Our girl lost her virginity at the tender age of 13 (a fact her mother was unaware of until she was 16, at which point her mother did the practical thing and got her wayward child on the Pill). He was 16, a neighbourhood Lothario whom she had a crush on. She thought she was in love (and secretly she hoped that if she gave him some he would fall in love with her).
Love….what does a 13-year-old know of love? Avid Reader, surely you know how that story ended: he dumped her for a worldlier woman of 17, but not before he’d told all his friends about their encounters.
Being young, the girl’s heart was still resilient. She told herself “I was too good for him anyway” “God is preparing me to meet someone better.” Years of Harlequin romances, assorted fairy tales and Hollywood movies had her convinced that true love was the solution to her current adolescent angst.
Thus for the next six years the girl fell in and out of love – with all the wrong kinds of boys (and a couple of men who should have known better). She fell in love with dope dealers, shoplifters, stoners and boys who’d begun a lifelong career majoring in baby-daddy drama. She gave her heart to an older, married man and a bisexual married man. She had an active (some might say promiscuous) love life.
And yet, our girl maintained her studies – she loved school and enjoyed learning new things. She was on the Honor Roll every semester, had a small job ironing for a neighbour at $3.00 for each basket of clothes, and she babysat the neighbourhood kids as well (when she didn’t have a date).
Despite her grades and her money-making enterprises, her parents were not happy with their daughter’s behaviour. Her mother cried, predicting a dire future. Her father resorted to blows to in a vain attempt “beat the devil outa her.” Our girl went on her merry way, black eyes, split lips and all, until the day she came home two weeks before her 18th birthday to discover all her things had been packed and were waiting for her on the front porch.
Nothing if not cocky, our girl enquired if she was allowed to make a phone call. Permission granted, she phoned the guy of the moment, an 18-year-old she didn’t really love, but whom she dated because 1) he had a car, 2) he had a job and 3) he absolutely adored her, and she found his adoration pleasant. The smitten young man arrived not long after her phone call, whisking her off to his parents’ house, where he explained the situation and permission was granted for the now homeless waif to reside with them.
Two months after her 18th birthday she married him.