This Is What Happened- A Memoir of Sex, Love And Loss
This is what happened.
Anton Chigurh- “If the rule you followed led you to this, of what use was the rule?”
Carson Wells- “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Anton Chigurh- “I’m talking about your life. In which now everything can be seen at once.”
- No Country For Old Men
It’s been nearly two years since I became the person I am. In those two years, I’ve experienced things I never thought I would, because I never thought I would have to. To go, very quickly, from a man who was supposed to marry his high school sweetheart to a man who was single and quite eager to reel in those supposed “other fish in the sea,” was quite the change in lifestyles. From spending Friday nights watching movies on my girlfriend’s father’s couch, because her curfew was at midnight, to sitting on bar stools pretending to be interested in what this girl was saying until the pub closed at 2; it was a sharp contrast in realities. And I can trace it back to one single moment…
The lights were dim. It was late. You were with her, this girl who, for this moment, was the most important person in your world. You were convinced you loved her. It has to be love, doesn’t it? You wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t. Never mind the fact that she was engaged to someone else. She’ll leave him for you, won’t she? She said she would. The first night you spent together, you hardly touched. But you talked. And you laughed. And you opened up to her, because you thought you could. You let yourself believe that you loved her, because she let you believe that she loved you. You were like the girl on prom night, and, unfortunately, the results were very much the same.
Fast forward a week later. You’ve spent the better part of the week with this girl who, for your money, was the prettiest girl in the world. The makeup of lust can fool even the savviest of eyes. Now here you are, with this girl, and you know what’s going to happen. You’ve dreamed of this moment your entire life. Granted, until a month ago you were convinced it would be with someone else, but the name doesn’t really matter, does it?
You’re here now, with her. You take her face into your hands and you kiss her, and it’s the sweetest kiss you’ve ever had. You run your fingers through her hair, you stick your tongue down her throat, you unbutton her pants. She bites your lip and unbuttons yours. You take a deep breath and remember all the rules, all the threats, all the lectures you’ve heard. You don’t care. Going by what you were taught, this moment will seal your fate forever. This moment will determine your eternity, your place at the table. You’re prepared to sacrifice your veil as the bride of Christ because, for this one moment, someone wants you just as much as you want them. And, quite frankly, you’re really really horny.
You go slow, because you’re unsure. You expect her to cry out, but she never does. You notice she doesn’t look at you, but that’s ok. You wish that the only sounds of the night were her moans and the rustling of the sheets, but this is real life, and in real life you didn’t have protection so you asked, “are you sure we can do Plan B tomorrow,” numerous times.
Despite this, the moment is fairly perfect. You’re having sex with a girl you care about. Plus, a few years earlier, she was Miss Teen Wyoming, so she’s stupid hot. You could think of much worse ways to lose your virginity. For what seems like an eternity later, but in reality was probably only ten minutes(if that), you both collapse onto your bed, sweaty and exhausted. It happened. You’re no longer a virgin. Your first thought: ‘Was that it? That’s what all the fuss is about?’ Your second thought: ‘I wonder if I was any good.’ Your third thought: ‘Eh, who cares?’ For the first of what will become numerous times in your life, you struggle with what to say. You want to reassure her. You want her to reassure you. You want to make sure that this moment was just as important to her as it was to you (it wasn’t). You also want to make sure that she too will never forget it (she probably will). You can’t think of anything to say, so you just lay there, with her lying on your chest, and listen to each other breathe. That was the right decision.
It’s been close to two years since that night. You still think about it.
You still regret it.
It shouldn’t have been with her. It shouldn’t have been then. When I think about that night I try to remember exactly what was going through my mind. Did I think about ‘her’ at all while I was with this other girl? Did I wish I was with ‘her,’ just for a second? Did I stop to think of what exactly the repercussions would be from this night? I honestly don’t know. Two years, and several girls later, I still don’t know. The situations I’ve been in, with the people I’ve been in them with, have been funny, sad, passionate, hot, spontaneous, and definitely worth writing about. But none of them will ever have the impact of this first time. Not because the sex was all that great, especially for the girl, poor thing, but because every single other time I’ve had sex, I’ve thought back to that first night.
No, I don’t think I’m going to hell. I don’t even believe in a literal hell. But I understand now why it was suggested I wait til marriage. Not because sex before marriage is a sin, but because sex before marriage, I believe, creates a void that is difficult if not impossible to fill. I can only speak for myself on this matter, but I would trade all but one of my ‘sexcapades’(which is an entirely different story involving the only time I had sex with a girl I actually loved) for the chance to start over. I have nobody to blame but myself, and there is some closure in that, but I wish I was better. I deserve better than what I’ve become, than what I’ve made myself out to be. I’ll never become a “born-again virgin.” That’s the most ricockulous thing I’ve ever heard in my life. But I do wish the details of that night could have been different- namely, the characters, time, and location. I wish it could have been with ‘her.’ And now, when I lift ‘her’ veil, I’ll have to look at ‘her,’ the most beautiful girl in the world, and I will think about all of the girls that came before ‘her.’ Some of them were friends. Some of them I barely remember. I loved one of them. But none of them will ever be ‘her.’
None of them will ever be her.