Authors: Colleen Hoover
I flip off my light. “I’m going to bed! I don’t want to speak to you tonight! Go! Away!” I fall onto my bed. The knocking against my bedroom door finally stops. Not even two minutes later, I hear the front door slam shut.
My mother tries one more time to get me to open the door, but I roll onto my side and ignore her, covering my ears with a pillow. After a few minutes of attempting to regulate my breathing, I release the pillow. The knocking has ceased, hopefully for good this time. I hear her bedroom door close across the hall, which means I have until morning to talk myself out of murdering her.
I push myself off the bed. I begin to pace my room, my skin buzzing with anger.
How could she do this? They just died two months ago.
A thought rips through me and causes me to fall back onto the bed. How
has she been doing this?
I start to think back on the last several weeks. Jonah has been over here so many times since my father and Aunt Jenny died. My memory is awakened with an entirely new perspective of every moment—the night they were outside in the dark when I got home, the night he came to fix the door, the excuse he made that he needed to come back the next day to finish the door. That time they left the house together, and when I looked on the app, it showed my mom’s phone had been at the Langford Hotel.
That was only a week after their deaths.
I feel like I might be sick.
How long have they been having an affair?
I feel so stupid. Jonah is always asking about her in class—pretending it’s concern.
Did Elijah really even have a fever this morning? Hell, Jonah probably stayed the night last night and I had no idea because I was in my bedroom. It would explain why he was here so early. Why my mother finally cooked breakfast for the first time since before my father died.
I pray my father had no idea. This whole time I’ve been feeling so guilty for possibly having a hand in ruining everyone’s lives, but Jonah and my mother have been ruining everyone’s lives since before the accident!
How could my mother do this to Jenny? I don’t have a sister, but what kind of human would do that to their own flesh and blood?
I hate her so much right now. I hate her so much I’d be fine if I never even spoke to her again. I hate her so much I sit on the edge of my bed and think of all the ways I can get revenge for what they’ve been doing to our family.
I’m running out of ways to rebel. I’ve done drugs, I’ve gotten detention, I’ve lied, I’ve missed curfew. The only thing left I could do that I know would upset her is if I were to have sex with Miller. She’s always begged me to wait until I was at least eighteen, which I probably wasn’t going to do anyway, but if she knew I lost my virginity at sixteen,
and to Miller Adams
, it would destroy her.
I look at my alarm clock. It’s not even eight o’clock yet. I still have four hours to make it happen before my birthday tomorrow. And I really need Miller right now, anyway. His presence is very calming, and I could use some calming vibes.
I grab my phone and call Miller.
“Hey,” he says, answering right away. “What’s up?”
“What time do you get off work?”
“Not for another half hour. You can still come kiss me good night before your curfew, though.”
“Will you come to my house when you leave?”
“Your house?” he pauses. “Are you sure?”
“Yeah, but use the bedroom window.”
“Oh, are we being sneaky?” I can hear the grin in his voice. “Okay, but I’ve never been inside your house. I don’t know which window yours is.”
“First window, right side of the house.”
“Facing the house?”
“Yes. And . . . bring a condom.”
He pauses for several long seconds. “Are you sure?”
“It’s . . . Clara, we don’t have to.”
“You promised you weren’t going to talk me out of it.”
“I don’t know that it was a promise. And I assumed it would be a while before we . . .”
“I changed my mind. I don’t want to wait until prom.”
He’s silent again. Then he says, “Okay. Yeah. Be there in less than an hour.”
I turn on my radio to help drown out any noise Miller or I might make. I light two candles and put one by my bed and one by the window so that he can make his way around my dark bedroom. I take a shower while I wait for him. I try to get all my tears out before he shows up. Surprisingly, there aren’t that many. I’m too angry to cry, I think. I didn’t know I was capable of reaching this level of anger, but I’ve reached it, and there might even be room for
anger. Who knows? Guess I’ll see what I’m really capable of when my mother and I come face to face tomorrow.
I get out of the shower and wrap a towel around myself. I blow-dry my hair a little so that it’s not dripping wet. I apply some mascara and pinch my cheeks because I look pale right now. Realizing your own
mother is not the person you thought she was can really drain the color from your face.
