Exchange Student XI
Previous installments of Exchange Student can be found here.
He tries to be gentle. He says he’s never been with a virgin before and, oddly, despite what I’ve seen, I believe him. I want him, but this is not lovely. It is not a gift. It feels sharp and painful, uncomfortable, like being jabbed with scissors.
“I’m sorry, Posh,” he says, his voice a whisper. He strokes my face gently, nuzzles my neck.
The pain ebbs, leaving a throbbing discomfort that I try not to think about. He holds me tightly to him. Our breathing merges as if we have become one. Abstract images of us play through my mind. I imagine never having to leave England, of being here with Eddie, for always. I fall asleep to such dreams.
When I wake, my face is pressed into his neck, legs entwined, his arms locked around me. A soft light filters through the window. It could be anytime from 9 to 3.
I hear the subtle shift in his breathing, know that he too is awake now.
“I could stay this way forever,” he says and then kisses me.
This time I understand why people have sex.
Back at my room, I plod through my homework, my brain only partly engaged. My mind is chaos.
We took a selfie in the back of the taxi and I stare at the image of our faces pressed together. I cannot rid myself of the feeling that this, what we have, is ephemeral. I send the image to my email so that there is a copy. At this moment, the image is the only proof of us.
I receive a text message from my Aunt Judy. She and my Uncle are touring Europe for three weeks and will be stopping in London to take me on a sightseeing trip to Scotland. The Glass Menagerie will be over by then. Classes will have ended. I had thought I would have that one week to be just with him before returning to life without him. There is no way to say no. Opportunity of a lifetime.
I feel time tumbling through my fingers.