One Friday night, Sophia invited Jillian over for some much needed girl time. They ordered a pizza and gave each other manicures and pedicures. Jill had just gotten done telling her about the latest gossip floating around the school, about the girl a year ahead of them who (rumor had it) went down on a guy from another school.
Sophia was feeling uneasy. Ethan had been pressing her for more of what she agreed to do only once, and she still wasn’t on birth control. On top of everything else, she was due for her period in a week and the anticipation was absolutely killing her.
She wasn’t sure what made her do it, but she suddenly blurted, “Ethan and I had sex.”
Jill stopped in the middle of painting Sophia’s ring finger a bright pink. “Oh my God, are you serious?” she gasped, her eyes bugging out completely. “Soph, why didn’t you tell me!”
“I just told you.” She laughed nervously.
Excited, Jill capped the nail polish and sat back, shaking her head. “What was it like?” Sophia watched the large grin spread across her face and realized that she didn’t feel the same way her friend did. Naturally, Jill was pretty thrilled about the news of her best friend losing her virginity. But Sophia, on the other hand, wished with her full being that she could take that night back.
“I dunno,” she said sheepishly. “It hurt a little bit.” And it was nothing like she expected. Like every other teenage girl in the world, Sophia had wanted candles and rose petals. She wanted beauty and romance and fireworks. In actuality, there was none of that. It was just her and him lying on his bed in the dark room. And it was over almost as soon as it started.
As if to save her, there was a knock on her door before her father cracked the door open to peer inside. “Girls,” he said. “Your pizza’s here.” Sophia stood and crossed her bedroom, taking the white box from him and murmuring a thank you.
He headed back down the stairs, his mind clouded with thoughts. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but chains and whips excite me.” Came the song playing from his daughter’s iPod. Chris blinked to clear the images of open issues of Cosmopolitan advertising 101 Hot Ways To Turn Him On…Without Your Hands! He wanted to pretend there was not a hot pink lacy bra laying in her laundry basket, that she didn’t own products that promised to make her look “sexy.”
Chris watched Seth emptying the dishwasher for a few moments. “Do you think Sophia is having sex?” Chris blurted suddenly, making Seth turn around, blinking a few times. Almost dismissing it, he looked back to the cupboard, putting away a stack of plates.
“She hasn’t said anything.”
“She doesn’t have to.” Chris murmured.
“What makes you think she is?”
He shrugged. The Cosmopolitans that offered sex tips like they were candy, the fact that her boyfriend always seemed to have a possessive hold over her. The fact that she was a teenager, making her parents the lamest things on earth. That she might think she was adult enough to make those sorts of decisions and not thinking about the big picture.
“She’s fifteen.” He sighed, leaning against the counter and folding his arms over his chest. Seth slid three glasses next to the plates. “What fifteen year old is having sex?”
“At fifteen?” Seth asked him, brows furrowed together. “I was.”
That made Chris close his eyes. Either because, yes, Seth was having sex but not with him, or because he didn’t expect that to solidify that his daughter might be, too.
And because he never asked him, he finally did. “When did you lose your virginity?”
Seth stopped, closed the door to the dishwasher and sighed, thinking back Chris assumed. He answered after a few moments of thought. “I was probably about fourteen or fifteen.”
That was young. That was considerably young, considering Chris was nineteen. An adult. In college. In love. “Was he a boyfriend?”
“I can’t remember. Probably. But probably not for very long.” At Chris’s appalled face, Seth shook his head. “It’s not like I’ve had so many that I forget. It’s just that it happened so long ago and I don’t think about them anymore. You know who I’ve been with.”
He didn’t know names. He didn’t know dates or anything else for that matter. All Chris knew were numbers, and as anyone could say, that didn’t mean anything. “I’m worried about her. Should we put her on the pill?”
Seth furrowed his brow. “That has to be her decision.”
“Well, then, what do you think we should do? Wait for her to get pregnant?”
He almost laughed, wiping his hand the length of his face. “I could offer to make an appointment with a gynecologist and then take it from there. She might feel more comfortable asking them for birth control then us. Besides, she’s getting the age that she should go. Just for health reasons.”
“Surely you know a gynecologist.” Chris tried, desperate. “You could ask them what she said.”
“I’m not going to invade her privacy like that. Besides, doctor/patient confidentially remember?”
“She’s our daughter. We’re on her hippa forms.”
Seth shook his head again, folding his arms over his chest. “I’m not going to do that to her. If she’s having sex then she’s having sex. It doesn’t make a difference if we know or not. I’m just going to try my best to make sure she’s being safe about it.”
Chris stared at him in shock. “Well, I’m glad you’re so caviler about this.”
Groaning, Seth rebuttals. “Do I want her to be doing this? No. But she’s not going to listen to us when we tell her not to. So, this is the only way I could think to handle this. Okay?”
Irritated, Chris pressed his lips into a tight line. “Fine. But you get to deal with her broken heart when he leaves her.” And with that, he turned and strode back upstairs, closing the door to their bedroom behind him.
It wasn’t until hours later that Seth opened the door to their bedroom, staring at Chris who was reading quietly. He swallowed and waited a few moments, shifting from foot to foot, unsure. “I’m sorry,” he relented finally. “About earlier.”
At his apology, Chris looked up at his husband.
“I didn’t mean for you to think that I was…disregarding your opinion or anything.” Seth murmured, hand pulling through his hair. “Because I wasn’t.”
Chris stared down at his hands, wondering why this was happening. After all of the fights they had gotten into, after everything, this was what he decided to apologize for.
Either way, he’ll take it.
Seth sat next to Chris, leaned over to stroke his cheek before whispering. “I love you. And I value what you have to say.”
Tenderly, he closed the gap between them, sealing their lips together. Hungrily, Chris’s fingers tangled in Seth’s hair, drawing him closer. Sighing against him, Seth pressed his body against his husband’s, laying down over top of him. It didn’t take long for Chris to claw at Seth’s shirt, desperate for this all along. This was what he had been craving all along. The feeling of Seth’s hands on him, the taste of his lips, the way his heart thudded wildly against his ribcage.
Seth drew himself up carefully, after both of their shirts were discarded on the floor, to undo both of their belt buckles hurriedly. Right when the only thing separating them from each other was the thin fabric of boxers, Willow’s cries came screeching through the baby monitor.
“God,” Seth moaned, his head ducking down in defeat. Both of them listened to their baby crying for a few moments before Seth rolled off of Chris and headed to the door.
Chris heard his husband calming their daughter on the baby monitor from her room and immediately wished that his situation was different. On the heels of that, he told himself that he should go to hell for thinking that in the first place. He loved all of his kids, that was obvious. But they had stopped his own life as well. Which, yes, he had asked for in a way.
He and Seth hadn’t slept together in months.
Their marriage was on the rocks.
His teenage daughter was growing distant.
Chris hated to admit that going out to troll for random hookups had become his only release.