I am not a virgin.
I have been sexually active.
Always, it seems like.
Since I was a child.
I gave my first blow job at six.
Molested by a female at eight.
Group sex young as well.
Had my father loved me
enough to stay…
…to deal with the malicious.
The violence of Momma…
….my innocence would have been protected.
But he didn’t.
So, I wasn’t.
I have been taken without consent.
I have been held in place.
Forced to swallow.
All in the name of love.
My body has been tied up.
Pinned down and choked.
While hearing, “I love you.”
They’re all the same to me.
But not to my Him.
I see me as damaged.
He sees me as holy.
I see me as ugly.
He thinks I’m the face of God.
I feel stupid and afraid.
He holds me close, & names me brave.
I don’t understand him.
I don’t see how he can love someone so worthless.
He sits with me when I can not speak.
He places his hand next to mine when I cannot stand to be touched.
He calls me on the phone when I can’t handle the physical presence of his male body.
“I’m right here babe.
You don’t have to talk.”
“Do you want me to come over?”
“Do you want me to come over?”
I can’t say yes.
I don’t know how.
“No thank you,” I whisper through trembling lips.
My Him goes quiet.
“I need you Venus. I depend on you so much. You give me safety in a world where I have more value dead or in prison than being my own man.”
“Not to me,” I say softly through the phone.
“Never to you.”
He struggles to find the right words.
“You see me. You trust me with your truths. With you. In your eyes, I become more than I could see.“
He pauses. Then he confesses to us both.
“In your love, I find myself. And I didn’t even know I was lost.”
His voice drops to an urgent, vulnerable whisper.
“You give me peace, babe. You help me remember who I am. You are the only person in the world who I can share my fears, dreams, victories and failures with.”
“Out there, I’m just another trifflin’ nigga with a target on his back. With you, inside of you, I’m safe. I’m not alone anymore.”
He takes a deep breath.
“You are my peace. My anchor. My light. You’re my love, babe. I thank God for you.”
I start to cry, silent tears.
He can’t hear them.
He feels them.
“Oh babe, let me come to you.”
I know he is NOT going to like or agree.
We tell the truth.
No matter what.
“Because I don’t want to depend on you. I don’t want to turn you into a need.”
I cover my eyes with my hand to hide from him even though I know he can’t see me.
“I don’t want to become codependent.
I need to be able to take care of myself.”
“Please. Hear me.”
I gather all my courage to tell him my truth.
“I just don’t want to be a burden to you. I don’t want you to drive out here simply because I’m triggered. It’s not fair to you.”
“But you feeling alone is?”
I knew he wouldn’t like it.
“Please don’t be angry.”
“I’m not angry with you,” he mutters through clenched teeth.
“I’m angry with all the stupid people who have hurt you.”
“I don’t understand—“
“I know. That’s my point.”
He pauses to gather himself.
I can tell by the way he is breathing he is going to share his truth.
I brace myself.
“When you love somebody, their JOB is to be there for you. Love is not a matter of convenience.”
Whew! That wasn’t so bad. Oh wait—he’s not finished.
“Love is not control. It’s not making someone depend on you to take advance of them.”
“I know this—“
“No you don’t.”
I can feel myself getting defensive.
“Don’t tell me what I know. I have TONS of experience—
“No! You’ve had tons of sex. But you have NOT had tons of love.”
I know he’s right but my pride won’t let me confirm this cold truth.
“Well I guess you told me. I’m going to get off the phone now—“
“Babe. Please. Don’t. I apologize.”
I’m trying to breathe.
He’s trying to get through to me.
“Babe, you’re still a virgin.”
I drop the phone.
I look around my bedroom.
Happy is sleeping soundly, his little puppy face on my knee.
I touch his fur to make sure I’m not crazy.
“Babe, you there? Did you hang up? Babe?”
I pick up the phone.
My voice is shaking. “Are you clowning me? Mocking my past?”
“No babe. Never.”
“Then WHY THE HELL ARE YOU CALLING ME A VIRGIN WHEN YOU AND I HAVE FUCKED FIFTY WAYS TO SUNDAY??????”
“Hear me out. Please. May I explain?”
“Have at it!”
He knows he is walking in an emotional landmine.
This landmine has invisible tripwires and mental snipers with hair-thin trigger fingers. One wrong step and he loses all he has worked for with me.
My Him treads soft.
Willing to die to set me free.
“Babe, I love you. You’re right. You are not a virgin physically. You are one emotionally.”
“Please let me finish.”
I put myself on mute.
“The traumatic things that you survived as well as the words people used when they hurt you made you feel like there’s something wrong with you.”
I can feel my little girl self start to weep, on the inside.
“You are an emotional virgin because you have never been loved purely. The love–if we can call it that–had strings.”
My little girl self begins playing with puppets on strings.
The strings are her veins.
The puppets are different people from my past who have hurt us.
The Puppets are saying ugly things to my little girl self.
They make crude gestures.
They throw urine.
They spit at her.
“You are the most emotionally innocent person I have ever met in my life.”
Both me and my little girl self stop.
We look at each other.
“You forgive with the innocence of a child.”
I smile at her.
“You believe in the goodness of people.”
She nods at me.
“You love each and every person you meet without them having to earn it or prove it or make it with you.”
With each statement, from my Him, my little girl self cuts a string from the puppets by simply kissing the vein.
“Your body was hurt. There’s no denying that fact. What makes you special is somehow, some miraculous way, your heart remains pure.”
With each kiss by my little girl self, the vein becomes white roses. The puppets disconnect, frozen like glass, and fall away.
She kisses me, unmutes my phone, and merges back within me.
I say to my Him with my whole heart, “I love you.”
I can hear the tenderness in his tone, “I love you too babe.”
He bravely and gently pushes me.
“May I come over?”
My Him is not a quitter.
“I’m going to go to sleep now.”
I snuggle down in my blanket and cuddle Happy.
“Will you come tomorrow? Early?”
My Him chuckles under his breath.
He can hear my compromise.
“Yes, my love. I will. BUT if you change your mind between now and morning…”
His voice turns erotic.
I say nothing.
“Ok baby girl?”
“I mean, Yes Daddy.”
I felt my body swelling.
My Him can get to me in an hour.
He’s honoring my process.
But if I don’t hang up—
Let me get off this phone before I get fucked.
“Uh, love you. Bye.”
I scurry off to the sound of his knowing laughter.
I hang up the phone.
I smile in my heart and cuddle Happy.
I drift off and thank God for my Him.
The phone rings.
“Hi my love.”
“Open the door.”