Note: May be triggering for people with sexual abuse issues.
It was wild, passionate, angry, and energetic… unlike any sex he had known in his entire adult life, but even less like anything else, either.
When it was over, he was not sated so much as exhausted. She, on the other hand, seemed restless still. She rolled off of him and onto her back, where she lay atop the crumpled, sweaty blankets.
He wondered if he should say something… and what he should say, if so.
“Would you like to hear a riddle?” she asked him finally.
“Uh, okay,” he said.
“What do you have less of, the more you take?”
“I don’t know,” he said.
“Innocence,” she said, sitting up.
“Was that… was that your first time?” he asked, confused.
“Not exactly,” she said. She swung her legs off the side of the bed, turning her back on him in the process, and got up. “Would you like to hear about my first time? If you can call it that, I mean.”
“If you’d like to tell me,” he said.
“It was ten years ago.”
“My God,” he said. “You must have been…”
“Eleven,” she said. “Innocent.” She turned around to face him. “So innocent. Innocent and ignorant… they aren’t the same thing, but they go hand in hand so often, you know? I think that’s why the courts find people ‘not guilty’ instead of ‘innocent’. Because ignorance of the law is no defense, right?”
“I guess,” he said.
“And of course, not everybody who isn’t found guilty is innocent,” she said. She started to pace the small room as she spoke. “The man who took my innocence ended my childhood… ruined my life. I went through… well, I went through a lot of different things. I wouldn’t expect you to understand. But through it all, I had an idea that one day I’d get him back for it, pay him back in kind. I couldn’t steal his innocence, of course, but I could ruin his life.” She turned to face the man. “Ruin it with sex, like he’d ruined mine.”
“No, I don’t think you do,” she said. “I wasn’t much older at that point, than I had been when it happened. Do you know what it’s like to make that kind of decision at an age when some girls are still… well, actually, I don’t know what girls that age do. I never got to find out, did I?” She laughed bitterly.
“What… what did you…”
“Well, that’s just it,” she said, and she resumed pacing. “There were so many different ways to go, so many different ways a life can be ruined, so many different things I could have chosen to take in retribution for my innocence. Health? That might be a little self-destructive, but what’s one ruined life, more or less. Financial security? Family? Reputation? Peace of mind? Any or all of the above? So… many… choices. And yet, none of them would really add up to what was taken from me. None of them equal what was done to me.”
“My God… I’m so sorry…”
“Please, don’t,” she said, holding up her hand. “Don’t speak. I need you to listen now. So you’ll understand why I watched you for so long, why I waited. I had to be sure, you see. I had to know… had to know I was making the right decision.”
“And do you think you did?” he asked.
“Good,” he said. “I’m glad… are you coming back to bed?”
“I will in a bit,” she said. “I think I’m going to put a robe on and go sit out on the balcony and enjoy the night air.”
“Would you mind if I joined you?”
“I’d like that, I think.”
“Do you think you’ll still think about him?” he asked. “About getting back at him?”
“I’d like to say no,” she said. “But I know that I will. Maybe less often. Maybe less… I don’t know, intensely. I can’t shut out the memory. I’ve just… chosen not to dwell within it, willingly. I hope you don’t take it personally.”
“You chose to be with me,” he said. He raised a hand to his lips and blew her a kiss from the bed. “You gave up your thoughts of revenge to give me a chance. I’ll take that as personally as I like.”
Unaccustomedly, she blushed.