “Fuck you” that echoes from within? Did you know that I could taste the combatting testosterone in the air, waited for him to take the first swing?

I spiraled until sometime around 2 A.M., called the very friend we had ditched. “I’m having a bad night.” He allowed me to return.

I threw on an oversized sweater. I could lie, say it was cold outside, but you must know what it’s like to feel so dirty you can’t fathom touching yourself. I kept hands in my pockets as I crossed the street.

My mind replayed this story while it was recounted to my friend, and for much longer after that.

Finally tired, I took refuge beneath his bed, made a nest out of a pillow and blanket, and loathed myself to sleep.

written by Tyler Tolon | @tvlertvlvn

Photos by Tyler Tolon | @tvlertvlvn

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