A/N: So sorry for the long wait, guys!!! I didn't anticipate the busy week I was gonna have. Every time I sat down to write something came up! I really appreciate your patience, though!!! I hope you like this chapter! Happy reading! :)
I thought I would look different afterward. I thought I would look older, more mature. Less virginal, maybe? I certainly felt different after spending the night with Andrew.
But as I stood in front of Andrew's bathroom mirror, the same face stared back at me.
After tucking a strand of hair behind my ear, I crept back into the bedroom, where I found Andrew lounged out in his bed, the sheets a mess around him, lighting a joint.
I crawled back into bed, expecting him to wrap his arms around me, pull me next to him, something.
I got nothing.
Andrew remained propped up against the headboard, puffing on his joint. He finally passed it to me.
"So," he finally said. "How does it feel?"
I took a drag from the joint. "How does what feel?"
"Having your cherry popped," he laughed.
I frowned at Andrew's choice of words. How romantic.
"I don't know," I said.
"Come on," he said. "You must feel different. Was it good for you?"
I didn't know how to answer that. I mean, I guess it was OK. After a few minutes. At first, it had hurt. A lot. But I didn't know what was really good. It felt good, physically, but emotionally, I still wasn't feeling so great about myself.
"Yeah," I finally decided to say. "It was good, Andrew."
He smiled. "I told you it would be."
I watched him sit there, taking drag after drag. He picked up the remote and turned on the TV.
This was all wrong. At least, I thought it was all wrong. Wasn't a perfect first time supposed to be followed by a night of cuddling and pillow talk, then sleep?
I checked the clock and saw that it was close to 3am. I was sitting here at 3am watching him get high and flip through channels on the TV.
I knew nothing of what I thought I'd known. I couldn't figure out if it was me that was wrong about everything, or if Andrew was wrong. Was a fairytale first time just that? A fairytale?
"There isn't any fucking thing on TV," he grumbled before shutting it off and throwing the remote in the floor.
It was all the same for him. Not a thing had changed. But it had for me. Andrew had my virginity. He had no idea how important it was to me, or how important it should have been for him, but he had it in his possession nevertheless.
I realized the one thing that had meant everything to me, meant nothing to him.
He looked at me and smiled. But not in that, I-love-you-and-you-mean-the-world-to-me kind of way. His smile was seductive, his eyes on my lips as he licked his with a smirk.
"I know how we can pass the time," he told me, leaning over to kiss my neck.
So did I. And I had a feeling we'd be spending a lot of time like this from now on.
When I got home Saturday morning, I just knew my parents would take one look at me and they would know. They would see it on my face and they would know I'd been with Andrew, not Cambree, and they'd know I wasn't a virgin anymore.
But they didn't say anything. Neither of them acted out of the way, so I decided I was just being paranoid.
I had decided as soon as I got home I would work on my English homework I'd been putting off since Wednesday. With all the time I'd spent with Andrew this week, like every week, I'd had no time for homework. I'd been putting everything off until late, and I was suffering for it, losing sleep every night.
But today, I was going to finish all my weekend homework, including the paper due on Monday on Slaughterhouse Five. I'd barely read the book throughout the week and had skimmed by on my journal entries. This paper was worth a big portion of my grade and I couldn't let anything, not even Andrew, get in the way.
I locked myself in my room, fired up my laptop, and settled at my desk with a cup of coffee. My mother had questioned that. I didn't have to lie when I said I'd only slept about three hours last night. She didn't question it, as I was supposed to have been with Cambree.
I pulled out my journal entries, and stared at the blank page on the computer screen, but nothing happened.
I had no idea what to write about.
"Damn it," I said, letting my face fall into my hands.
I turned around and saw my sister standing in the doorway. She wore basketball shorts, a t-shirt, and held her iPod.
"Uhm, nothing, Olivia," I told her. "I'm just having a horrible writer's block and this paper is due Monday."
"Don't you always wait until the last minute," she chuckled, coming into my room.
I smiled and nodded. "Usually, yes."
But I also usually know what the hell I'm going to write about.
"Well, I'm going to go running," she said. "Why don't you go with me. Maybe it'll clear your mind and you can write your paper."
I considered it. It couldn't hurt. It didn't look like my paper was going anywhere with me sitting here just staring at the screen like this.
"Sounds good to me," I said. So I changed into my running clothes and went outside with my sister.
The good thing about where I lived was that on rural roads like mine there was never any traffic, so running down the road and avoiding cars was more than possible.
It was still really cold out, but the more I ran, the more my blood was pumping and warming my insides up.
Olivia had her iPod on, so having a conversation wasn't happening between us. I was running to clear my mind, anyway, like she'd suggested.
Funny. With the paper off my mind and nothing but long, desolate highway in front of me, my mind was anything but clear.
All I could think about was Andrew and what happened last night. If I wanted to take it back, I knew it must have been a mistake.
Olivia and I made it to the stop sign at the end of our road. This was our turn around spot. She stopped, and pulled her earbuds from her ears. She looked at me, studying me for a moment.
