In a few days Brent will dump you. The coolest guy in school. A basketball star. And you will wonder if you should have let him. If you should have pulled the Kleenex from your bra and the bra from your body and let him.
But you didn’t, and I know you feel like the last virgin standing —
but you’re not. In two years you’ll meet a man at Bible School–a place you said you’d never meet anyone because it’s too cliche–who is waiting for you. Who’s only kissed two other girls, who will wait six months to kiss you (his Dutch grandmother will kiss you on your lips before he does) and the only time you’ll ever see him cry will be when you tell him what you’ve done with other boys.
He’ll cry because he wants to marry you. And even though you didn’t ever let anyone make it home, they still tried to round the bases. And he’s waited his whole life to hold your hand.
Shortly after he dumps you, Brent will get another girl pregnant and they’ll have a baby together.
It’s not worth undoing your buttons for, honey.
In a few days your mother will hear you sobbing on your bed, after he breaks up with you in the courtyard of the school because “you’re just too nice,” he’ll say.
She’ll knock on your bedroom door and bring you a bouquet of red roses, and when you take them from her, your fingers will bleed a little, just like your body will on your wedding night, when you give it away to the Bible School boy who dressed up in his army uniform and showed up on your doorstep and asked you to take a walk with him.
The boy who will teach you not to be afraid. The boy who will kiss you, finally, in the rain. The boy who will hold you while you can’t sleep for the insomnia and the anorexia and the anxiety, the boy who will bring you ice chips as you give birth to the first of two sons, the boy who will ask you to take walks with him every day of your life, for the rest of your life, till death do us part.
Dear past self, in a few days you’ll be crying on your bed —
while your mum holds you and you grip a bouquet of bloody roses. But this too shall pass. Don’t remove that purity ring. Because it’s more than a ring. It’s a declaration that you believe in the kind of love that saves. A salvation kind of love. A love that lasts longer than a few dates and a few passionate make-out sessions.
The world has all but given up on that kind of love. And in a few years, your boy and you will share with a bunch of Young Life students about how you waited. And they’ll ask if you wonder what you missed out on, by having sex with only one person.
And you’ll look at them and say, Do you know what you miss by having sex with more than one person? Have you ever wondered what it’s like to know that the person you’re with has only ever seen and touched you? That when they make love with you, they’re only thinking about you, and that you’re beyond compare?
Then you’ll take each other’s hand.
Yes, you will say. We’re glad we waited.
And the students won’t respond, but in their hearts, perhaps they’ll be applauding.
For the last virgins standing.
Your Future Self, at 32.
[Photo: Pink Sherbet Photography, Creative Commons]