I’m looking for lip gloss when I hear a light tap on my window. I rush to my closet to find something to put on, but then I remember why Miller is here in the first place. He’s here to get me naked. The towel will do just fine.
I open my bedroom window while Miller takes off the screen. When he climbs inside, he glances around the room before he takes me in. When his eyes finally land on me, I can see his realization sink in. I’m pretty sure up until this point, he didn’t think I was serious about losing my virginity to him tonight. But now that I’m standing in front of him, wearing nothing but a towel, his reaction becomes physical.
He bites his fist and winces as he looks at me from head to toe. “Holy
I would laugh, but I’m still too angry. I don’t want him to feel my mood, though. I need to shake it off long enough to get this over with.
Miller cups my face in his hands. “Are you absolutely positive this is what you want?” He’s whispering, thank God. The last thing I need is for my mother to ruin this part of my life too.
I nod. “Yes.”
“What about your mom? Where is she?”
“She’s in her room. My door is locked. We’ll be quiet. Plus, my music is on, so she won’t hear us.”
Miller nods, but he seems nervous. I didn’t expect him to be nervous. “I’m sorry I keep asking if you’re sure. I just wasn’t expecting this to happen for a while, so . . .”
“Seventy percent of couples have sex on the first date. I think we’ve been really patient.”
Miller laughs quietly. “Did you just make up a fake statistic to try and get in my pants?”
“Did it work?”
He pulls his shirt over his head, and it falls to the floor. “It would have worked
the fake statistic.” He kisses me then. A full-body kiss—the kind where our legs and bodies and arms are pressed together so close not even air could pass between us. He backs me up to my bed but stops before my legs meet my mattress.
His kiss made this real. Before, when it was my anger fueling my actions, I felt like this probably wouldn’t happen. But now that he’s here and his shirt is on my floor and I’m only wearing a towel and we’re about to be on my bed, it is very real. I’m about to have sex with Miller Adams.
And I’m ready.
If my mother knew what was happening just ten feet down the hall from her bedroom, it would destroy her.
Yep. I’m definitely ready.
My anger prompts me to drop my towel. When I do, Miller gasps and looks up at the ceiling. I’m confused that he’s looking at the ceiling and not at me.
“I’m down here.”
His hands move to my hips, and he just rests them there, still staring up. “I know. I just . . . I guess I’m used to sex being like baseball. You know, lots of bases I have to make it to before I reach home plate. I feel like I’m cheating at the game.”
That makes me laugh. “You hit a home run, Miller. It’s your lucky night.”
He finally lowers his head, but he only looks at my face. “Get under the covers.”
I grin and climb under the covers as he attempts to avert his eyes the whole time. He starts to climb under the covers with me, but I stop him.
“Take off your pants first.”
He tilts his head. “Why are we in such a hurry?”
“Because. I don’t want to change my mind.”
“Maybe that’s a sign you aren’t ready yet.”
God, why can’t he just be like other guys and be a complete asshole about this?
“I’m ready. I’m very ready.”
He focuses on my face for a moment, as if he’s searching for a piece of me that’s lying to him. He forgets what a great actress I am. He finally stands up and unbuttons his pants, then kicks them off. He’s wearing boxer shorts with pineapples all over them.
He grins. “Thought you might like these.”
I lift the covers, and he slides into my bed with me but then holds up a finger. “One sec.” He rolls over and reaches to the floor to grab his jeans. When he rolls back over, he’s holding four condoms up like the choice is all mine. “Got them at the Valero on the corner. They’re fruit flavored.”
“Why are they flavored? Are condoms edible?”
My question makes Miller laugh. “No. It’s for . . .” He suddenly blushes. “You know. If you put your mouth on it.”
His answer makes me redden. My question shows just how inexperienced I am. The furthest I’ve ever gone with a guy is when Miller took my shirt off and we made out on his bed for an hour.
I take the orange-flavored condom out of Miller’s hand and set it on the nightstand. “Not the orange one. It’ll ruin the moment. Can’t even believe you brought that into my house.”
