The long, yellow strands of grass are flowing above my head, making slices through the blue sky that looks like heaven. My back is pressed firmly against the warm earth, and I can hear the tiny insects, with their billions of legs moving across the ground.
The grass is itchy, scratching my skin. I think of pulling my shirt down, but decide better of it. Instead I push my fingers into the dirt, feeling the warm moisture on them. I’m thinking it’s probably proper etiquette to close your eyes for this kind of thing, but mine stay on the sky, searching for nonexistent clouds. Maybe I could turn one into a picture like my mother and I used to.
There is sweat in my armpits and hair, and maybe between my legs but I can’t tell if that’s something different or not. I can hear my mother in my head, telling me to watch for sunburn. She’d be telling me other things right now too, which makes me want to cry only I don’t because that would be weird. I do know that much.
My skin is hot, and my back itches, and I’m moist everywhere, and nothing about this feels good. I think of asking him to stop, but embarrassment overrules again, so I keep to staring at the sky even though the brightness hurts my eyes.
He puts his hand behind my knee and moves my leg over his shoulder. It’s happening faster now. The thoughts, the pain, the movement. All of it, until I have to clench my teeth and try not to make even the tiniest of squeaks.
My mother is in my mind again. I can hear her voice, see her eyes, feel her arms. Then I can’t help it. I start to cry, silently, and then not so. He doesn’t react, just continues with the task at hand.
My friends, the people I’ve been in school with for the past eight years, made a pact that we should “lose” our virginities before we started high school, and all I can remember thinking was: “Lose it? Where does it go?”
I keep crying, and I want to tell him that I’ve changed my mind, that I want to keep it, but at this point maybe it’s already gone. Wherever these mysterious virginities all go when we give them up. Neverland? Virginland? My mother would have probably known.
He grabs my hair and I try to move but his other hand is on my shoulder so I lay still again. He’s my brother’s friend. I assumed since he was older he would know how to take the virginity away from someone properly.
When I had nightmares my mother would tell me to find my heaven. To think of the most perfect place in the entire world, and put yourself there. I would think of here. This field behind my house, with the warm ground, and the warm, blue sky. The quiet insects and the gentle grass.
Now the sun is too bright, and the sun is too hot, and the insects are too loud. Now my mother's voice is one of disappointment. This can no longer be my heaven. This will be where the virginities go to rest. Where they are free. Then and just as quickly as it starts, he groans and lurches, and it is over. I feel shame as he zips up his pants. There are grass bits in my hair. I am still silent as I wipe away smudgy tears. I will have to find a new heaven for myself. As this one is now for my innocence.