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p Papyrus I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed.

p

“You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

“ “Qui sait beaucoup ne craint rien.” ―Do muito saber vem o nada a temer.‖


um

Você é incrível. Não acreditei muito nisso, então eu pensei novamente. Incrível. Você é tão incrível. Se minha mãe ouvisse meus pensamentos, ela me diria que eu precisava ser humilde, mas humildade não tinha me levado a lugar nenhum. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use

Bliss Edwards, você é terrivelmente pegável. she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t

Então como eu acabei com vinte e dois anos, e a única pessoa que conhecia que nunca tinha feito sexo? Em algum lugar entre Saved by the Bell e Gossip Girl 1 , tornava-se inédito para uma garota se formar na faculdade com seu Cartão-V ainda em mãos. E agora eu estava no meu quarto, me arrependendo de ter tido coragem de admitir isso à minha amiga Kelsey. Ela reagiu como se eu tivesse acabado de contar a ela que eu estava escondendo um rabo debaixo da minha saia evasê. E eu soube antes mesmo de seu queixo terminar de cair que tinha sido uma péssima ideia. — SÉRIO? É por causa de Jesus? Você está, tipo, se guardando para ele? — Sexo parecia simples para Kelsey. Ela tinha o corpo de uma Barbie e o cérebro sexualmente-carregado de um adolescente. — Não, Kelsey — eu disse. — Seria um pouco difícil me guardar para alguém que morreu há cerca de dois mil anos atrás. Kelsey arrancou sua blusa e a jogou no chão. Eu devo ter feito uma know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

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Seriados da TV americana que se baseiam na temática adolescente.


cara porque ela olhou para mim e riu. — Relaxe, Princesa Puritana, eu só estou trocando de roupa. — Ela entrou no meu armário e começou a deslizar pelas minhas roupas. — Por quê? — Porque, Bliss, nós vamos sair para conseguir para você uma transa. — Ela disse a palavra ‗transa‘ com um enrolar da sua língua que me lembrou daqueles comerciais de bate papo para adultos que passavam tarde da noite. — Jesus, Kelsey. Ela pegou uma camisa que era confortável em mim, e ficaria completamente escandalosa em sua estrutura curvilínea. — O que? Você disse que não era sobre ele. Eu resisti com a urgência de esbofetear minha palma na minha testa. — Não é, eu não sei... eu quero dizer, eu vou à igreja e tudo. Bem, algumas vezes. Eu só... eu não sei. Eu nunca estive tão interessada. Ela pausou com sua nova camisa na metade do caminho sobre sua cabeça. — Nunca se interessou? Por caras? Você é gay? Eu uma vez escutei minha mãe, que não podia entender por que eu estava para me formar na faculdade sem um anel no meu dedo, fazer ao meu pai a mesma pergunta. — Não, Kelsey, eu não sou gay, então continue vestindo sua blusa Não há necessidade de cometer suicídio sexual por mim.2 — Se você não é gay e não é sobre Jesus, então é apenas questão de encontrar o cara certo, ou eu deveria dizer... a certa espada sexual.3 Eu rolei meus olhos. — Caramba! É só isso? Encontrar o cara certo? Por que ninguém me contou isso antes? Ela puxou seu cabelo loiro para trás em um alto rabo de cavalo, o qual de alguma forma chamou até mesmo mais atenção ao seu peito. — Eu não quero dizer o cara certo para casar, querida. Eu quero dizer o cara certo para I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

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Do original “to fall on your sword” que significa cometer suicídio por uma pessoa. Aqui ela utiliza a espada (sword) da frase acima, para fazer a analogia de espada-pênis.


fazer seu sangue ferver. Para fazer você desligar seu cérebro analítico, julgador, hiperativo e pensar com o seu corpo ao invés dele. — Corpos não podem pensar. — VÊ? — Ela disse. — Analítico. Julgador. — Ótimo! Ótimo. Qual bar essa noite? — Stumble Inn, lógico. Eu gemi. — Clássico. — O que? — Kelsey olhou para mim como se eu estivesse deixando escapar a resposta de uma pergunta bastante óbvia. — É um bom bar. Mais importante, é um bar que caras gostam. E desde que nós fazemos o que os caras gostam, é um bar que nós gostamos. Poderia ter sido pior. Ela poderia estar me levando a uma boate. — Ótimo. Vamos. — Eu me levantei, e segui para a cortina que separava meu quarto do resto do meu apartamento. — OPA! Opa! — Ela pegou meu cotovelo e me puxou tão forte que eu caí de costas na cama. — Você não pode ir assim. Eu olhei para baixo à minha roupa – saia evasê florida e uma regata simples com uma decente quantidade de decote. Eu parecia bonitinha. Eu podia totalmente escolher um cara vestida assim... Talvez. — Eu não vejo o problema — eu disse. Ela rolou seus olhos, e eu me senti como uma criança. Eu odiava me sentir como uma criança, e eu quase sempre me sentia quando a conversa se voltava para o sexo. Kelsey disse: — Querida, nesse momento você se parece como a irmãzinha adorável de alguém. Nenhum cara quer transar com sua irmãzinha. E se ele quiser, você não quer estar perto dele. Sim, definitivamente me senti como uma criança. — Assunto entendido. — Hmm... soa como se você estivesse praticando em desligar esse I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


cérebro hiperativo seu. Bom trabalho. Agora fique aqui e me deixe fazer minha magia. E por magia, ela queria dizer tortura. Depois de vetar três camisas que me fizeram sentir como uma prostituta, algumas calças que pareciam mais como leggings, e uma saia tão curta que ameaçou mostrar ao mundo o meu bumbum no caso de uma brisa suave, nós concordamos com uma calça capri jeans apertada com cintura baixa, e uma regata de renda preta que se sobressaia em contraste com minha branca pele pálida. — Pernas depiladas? Eu assenti. — Outras... coisas... depiladas? — O máximo que elas alguma vez estarão, sim, agora siga em frente. — Foi onde eu tracei o limite dessa conversa. Ela sorriu, mas não argumentou. — Bom. Bom. Camisinhas? — Na minha bolsa. — Cérebro? — Desligado. Ou bem... Com discagem lenta, de qualquer forma. — Excelente. Eu acho que nós estamos prontas. Eu não estava pronta. Nem um pouco. Havia uma razão para eu não ter feito sexo ainda, e agora eu sabia qual. Eu era uma maníaca por controle. Era o porquê de eu ter me saído tão bem na escola em toda a minha vida. Isso me tornou uma ótima gerente de palco — ninguém podia executar um ensaio de teatro como eu podia. E quando eu reunia a coragem para atuar — eu estava sempre mais preparada do que qualquer outro ator na aula. Mas sexo... era o oposto de controle. Havia emoções, e atração, e aquela outra maldita pessoa que tinha que estar envolvida. Não era a minha ideia de diversão. — Você está pensando muito — Kelsey disse. — Melhor do que não pensar o suficiente. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


— Não essa noite, né — ela disse. Eu aumentei o volume do iPod de Kelsey assim que nós entramos no carro para que eu pudesse pensar em paz. Eu podia fazer isso. Era apenas um problema que precisava ser solucionado, um item que precisava ser retirado da minha lista de afazeres. Era simples assim. Simples. Mantenha isso simples. Nós estacionamos do lado de fora do bar vários minutos mais tarde, e a noite parecia qualquer coisa, menos simples. Minha calça parecia muito apertada, minha blusa muito curta, e meu cérebro muito obscurecido. Eu queria vomitar. Eu não queria ser uma virgem. Disso eu tinha certeza. Eu não queria me sentir como uma puritana imatura que não sabia nada sobre sexo. Eu odiava não saber as coisas. O problema era... Por mais que eu não quisesse ser uma virgem, eu também não queria fazer sexo. O enigma de todos os enigmas. Por que esse não podia ser um daqueles tipos de coisas onde o quadrado é um retângulo, mas o retângulo nem sempre é um quadrado? Kelsey estava em pé do lado de fora da minha porta, seus sapatos de salto altos batendo no compasso de seus dedos enquanto ela me animava a sair do carro. Eu endireitei meus ombros, lancei meu cabelo (sem entusiasmo), e segui Kelsey para dentro do bar. Eu peguei o atalho para o bar, remexi para cima de uma baqueta, e acenei para o garçom. Ele era uma possibilidade. Cabelo loiro, constituição na média, rosto bonito. Nada especial, mas certamente não fora de questão. Ele podia ser bom para o simples. — O que eu posso conseguir para vocês, senhoras? Sotaque sulista. Definitivamente o tipo de garoto caseiro. Kelsey se intrometeu: I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