He laughs. “Sorry. It was a vending machine in the men’s bathroom. I didn’t get to choose what came out of it.” Miller picks one of the remaining condoms and tosses the other two on the nightstand with the orange one. When he turns back to me, he slips his arm under the covers and pulls me against him.
It scares me. The feeling of his skin against mine. Knowing his boxer shorts are the only thing separating us right now. He wraps a leg over me, and part of me is sad that I’m rushing it, because making
out with him at his house was nice. But this is different. This isn’t as intimate because so many steps are being skipped, and I know this, but I feel like I’m too far into it to change my mind. I bury my face in the crevice of his neck because I don’t want him to look at me. I’m afraid of what he’ll see when he looks in my eyes.
“I don’t have to put it on yet,” he whispers. “We can do other stuff first. I mean . . . technically I haven’t even touched your boob yet.”
I grab his hand and slide it over my stomach, up to my breast. He groans, and then he’s the one burying his face in
“Let’s just get the hard part over with first. Then we can do other stuff,” I whisper.
Miller nods, then pulls back and kisses me gently. I can feel him taking off his boxer shorts as he kisses me. He pulls away from my lips while he puts on the condom, but he keeps his mouth close to mine. His breath crashes against me in short spurts.
When he rolls on top of me, he’s looking down at me with eyes full of so many things. Longing, appreciation, wonder. I want to feel all the things he’s feeling as we experience each other for the first time, but all I feel is betrayed. Lied to.
“Relax a little more,” he says. “It’ll hurt less if you aren’t so tense.”
I try to relax, but it’s difficult when all I can think of is how sorry I feel for Jenny. And Dad. And how this is the first time I’ve ever hoped that an afterlife doesn’t exist. At least not one where Jenny and Dad can see how little Jonah and my mother are grieving for them.
Miller’s lips meet mine, and I’m grateful for the distraction. Then something else distracts me. There’s a pain and pressure between my legs when he begins to push into me, and then an even deeper pain, coupled with a rush of air passing Miller’s lips.
I wince. He stops moving and kisses me gently on the corner of my mouth. “You okay?”
He’s kissing me again, and this time when he pushes against me, I feel it happen. It’s a significant feeling, like there was a barrier deep inside me keeping us apart, but that barrier is gone and Miller is moving against me now and
I just lost my virginity.
It’s both special and not.
It’s both painful and not.
I regret it and I don’t.
I lie still, my hands on his back, my legs around his. I like the feel of him against me, although I’m not sure I like the feel of what’s happening as a whole. My heart isn’t in it, which means my body is struggling to be in it. He’s being gentle and sweet, and the sounds he’s making are extremely sexy, but I don’t feel it in my soul. My soul is too full of resentment to allow room for any of what’s happening right now to enter.
Part of me wishes I’d have waited. But it would have been with Miller regardless. In the grand scheme of things, would dragging it out a few more months have even made a difference?
of me wishes I’d have waited. I feel bad that I rushed it. I feel bad that my anger fueled this rash decision. But Miller seems to be enjoying himself, so there’s that, at least.
Maybe I don’t really feel the way I expected to feel in this moment because I realized tonight that love is full of so much ugliness and betrayal and maybe I don’t want anything to do with it. What I think I feel for Miller is what Jenny probably felt for Jonah and what my father probably felt for my mother, and look where that got them.
Miller’s mouth is on my neck now. One of his hands is gripping my thigh, and I kind of like the position we’re in. Maybe the next time we’re in this position, it’ll hurt less, both physically and emotionally. Maybe I’ll actually appreciate how much he enjoys it next time it happens. Maybe
actually enjoy it.
But right now, I’m not enjoying anything. My mind won’t stop going there. Their actions make me not believe in whatever Miller and I feel for each other, and that makes me sad. It hurts because I so want to believe in Miller and me. I want to believe in the way he looks at me, but I’ve seen my mother look at my father like that, so does it even mean anything? I want to believe Miller when he says he’s never craved anyone like he craves me, but how long will that be true? Until he grows bored with me and finds a girl he craves more than me?
Thank God I don’t have a sister for him to fall in love with.