V is for Virgin (V is for Virgin #1)

by Kelly Oram

I knew it was coming. When Zach told me that his parents were out of town for the weekend and asked me to come over and watch a movie or something, I knew what he was thinking. I may be a virgin, but I’m not stupid. He was definitely leaning towards the “or something.”

That didn’t bother me, though. I mean he’s a healthy seventeen-year-old boy, and we’ve been dating for three months now. I understand how the world works. I just thought some of my understanding might have been returned.

I was wrong.

I suppose it’s just as much my fault as his. I should have been honest with him up front, but can you blame me for putting it off as long as I could? Telling someone you’re a virgin isn’t easy to begin with, but telling someone that you plan on staying that way is even harder.

Zach had it all planned out too. When I got to his house he was waiting with a home cooked, candlelit dinner—complete with his mother’s fine china, and his father’s Tchaikovsky collection playing in the background. It was the best Chicken Parmesan I’ve ever eaten, even if it was a little overcooked.

After dinner he sat me down on the sofa and handed me a small box with a single ribbon on it.

“What’s this for?” I asked, a little shocked.

It’s not that Zach is insensitive or unthoughtful or anything, but romance is not his forte, and this whole evening had blown me away.

“Well, I know how much you like jewelry, and I thought they would look nice with your necklace.”

My right hand automatically found its way to the shiny white gold V that hung from my neck. The V stands for Valerie. The necklace is from my birth mom. She was only sixteen years old when she had me, and she gave me up for adoption right after. Aside from life, the necklace is the only thing she ever gave me. But I’m grateful to have at least that.

My eyes were misty before I got the ribbon off the box. The earrings I found inside were so beautiful that the mist turned into real tears and began to drag my mascara down my face.

Zach went pale when he realized I was crying. “Does that mean you like them, or did I screw up?”

“Zach,” I whispered with a sniffle. “They’re perfect.”

That’s when the kissing started.

We kissed… and kissed… and kissed until my mouth was dry, my lips were sore and I was dizzy from having my head up in the clouds for too long.

When we took a break to catch our breaths, Zach took my hands in his and said the phrase I’d been dreading all night. “Let’s go up to my room.”

My heart began pounding hard in my chest. Like I said, I knew this was coming, but that doesn’t mean I was prepared for it.

“I don’t think that’s such a good idea,” I said, sighing a little.

“Why not? It’s just us here, we’ve had a great evening and we’ve been together for three months now.”

I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. I searched for the right words to explain, but while I tried to pull my thoughts together, Zach pressed his lips to mine again… and that just makes it so hard to think!

“Don’t you know how much I want to be with you Valerie?” His lips moved from my mouth to my jaw, and then trailed down my neck. “Haven’t we waited long enough?”

I shuddered beneath Zach’s warm breath. Part of me really, really wanted to give in, but I scooted away from him, determined.

“I’m sorry Zach, but…” I hesitated, and then the rest of my sentence came all out in a rush. “I’m not going to have sex with you.”

I knew he wasn’t going to be too thrilled with that confession, but I was still surprised by the look on his face—anger mixed with hurt.

“Why?” he asked, stung. “Do I, like, suck at kissing or something?”

“It’s not the kissing,” I assured him. “I love the kissing. The kissing is very good. Too good.”

I shivered as I recalled how I felt not even two minutes ago.

“Then what is it?”

“Well, um…” I gulped. “It’s just that…” Why was this so hard to say? “I’m a… a…I’m a virgin.”

“Oh.” He seemed pleasantly surprised by this. “Really?”

When I nodded, his face softened back into a sincere smile.

I blew out a breath I’d been holding in my lungs without realizing it. It felt good to finally have it out there.

“Baby, why didn’t you just say so?” Zach asked, taking my hand in his again. “You don’t have to be scared. We can take it slow. Or, if you’re not quite ready, there are other things we can do first. We can ease into it.”

“No, Zach, you don’t understand. It’s not that. Well, it is, in the sense that I’m not ready for sex, but it’s not because I’m scared. I’m waiting.”

“Waiting?” He had no clue what I meant at all.

“You know, waiting until I’m married.”

“You’re what?” This time he understood, he just couldn’t believe it. “You can’t be serious.”

“I’m very serious.”

“Val, nobody waits until they’re married anymore.”

Something in his tone of voice stung. It was so condescending that I felt like a small child.

“It’s not a bad thing, you know,” I said, though I was so nervous that I’m sure I didn’t sound all that convincing.

“But, why? What’s the point?”

My hand once again drifted to my necklace. “I’m not going to end up like my birth mom.”

Zach knew about my birth mom. He’d even seen the letter that came with the necklace, so I thought he would be a little more supportive of my decision. That’s why it hurt so much when he got angry instead.

“Come on, Val, don’t be stupid. There is such a thing as birth control.”

“I’m not being stupid!” I snapped. “I know there’s birth control, but it’s more than that. My birth mom didn’t even know who fathered me. Do you know what that feels like? I promised myself a long time ago that I would never be like her. My first time will mean something to me. It will be special.”

I didn’t realize what that sounded like until a deep-rooted hurt etched it’s way across Zach’s face. “And if we did it, it would mean nothing?” he asked. “I’m not special enough for you?”