— Nós precisamos de duas doses de tequila, para começar. — Transforme em quatro — Eu resmunguei. Ele assobiou, e seus olhos encontraram os meus. — Aquele tipo de noite, hein? Eu não estava pronta para colocar em palavras que tipo de noite isso era. Então eu apenas disse: — Eu estou procurando por um líquido encorajador. — Ficaria feliz em ajudar — Ele piscou para mim, e mal estava fora do alcance da voz antes que Kelsey saltasse em seu assento, dizendo: — Ele é o cara! Ele é o cara! Suas palavras me fizeram sentir como se eu estivesse em uma montanha-russa, como se o mundo tivesse acabado de despencar e todos os meus órgãos estivessem brincando de pique-pega. Eu só precisava de mais tempo para me ajustar. É isso. Eu peguei o ombro de Kelsey, e a forcei a ficar parada. — Relaxe, Kels. Você se parece como um Chihuahua dos infernos. — O que? Ele é uma boa escolha. Bonitinho. Legal. E eu totalmente o vi olhando para os seus seios... DUAS VEZES. Ela não estava errada. Mas eu ainda não estava completamente interessada em dormir com ele, o que eu suponho não ter que excluí-lo, mas com certeza isso seria muito mais fácil se eu realmente estivesse interessada no cara. Eu disse: — Eu não tenho certeza... só não houve uma faísca. — Eu podia ver um olho rolando a caminho, então eu rapidamente disse: — Ainda! Quando o garçom voltou com nossos drinques, Kelsey pagou, e eu tomei minhas duas doses antes que ela sequer entregasse o seu cartão. Ele ficou por um momento, sorrindo para mim, antes de ir atender outro cliente. Eu roubei uma das doses sobressalentes de Kelsey. — Você tem sorte que essa seja uma grande noite para você, Bliss, ninguém se mete entre mim e minha tequila. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Eu estendi minha mão e disse: — Bem, ninguém vai se meter entre essas pernas ao menos que eu esteja bem e bêbada, então me entregue a última. Kelsey negou com sua cabeça, mas ela estava sorrindo. Depois de alguns segundos, ela desistiu, e com quatro doses de tequila no meu sistema a perspectiva de sexo parecia um pouco menos assustadora. Outro garçom apareceu, essa uma garota, e eu pedi um Jack e cocacola para bebericar enquanto eu ficava perplexa com essa grande confusão. Havia o garçom, mas ele não sairia até bem depois das duas da madrugada. Eu já estava uma destruição de nervos, então se isso se arrastasse até as altas horas da manhã, eu estaria completamente psicótica. Eu só conseguia imaginar... uma camisa-de-força devido ao sexo. Havia um cara em pé perto de mim que pareceu se aproximar vários centímetros a cada drinque que eu tomava, mas ele tinha que ter ao menos quarenta. Não, obrigada. Eu engoli mais do meu drinque, grata ao garçom ter carregado no Jack, e explorei o bar. — E quanto a ele? — Kelsey perguntou, apontando para um cara na mesa vizinha. — Muito bonito. — Ele? — Muito moderno. — E aquele ali? — Eca. Muito cabeludo. A lista continuou até que eu estivesse quase certa que essa noite era um fracasso. Kelsey sugeriu que nós fossemos para outro bar, o que era a última coisa que eu queria fazer. Eu disse a ela que eu tinha que ir ao banheiro, e esperava que alguém colocasse o olho nela enquanto eu estivesse desaparecido para que eu pudesse escapulir sem drama. O banheiro era nos fundos, passando a mesa de sinuca e a área de dardos, atrás da seção com algumas pequenas mesas redondas. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


E foi quando reparei nele. Bem, tecnicamente, eu notei o livro primeiro. E eu não conseguia manter a minha boca fechada. — Se essa é a sua tática para pegar garotas, eu sugeriria ir para um lugar com um pouco mais de fluxo. Ele ergueu os olhos do livro, e subitamente eu achei difícil engolir. Ele era de longe o cara mais atraente que eu tinha visto essa noite – cabelo loiro caindo em seus olhos azuis cristalinos, apenas um pouco desleixado na sua mandíbula para dá-lo uma aparência masculina sem deixá-lo muito cabeludo, e um rosto que poderia ter feito anjos cantarem. Não estava me fazendo cantar. Estava me fazendo ficar de boca aberta. Por que eu parei? Por que eu sempre tinha que me fazer de idiota? — Perdão? Minha mente ainda estava processando seu cabelo perfeito e olhos azuis brilhantes, então me levou um segundo para dizer: — Shakespeare. Ninguém lê Shakespeare em um bar ao menos que seja uma desculpa para pegar garotas. Tudo o que eu estou dizendo é que você pode ter melhor sorte na parte da frente. Ele não disse nada por um longo momento, mas então sua boca se dividiu em um sorriso revelando, imagina o que, dentes perfeitos! — Não é uma desculpa, mas se fosse, parece para mim que eu estou tendo uma grande sorte aqui. Um sotaque. ELE TINHA UM SOTAQUE BRITÂNICO. Santo Deus, eu estava morrendo. Respirar. Eu preciso respirar. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

Não se perca, Bliss. Ele abaixou seu livro, mas não antes de marcar a leitura. Meu Deus, ele realmente estava lendo Shakespeare em um bar. — Você não está tentando pegar uma garota? — Eu não estava. Meu cérebro analítico não perdeu o seu uso do tempo passado. Como


se... ele não estivesse tentando seduzir ninguém antes, mas talvez ele estivesse agora. Eu dei outra olhada nele. Ele estava sorrindo agora – dentes brancos, mandíbula com barba por fazer que o fazia parecer absolutamente delicioso. Sim, eu definitivamente estava seduzida. E somente aquele pensamento foi o bastante para me deixar em choque. — Qual é o seu nome, amor? Amor? AMOR? Ainda morrendo, aqui. — Bliss4. — Isso é uma deixa? Eu corei. — Não, é meu nome. — Nome adorável para uma garota adorável. — O timbre da sua voz entrou naquela baixa entonação que fazia meu interior enrolar em si mesmo – era como se meu útero estivesse fazendo uma dança feliz com o restante dos meus órgãos24. Deus, eu estava morrendo a mais longa, mais torturante, e excitante morte na história do mundo. Isso era como sempre seria estar excitada? Sem impressionar que o sexo conseguia que as pessoas fizessem coisas malucas. — Bem Bliss, eu sou novo na cidade, e eu já me tranquei do lado de fora do meu apartamento. Eu estou esperando o chaveiro, realmente, e eu imaginei em fazer bom uso desse tempo livre. — Ao revisar o seu Shakespeare? — Tentando, de qualquer forma. Honestamente, eu nunca gostei do cara tanto assim, mas vamos manter isso em segredo entre nós, tá? Eu estava bastante certa que minhas bochechas ainda estavam manchadas de vermelho, se o calor saindo delas fosse alguma indicação. De fato, todo o meu corpo se sentia como se estivesse em chamas. Eu não estava certa se era vergonha ou seu sotaque estava para me fazer entrar em combustão espontânea na frente dele. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

4

Bliss significa êxtase.


— Você parece desapontada, Bliss. Você é uma fã de Shakespeare? Eu assenti, porque minha garganta pode ter se fechado. Ele enrugou seu nariz em resposta, e minhas mãos coçaram para seguir a linha do seu nariz descendo aos seus lábios. Eu estava enlouquecendo. Realmente, comprovadamente insana. — Não me diga que você é uma fã de Romeu e Julieta? Agora, isso. Isso era algo que eu podia discutir. — Othello, de fato. É o meu favorito. — Ah. A Justa Desdemona. Leal e Pura. Meu coração gaguejou com a palavra pura. — Eu, hum —, eu lutei para encaixar meus pensamentos. — Eu gosto da justaposição da razão e paixão. — Eu mesmo sou um fã da paixão. — Seus olhos mergulharam em seguida, e correram o comprimento da minha forma. Minha coluna formigou até ela parecer como se fosse explodir da minha pele. — Você não perguntou o meu nome — ele disse. Eu limpei minha garganta. Isso não podia ser atraente. Eu era tão sociável quanto um homem das cavernas. Eu perguntei: — Qual é o seu nome? Ele inclinou sua cabeça, e seu cabelo quase cobriu seus olhos. — Junte-se a mim, e eu lhe direi. Eu não pensei em outra coisa além do fato que minhas pernas estavam moles, e me sentar preveniria que eu fizesse algo embaraçoso como desmaiar pelo influxo de hormônios, que estavam com bastante clareza, sendo liberados geral no meu cérebro. Eu me afundei na cadeira, mas ao invés de alívio, a tensão se intensificou a outro nível. Ele falou, e meus olhos se agarraram aos seus lábios. — Meu nome é Garrick. Quem diria que nomes poderiam ser ardentes, também? — É bom te conhecer, Garrick. Ele inclinou-se para frente em seus cotovelos, e eu notei seus ombros I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


largos, e a maneira com que seus músculos se moviam por debaixo do tecido da sua camisa. Então nossos olhos se conectaram, e o bar a nossa volta foi de turvo a escuro, enquanto eu era enredada por àqueles azuis bebês. — Eu vou comprar um drinque a você. — Não tinha a intenção de ser uma pergunta. De fato, quando ele olhava para mim, não havia nada questionador nele, absolutamente, apenas confiança. — Depois nós podemos conversar mais sobre razão e... paixão.

