She could still remember her first time. It wasn’t so much the pain that rocked her to her core, as the blood. There was so much more of it than she’d thought there was going to be. She had done the research, watched the videos. She even asked her friends who had done it.
“Don’t worry so much.” They all seemed to swear in unison. “You’ll barely feel a thing. After awhile, it starts to even feel kinda good.”
“And after you pop your cherry.” One of them cooed, eyes closed as if recalling his own first. “Oh man, you’ll want to do it over and over again. If you’re smart, and you find someone you really love, you won’t have to move around from person to person.”
And she thought she had. He was gentle, the way his fingers cascaded over her skin. He promised her she’d love it. That he’d been the first for so many girls like her. He was experienced, and he laughed and smiled. So she laughed, and she smiled, and she laid down for him. The goose bumps came from her own excitement, watching him get ready. She wondered what was taking so long, her tank top having already been tossed onto a chair, her jeans pushed down off slender hips.
“All right.” He had finally said, fingers brushing her side. “Let’s do this. You ready?”
And when her mother had found out…She’d never seen the woman turn so white. She was certain it would be her last night in her own bed. Last night on earth, if the fire in the woman’s eyes had anything to do with it. She just kept saying to herself-
“Oh my baby, my baby…Where did I go wrong? What did I do wrong?”
Five years later, she looks in the mirror and laughs at the orange flower blooming on her hip. The first of many, all done by a young man’s loving hand and her mother’s disapproval. The older woman had always thought they were hideous. Even that morning, she had sneered at the latest blur of color across a freckled shoulder, a small bird’s delicate wing in those same colors that kissed her hip.
“Oh my baby, my baby. Your body is a temple.”
Well, hers was going to be as bright as the Sistine chapel when she was done with it.