That night, things didn’t turn out the way we had hoped. I was new to the sex game and, little did I realize, so was he. It was awkward, uncomfortable, and neither of us physically got what we were wanting – not for a lack of trying.
The sun was rising by the time he drove me home, where I laid in bed and fitfully tossed and turned for a while. My mind wandered and I wondered if he was disappointed in me. I finally fell asleep, hoping he’d forgive me for not finishing him off. I completely understood his sexual frustration because I felt it too.
I woke up the following day, groggy from a late night and too much drinking. Like always, I had planned to meet some friends downtown at the arcade – our local hangout.
When I walked in the door a few hours later, there he was, sitting in his usual spot, on a bar stool in front of a table full of our friends. I had no choice but to face him.
But, when I walked up to the table, he didn’t even notice me, wouldn’t even look at me. Embarrassment burned through me. Maybe he was, indeed, disappointed in me, because of the previous night.
Humiliation was too much for me to handle so I declined an invitation from my friends to join them at a party again that night. I knew he would be going with them and I couldn’t face him any longer than absolutely necessary.
Instead, I went home and cried myself to sleep.
Ryan and I didn’t speak again for a few months, even though we spent a lot of time at the same places with mutual friends. For weeks, we ignored each other, pretending the other was invisible. Over time, we’d acknowledge each other from a distance. A nod, a shy wave across the room, or barely a smile would acknowledge each other’s existence. But it didn’t go beyond that.
Until one night, a perfect carbon copy of our first night together, when we ended up at the same party and he offered me another ride home.
While we were on our way to my parents house late that night, we remained silent until he parked in front of the house.
He turned off the ignition of his truck, propped his arm along the back of the bench seat, turned to me, and said, “so, about that night we were together…” His voice trailed off as the blood drained from my face.
I may have had a few drinks that night, but not enough to shield me from the humiliation of the impending conversation. I felt like an animal trapped in a cage, unable to escape the discussion that was about to happen. I braced myself, then turned to face him.
His stare made me vulnerable. He was the only guy I have ever known who could strip me bare with just one look. He penetrated my tough exterior and I knew he could see the thoughts that lingered below my surface.
“I think we should try it again. Let’s do it right this time.” He murmured, his lips only inches from mine. I could feel his breath on my skin.
Shock tore through me. “Wait, you mean you want to…” My voice cracked as he nodded.
His lips found mine in the darkness and I was powerless. He started his truck and we drove to a quiet place on the edge of the city, where we overlooked the streetlights from downtown.
He turned the headlights off and, for a moment, we just sat in silence. The only thing I could hear was the pumping of blood in my ears. Performance anxiety plagued me and I took a deep breath.
When I looked over at him, I saw his silhouette in the darkness as he stared out at the city lights. Was his breathing more rapid too? Was he as nervous as I was? Was he reconsidering his proposition?
“Ryan,” I began, not completely sure what to say, but knowing I had to say something. “I’m sorry about last time.”
He turned to face me, leaning over the seat to touch my thigh. “That wasn’t your fault. That was my fault, and I’m sorry.”
What?! HE was taking the blame for the awkwardness of our first time? My head spun from the surprise. The entire time that we weren’t talking, I assumed he was blaming me when the truth was that he was blaming himself!
“Oh, God, Ryan, no. It wasn’t your fault…”
“Yes, it was. And I’m sorry.” He reached over and touched my face. “I want a chance to make it up to you.”
My heart leaped into my throat, where my words were caught. He seized the moment, leaned over the seat, and kissed me passionately while pulling my body towards his.
I melted. I knew then that he wanted me as much as I wanted him. And we tried again.