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Coming of Age Teens & Young Adult Contemporary

I was sitting on the edge of the bathtub. Some white mucous stains were shimmering at the bottom of the tub. I tried throwing up, but that was all I came up with. It was some time after midnight on new years eve.

“They shoot at us”, Michelle burst out, laughing hysterical. I knew what she meant, and just moments ago I shared her hysterical mood about us pretending to be shoot by the fireworks. For hours we have been running around the city center of our small town, drinking cheep champagne, partying with the crowd, dancing and kissing unknown men of unknown age. “2000” anyone screamed every few seconds. It was the new years eve of the century, literally. Being 16 at this moment in time felt like a promise, like an incredible opportunity, like “we can have it all”.

Now it felt all wrong. Cheap. Shallow. And a little gross. “Knock, knock”. I knew who was on the other side of the door. It was my boyfriend. Nice and cute. Really smart and just friendly. We went to high school together and his crush on me was flattering from the beginning. Other girls were jealous on me being fancied by him even though he was not the cool type, but the nice guy. “Will you girls come out of the bathroom any time soon? We have some firecrackers left and want to blast them from the balcony.”, Samuel asked cheerfully on the other side of the door. He could not have said anything more false. He was acting the whole evening like the little boy he still was and spent most of the night at home with his rather nerdy pals, playing with fireworks and his leatherman tool.

“We had sex, last week”, I heard myself they and Michelle, still drunk and in a goofy mood, looked at me with eyes too wide open, laughing too loud and too shrill, just bringing out “What?” I was already feeling hungover. Hungover from the night and hungover from the whole last week.

Yes, technically we had sex. I have been pushing for this to happen. I was pretending to have had sex for some years now. Being all grown up, being sexy, being experienced was my mask for the world and for myself. But, as expected for the “first time”, we were not really managing how to do it and neither of us was experiencing “having sex”. Also as expected, we both felt a little awkward since then. He being very sweet and me becoming more distant.

“And how was he?”, Michelle burst out in her drunken millennium-mood. I saw immediately what she thought. “Ridiculous”, was written on her forehead. She was imaging us, naked, in my messy childhood room, decorated with band posters and some forgotten cuddly toys in the corner. Me actually afraid touching his penis, he completely lost about what to do with that old condom I nicked from an Odds-and-Ends-Shop some years ago to show my elder sister how cool I was. 

Michelle’s judgment flooded through me like a wave. Yes, we were ridiculous. And, yes, we WERE ridiculous. Having sex is always a little ridiculous. Having sex for the first time is even more ridiculous. But I was untouchable, all grown up, sexy and experienced. There was no place for ridiculousness in me right now.

“Can you come in for a moment?”, I asked through the closed door, pulling Michelle up from the loo, where she was sitting and absentmindedly curling her hair between her fingers, still laughing. Somehow I managed the two of them switching places. Samuel was in a happy mood, maybe he drank a little beer and he really has been having fun with his friends tonight. He had no idea, what Michelle and I had been up to most of the night, downtown, feeling adult, feeling irresistible and invincible. “I’m sorry, but I think we should call it quits”, I said, still sitting on the bathtub. “I've kissed at least three different men tonight, and I don't think we should keep going.” Again a wave was going through one of the persons in this bathroom and I saw it reaching his face. “But why, but I don’t get it, but we did .. you know. Shouldn’t it have brought us closer together?”, he said with such an insecure expression on his face that I almost started talking again, giving him another chance or at least a real explanation - if only I' d had one.

It was a simple “Thank you” email after I completed a survey on mental health in the COVID19 crisis. “If you have any questions, please contact the head of the survey team Samuel Dorse, Ph.D.”, linked to an email address. Just reading the name took me instantly back 21 years to that old fashioned off-white bathroom, me in a too short skirt and with too much make-up around the eyes. Him looking at me in disbelieve.

I let the cursor linger on the name. This wasn’t an old contact, this would work for sure. With only one click I would have the chance to make contact again. The chance to explain myself, to ask for forgiveness.

It was just writing an email. I did this uncountable times a day. Still I fought with every word and not one sentence hit the right note in the end. I was going for a sincere personal email. No chitchat and no poor-little-girl nonsense.

Dear Hi Samuel,

funny what a coincidence to read your name below that survey. I can’t remember It has been a very long time since I thought about we saw each other. What did you do As I can seen in your CV you studied psychology after finishing school, that really is an interesting field for research. What made you choose Obviously your quite good at what your doing.

I know the way I left you we parted ways I treated you I wasn’t ready for a relationship I was still searching who I was I thought being like I was 20 years ago was cool. I had low self-esteem I was insecure, always thinking about trying to estimate what others might think. You are were great (I don’t know you today) I actually did marry someone more similar to you than to any other guy I ever knew went out with and me thinking less about being cool could have and I should have trusted you, liking me the way I was, maybe uncool (?) in the eyes of the cool kids but honest to you and myself.

I hope you found love you’re happy with the way your life turned out.

Yours, Best Wishes Bye

Mandy Amanda (I prefer my full name by now)

I had felt strong and adult clicking on his name, seeing it next to the small “to” in my email browser and my email address next to the small “from”. Starting the process of closure with at least one of my puberty sins. The chance to seek for forgiveness was given to me by fate. And yet again, my hand lingered motionless over the mouse, more unsure than ever whether to click the "send" button. Feeling like that insecure little girl in that bathroom allover again.

October 21, 2021 18:03

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Tommy Goround
11:33 Jan 09, 2023



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