I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?” I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


dois se a sensação de queimação no meu peito tinha a ver com o olhar semicerrado que Garrick estava me dando ou o restante do meu primeiro Jack e Coca que eu tinha acabado de engolir como se fosse água. Um garçom chegou com o aceno de Garrick, e eu levei um momento para me dar uma silenciosa conversa estimulante enquanto ele pedia para si um drinque. — Bliss? — Garrick solicitou. Sua voz provocou arrepios em mim. Eu olhei para cima para ele, então para o garçom, que veio a ser o Garoto Garçom de antes. Eu abri minha boca para pedir por outro Jack e Coca, mas o Garoto Garçom me impediu com uma mão em meu ombro. — Eu me lembro – Jack e Coca, certo? Eu assenti, e ele me lançou uma piscadela e um sorriso. Eu parei me perguntando por um segundo como ele sabia o meu pedido. Eu estava bastante certa que a garota garçonete me serviu por último. Ele ainda estava sorrindo para mim, então eu me forcei a falar. — Obrigada, hum... — Brandon — ele forneceu. — Obrigada, Brandon. Ele olhou para Garrick, e depois se focou de volta em mim. — Eu devo dizer à sua amiga lá na frente que você estaria bem aqui I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


atrás? — Oh, hum, certo, eu imagino. Ele sorriu em resposta, e permaneceu ali olhando para mim por alguns segundos antes dele se virar para seguir de volta ao bar. Eu sabia que eu tinha que olhar para Garrick novamente, mas eu estava apavorada que eu fosse derreter em uma poça de excitação e embaraço se eu encontrasse seus exuberantes olhos novamente. Ele disse: — Sabe, algumas vezes eu me pergunto se Desdemona era tão inocente quanto ela demonstrava. Talvez ela soubesse o efeito que ela tinha nos caras, e gostava de fazê-los sentir ciúmes. Eu encontrei seus olhos em seguida, e eles estavam estreitos, me estudando. Eu engoli meu nervoso e o estudei de volta. — Ou talvez ela estivesse apenas intimidada pela intensidade de Othello e não sabia como falar com ele. Comunicação é a chave, afinal de contas. — Comunicação, hein? — Poderia ter resolvido muito dos problemas deles. — Nesse caso, eu irei me esforçar a ser tão claro quanto possível. — Ele ergueu sua cadeira e a colocou a meros centímetros da minha. Ele se afundou ao meu lado e disse: — Eu gostaria que você não voltasse para sua amiga. Fique aqui comigo. Engula, Bliss. Eu disse a mim mesma, você tem que engolir ou você I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

pode começar a babar. — Bem, minha amiga está esperando. O que nós faremos se eu ficar? Ele estendeu uma mão e empurrou meu cabelo do meu ombro. Sua mão roçou sobre meu pescoço, pausando no meu ponto pulsante, o qual deveria estar enlouquecendo. — Nós podemos conversar sobre Shakespeare. Nós podemos conversar sobre qualquer coisa que você queira. Embora eu não possa


prometer não ficar distraído pelo seu adorável pescoço. — Seus dedos viajaram sobre minha mandíbula, até eles alcançarem meu queixo, o qual ele puxou para frente levemente com a pressão do seu dedo indicador. — Ou seus lábios. Ou esses olhos. Eu podia cortejar você com estórias sobre minha vida, como Othello faz com Desdemona. Eu já estava suficientemente cortejada. Minha resposta foi vergonhosamente sem fôlego: — Eu prefiro não comparar nossa noite com um casal que terminou com um assassinato/suicídio. Ele sorriu, e seus dedos caíram do meu queixo. Minha pele queimava onde ele tinha me tocado, e eu tive que me impedir de me inclinar para frente e seguir seu toque. — Touché. Eu não me importo com o que nós façamos contanto que você fique. — Tudo bem. Eu estava imensamente orgulhosa por ter conseguido uma resposta calma ao invés de Querido Deus, sim, eu farei qualquer coisa que você peça que estava, no momento presente, correndo pela minha mente. — Talvez eu deva me trancar do lado de fora do apartamento com mais frequência. Eu prefiro que nós nos tranquemos no lado de dentro, na verdade. Meu bolso começou a vibrar, e eu corri para atender meu celular antes que soasse o meu vergonhoso toque de uma boyband. — Sim? — Você caiu ou o que? Era Kelsey. — Não, Kelsey, eu não. Escute, porque você apenas não segue para casa sem mim. Os olhos de Garrick escureceram, e minha respiração acelerou enquanto seu olhar caia para meus lábios. — Você não vai se safar disso, Bliss. Você vai transar essa noite nem I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


que eu mesma tenha que fazer isso. Deus, ela não podia falar mais alto? Eu achei que Garrick tinha que ter ouvido, mas seus olhos nunca deixaram meus lábios. — Isso não será necessário, Kels. Eu tentei pensar em um jeito secreto de contar a ela que eu já tinha encontrado meu cara, quando eu ouvi um consumo de respiração seguido por — OH. MEU. DEUS. Eu olhei sobre o ombro de Garrick em tempo de ver o sorriso amplo de Kelsey, e o impuro gesto de mão que seguiu. — Tá, tudo bem, então eu falarei com você mais tarde, Kels? — Você muito certamente que vai. Você irá me ligar e me contar cada detalhe maravilhoso de cair morta. — Nós veremos. — É melhor você fazer mais do que ver essa noite, querida. Eu espero que seus olhos estejam completamente abertos depois do encontro dessa noite. Eu desliguei sem dar uma resposta. — Sua amiga? — ele perguntou. Eu assenti, porque seu olhar atual fazia meu sangue ferver. Nunca na minha vida eu me senti tão excitada por alguém que nem sequer estava me tocando. Sexo saía do homem em ondas, e eu estava surpresa em encontrar o quanto interessado eu estava em aprender como nadar. — Você vai ficar? Eu assenti novamente, cada músculo no meu corpo tenso. Se ele não me beijasse logo, eu ia explodir. Apenas quando eu pensei que ele fosse, o Garoto Garçom retornou com nossos drinques. Ele apareceu com um sorriso, o qual despencou em ver o quanto perto Garrick e eu estávamos. — Desculpe ter demorado tanto. Nós nos atolamos lá na frente. Eu me agarrei à distração. — Não tem problema, Brandon. — Certo. Você precisa de algo mais? I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


— Não, eu estou bem. Os olhos de Brandon tremeluziram para Garrick, e em seguida ele se inclinou um pouco mais perto de mim. — Você tem certeza? — Nós temos certeza — Garrick demarcou curtamente antes de entregar a ele algumas notas. — Fique com o troco. Brandon verificou mais um casal que estava algumas mesas distante, e depois ele partiu para frente do bar novamente. Quando ele estava fora do alcance da voz, eu me virei de volta para Garrick. Eu percebi que seu braço tinha feito o seu caminho contornando minha cadeira. — Você é do tipo ciumento, Garrick? — Não de fato. Eu ergui uma sobrancelha, e ele sorriu descaradamente. Ele disse: — Talvez essa discussão de Othello tenha me deixado um pouco no limite. — Então vamos falar sobre outra coisa. Que horas o chaveiro disse que estaria pelo seu apartamento? Ele olhou brevemente no seu relógio, e eu peguei a oportunidade para olhar a incrível constituição dos seus braços. — Ele deve estar lá muito em breve. — Você deve ir e esperar por ele? — Era difícil apontar exatamente o que eu queria naquele momento. Eu definitivamente gostei dele, e eu definitivamente queria que ele me beijasse, mas eu estava tão acostumada a sabotar coisas assim que elas nunca chegavam tão longe. Eu estava sempre procurando por uma porta dos fundos, uma saída. — Você está tentando se livrar de mim? Eu respirei. Sem volta. Sem portas dos fundos, não dessa vez. Eu mordi meu lábio, e olhei para ele. Eu esperava que ele não lesse o medo vibrando por baixo da minha confiança fachada. Eu disse: — Eu imagino, que nós podemos ir e esperar por ele. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Ele olhou para meus lábios novamente. Morrendo... eu estava morrendo para ele me beijar. — Muito melhor. Ele se levantou e ofereceu seu braço para mim. — Minha dama? — Você não quer terminar nossos drinques? Ele pegou minha mão, e pressionou seus lábios contra o lado interno do meu pulso. — Eu já estou intoxicado. Eu ri, porque a deixa era ridícula (e porque eu não queria admitir que ainda assim funcionou). Ele sorriu. — Muito demasiado? O que eu posso dizer... O Poeta me deu um faro para o melodrama. — Vamos tentar para algum realismo ao invés disso. Ele disse: — Eu acho que eu posso fazer isso. Eu mal tinha processado suas palavras antes dele me puxar para cima da cadeira e cobrir minha boca com a sua. Sua essência me sobrecarregou – cítrico e couro e algo mais que fez minha boca aguar. Eu estava muito chocada para reagir. Eu estava intensamente consciente do fato que ele estava me beijando no meio de um bar, até ele mordiscar meu lábio inferior. Em seguida eu me esqueci sobre tudo exceto ele. Todo o meu corpo estremeceu, e meu coração despencou em direção ao meu estômago como se a força da gravidade tivesse dobrado. Minha cabeça estava nadando, mas eu não me importei. Eu abri minha boca, e imediatamente sua língua entrou, tomando controle. Minhas mãos se fecharam nas suas costas, e em resposta, ele me puxou mais perto. Seu beijo era lento e em seguida rápido, tenro depois provocador. Nós estávamos pressionados tão firmemente que eu podia sentir cada rota do seu corpo, mas ainda assim eu queria ficar mais perto. Sua mão escorregou subindo a parte de trás da minha camisa – dedos quentes pressionando na minha carne já superaquecida. Um gemido escapou da minha boca com o contato íntimo. Imediatamente, eu me I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


