Perfect Innocence

The blaring music and drunken cheers are dulled as I shut the bathroom door. The air smells of rose and honeysuckle. Too flowery for my own taste. People run by outside the door, their silhouettes visible through the tinted glass. I lock the door. The last thing I want is some drunk teenager coming in to blow chunks. They can vomit their little hearts out in one of the other bathrooms.

Satisfied no one can enter, I turn around and take a good look at the room. The place is spotless. The pearly white floor and footed tub glisten in the fluorescent light. On the vanity are all sorts of hygiene products, symmetrically aligned. Two matching sets of white towels and face cloths rest over a gleaming gold bar besides the tub. Even the toilet paper is perfect; the end folded neatly like they are in hotels. Everything in the room reeks of perfect innocence, making me feel dirty.

My god these people are insane.

I decide the spot beside the tub is the best place and lean up against the alabaster wall. I take a deep breath and slide slowly down to the floor. Sitting with my knees half bent, I can just barely make out the beat of some awful Nelly song whose name I can never remember.

Well, that's it. I've done it. I am no longer a virgin. I'm now an official number in the "sex-before-marriage" teen statistics. Knowing what I'm going to be labeled as in the all-too-near future, I can't really say it was worth it. Like all girls everywhere, I always imagined my first time would be gentle and blissful. As I grew older, I learned to accept that it wasn't always so. In fact, I expected it to hurt. Part of me though never gave up that fantasy of having a loving, kind man for my first. It was this hope that brought me here now.

All of the girls in school love Jamie Robins. He's one of those smooth-talkers you know is a complete asshole, but can't help falling for. Like all of the girls I criticized, when Jamie started showing interest in me, I melted inside. I gave in to his sweet words, his whispered promises of love till eternity. What a fool I am. I now know that "eternity" issimply his own orgasm. When he left to return to the party, leaving me alone in the strange room, I knew that I was nothing more than a number to him, and he was off to find another.

I'm not blaming him though. It's my fault really. I should have known his intentions. Shouldn't have given him my heart.

This is your own fault Kristy.

I'm strong though. I'm going to learn from my mistakes and move on. I'm not going to cry. Not like those girls in the locker rooms who actually believed his words. I'm not going to cry.

Oh, who the hell am I kidding.

Ten minutes later I rub my eyes dry. I really hate crying. Taking a deep breath, I run my fingers through my hair to, trying to calm down.

Do I have sex hair?

Curious, I force myself off the cold, hard floor and face the large mirror, taking a step closer for a better view. My green eyes are red and swollen, and my dark brown hair is untidy,withfrizzy pieces sticking up everywhere.

I look like shit.

And I really need a hug. Or a pint of Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey. Whichever is cheaper.

A few people are near the door now, their conversation clear as they pause outside. One of them refers to me as "Jamie's latest fuck." The rest of them laugh and continue talking trash about me before leaving to get more beer.

I really should get out of here.

I grab my purse off the linoleum floor and search for my car keys. They're not in there. That's when I remember I came with Jamie.

Besides, you've been drinking. No need to do two stupid things tonight.

Sighing, I plop myself down onto the furry toilet cover.

Who to call?

Not my mom. I'm not ready to tell her yet. Not sure who can help, I take out my cell phone and begin searching the contacts. Just as I'm doubting if I have any real friends, a name catches my eye. Salene.

Why didn't I think of her?

Salene Canner was my best friend since first grade. We drifted apart after seventh, but she's still been there for me whenever I need someone. My thumb hovers over the call button, wondering if she'll be any help this time. As far as guys and relationships go, Salene is as innocent as they come. She's never had a boyfriend, and heronlykiss was in second grade. It isn't that she doesn't like guys; it's more that she is one of them.

Besides myself, Salene's friends have all been guys. She seems to understand how they think, and chooses them over the numerous catty girls of our school. And Salene isn't like some girls, who claim to be "one of the guys" but still squirm when someone gets stabbed or decapitated and demolish tissue boxes during sappy romance movies. No, she really is one; so much so that if any of them were to be attracted to her, there is a 98 chance they are gay.

The sound of a phone ringing brings me back to my senses. My thumb has pressed the green button. Unsure of how many rings it's been, I bring the device to my ear. In the middle of the next ring someone picks up.

"Hello?" Her voice sounds tired; I hope I didn't wake her.

"Salene?" There is a pause on the other end, and I worry I have the wrong number.

"Kristy. Hi." I'm surprised she recognizes my voice. It's been a while since we last talked. Six months I think.

You are such a crappy friend.

"Is everything ok?" I'm not sure if she senses something is wrong, or if she asked because I only call when something is wrong.

"Yeah, everything's fine. I was just calling to see how you are." Another pause.

"I'm fine. Thanks." There was something in her voice that makes me realize how stupid I've been. Salene isn't one of the guys. She's a 17-year-old teenage girl in need of someone to rely on, just as I am. And I abandoned her. I'm no better then Jamie.

Her mother died when she was 3, and since her father never remarried, Salene was raised with no woman figure in her life at all. That's why she hangs out with guys. She's most comfortable with them. I was her only female friend and I left her.

What a scumbag.

Jamie doesn't matter to me now. It's my turn to be the shoulder to lean on.

"That's great Lene. Listen, are you doing anything right now? I mean, I know its late, and you were probably sleeping, but we haven't hung out in a while, and I miss you. It's alright if you can't. It is la-"

"Sure. That sounds great." A smile creeps across my face.

"Great. Oh, um…damn. I feel bad asking this, but can you come pick me up? I'm at the Anderson party and my ride is off somewhere."

"Okay, that's no problem. I'll be there as soon as I can." She pauses again. " And Kristy, are you sure everything's alright?" I feel myself tearing up again, this time for a good reason.

"Yeah. It is now."

(A/N: This is the first completed piece I've written in a while, as well as my first attempt at present tense. I've tried having this in past tense, but the character wanted present, and the character is always right. Feedback on how it worked out or slipups I made will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading.)