The next time I saw Charlie was our second ever sleepover. It was another birthday party and we had agreed to meet before, drop my things off at his, pre at Gertrude’s (but arrive separately to make us less like a salty wound) and then go to the party. This time I was ready, I trusted him enough for him to have all of me and he knew that. Before Charlie, I had never known how much it took for me to trust someone entirely, and 3 months in I had finally put my entire trust in him. I arrived at his and being two very excite teenagers we got on with it. This is definitely not a tale of candles and dim lighting, nothing like The Notebook or any of the romantic films I had a based my expectation of this moment on. Trying, yes trying, to lose my virginity was a very awkward experience. The operative word being trying, because when the time came the screw would NOT go into the hole, the pressure of the moment and my lack of experience ensured that it did not; and after a good 20 minutes of trying he rolled over, kissed me and we just laughed. We agreed to try again later, and so we ate some food, made our way into town, separated and I arrived at Gertrude’s alone. Participating in small talk because there was a humongous elephant in the room called “you’re angry I ‘stole’ your ‘ex-boyfriend’ and your attempt at being civil with the both of us is blatant and transparent”, Charlie arrived an hour later. Delicate smiles and subtle glance exchanges throughout the night ensured me that everything was fine between us, and instilled excitement about the future endeavours we were going to pursue; but I had to get intel.
When we arrived at the party I rounded up my bath gals and gave them the down low. They told me that it was so normal and gave me advice which mostly consisted of “just relax and let it happen, don’t force it”; and that is exactly what happened. With help from WKD, cheap beer and Durex’s massage & play, I had finally given it up. And it was so great, although not exactly like how I had romanticised it in my mind, it was perfect because the moment was ours. And the more it happened, the better it was and the closer we became; and I was so happy. When it was over we both sat up, with me between his legs Charlie whispered in my ear “Aria, would you like to be my first ever girlfriend” and to that I said “Yes”.
Do you know that feeling, when even if everything in our life sucks it doesn’t matter because one moment abolishes all the bad things that have happened up until this moment? Well that moment was that for me. To finally have someone in my life that wanted all aspects of me, another person who truly understood me. Someone else who hadn’t shied away at my weirdness or judged me for it. I loved it, and I was falling in love with him.
Days turned into weeks, and I began to understand that sex analogy about bunnies (lol). From the intimate moments to the awkward times that his parent’s heard, Charlie and I began to know each other better. So good in fact that we had our first pregnancy scare! (wohhhoooo). Now, I know Mary had some holy conception that allowed her to conceive without actually doing the deed, but that excuse (no matter how okay it is in the bible) would not EVER sit well with my parents. Seeing as this scare was one of many to come (due to me over thinking and not wanting to end up poor and abandoned) it was actually quite funny, in hindsight of course. I was still on the pill but antibiotics or something comprised that and we spent around 5 hours on a bank holiday weekend trying to find someone who would give us the morning after pill. And after a rude conversation with some woman on some helpline and a day full of walking, we found it; but this really did not stop us being careless (I know, I will let you judge me completely for that).
In the silence of one late spring night, cuddling as couples do, I suddenly felt this overwhelming urge to be sick. My heart starting pounding and I felt myself choking on unexpected words. Without thinking much, I opened my mouth and said “Charlie”, and after what felt like an eternity of silence I continued, “I think I might be falling in love with you”; to which he said, “I think I’m falling in love with you too”. I don’t even know if I was certain of what I was really saying. Being young and impulsive, it is easy to mistake love-like feelings for the real thing (Don’t worry I won’t get into the discussion of what love really is). But whether I meant it then or not, I have meant it every day since then; and I guess that’s what really matters.