“So Phillip and I saw you with Josh the other day.” I
began. Felicity didn’t look up from her homework. “You were in the courtyard
“And I want to know what’s going on between you two.” I said, grabbing her pen from her. She protested, reached for it and I held it away from her. I glared. “Spill it.”
She sighed. “He’s been nice to me. Telling Melanie to go to hell and hanging out with me, just…being nice. He’s a sarcastic little bitch though.” She laughed a little.
“From what I saw, there’s something there.”
“So what? I like him, but I’m not doing anything about it. I’m pregnant at eighteen, with no job, no future and I can’t even go to college. Why would he want to be with me?”
“Maybe because those things don’t define you as a person. You’re awesome, Flick. Besides, I happen to know that he likes you.” I stated, giving her the pen back. She raised an eyebrow at me.
“How exactly did you come by this information?”
Felicity sighed. “That makes sense.” She hesitated, rubbing her pregnant belly, “I’m just not sure I want to jump into something right now.”
“You don’t have to jump into anything. Why don’t you just go to Prom with him?”
“He hasn’t asked me.”
“So? You ask him.”
“That’s not very traditional.”
“You’re not a traditional person, Flick. Just ask him.”
She sighed. “If I do, will you drop the subject?”
I grinned and turned back to my own work. Felicity touched the collar of my shirt and gasped. “Rhea is that a hickey?!”
Shit. “Shhh!” I glanced around. “Shut up! Announce it to the world why don’t you?”
“What have you and Phillip been up to?” she smirked. “Having some fun, hm? Well, come on, tell me everything.”
“We didn’t do anything.”
Her smile fell. “What? No clothes off?”
I hesitated. “Not all of them.”
“Maybe just a little.”
Her shoulders sagged. “I just thought by now you two would have done the deed.”
“Why do you think that?” I asked, feeling uneasy.
“Well…you’ve been together for so long and he obviously loves you and you trust each other and – ”
“You think he loves me?” I stopped her, trying to process what she’d said. Felicity looked at me like I’d grown another head.
“Well, duh. Anybody with a brain and a working pair of eyes can see that.”
I blinked. Oh. Um. Okay…WHAT?!
“Anyway. Has he said anything to you?”
“About sex?” I asked, my mind running a million miles an hour. “No. Should he have?”
“Well, yes and no. If he’s not said anything then that means that he doesn’t expect it from you, as in he’s not going to pressure you into it. But on the flip side, if you talked about it you two would know where you each stand.” Felicity looked at me. “Where do you stand?”
“I don’t know.” I licked my lips. “How are you supposed to know when you’re ready?”
“If you’re asking me that, then you’re not ready.” Felicity said. “Trust me. You’ll know.”
“You’ll just want to. It’ll feel right.” Felicity explained.
I must have had a weird look on my face, because Felicity nudged me with her foot. “You look like you swallowed a lemon whole.”
“What are you thinking about?”
Felicity raised her eyebrows. “Oh come on. It’s me. Tell me. I won’t judge.”
“Yes you will.”
“Well, I won’t judge harshly.”
I grinned a little before shaking my head. I thought, why the hell not? She’s my best friend and maybe talking about it will help me. “Well, the last month or so things have sort of progressed with me and Phillip. Not much but enough to make my head spin.”
Felicity made a squealing sound but I shushed her and she let me continue. I glanced around and lowered my voice, aware that we were in the library at school. It was after lunch and most people were outside or in class.
“Anyway, I’ve started having these day dreams and thoughts and it’s gotten me all confused. I keep thinking of him and me and sometimes I wish that he wouldn’t stop and now I’m not sure what I want anymore.”
“Seems to me you might be ready.”
“You just said, that sometimes you don’t want him to stop. Well, let me ask you what stops you.”
“What if he’s not the one?”
“You believe in that crap?”
I frowned. “A little bit. I at least want my first time to be with someone I trust and care about.”
“Do you trust him?”
“And do you care about him?”
“More than I thought I ever could.”
“And you’ve been thinking about him a lot and in some really hot situations – ”
“Flick.” I warned.
