If everybody's doing it, shouldn't you?
Sometimes the pressure to give in can be overwhelming. For a young high school football star, he can think of nothing else. Sex is foremost in his mind, not just because he wants to do it but because he isn't. He doesn't want to give in, but he doesn't want to risk losing his boyfriend by saying no. He wants to do it, he does. But he's afraid. If they love each other, isn't that enough?
Just because everyone else thinks it's time doesn't mean he has to give in. Or does it? Sometimes respecting someone's decision -- even one you don't like -- says more about the love you share than words ever could.
He’s only a year older than me. If he loves me and wants to sleep with me, if we both want it, then what’s stopping us? He asks me if I want to, all the time. “You do, right?” he says, uncertainty flickering across his face. He’s perfected that needy, unsure look. It gets me every time.
Of course I do. Of course I want him, I love him, but I just can’t -- my mom, I tell him, like it’s a good excuse. I’m not ready, the timing isn’t right, I don’t want to do it right this second, jeez.
Then he gets mad, rolls away, sighs, and says, “You know, correct me if I’m wrong, but we’re not just playing around here, are we? Because I love you --”
“And I love you,” I assure him. I do.
“Then what’s the problem?”
There is no problem. I just don’t want to yet, okay? Is that okay?
Fine, he tells me as he gets out of the bed. When I reach for him, he moves away. “It’s just what two people do,” he says, as if he has to explain it to me, as if I’m too young to comprehend the way this thing called love works, “when they feel for each other the way I feel for you, the way you say you feel for me.”
“I do,” I promise.
God, I so do, but I’m scared. Maybe I am too young. What will my mother say? What if anyone else found out? The kids at school, the guys on the team? Doesn’t it mean anything to him that I’m willing to wait until the right moment?
Only he doesn’t want to wait, he wants me now. And it gets harder each time we’re alone together to stop his hand from straying below my belt, harder to turn away from his insistent kisses, harder to tell him no.
“Please,” I warn, his lips brushing along my jaw as I turn away.
He sighs, rests his head on my shoulder, his voice thick with lust he tries so hard to curb. “One night,” he pleads. He holds my hands to keep me beside him. If I’m the strong one, why do I feel so weak when I’m with him? “You can stay over just one night ...”
Then how could I ever hope to resist him? It’s hard enough fully dressed but beneath the sheets, wearing only thin boxers and loose T-shirts? There’s no way -- I’d give it up in a heartbeat.
He’s mad. I can feel it in his hand against my back as he walks me to the door, in the soft press of his lips when he kisses me goodnight.
Suddenly I want to take it back, tell him yes this time, let him touch me where he wants to and just go with it because I want it too, I want him, and I don’t like the sad smile he forces as he holds the door open for me. I wonder if there’s something I can say to make that smile reach his eyes, to make him happy again. He wants me, I can feel it, and God, I want him so bad. My voice is a whisper between us. “I’m sorry.”
He sighs as he rubs his face with one hand, tired. “It’s okay,” he tells me. He kisses my cheek, a Smurf kiss. “I love you. I only wish you’d let me show you how much.”
“I’m not ready.” I wish he’d understand. Hell, I wish I could understand. I’m scared, okay? Because once it’s gone, that’s it, and I know he’s the one but I want to make sure, I want to know without a doubt, I want it to be right.
He forces a laugh. “I know.”
His hand is warm on my arm and when he squeezes lightly, I almost say okay, let’s do it, who am I kidding? I was born for this man, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.
But he tells me goodnight and the moment passes. I grab my bike where it was tossed carelessly on his lawn and head home, my whole body aching for his touch. If I wasn’t such a baby then it could’ve been tonight.