College graduates Renzo Herrera and Mario Daza have been a couple for two years when they decide to spend Christmas in Puerto Rico where Renzo's family is from. At first, Renzo is worried about losing Mario because of a religious vow Renzo made as a teen. As a demisexual virgin, he wants to wait until marriage to have sex. Mario is his first love and the only one he would ever be intimate with, so it's a big deal to him.
Mario already has experience and doesn't feel the need to wait until marriage, but he also isn't religious. Renzo isn't against it for others since he doesn't judge anyone by their differences. It's just a personal choice that turned into a vow he refuses to break.
Being tied to a vow doesn't mean it comes without challenges, though. After all, what’s supposed to be a fun Christmas vacation ends up feeling more like a marital test. Renzo and Mario must work out their sexual frustrations and find a way to compromise until marriage. For Renzo, it feels like choosing to be nice instead of naughty, so to speak.
Will their love for one another stay powerful enough for them to abstain from going all the way? Or are they just not be as compatible as they think?
I swallowed, my eyes probably giving me away with emotions that had to ruin the moment.
Mario gave me a peck on the lips. "What's going on, Renzo. Tell me."
I licked my lips, my heart beating more quickly than normal. A glass of coconut water sounded nice to drink right now, but I knew I couldn't use it as an excuse the way I did with everything else.
Mario arched an eyebrow, waiting for me to speak.
My vision blurred from the tears. As the familiar wave of emotions crashed into me like it had for months, my lips quivered and made it hard to speak clearly. "I don't want to lose you. But I need to accept the reality that I will because it always seems to work that way in gay relationships."
Mario wrinkled his forehead. "Why would you lose me? And what are you even talking about?"
I couldn't say another word. How could I?
He took my hands and held them in his. "Look at me."
I couldn't, and my first tear rolled down my cheek. Those stars were too pretty to look away from, and the coquis relaxingly croaked the night away, but again, no more excuses.
"Renzo, look at me. Please?"
I still couldn't.
Mario gently grabbed my chin and tilted my head to get my eyes to meet his, but my gaze wandered elsewhere.
Nevertheless, it took a moment for me to eventually look at him, and all it did was make me shed another tear. My heart might as well have been in my throat, ready to come out.
"Did something happen?"
My tongue might as well have been paralyzed. Why couldn't I just say it?
"Renzo, come on." Mario was calm but cautious. "Tell me what happened. You can't hide the reason why you've been distant for a while anymore. I deserve to know the truth."
"Y-you do ... deserve to know." My cracking voice didn't help much.
"Then, tell me."
I positioned myself to bury my face in Mario's chest, waiting just seconds for him to stroke my hair. Then, I lost it, tears spilling everywhere, soft cries coming out of me. Thankfully, we had the casita all to ourselves with no witnesses to a scene I deemed too private. Yet here I was, acting pathetic on vacation instead of enjoying myself with the guy I loved more than anything.
Mario stroked my hair some more and gently shushed me. "Tell me." At this rate, he wasn't going to grow tired of repeating himself.
"I ..." After swallowing, it took me a moment to continue. "I think I want to wait until marriage." I think? Whatever happened to knowing I wanted to? I wasn't the most religious person for being a devout believer; it was just something that meant too much to me to break my self-vow. Virginity didn't mean a whole lot to many people, and that was okay because there was nothing wrong with that view. It just meant a lot to me. Giving myself up to my future husband was exactly how I'd planned to lose my virginity, and I refused to change that plan. Mario was my first love, which was even more special to me.
He didn't respond. We lay here in silence. I couldn't tell if an outburst would've been better. I felt like a liar for having implied being open to premarital sex because I'd almost considered it a few times. I'd lied to the both of us the entire time. Every moment of physical closeness with him -- with our clothes on -- had given me anxiety. I'd never made the first move when it came to steamy kisses.
I didn't want to look at his face. All I wanted was to remain in place and pretend we were fine. But I couldn't pretend, and I knew now that I lost Mario for good.