My Precious Virtue

sleepinggirlI may have mentioned before that Luke and I were good kids. Weird, yes. Loud, yes. Probably annoying, too, but as far as high school kids go, we were good. We weren’t mean to other kids, we didn’t do drugs or drink, we didn’t vandalize things.

And the one thing that we certainly did not do was have sex. We never talked about it, but it was unspoken between us that it was Bad and Wrong and we weren’t going to do It. (I always capitalized those words in my mind when I thought of it.) My virtue was safe. Like really, really safe.

But, somehow, I ended up staying over at his house one night. I can’t remember why it happened or who thought it was a good idea. I’m certain my parents didn’t know that I planned to spend the night in his room, though they must have known I was at his house. I half expected to be sleeping on the couch, but his mom never made it up for me, and when it was time to go to sleep, we were both still in his room.

“Um, I guess I’ll sleep on the floor,” I said, expecting him to offer some other solution…

Any other solution, really. He could take the floor. Or he could find me blankets for the couch. Or we could sleep head to foot. Or maybe he could try to convince me to sleep cuddled up next to him in his giant, warm, comfortable, four-post queen-sized bed. Not that I would say yes… probably.

None of those things happened. Instead, he bit his lip and paused for a minute, then said, “Ok.”

I think I managed to get a pillow from him, and possibly a blanket, and I slept on that damn floor. Well, slept is an exaggeration. Mostly I rolled around trying to find a part of my body that wasn’t too bony to rest on, and shivered.

Through the long, cold night I reminded myself that this was the responsible thing to do. After all, sleeping in a bed with a boy could lead to sex, which could lead to, you know, bad things. I mean, probably bad things, even if you were smart and used a condom and stuff like we knew we were supposed to. Sex could still lead to stuff worse than diseases and babies. Stuff like… um… emotional distress? But, like, probably not in our case because we loved each other and it wasn’t a one-night stand or anything.

God, though– God didn’t want us to have sex. Well. Probably. I mean, God obviously wanted some people to have sex or there wouldn’t be more people ever. But not us. God didn’t want us to have sex because we weren’t married yet. Because that piece of paper totally changes God’s mind and then he’s ok with sex. Or something.

Also, my parents. They would be really mad if I had sex. I mean, I’m sure they’d find out, somehow. Don’t parents just, like, know when you’re not a virgin anymore? I couldn’t do that to them. And then also Luke’s mom. Boy, she’d be really upset that her firstborn son had besmirched such a lovely, virginal thing like me.

Jeez, it was so cold.

By morning, I could not remember what had possessed me to think that sleeping on the floor was a good idea. In the dim, grey light of 6 a.m. or so, I hauled my cold-stiffened body up and crept under the covers with Luke. He grunted, smelled my hair, and then went back to sleep. My precious virtue was still safe.

Somehow the next day I let slip to Luke’s mom that I had slept on the floor. I can’t remember how it came up, but I was probably looking for kudos for being such a fine, upstanding young woman.

Luke’s mom looked at me like my brains were made of turnip greens. “You slept on the floor?” She blinked a couple of times and then shrugged. “I bet you were cold.”

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