arrependi, porque o som pareceu clarear sua mente, e ele se afastou. Eu não podia impedir meus lábios de seguirem-no, mas ele permaneceu fora do alcance do meu beijo. Ao invés disso ele gemeu, mergulhou sua cabeça, e colocou um beijo ardente no meu pescoço. Meu cérebro definitivamente estava em discagem lenta. Eu era todo corpo naquele momento, e Deus, isso parecia bom. Eu era somente a soma das minhas terminações nervosas, as quais estavam enlouquecendo. Ele exalou pesadamente, e chamuscou minha pele. Sua voz estava rouca quando ele falou —: Desculpe. Me deixei levar. Aquelas eram exatamente as palavras certas. Deixado levar. Eu nunca estive tão envolvida por outra pessoa antes. Eu nunca estive tão... fora de controle. Estava de uma vez me excitando e me aterrorizando. Seu rosto apareceu na frente do meu, e eu tentei manter minha expressão neutra. Sua mão deslizou para fora da minha camisa, e eu estremeci, minha pele triste com a perda. Ele deu um passo para trás. — Certo. Talvez seja hora para um pouco mais de razão, pouco menos paixão. Eu ri, mas no interior eu estava dando um dedo do meio à razão. Ela tinha me dominado muito tempo. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


três comigo, certo? Eu olhei para ele, me perguntando se meu lado esdrúxulo de controle podia lidar com isso. Sua mão roçou na minha mandíbula. — Eu prometo que eu irei devagar. Eu neguei com minha cabeça, e sua mão caiu. — Eu não acho que eu possa fazer isso. — Apenas se segure em mim. Eu prometo... você irá se divertir. — Garrick... — Bliss, só confie em mim. Eu respirei fundo. Eu podia fazer isso. Eu só tinha que reduzir a discagem do meu cérebro como Kelsey disse. — Tudo bem, mas se apresse... antes que eu mude de ideia. Seu rosto se dividiu em um sorriso, e ele colocou um rápido beijo na minha testa. — Muito bem. Em seguida ele cuidadosamente fixou o capacete sobre meu cabelo, jogou uma perna sobre a sua moto, e ofereceu sua mão a mim. Eu repreendi minhas reservas, e escorreguei minha mão na dele. O assento era curvo então mesmo embora eu tentasse me sentar alguns centímetros para trás, eu deslizava até que meu corpo estivesse pressionado bem contra o dele. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Sua mão fixou-se no meu joelho, seus dedos curvando até que eles fizeram cócegas na área sensível na parte de trás. — Segure-se em mim. Eu fiz como ele disse, e quase tive um aneurisma quando eu pude sentir os cumes do seu abdômen através da sua camisa. Subitamente eu estava ultra-consciente da pequena barriga que repousava justo acima do meu jeans. Ele ia dar uma longa olhada no meu corpo e saber que eu não era boa o bastante para ele. Inferno, ele provavelmente podia sentir essa pequena barriga contra as suas costas agora, e já estava se arrependendo disso. Depois a mão ao redor do meu joelho deu um rápido puxão, e mesmo embora eu não soubesse que nós poderíamos nos aproximar, nós nos aproximamos. Eu não estava apenas pressionada contra ele. Eu estava engessada nele. Minha pélvis estava tão firme contra ele que uma tontura rompeu de mim. E no mesmo momento , nós decolamos. Eu enfiei minhas mãos no seu meio, e ele pulou, toda a moto guinando para o lado. Eu gritei. Bem, mais como berrei. Direto na sua orelha. Ele nos endireitou, e em seguida reduziu a uma parada na placa de pare. — Tudo bem? Com meu rosto enterrado contra seu ombro, eu consegui chiar: — Sim. — Desculpe, amor, eu só tenho um pouquinho de cócegas, é tudo. — Oh. — Eu afrouxei meus dedos que estavam praticamente engatados nas suas laterais. Graças a Deus ele não podia ver o meu rosto nesse momento. Vermelho não me dava uma boa aparência. Ele pegou minhas mãos, e a puxou até que meus antebraços estivessem cruzados no seu meio, e meus braços estivessem envoltos nele por completo. — Assim está melhor. Vamos dar outra partida. Dessa vez quando ele disparou, eu não gritei. Ele adquiriu velocidade I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


lentamente, e eu mantive minha bochecha achatada contra suas costas com meus olhos fechados. Shakespeare estava preso na minha cabeça da nossa conversa anterior, então eu recitei tudo que eu sabia para manter minha mente ocupada. Eu comecei com o monólogo de Hamlet. Depois passei para o Discurso do Dia de São Crispim de Henry V. Eu estava terminando o monólogo de Macbeth Amanhã e Amanhã e Amanhã5 quando Garrick interrompeu. — Você realmente ama o Poeta. Mortificação estava se tornando minha emoção padrão. Imagino que eu não estava recitando aqueles na minha cabeça como eu pensei que estava. — Oh, eu, hum, apenas memorizo muito facilmente. Minha bochecha ainda contra suas costas, eu tentei acalmar meu coração acelerado. Agora que a moto não estava se movendo, meu cérebro estava livre para temer aquela outra coisa sobre a qual eu tinha estado ativamente não pensando. Sexo. Eu ai fazer sexo. Com um cara. Um cara ardente. Um ardente cara BRITÂNICO. Ou talvez eu fosse vomitar. E se eu vomitasse no ardente cara Britânico? E se eu vomitasse no ardente cara Britânico DURANTE O SEXO? — Bliss? Eu recuei, horrorizada e me perguntando se eu acidentalmente falei alto novamente. — Sim? — Nós podemos sair da moto a qualquer hora. — Oh. — Eu arrastei meus braços para trás tão rapidamente que eu I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

5

Amanhã, amanhã e amanhã é o começo da segunda estrofe do monólogo.


quase perdi meu equilíbrio e caí da moto. Com sorte, com apenas um pequeno guincho, eu consegui me estabilizar, e lentamente deslizei para fora da moto. Então minha panturrilha roçou em um tubo na lateral da moto, e eu estava gritando novamente. Estava quente. Tão MALDITAMENTE quente. E agora minha pele estava ardendo. — Bliss? Eu tinha mancado a vários metros de distância da moto no momento em que Garrick me alcançou. Apesar dos meus punhos fechados, e da maneira que eu estava mordendo meu lábio para segurar a dor, meus olhos estavam despedaçados. Suas mãos fecharam em conchas no meu rosto, e em seguida ele olhou para baixo à minha perna onde uma vermelha equimose estava brilhando cerca de três centímetros abaixo da bainha da minha calça capri. — Oh, droga. Eu mantive meus lábios bem fechados, duvidosa se eu pudesse abrir minha boca sem chorar. Garrick escorregou o seu braço ao redor da minha cintura, e eu joguei um sobre seu ombro. — Venha, amor. Vamos esperar que o chaveiro já tenha chegado. Pela primeira vez, eu olhei ao redor e percebi onde nós estávamos. Nós estávamos no meu condomínio. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

Nós vivíamos no mesmo condomínio! Eu guerreei se eu deveria dizer algo enquanto ele me guiava em direção ao seu apartamento. Eu quase mencionei quando nós passamos meu próprio carro, mas então eu me relembrei que isso deveria ser uma coisa de uma noite. Ele estava a um prédio acima do meu. Graças a Deus. E se ele morasse bem ao meu lado, e eu tivesse que vê-lo todos os dias após o, sem dúvida, terrível sexo que eu estava prestes a tentar ter com ele? Nós chegamos à sua porta. Sem chaveiro.


A pele da minha panturrilha parecia quente, como se eu estivesse de pé ao lado de uma chama viva. Ele dispensou a mim um olhar preocupado, e em seguida puxou o seu telefone. Ele apertou o botão de ligar duas vezes, refazendo a última chamada que ele discou. Ele se distanciou de mim para falar, e eu me inclinei pesadamente contra a parede ao lado da sua porta. Evidentemente, eu não estava no clima de fazer sexo. Isso era Deus me dizendo que eu estava predestinada a ser uma freira. Prenda-te em um convento, e toda essa baboseira. Eu estava tão delirante que eu estava confundindo Deus e Shakespeare. Garrick voltou, e mesmo seu franzir de cenho era exuberante. — Más notícias. O chaveiro se atrasou, e não estará aqui por outra hora. Eu tentei não me encolher. Eu falhei. Ele se ajoelhou, e seus dedos correram subindo a minha canela, parando a poucos centímetros à direita da queimadura. Graça a Deus eu estava depilada. Ele respirou fundo, e soltou lentamente pelo seu nariz. Ele fechou seus olhos por um momento, e em seguida assentiu. — Certo. Bem, nesse caso, nós devemos talvez levar você à Emergência do Hospital. — O que? Não! O que Kelsey diria? Eu saí com o objetivo de fazer sexo, e ao invés disso eu terminei na Emergência do Hospital. FML6. — Bliss, a queimadura não está tão ruim, mas se você não começar a tratá-la, vai doer como um inferno. Eu bati minha cabeça de volta contra a parede, e soprei uma mecha de cabelo do meu rosto. — Eu não moro longe. Nós podemos apenas ir para minha casa. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

6

Significa Fuck my Life: Ferre com a minha vida.


