fiction

The Burden of Virginity

bloodsampleOne thing I would never abide in my children was lying.  I always told them that you never want to lie because it will stick to you like a crow on road kill. Of course this wisdom was hard earned by my own experience. I told one lie to my husband whilst we was dating and it’s been a burden to me ever since.

See, we was part of the 60’s generation. We grew up small town conservative but the sexual revolution was all over the newspapers and TV at that time. I was 17 and feeling confined the way you do when your parents treat you like you’re still their baby but you’re having these feelings that tell you otherwise. They always talk about boys hormones running wild but nobody ever tells you that hormones can push a girl beyond caring too. So one night in a car behind the Dairy Queen drive-thru, the devil got a hold of me, as the preacher would say, and I became a fallen woman. Didn’t feel like I was doing nothin’ nasty at the time, in fact it gave me a thrillin’ feeling up my whole body. Course afterwards I got a serious case of the guilts. Felt like everyone was looking at me funny like they knew what I had done. Never did do it again till the day I was married. 

I met my husband Billy in church two years later. He come from a seriously religious family and seemed to have gotten control of his hormones. One night after we’d been dating for a time, he says to me, “Barbara Jean, I am saving myself for marriage and hope that you are doing the same.” What could I say? “Billy, it’s already too late, go find yourself another girl?” Hell, no. I did what women have always done, lied.  That should have been the end of it, but HarleyFordBilly was overly proud of our virgin status. Bragged on it every chance he got. “You know,” he’d say, "when Barbara Jean and I were married we were both virgins, pretty hard to find a virgin in those years.” Set me up as an example for our daughters. Left me with nothing to say when I saw those hormones rising up in them. I remember their teenage faces looking at me like I could never know what they felt when they were under the bleachers kissing until a tide rose inside them and swamped all their good intentions. As I look down at my sleeping grandbabies, I’m thinking of taking back that lie when they’re older so they won’t be working at the Mini-Mart like their teenage mommas.

Susan Harrison is an attorney by training, home remodeler by accident, and a writer by choice.

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