a Women Writer's' Showcase

By Gina Perales

I pedaled my pink, five-speed furiously over the ravine to the next-door neighborhood where Antonio lived. The wicked witch of the west theme song played in my head, in hopes I would pedal faster. If my bike flew, well, even better. I couldn’t wait to taste his lips again, to smell his Polo cologne, to be held the way he had held me at the eighth grade dance last month before school let out for summer.

Just minutes before, Antonio had called me to come over. He was the love of my life, at that moment. Cinnamon skin, chocolate hair, exactly my height. Though we weren’t “going around” he was the only boy I had ever frenched. Maybe today he would ask to be my boyfriend. “I’ll be back in an hour, papi,” I had yelled to Dad. “I’m going for a bike ride.” Then I headed out in the sweltering 100-degree Texas heat. Oh what a glorious day! I slid onto his porch and nervously rang the doorbell.

He answered shirtless, wearing Calvin Kleins, no shoes.

“Hey, what’s up?” I gasped coolly, dripping sweat on the cement.

“Come in,” he smiled. I melted.

“I can only stay for an hour,” I said as we moved to the sofa in the living room and then sat in silence. I felt like Bambi as a newborn - wobbly, wondrous, wide-eyed and waiting to be hunted. Sure enough, Antonio moved in for the kill.

“My parents are out of town, chula,” he said, like he was telling a big secret. “Let’s go to my room.”

He grabbed my hand and led me there. My legs were cramping from the bike ride, but I felt no pain. I was as high as a kite flying in love-heavy la-la land. We kissed softly, first standing up, then moving to his bed. We made out to “Open Arms” by Journey. I had no qualms about going further. If cats were curious, then I was the Saber-toothed Tiger sliding into third base. Off came my shirt and shorts. None of my so-called boyfriends had ever seen me naked so I blushed and dived head-first under the covers. He followed.

“Are you sure?” he asked.

“Mmm, hmm,” I said, not so sure. Instantly, I felt like someone had stabbed me with a knife. With each push came searing pain. I wanted to scream. But I didn’t want to make him not like me. There had to have been some mistake. I shifted. Another stab. Could this be what everyone was waiting for? My mind raced for the answers. Where was the orgasm? The ecstasy? Had all the teen romance novels lied? We must be doing it wrong. I began to cry. I felt like I had in fourth grade when I found out Santa Claus wasn't real and everyone in the universe I had trusted had been stringing me along.

When he was done, I pushed him off. He wanted to cuddle. There was blood on the bed. I wanted to get the hell out. To never see him again.

“Are you OK, Chula?” Antonio asked as I quickly got dressed.

“Yeah I’m fine,” I said, lying. “I gotta go.”

“Do you want to go around?”

He looked at me waiting for an answer. His face said I hope you say yes. But, I realized at that moment, I wasn’t ready. A little late maybe for the occasion, but better late than pregnant.

“No, I gotta go,” I replied.

Right then I made up my mind that I would never call him again, never come over, not miss the way he held me or his Polo cologne. This not-really-a-relationship, relationship was finished. I was furious, at men, women, everyone and anyone who talked like sex was better than chocolate. I vowed that if what I had just experienced was supposed to be love making, well, then I better wait until I actually fell in love. Disappointed and still aching down there, I opened the door to leave. And there in front of me was the second biggest mistake I had made that day: riding my pretty pink, five-speed.

Gina Perales is a former reporter for a daily newspaper in Colorado Springs who is pursuing her love of fiction. She hopes to one day be an accomplished author of children's books and adult fiction. You have permission to contact me using this email address should you decided to publish this piece. Contact Gina Perales.