— Oh. Tudo bem. Seu sorriso voltou ao seu rosto, e por um breve segundo eu estava muito inundada em outros sentimentos para me lembrar da dor. Ele continuou: — Nós vamos ter que tomar cuidado em colocar você de volta na moto. Não queremos que você se queime novamente. Eu mordi meu lábio inferior. — Nós não temos realmente que pegar a moto. Ele graciosamente arqueou uma sobrancelha. — Quando eu disse que não moro longe, eu quis dizer que eu moro no prédio seguinte. Ambas as sobrancelhas se ergueram em seguida. Sua surpresa apenas durou um segundo antes de uma expressão diferente cruzar seu rosto – uma mais difícil de decifrar que fez as borboletas no meu estômago começarem a ter convulsões. — Vamos para o seu apartamento, então... vizinha. Eu senti meus joelhos fracos, e não apenas por causa da dor. Eu engoli, mas minha boca ainda parecia seca. Ele não colocou seus braços ao meu redor novamente, mas seus dedos tocaram minhas costas levemente, e em seguida eles permaneceram ali conforme nós caminhávamos. Nós chegamos ao meu apartamento em menos do que um minuto. Sua mão caiu para a parte baixa das minhas costas enquanto eu remexia por minhas chaves, e por um segundo, eu me esqueci sobre o que eu estava procurando. Chaves. Para o meu apartamento. O qual ele estava prestes a entrar. Comigo. Sozinhos. Para fazer sexo. Sexo. Sexo. Sexo. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Meus dedos pareciam quebrados conforme eu tentava e falhava inserir a chave na fechadura. Ele não disse nada. Nem ele tirou as chaves de mim – o que foi legal, por que isso teria me irritado totalmente. Eu poderia ser uma ruína mental, emocional e física, mas eu não precisava que um cara girasse a chave para mim. Sua mão permaneceu calmamente, gentilmente, pacientemente contra minhas costas até que eu conseguisse forçar a porta a abrir. Quando eu pisei adiante dentro do corredor escuro, sua mão não seguiu. Eu olhei atrás para ele, de pé no alpendre, sua mão agora enfiada casualmente nos seus bolsos. Seu sorriso estava torto, cativante, e deslumbrantemente de parar o batimento cardíaco. Mas ele parecia como se não estivesse planejando entrar. Era isso. Ele tinha mudado de ideia. Porque eu era uma completa bagunça. Porque ele não mudaria? Eu respirei, me relembrando que eu era incrível. Eu não era insegura ou tímida. Eu só era uma virgem. Não uma grande coisa. E se eu alguma vez quisesse não ser uma virgem, eu ia ter que fazer sexo. Hora de ser durão, hum... durona. — Você está esperando por um convite? — eu perguntei, olhando-o em pé cuidadosamente do lado de fora da minha porta. — Essa é a parte onde você me diz que você é um vampiro? Ele riu. — Não, eu prometo que a palidez é apenas porque eu sou Britânico. — Então pelo que você está esperando? O que aconteceu com o cara que me fez sentar para descobrir o seu nome e tornou bastante evidente que ele não queria que eu voltasse para a minha amiga? — O que aconteceu com o cara que foi ousado em formas que eu apenas podia fingir ser? Ele deu um passo, então ele estava de pé na entrada da porta, e inclinado contra o batente. — Aquele cara está tentando ser um cavalheiro, porque por mais que ele queria que você voltasse para a casa dele e por mais que ele queria beijar você – você está machucada, e eu temo que de fato você não me queira aqui. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


— Você quer dizer que ele está com medo. — Hmm? — Você estava falando na terceira pessoa, e então mudou para primeira... — E eu estava incoerente. — É, eu estava. — Ele ainda estava sorrindo. O que isso significava? — Foi legal te conhecer, Bliss. Essa era a saída fácil se eu não quisesse prosseguir com isso. Se eu quisesse que minha virgindade visse a luz do dia... novamente. Ele estava se retirando. Tudo o que eu tinha que fazer era deixá-lo ir. — Espere! Ele sorriu um pequeno, sorriso oculto, e ergueu aquela uma sobrancelha novamente. Eu respirei através do meu medo. — Se ele está tentando ser um cavalheiro, ele não deveria ficar e tentar ajudar a garota machucada que não sabe nada sobre tratar queimaduras de moto? Seus olhos deixaram os meus para olhar para a minha panturrilha, e quando ele olhou para cima novamente, seus olhos encontraram meus lábios ao invés disso. — A garota machucada está certa. Seria uma coisa cavalheira a se fazer. Em seguida ele entrou no meu apartamento e fechou a porta. A luz dos postes do lado de fora desapareceram, e nós ficamos no corredor escurecido porque minha luz do teto tinha queimado por semanas, e eu ainda não tinha substituído. Eu podia sentir o calor radiando dele conforme ele se aproximava. Sua mão mais uma vez colocada na parte inferior das minhas costas, e ele sussurrou no escuro: — Lidere o caminho, amor. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


quatro

no meu banheiro com uma regata e calcinha com minha calça ao redor dos meus joelhos, no limite de hiper-ventilar. Garrick estava do lado de fora da porta, e era como se ele fosse um ímã. Meu coração continuou tentando saltar do meu peito em direção a ele. Ele me disse para tirar a calça capri, e que eu precisava evitar usar roupas apertadas sobre a queimadura por um tempo. Ele tinha se oferecido a me ajudar a tirar a calça capri, mas isso me fez sentir como se eu fosse vomitar. Então ao invés disso, eu comecei a retirá-la sozinha, tentando e falhando em impedir o tecido de tocar na maldita pele. Eu deslizei o material um pouco mais abaixo, e mordi meu lábio para tentar silenciar um gemido. — Bliss? — Garrick bateu levemente na porta. — Você está bem? — Apenas indo bem! — Eu disse de volta. Eu arrastei a calça novamente e ofeguei. — Bliss, apenas me deixe ajudar. Você está me preocupando. Eu fechei meus olhos, tentando pensar em uma forma de contornar isso. Mancando desajeitadamente com meu jeans ao redor dos meus joelhos, eu encontrei uma saia com uma cintura de elástico na minha cesta. Eu a arrastei por sobre a minha cabeça, e abaixei para cobrir minha calcinha, e então me sentei na privada. Eu apalpei minhas bochechas, certas que elas estavam provavelmente I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


com uma tonalidade humilhantemente vermelha. Nada que eu pudesse fazer sobre isso. Eu disse. — Tudo bem. Entre. A porta oscilou aberta lentamente, e a cabeça de Garrick espiou pelo ângulo, seguida pelo restante dele. Ele deu uma olhada na minha saia amarrotada, e no jeans agrupado ao redor dos meus joelhos. Em seguida ele riu. Uma rouca gargalhada, realmente. — Isso é tão humilhante. — Como eu sequer ia fazer sexo com ele agora? Ele pressionou seus lábios para parar de rir, mas diversão ainda dançava nos seus olhos. — Me desculpe. Eu sei que você está com dor. Você só se parece tão... — Ridícula? — Bonitinha. Eu o nivelei com um olhar. — Ridiculamente bonitinha. Seu sorriso era intoxicante, e eu não pude evitar meu sorriso relutante. — Tudo bem. Agora que você teve a sua gargalhada, me ajude a tirar minha calça —, eu disse com o mesmo sarcasmo que eu estava confiando desde que ele entrou. Ou ele não captou o sarcasmo ou ele apenas não se importou porque seus olhos se fixaram em mim de uma forma que eu podia apenas descrever como francamente predatória. Subitamente, muito mais do que minha perna estava queimando. Ele olhou para mim por um momento antes de abaixar seus olhos, e limpar sua garganta. Ajoelhando-se ao meu lado, ele pegou minha perna em suas mãos. Eu já tinha começado a arrastar a capri para baixo, então a queimadura estava coberta no momento. Sua mão pairou sobre o zíper, que estava agora no meio das minhas coxas. Ele limpou sua garganta novamente, e em seguida enfiou sua mão por baixo da perna da minha calça. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


ATAQUE. CARDÍACO. Eu estava absolutamente certa que eu estava tendo um. Usando sua outra mão, ele arrastou o jeans para baixo tão longe quanto ele podia, justo sobre meus joelhos. Ele olhou acima para mim, limpou sua garganta novamente, e disse: — Eu posso pegar emprestada a sua mão? Eu não conseguia falar, mas eu coloquei minha mão direita para frente, a palma da qual estava vergonhosamente suada. Ele pegou minha mão, e a colocou dentro da perna da minha calça para se unir a dele. — Mantenha sua mão aqui, e puxe o tecido tão longe da sua perna quanto você puder. Eu farei o mesmo na parte de baixo. E nós tentaremos deslizá-la sem tocar na queimadura. Eu assenti, minha mão dez vezes mais firme do que meu coração. Ele deslizou sua mão para cima e para baixo, seu leve toque causando arrepios em mim. Ele fez como ele disse, arrastando o tecido para longe da minha pele na parte inferior, e então juntos nós tentamos tirar a calça. Não foi a missão das mais eficientes. Esse jeans estava indecentemente apertado (graças à Kelsey), e de vez em quando o tecido esbarrava na minha pele, e eu me encolhia. — Desculpa — ele se desculpava toda vez como se fosse culpa dele. Eu queria corrigi-lo, mas eu só amava a maneira com que ele dizia ―dexxxculpa‖ tanto assim que eu deixei isso para lá. Depois de um minuto ou dois de lenta e cuidadosa manobra, meu jeans atingiu o chão. Nós dois gargalhamos – da maneira que você vê as pessoas nos filmes rirem depois que eles acabaram de difundir uma bomba. E quando eu parei de rir, eu percebi que sua mão ainda estava na minha perna. Uma mão estava fechada ao redor do meu tornozelo, e a outra estava roçando suavemente contra a pele ao redor da queimadura. Se ele continuasse me tocando assim, eu ia derreter em uma poça bem ali no chão. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


