When I got home, my mom was sitting at the kitchen table smoking a cigarette. I walked, grabbed a cigarette for myself and sat down.
“I was beginning to worry about you.”
“I’m sorry I’m so late, but we were really having a good time, and it took us a while to get home.”
“Does he live far?”
“A little past Disneyland.”
“That’s quite a way. You know it’s not safe for …”
… two young girls to be out driving around this late …
“… at night.”
“We were careful.”
“So,” she said, switching from worried mom to curious friend, “Tell me all about it. Is he nice? Do you like him?”
“Yes and yes.”
She smiled. “Did you find out his last name or anything yet?”
“I guess so.”
“Well, that’ll make Grandma happy.”
I nodded, yawned and stretched. “I’m really tired, mom,” I said getting up.
“Hey,” my mom said, grabbing my hand and pulling me in for a hug. “I’m glad that he turned out to be a nice guy. You deserve someone nice.”
I kissed her on the cheek, “Thanks mom.”
I put my cigarette out and started to leave the kitchen.
“Oh, I forgot to ask you how old he is.
For a moment I debated as to whether I should tell her how old he was, but decided that it would be easier after she met him and got to like him.
“I didn’t ask him,” I said.
“Are you ever going to?”
“It’s kind of embarrassing to ask him now,” I said. “Maybe I can look at his drivers license or something.”
“Oh well, it’s no big deal.”
She’d probably think it was a big deal if she knew that he’s just about as close to her age as he is away from mine …
* * *
I lost my virginity with my first real boyfriend, it was a struggle, but we managed to wait seven months before we took that step. It was mostly my waiting and his struggle, but I had to be sure I was ready. The relationship went down-hill after that because he never wanted to do anything else, and I wanted more out of the relationship.
So with my second boyfriend, I was determined to make the relationship more meaningful before we had sex. No matter how much we both wanted the physical side of the relationship to get rolling, I was going to make sure that it was only part of the relationship, and not the most important part. But, he was a persuasive kind of guy and my resolution lasted about a week. So much for a meaningful relationship, we slept together as often as we could for three months, them I realized I no longer knew what a restaurant, movie theater or my friends looked like and I dumped him.
Now John and I really had chemistry, and I was wondering about what would happen if we wanted to see each other seriously. Would this one turn out like the others? Or was I old and mature enough to deal with an adult dating situation?
John was older than anyone I had ever gone out with. I figured he was used to sex being part of a relationship and wouldn’t try to get everything he could before it ended. Maybe this time it would progress slowly to a point where we could have sex and still be friends and enjoy each others company when we weren’t in bed.
So we began progressing, and after two weeks and four dates, we hopped into bed.
The relationship held up, maybe because he was more mature than my first two boyfriends. So if I had to find someone ten years older than me to get what I needed, I was willing to deal with the age difference.
The difference in our ages didn’t bother me, I wasn’t really even aware of it. Until time for my Senior Prom came up.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I’d just be uncomfortable being with people who are all in high school.”
“I’m in high school,” I reminded him.
“I know. You’re ten years younger than my chronologically, but emotionally you’re a lot older.”
“But it’s my prom!”
“I know it’s important to you,” he said. “So if you want to go with someone else I’ll understand.”
“I’m not asking anyone else,” I said. “I don’t want to go just to go, I wanted to go with you.”
“I’m sorry,” he said. “And even if I felt comfortable with it, I couldn’t afford it. Tony and I are going to the desert for the weekend in two weeks and I have to buy some equipment.”
“Two weeks!” I said. “That’s prom weekend! I’m sure Paula and I will have a ball just sitting at home.”
John put his arm around me. “I feel really bad about this.”
“Don’t worry about it. Prom is a hassle anyway, and if I can’t go with you, I don’t want to go.”
“Hey!” John yelled as if he’d just discovered something important.
“We can still be together that weekend!”
“How? You gonna drive back from the desert and take me to a movie?”
“No,” he said excitedly. “You can go with me!”
I thought about it, a weekend camping in the desert. Forget the weekend … a weekend with John!
“That would be so great!”
“And I’ll talk to Tony, then Paula can come too. It’ll be fantastic.
Then I remembered something.
“Fantastic if my parents will let me go. I can’t picture them being thrilled about me going away with a guy for the weekend.”
“It’s not just gonna be the four of us,” he said. “My brother teaches Desert Biology, and he’s taking a field trip out there. It’s gonna be a whole bunch of people.”
They’d understand that. I couldn’t see why they wouldn’t want me to go. It wasn’t like I’d be all alone out there with John.
Or, at least they’d pretend like they didn’t know what was going on. No one wants to see their kids grow up, and I knew they’d be worrying about their little girl spending her first weekend with a real-live man.
To be continued …