"Sophia, are you OK?" she finally asked me.
I put on a fake smile. "Of course," I told her. "I'm fine. Why?"
She shrugged. "You just don't seem like yourself lately. You're never here anymore. And when you are here, you're really quiet, and you stay in your room. I was sort of worried."
Olivia was probably the most insightful twelve-year-old I knew. But was she right? Did I stay gone with Andrew that much? Was I really getting that unsociable at home?
"I'm just really tired," I lied. "My classes are kicking my butt and I always have a lot of homework."
"What do you do at Cambree's house every afternoon?"
I shrugged, and we started walking back down the road. "We just hang out. Work on homework."
Lying to my parents was hard. I thought that was hardest thing I'd done. But lying to Olivia? Her innocent, trusting face? That hurt like hell.
We finally got home, and my mom told me my phone had rung while I was gone.
My heart skipped a beat when I realized I had left it on the kitchen table. What if it had been Andrew?
"Oh really?" I asked. "Who was it?"
"I don't know. I didn't look through your phone."
Because she trusted me, I thought with regret.
"It was probably Cambree," I told her. "I'll check it and call her back."
Then I snatched my phone up and quickly hurried upstairs with it.
Thank God it was Cambree, just in case my mom had seen the incoming call. I reminded myself after that I needed to change Andrew's name in my contacts to something else. How I hadn't thought of that before was beyond me, but now that I knew how easily I could have been caught just then, I knew I wasn't being careful enough.
I called Cambree back.
"You called me?" I asked, plopping down on my bed.
"Yeah, I did. Where were you?"
"I went for a run with my sister. I accidentally left my phone at home. What's up."
"Want to do dinner tonight? Just me and you?"
I was astonished. It hadn't been just me and Cambree since she'd started hanging out with Laurel. I fought the urge to ask where Laurel and Taryn were, or even Ethan, because I had a feeling the only reason she wanted to hang out with me now was because they were busy. But I took what I could get, and that was Cambree alone.
"Sounds good to me," I said. "What time?"
"I'll come pick you up at five. I can't wait to hear all about your night with Andrew."
My mood darkened again. So that was her motive. She wanted details.
"Sure, Cambree," I said. "Five works for me."
We hung up, and I glanced at the clock. It was already almost 4:00. I guess my paper would have to wait even longer. At least I still had tomorrow.
Cambree and I both had a craving for Mexican food, so we went to Casa Villa, a local favorite.
As usual on a Saturday, they were swamped. Cambree and I saw a few people from school we knew, and I waved at some family friends, then we were seated. After we ordered our drinks, Cambree wasted no time.
"So, tell me everything. And don't leave anything out."
I sighed, "I mean, I'm not sure what you want me to say."
"What happened last night?"
"We had sex," I said with a shrug, flipping through the menu.
It felt weird saying it out loud. I had sex. Andrew and I had sex.
"Was it good?"
"It wasn't what I expected," I admitted. It did feel good to finally tell the truth. Maybe it wasn't to my parents, or Andrew when he asked me last night, but I was telling someone the truth. The whole weight wasn't lifted but it was a small relief at least.
"What, so it was bad?" she asked, almost in disbelief.
"No," I said. "I mean, it hurt, but then it felt good."
"So then how was it not what you expected?"
"Andrew wasn't what I expected."
She opened her mouth to question me when suddenly someone stepped up next to me. I looked up to see Derek.
"Well, well," he said with a smile. "I can't believe I'm seeing you without Andrew." He looked at Cambree. "And you without Ethan. Where are your boyfriends today?"
"In Detroit," Cambree said. "They're looking at some camping shit or something. I don't know."
I didn't even know that.
"Who are you here with?" I asked Derek.
He cleared his throat. "Oh, uhm, Becca."
Becca? "Becca Peters?"
Derek was having dinner with gossip queen Becca Peters? What the hell?
Wait, what hell? Was that jealousy? No. Never. Derek was my friend. And I had a boyfriend. I was not jealous of Becca Peters.
Becca appeared by Derek's side. As usual, she was dressed like she was running for congress; khaki pants, nice sweater, and a scarf around her neck. Her blond hair screamed fresh $200 blowout, and her pearls were real and begging for attention.
But I mean, really. What the hell? She was hardly Derek's type.
"Hi, Cambree!" she said politely, flashing her oh-so perfect white teeth. "Hi, Sophia. It's great to see you both."
"Hi, Becca," I replied.
"Uhm, Derek, our table is ready," she told him with a smile.
He looked back at me. "See you. I'll call you later, Soph."
"Sure," I said.
And they turned and left.
"Wow," Cambree said. "Derek and Becca? Who knew?"
I frowned. Certainly not me. Once again, I wasn't jealous. Definitely not jealous. But Derek didn't even bother to tell me he had a date with Becca Peters? I didn't even know he liked her. We were just as close and Cambree and I once were, so it felt weird being so out of the loop. It was almost like he was turning into a stranger, seeing him with Becca like that.
Cambree grinned. "So. Tell me more about last night!"