— Hum, obrigada. Ele pareceu perceber então o que ele estava fazendo. Seus olhos se agitaram rapidamente para suas mãos. Ao invés de afastar imediatamente, ele sorriu, roçou sua mão lentamente descendo minha perna, e depois soltou. — Sem problema. Agora nós precisamos esfriar isso. Nós podemos colocá-la debaixo da água fria. — Eu imaginei minha perna se elevando até a pia, ou nós dois tentando manobrá-la na banheira. Meu rosto deve ter dado uma pista, porque ele adicionou —, Ou apenas tecido molhado frio irá funcionar. Eu entreguei a ele uma toalhinha do cesto atrás de mim, e ele se virou para a pia, esperando até que a água estivesse fria antes umedecer o pano. Eu inspirei um fôlego enquanto ele o colocava sobre minha queimadura, mas o frio era bom, suficiente que eu relaxei pela primeira vez desde que nós entramos no meu apartamento. — Melhor? Eu assenti. — Muito. Eu nunca irei vestir jeans apertado assim novamente. Ele curvou um sorriso. — Agora isso seria uma pena. Eu ia precisar de um ventilador para me manter fresca se ele continuasse dizendo coisas assim. — Escute — ele começou. — Me desculpe sobre isso. Eu nunca teria pressionado você para subir naquela moto. — Não é sua culpa que eu não sei nada sobre motos, e eu não percebi que ela seria quente. — Eu não posso acreditar que você nunca esteve em uma moto. — Tá, bem, há muitas coisas que eu nunca fiz. Ele arqueou uma sobrancelha. — Como o que? — Bem... — Eu juro que meu batimento cardíaco soou como estúpida, estú-pida conforme ele batia nas minhas orelhas. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


— Hum, até hoje eu nunca conheci ninguém que fosse Britânico. Ele riu, penteando seus dedos inconscientemente pelo seu cabelo. Isso me fez querer pentear meus dedos pelo seu cabelo. Ele disse: — Foi por isso que você me beijou, não foi? Todas vocês garotas Americanas parecem amar sotaques. Eu engoli meu sorriso e disse: — Eu acredito que você foi aquele que me beijou. Ele se levantou, e seu cabelo loiro bagunçado caiu sobre a sua testa, enquadrando aqueles olhos diabólicos. — É, fui eu. Ele passou o pano sob a água novamente para mantê-lo frio, mas meu corpo estava muito aquecido para realmente dizer a diferença quando ele colocou-o de volta na minha pele. Sua outra mão fechada sobre meu tornozelo novamente. Eu mantive minha respiração cuidadosamente firme, e disse: — Sua vez. — Hmm? — Algo que você nunca fez? — Bem, eu nunca bati papo com uma garota em um pub antes dessa noite. Minha mandíbula despencou. — Jura? — Como isso era possível? Ele era esplêndido! Talvez todas as garotas apenas se lançassem nele antes dele sequer entrar no bar, para que ele nunca tivesse que se incomodar em entrar. Ele encolheu de ombros, e com o movimento seu polegar começou a roçar para frente e para trás contra a parte de cima do meu pé. — Eu sei que isso vai contra o estereótipo Inglês, mas eu não sou muito de ficar sovado, hum, bêbado, todo o tempo. — Eu também — eu disse. E eu quis dizer isso, mesmo embora minha cabeça ainda estivesse zumbindo de toda aquela tequila. — Então o que trouxe esse Britânico não estereopitado ao Texas? I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Ele encolheu de ombros. — Eu estou nos Estados Unidos por um tempo. Eu vim aqui para frequentar a escola, e nunca voltei. Eu realmente só voltei para o Texas, entretanto. Não tinha estado aqui por alguns anos. — Eu também. Só voltei para cá alguns anos atrás. Eu tinha crescido no Texas quando eu era pequena, mas nós nos mudamos para Minnesota quando eu estava na oitava série. Sempre foi meu plano voltar para cá para a faculdade. Ele re-umideceu o pano mais uma vez, e nós nos sentamos ali e conversamos. Ele me contou sobre crescer na Inglaterra, e quão diferente tinha sido viver nos estados. — A primeira vez que um sujeito me disse que ele gostou das minhas calças7, eu fiquei tão chocado que eu achei que sai de casa me esquecendo de algumas coisas fundamentais. — Calças? Eu não entendo. — É como nós chamamos roupas íntimas, amor. — Oh — eu ri. — Bom saber. — Quando eu pedi a um colega de classe um esfregão, vocês a chamam de borracha, todos riram tanto que eu estava pronto para embarcar em um vôo direto de volta para Londres. Eu tentei segurar minha gargalhada, e falhei. Mas eu descobri que ele merecia isso após rir do calvário das minhas calças, hum... jeans, antes. — Isso deve ter sido terrível. Ele alcançou a gaze que eu tinha retirado do armário antes, e ele cuidadosamente colocou sobre a queimadura, e fechou as bordas enquanto ele falava. — Você se acostuma com isso. Eu estou aqui há tanto tempo que eu normalmente administro bastante bem. Ocasionalmente quando eu visito Londres, e volto, eu tenho alguns problemas de ajuste, mas de um todo, eu diria que eu estou completamente Americanizado. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

7

Pants que no inglês britânico é cueca.


— Exceto por esse sotaque. Ele sorriu. — Não posso me livrar do sotaque agora, eu posso? Então como eu alguma vez iria atrair a atenção de coisas lindas como você? — Ao ler Shakespeare em um bar, óbvio. Ele riu, e o som se espalhou pela minha pele, afrouxando alguns dos meus nervos. — Você é bonitinha —, ele disse. Eu rolei meus olhos. — Sim... ridiculamente, como você afirmou antes. — Você se sentiria melhor se eu chamasse você de ridiculamente sexy? Justo assim, a tranquilidade que eu sentia antes desapareceu, e minhas respirações ficaram superficiais. Eu não tinha resposta. O que eu possivelmente diria a isso? — Por que desse olhar? — Ele perguntou. Eu não tinha ideia quais das minhas infinidades de emoções apareceram no meu rosto, então eu encolhi de ombros. — Você age como se ninguém jamais a tivesse chamado de sexy antes. — Isso seria porque eles não chamaram. — O que eu sei que não pode ser verdade, não com esse visual que você apareceu essa noite. Eu mal mantive minhas mãos longe de você, e nós acabamos de nos conhecer. Eu estaria envergonhado se eu não tivesse aproveitado mais disso. Era isso. Eu posso não ter tido sexo, mas eu conhecia bastante para saber quando um cara estava tentando me seduzir. E extraordinariamente, eu nem me importei. Tudo que eu podia pensar era o fato que ele estava sentado tão perto de mim, e estava me enlouquecendo. Sua mão ainda estava vagarosamente acariciando meu tornozelo, e se ele não me beijasse novamente e logo, eu ia entrar em combustão. — Olhe para mim, eu não posso nem manter minhas mãos longe de você agora. Eu engoli, mas minha boca subitamente pareceu como se eu tivesse I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


engolido areia. Ele se arrastou até ficar se joelhos, e sua mão traçou do meu tornozelo e subindo pelo lado de fora da minha panturrilha machucada. Seus quadris estavam a meros centímetros de distância dos meus joelhos conforme eu ficava sentada ali aturdida na privada. — Diga-me que eu não estou louco —, ele disse. Eu não podia fazer isso. Eu não estava em lugar algum perto o bastante da sanidade no momento, para aconselhar qualquer outra pessoa de comportamento racional. — Diga-me que eu posso beijá-la. Isso... isso eu podia. — Você pode beijar... Eu nem sequer terminei a sentença antes dos seus lábios estarem nos meus, e minha queimadura foi esquecida completamente. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?” I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


cinco

Um vergonhoso gemido de frustração deixou minha boca, mas ele não podia ser evitado. Com sorte, Garrick não tinha terminado. Ele se levantou, e me arrastou para cima pelos meus cotovelos. Ele me atraiu até que nossos corpos se encaixassem de uma maneira que não teria sido possível quando eu estava sentada. — Assim está melhor — ele disse. Eu não me incomodei em concordar. Eu só me ergui nas pontas dos pés e o beijei. Comparado com nosso beijo anterior, esse foi lento, exploratório, e como gravetos em uma fogueira. Uma das suas mãos se dobrou ao redor do meu pescoço, seu polegar pressionando gentilmente na clavícula. A outra dançou do meu cabelo ao meu ombro para meu quadril, e depois de volta. Pela primeira vez na minha vida, eu me concentrei simplesmente na sensação de um cara contra mim, no roçar da sua língua contra a minha, nas alfinetadas de calor onde seus dedos pressionavam minha pele. Eu não pensei sobre nada – não sobre meu fôlego, ou se minhas mãos estavam no lugar certo, ou o que ele estava esperando. Eu me perdi nele. Minhas mãos descansaram no seu quadril, e eu queria fazer algo explorador por conta própria. Eu arrastei minhas mãos até que elas descasassem no seu estômago entre nós. Com o meu movimento, seus lábios I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