“What?” She defended. “Look. I say, talk to him about it, or go for it. Just, for gods sake, use protection.”
I blushed, but that effectively ended our conversation on sex.
“Can I ask you something?”
“Do you think that I’m a bad person? A bad example because I got pregnant at eighteen?”
“No.” The answer from me was immediate and honest. “I think that yeah, other girls can look at you and what you’re going through and learn from it, but I don’t think it’s wrong or necessarily bad. It was a trick of fate and there’s nothing you can do about it now. If people think you’re a bad person or that you’re a bad example that’s their opinion and what do you always say to me about people’s opinions?”
I grinned. “Exactly. Besides. The world works in mysterious ways. You never know what’s coming your way.”
Felicity patted my hand. “Thanks hon. I needed that.”
I picked up my own pen. “Anytime.”
It was late January now, and so that meant that our exam timetable was out. Exams would be spread over two months. English would be first, as that is the subject that every senior student had to take. Then it would be followed by the sciences, then the mathematics, then arts, and then music. Exams start right after spring break, which is good because it gives us all time to study and brush up on work over the holidays. I know most people won’t use their time wisely, but I am not one of those people. Prom would be held after Graduation, because that was the only time they could book a hotel for an event like prom.
I was busy colour coding my diary so I could plan out when I would study, take breaks, the university open days, scheduling Felicity’s doctor’s appointments…well, you get the idea. I looked up when someone knocked on my bedroom door. Mom poked her head in.
“Hey,” She smiled, “Phillip’s here to see you.”
She opened the door wider and my boyfriend stepped into the room. He still looked a little nervous around my parents, but he seemed happy to see me.
“Hey,” I grinned.
My mother stepped in after him and I noticed she was in a shimmering champagne coloured gown that shone like silk. Her hair was up and she looked lovely.
“Wow mom. You look hot.”
She smiled brightly. “Your father and I are going into town tonight for a fundraiser with Joey and Henry. We’re going to stay the night in the city, so Phillip is going to stay here with you so you’re not alone. Your father has already set up the guest room. There’s leftovers in the fridge, or if you want pizza there’s money on the counter.”
“Okay.” I said, heart beating faster at the thought that Phillip would be staying in this house overnight. He would be sleeping just across the hall from me. “Have fun tonight.”
“I always do.” She winked. I shooed her away and she left, giggling and closing the door behind her. Phillip dumped his bag on the edge of the bed, and sat next to me, peering into my lap at my diary.
“What are you doing?” he asked, pecking me on the cheek.
“Nothing important.” I tried closing the diary but he was too quick.
“Let me see.” He grabbed my diary and looked at the pages. “Oh my god.” He looked up at me, a smile on his handsome face, eyes glittering with amusement. “I’m dating a nerd.”
I scowled. “As if you didn’t know that already.” I snatched the diary away from him.
“It’s adorable.” Phillip stated. “So what do you want to do tonight?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well we have this place to ourselves. Want to watch a movie? I can make popcorn.” He asked.
“Netflix and chill?” I raised an eyebrow at him. “Seriously?”
He brushed some of my blonde hair off my shoulder. “No. I was thinking a movie, popcorn, pizza, some stolen beers and a cuddle.”
I blushed a little, blinking. “Well, that sounds lovely.”
Phillip reached over and took my diary from my hands again. I began to protest but he cut me off. “But before that,” he said, throwing the diary over his shoulder and onto the floor. “Come here.”
I was a little more than surprised when Phillip rolled me over and started kissing me. I hated my brain in that moment because my conversation with Felicity jumped into my head. I couldn’t stop over-analysing this entire situation. Our parents were away in the city. The house was empty. It was a Saturday night. We were completely alone. He was kissing me, and grabbing my hip and running a hand up my side in that way that makes me sigh. I thought about how we’d been together for almost six months. What was he thinking? Did he want sex? What if he did? What should I do? Would he say something?
“Rhea?” he pulled away, eyes full of concern, his forehead creasing in a frown. His hair was flopping to the side in a goofy, cute way. “You’re shaking. Are you okay?” I sat up and he sat to the side, hands still on my cheeks. “Baby?”
“Sorry I just…need a minute.”
