Before the Fall

I remember those days before sex was required in a relationship. I even recall those days when I was too shy to kiss my girlfriend. She was very dark, very beautiful, very hard, very thick, very graceful, and very smart. She was in the 8th grade and I was in the 7th and one day she began telling her friends at school that I was her boyfriend. She was so shapely and so popular that I couldn’t disagree, thus our relationship became official. But then what is a 13-year-old boy supposed to do with his girlfriend when he only sees her at school?

I knew what my friends wanted me to do to her. The same thing that they claimed to do with their girlfriends but I didn’t really want to. For some reason it seemed like such a rather vile thing to do to a girl who I actually liked. So I walked her to class. I waddled behind her while wrapping my arms around the front of her ribcage, like teenage boys tend to do with their girlfriends, and I placed myself against her perfectly rotund backside. That may have well been sex because that was as far as we ever took it. I enjoyed telling my friends that she belonged to me. I enjoyed her glances and stares from across the hallway. I loved the way she used to gel her hair back over a scrungy in a style the girls used to call “a freeze.”

Her image would come to me at night and I so appreciated how she always pleased me in my dreams so that I would wake up sticky and excited. I saved the gum wrapper that she wrote her number on even though I had known it by heart for months (568-8125). I bought her a Jessica Rabbit card for Valentines Day and I even let her wear my San Jose Sharks Starter jacket a few times during the winter. To say that I was enamored would be an understatement.

To be able to transcend a crush and actually attain a girlfriend as an adolescent boy was sweeter than life itself. This was before pregnancies, before heartache, before trauma, before pressure, before infidelity, before promiscuity; this was before the corrosive power of sex. This was before the fall.