pressionaram um pouquinho mais forte contra mim. Sua língua se empurrou um pouquinho mais profundo. Eu deslizei ambas as mãos para cima, sentindo as duras curvas do seu corpo por baixo do tecido da sua camisa. Quando minha exploração alcançou seu peito, sua mão puxou meu quadril para frente, de modo que meu estômago estivesse pressionado contra ele. Eu podia sentir a forma pela qual ele me queria, e um gotejamento de ansiedade começou na minha coluna. Depois seu beijo tornou mais forte e mais rápido, e eu corri para seguir sua liderança, ignorando meus nervos. Eu deixei uma mão no seu peito, e fechei a outra ao redor do seu pescoço, e me levantei mais nas pontas dos pés, para que meus quadris se alinhassem com os dele. Garrick rompeu o beijo, e exalou tremulamente contra meus lábios. O azul brilhante que eu tinha visto nos seus olhos antes foi ultrapassado quase completamente pelas suas pupilas negras. Ele colocou uma mão na minha mandíbula; seu polegar arrastando o lábio inferior. Por vários longos segundos, ele apenas me estudou. — Você é ridiculamente sexy, sabe. Eu abaixei meus saltos no chão, minhas panturrilhas queimando muito para ficar nas pontas dos pés. E eu não podia mais olhar nos seus olhos. Cada vez que eu quase completamente desligava meu cérebro, ele dizia algo para ligá-lo novamente. Eu disse —, Você sabe que não precisa dessa deixa. Eu já estava beijando você. — E que beijo bom foi esse. — Seu polegar roçou contra meu lábio novamente, e ele inclinou meu rosto de volta para cima em direção a ele. — Eu gostaria de fazer isso novamente em algum lugar que não seja o seu banheiro. — Oh, certo. — Ele estava me pedindo para ir ao meu quarto? Eu estava quase certa que ele estava pedindo para ir ao meu quarto. Eu me atrapalhei com a maçaneta por alguns segundos antes do meu cérebro nebuloso conseguir oscilar a porta abrindo-a. Nós saímos para dentro do corredor escuro novamente, e sua mão encontrou minhas costas I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


mais uma vez. — Desculpe, a luz do corredor está quebrada, e eu não tive a chance de trocá-la. Seus lábios estavam justo na minha orelha quando ele respondeu —, Eu não me importo com o escuro. Todos os minúsculos cabelos juntos da minha pele levantaram no final. Nós entramos na sala de estar, e eu acendi um interruptor de luz que realmente funcionava. Meu apartamento era um loft com uma planta aberta. Duas paredes eram de tijolo, e a outra estava pintada de uma cor bonita de ameixa. O teto era alto com tubulações expostas entrecruzadas acima de nós. Meu quarto estava afastado à direita, separado da sala de estar por apenas uma cortina lavanda desde que eu não tinha realmente uma porta. — Bem, essa é minha sala de esta. — Eu gesticulei com uma mão, incerta se ele esperava um tour ou se eu deveria apenas pular direto para o quarto. Eu nunca tinha feito isso antes, então eu não tinha ideia se nós deveríamos fazer as tradicionais sutilezas, primeiro. Meu coração corria selvagemente conforme ele contornava a sala, inspecionando uma pintura ali, um enfeite ali. — É legal. Combina com você, eu acho. Eu sorri. Eu amava esse apartamento. Ele sempre me fazia sentir como se eu estivesse em um episodio de Friends. — Eu me envergonho em dizer que a minha casa ainda está coberta com caixas. Não teria sido um passeio muito interessante. Deus, como eu desejava que nós estivéssemos na casa dele. Então ele estaria no controle. Eu odiava não saber o que eu deveria fazer a seguir. Seus olhos agitaram-se para a cortina que conduzia ao meu quarto. Isso foi rápido. Seus olhos estavam quase que imediatamente de volta no abajur que ele estava próximo, mas eu vi. Era isso. Eu estava prestes a fazer sexo. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Eu deveria contar a ele que eu era uma virgem? Eu deveria contar a ele. Eu deveria contar a ele agora? Ou um pouco antes? Eu me lembrei do conselho de Kelsey, e me forcei a medir meus medos. Eu abaixei o volume tão baixo que eu podia fingir que eu não estava pensando em nada. Antes que eu me acovardasse, eu caminhei para frente e estendi minha mão. Ele a pegou imediatamente, e eu o conduzi através da cortina e para dentro do meu quarto. Não havia luz no teto nessa área, então eu acendi um abajur à minha direita, e em seguida o deixei para acender outro ao lado da cama. Quando eu me virei ele estava segurando a indecente mini-saia curta que Kelsey me tinha feito tentar mais cedo. Ele encontrou meus olhos, e seu sorriso fez meus pulmões parecerem como se eles estivessem à beira do colapso. Eu arranquei a saia da sua mão, recolhi as outras poucas peças de roupa ainda na minha cama, e as joguei dentro do meu armário. — Desculpe por isso. — Você não me ouve reclamando. Eu ergui uma sobrancelha, e disse —, Esqueça sobre isso. Você nunca irá me ver naquela saia. — Nunca? Isso é um desafio, amor? — É uma promessa. Ele contornou a minha cama para se unir a mim no espaço entre minha cama e a parede. — Eu me sentiria muito confortável em ajudar você a quebrar essa promessa. Ele colocou uma mão no meu ombro, seu dedo indicador mergulhando por baixo da alça da minha camiseta regata. — Eu tenho certeza que você estaria confortável em me ajudar a fazer muitas coisas. Sua mão firmou no meu ombro e seus olhos caíram para meus lábios. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


— Isso eu estaria. Então ele me beijou. Ele não se incomodou com suavidade e doçura dessa vez. Havia uma fome desesperada no seu beijo que me fez ofegar na sua boca. Seus dentes puxaram meu lábio inferior da mesma forma que seu polegar puxou antes, e todo o meu corpo tremeu em resposta. Ele inclinou-se levemente, e estendeu um braço ao redor da minha cintura, arrastando-me para cima e contra ele de modo que nossos corpos estivessem alinhados perfeitamente. Meus dedos dos pés mal roçavam o piso, mas eu não me incomodei. Ele estava me sustentando. Eu enterrei minhas mãos dentro das suas mechas bagunçadas, e me joguei no beijo. Ele deu alguns passos para trás, e sentou-se na beirada da minha cama. Por instinto, minhas pernas foram para cada lado do seu colo, escarranchando-o. A mão que tinha estado ao redor da minha cintura rodeou o meu bumbum e me puxou contra ele. Se eu tinha qualquer duvida sobre onde isso estava encaminhando, desapareceu então. Ele me puxou novamente, seus quadris inclinando-se ao mesmo tempo, e eu rompi o beijo, ofegante. Sua boca planou sobre minha mandíbula e desceu ao meu pescoço. Seus lábios demorando sobre o meu ponto pulsante, sua língua roçando sobre a área sensível. Ele continuou descendo sobre minha clavícula até minha camiseta regata bloquear qualquer progresso adicional. Eu achei que ele pararia, mas ele deslizou a alça da camiseta regata para fora do meu ombro, e seus lábios nunca deixaram minha pele. Sua outra mão esgueirou-se por baixo da barra da minha blusa, provocando a pele ao redor do cós da minha saia. Minhas mãos ainda estavam no seu cabelo, e eu intensifiquei meu aperto e puxei seu rosto de volta para o meu. Sua mão roçou mais alto conforme nós nos beijávamos, alisando sobre a costela, minha pele queimando na sua passagem. Quando sua mão cobriu meu seio, eu me balancei contra ele, e ele gemeu. A saia que eu vesti antes estava levantada ao redor das minhas coxas, e havia tão pouco entre nós. Eu inclinei meus quadris para frente novamente, e dessa vez foi eu quem gemeu. Quando sua I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


outra mão encontrou a barra da minha camisa, foi para arrastá-la para cima e sobre a minha cabeça. Nós rompemos nosso beijo para deixar o tecido passar entre nós. Eu resisti com a urgência de me cobrir conforme seu olhar passava por cima de mim. E Deus eu estava agradecida que Kelsey tinha insistido que eu usasse uma lingerie bonitinha. Esse conjunto em particular era de renda preta e branca. Quando ele olhou para mim, foi com tal desejo óbvio que eu sabia que ele não se importava sobre aquela pequena barriga que tinha me estressado mais cedo. Sua mão direita amassou meio seio gentilmente, enquanto sua esquerda encontrou meu pescoço. Ele arrastou o meu rosto perto do dele. Eu achei que ele fosse me beijar novamente, mas no último segundo, ele desviou, e ele pressionou sua bochecha contra a minha. Ele largou um beijo na borda da minha mandíbula, justo abaixo da minha orelha. E Deus isso pareceu incrível. Foi apenas um pequeno beijo inocente, mas ele me fez agarrar seu cabelo, e empurrar meu quadril para baixo contra ele. Seus lábios roçaram contra o pavilhão da minha orelha conforme ele sussurrou —, Eu disse ridiculamente sexy? Eu quis dizer inegavelmente sexy. Eu estava inegavelmente excitada. Ele me beijou novamente, e então se virou e me deitou de costas contra a cama. Ele pausou para arrancar a sua camisa sobre sua cabeça, e pela primeira vez eu consegui ver os duros planos do seu corpo que me fascinaram mais cedo. Ele se levantou de joelhos, minhas pernas ainda espalmadas de cada lado dele. Ele parou para me estudar novamente. Essa era a parte onde eu devia dizer a ele. Eu devia apenas dizer. Apenas desembuche. Eu sou virgem. Apenas três palavras. Não tão difícil, certo? Eu engoli, e limpei minha garganta. Então ele mergulhou sua cabeça, e pressionou seus lábios contra a pele I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


do meu estômago, e todos os meus pensamentos desapareceram.