“Rhea, I’m sorry if I freaked you out.”
“No. It’s not your fault.”
“Rhea.” He turned my face so I had to look at him. Phillip’s brown eyes were so warm and kind. “Tell me what’s wrong.”
I closed my eyes and groaned, getting up from the bed and pacing in front of him. “Damn Felicity.”
“What does she have to do with us having a kiss?”
“Everything!” I cried, throwing my arms up in the air. “She started talking about how we’ve been together for ages and how you’re a boy, and you have a reputation and how I’d know when the time is right and now I don’t know what I want!”
Phillip raised an eyebrow. “What are you talking about?”
I put my head in my hand, the other hand I placed on my hip. I let out a sigh before turning to him. “Nothing. Forget I said anything.”
“No, this is bothering you. Are you talking about sex?” I blushed beet red. That was answer enough for him. “So, Felicity talked to you about it?”
“She more asked.” I murmured. I was feeling so embarrassed.
“What’d she ask?” Phillip held his arms out and I walked to him, sitting on the bed next to him while he held me to his chest.
“She just assumed. We’re best friends, we tell each other everything.”
“Most things.” I amended.
“So… she put the subject of sex in your head and now it’s all you can think about?” he assumed.
I chuckled, “You know me well.”
“You didn’t think to ask me about it?”
“I didn’t know how to bring it up. The whole, ‘we need to talk’ thing always freaks people out.”
“True.” He sighed. “Well, let’s talk about it.”
“What now?” I pulled away to look at him. I felt a little afraid.
“Yes now. Look, Rhea,” he grabbed my hand in both of his. “You’re amazing. You’re beautiful and kind and smart, and I was crazy not to notice you sooner. I’m not going to lie to you and say sex doesn’t cross my mind, because it does. But I didn’t want to say anything until you brought it up because, like you said, I have a reputation.”
“You don’t think I know what the girls of this school say about me? Most of it was spread by Melanie and her friends. I don’t think they meant to build a reputation for me, but they like to gossip and they like attention.”
“So, what are you saying?”
“I’m saying sex is not my first priority. You are.” Phillip stated. “When you say so, hey, I won’t complain.”
“Really?” This sounded too good to be true.
“Don’t sound so surprised.” Phillip looked a little insulted.
“No, I’m sorry.” I said. I smiled at him. “You’re sweet.”
“But just so I know, I want to know where you stand.”
I rocked my head from side to side in the universal sign for uncertain. Phillip started smiling in that cheeky way he always did. “You’ve been thinking about sex haven’t you!”
“Shut up.” I fell back against the bed and sighed, looking up at the roof. Thorns and roses were painted intricately above the bed where the ceiling met the wall.
“Well? Tell me.” he ticked my side and I wriggled away from him a little bit.
“I just, I don’t know.”
“Whether you want to or not?”
“No I know I want to. I just don’t know if it’s the right thing to do.” I stated gently. I really hoped that he wouldn’t get offended.
“Are you the waiting for marriage type? Because that’s totally cool.”
“No. I mean,” I sighed. “What if something happens between us and I regret this?”
“I had my first time with Melanie.” Phillip said, looking away from me and at the wardrobe instead. “We’d been together for four months and at the time I had no idea what I was doing and neither did she. We were each-others firsts. We fumbled and laughed but we enjoyed it. It got better with practise; it’s sort of like kissing. But even now, after we fought for so long and broke up on bad terms, and with her acting so bad, I don’t regret being with her. Because we were in love and happy and it felt right.”
He looked back at me. “I guess what I’m trying to say is, sometimes it doesn’t have to be with the one you’re going to be with for the rest of your life. It just has to be with someone who has an impact on your life.”
I took a moment to mull over his words and in that time my mind was made up. The thought he could just be saying these things to get in my pants didn’t escape me. But I didn’t care. I wanted this. It was time. I know we hadn’t said, ‘I love you,’ but that didn’t matter much. Not to me, not right now.
I got up and traipsed over to the light switch. Phillip was looking at me strangely. “What are you doing?”“Having an impact.” I replied. Phillip started laughing and I flipped the switch.