I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?” I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


seis

que eu pudesse não conseguir chegar ao sexo. Com a maneira que ele estava mapeando o meu corpo com seus lábios – eu ia entrar em combustão espontânea antes que nós sequer chegarmos longe assim. Seus dedos arrastaram-se subindo as minhas coxas e acariciaram a pele do meu quadril justo abaixo do cós da minha calcinha. Algo no meu cérebro detonou, e pânico tomou conta de mim. Eu ia ser tão terrível nisso... a pior que ele jamais teve provavelmente. E em seguida ele nunca iria querer me ver novamente (e eu realmente queria vê-lo de novo). Eu provavelmente estaria traumatizada e nunca iria querer fazer sexo novamente, o que significava que todo relacionamento que eu tivesse pelo resto da minha vida iria fracassar, e eu terminaria sozinha e miserável com nove gatos e um furão. Eu não queria terminar sozinha e miserável com nove gatos e um furão. Em seguida uma das suas mãos empurrou minha calcinha para o lado, eu estava qualquer coisa menos miserável. Negro dançou pelas extremidades da minha visão, e toda a sensação no meu corpo pareceu se estreitar para aquele local onde ele estava me tocando, e santa insuficiência cardíaca, era incrível. Seus dedos atingiram um lugar dentro de mim que me fizeram arquear para cima e em direção a I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


ele. Sua cabeça mergulhou, e ele começou a largar beijos sobre meu peito. Minhas mãos tinham vontade própria conforme elas massageavam as suas costas, e depois se deslizaram pelo seu estômago, onde eu sacudi abrindo o botão do seu jeans. Ele fez um som no fundo da sua garganta, e seus lábios se esmagaram contra os meus. Ele me beijou ferozmente, me pressionando no colchão. Os beijos continuavam intensificando – mais fortes e mais rápidos, e eu precisava de algo mais. Eu deslizei minha mão junto da pele esticada do seu estômago, para frente do seu jeans. Depois seus lábios se romperam dos meus com um gemido. Ele não se afastou, mas manteve seus lábios milímetros dos meus. Sua respiração saindo em um ímpeto. — Oh Deus, Bliss... Ele colocou um beijo final demorado nos meus lábios, e em seguida se afastou até que ele estivesse ajoelhado acima de mim. Eu ouvi metal clicar do seu zíper, e mantive meus olhos focados na moldura dos seus ombros conforme ele mexia com suas roupas. Ele se levantou por alguns segundos, e eu fixei meus olhos no teto. Eu queria isso. Muito. Eu estava prestes a repetir meu mantra novamente quando seus lábios e mãos voltaram para mim – frenéticas, quase desesperadas. Eu podia sentir a pressão se construindo no inferior do meu centro, e cada músculo das minhas pernas estava esticado conforme eu esperava pelo que estava por vir. Então ele arrastou minha calcinha para baixo das minhas pernas, e seu corpo se colocou na curva das minhas coxas, e era como se eu tivesse acabado de ser inundada por gelo. Eu estava prestes a fazer sexo. Com um cara que eu tinha acabado de conhecer, sobre o qual eu não sabia absolutamente nada. E ele não sabia nada sobre mim... incluindo o fato que eu era virgem. E Deus, eu queria acabar logo com isso. Eu estava cansada de ser virgem, e ele era inegavelmente sexy, mas essa não era eu. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Eu não podia fazer isso. Não comigo. Eu só... não podia. Eu congelei debaixo dele, mas sua boca continuou me cultuando na junção entre meu pescoço e ombro. Eu devia ter contado a ele que eu era virgem ou que eu não estava pronta. Não teria sido bonito ou fácil, mas ao menos ele teria entendido... provavelmente. Ao invés disso, meus olhos travaram na jarra de porcelana de gato que eu tinha herdado da minha tataravó, e meu cérebro criou uma ridícula desculpa com a primeira coisa que veio à minha mente. — Pare! Gatos! Pare... Mas que diabos eu estava dizendo? Eu coloquei a parte inferior da minha palma contra seus ombros, e empurrei levemente. Ele recuou, seus olhos escuros, seu cabelo despenteado, e seus lábios inchados dos nossos beijos. Eu quase mudei de ideia então. Ele parecia quase irresistível. Quase. — Desculpe, amor. Você disse gatos? — Sim, eu não posso fazer isso... agora. Porque... eu tenho um gato. Sim, eu tenho um gato que eu preciso, hum, pegar? Cuidar dele! Eu tenho que cuidar do meu gato! Então... eu não posso fazer isso. — Eu gesticulei entre nós, esperando por Deus que eu não tivesse soado tão louca para ele quanto eu soei para mim mesma. Improvável. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

Eu nem sequer tenho um gato! Eu não sei que sinapses falharam no meu cérebro, mas eu queria me chutar. Eu queria me socar no rosto até que eu perdesse a consciência. Nesse momento agora, eu provavelmente podia mergulhar em uma piscina de ácido hidroclorídrico até mesmo sem palavras de incentivo. Seu cérebro devia estar tão obscurecido como o meu, porque ele pausou por alguns momentos, processando, depois olhou ao redor. — Eu não vejo um gato.


Minha garganta estava ficando seca, da maneira que sempre ficava quando eu mentia. Eu era uma terrível mentirosa (como evidenciado por, bem, mim). — Isso é porque... não está aqui. Sim. O gato que eu tenho não está aqui porque... eu tenho que ir até ela. Eu me esqueci, eu deveria ir pegá-la. Ela olhou para o relógio, o qual agora lia-se 12:20 AM. — Você deveria pegá-la agora? Eu o empurrei novamente, e dessa vez, ele rolou de cima de mim e para o lado facilmente. Ele estava completamente nu, e eu estava de sutiã e saia com minha calcinha ainda enganchada em um tornozelo. — Sim... ela está no Veterinário! É hum, ah, Veterinário 24 horas. — Um Veterinário 24 horas? — Uh, é. Nós temos esses aqui na América. Totalmente. — Aquele ácido hipoclorídrico estava soando incrivelmente atraente agora. — E eu deveria pegá-la horas atrás. — Você não pode passar por lá pela manhã? Eu tentei deslizar minha calcinha de volta pelo meu outro pé, e eu caí para trás, plantada de bunda no meu piso de madeira. — Jesus, Bliss! Ele pulou para fora da cama e se ajoelhou ao meu lado, o que apenas me deixou mais afobada considerando que ele ainda estava nu e ainda, hum, pronto. — Eu estou bem, prometo. Eu estou bem. Eu só... se eu não pegá-la essa noite, haverá honorários, e eu não posso pagar isso. — Bem, deixe eu me vestir que eu irei com você. — NÃO! Hum, não, está tudo bem. Seu chaveiro não deveria estar chegando logo? — Eu terminei com um sorriso que eu esperava dizer, não é grande coisa. Eu tenho certeza que pareceu como eu sou uma pessoa louca, I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

fuja agora enquanto você pode! Ele olhou para o relógio, seu incrível rosto desfigurado por um franzir de cenho.


— Eu imagino, sim. — Ótimo. Eu só vou... Eu só vou correr. Você pode, hum, sair quando você estiver... — meus olhos vagaram sobre seu corpo novamente, e eu senti como se estivesse derretendo em uma poça de idiotice e mortificação e excitação. — Quando você estiver, hum, pronto. Hum, terminado. Hum, apenas quando você desejar. Depois eu voei pela cortina que protegia meu quarto do resto do apartamento, e disparei para fora da porta, ignorando-o conforme ele chamava meu nome. Não foi até que eu tivesse caminhado metade do caminho do estacionamento quando eu percebi: 1 – Eu não estava usando sapatos. A – Ou uma camisa. 2 – Eu não trouxe minhas chaves. A – Ou qualquer outra coisa de fato. 3 – Eu tinha acabado de deixar um completo estranho no meu apartamento. A-Nu. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

Quem quer que tenha dito que sexo sem compromisso deveria ser simples, sem amarras, claramente nunca conheceu o desastre que era eu.


sete

Esse é o número de pessoas que viram eu me esconder na esquina do meu próprio apartamento com apenas uma saia e um sutiã. Onze. Esse é o número de mordidas de formiga que eu consegui com meus pés descalços. Vinte e sete. Esse é o número de vezes que eu tentei me fazer dano físico porque eu sou uma IDIOTA. Um. Esse é o número de vezes que eu tentei não chorar, mas falhei. Garrick permaneceu no meu apartamento por uns bons dez minutos depois que eu parti. Todo o tempo minha mente estava como a de uma menina de cinco anos de idade que acabou de beber uma banheira cheia de energético. O que ele estava fazendo lá dentro? Ele estava se vestindo muitoooooo demoradamente? Ele estava mexendo nas minhas coisas? Ele estava destruindo a minha casa porque eu fugi e o deixei lá como o maior babaca ao lado de Kanye West no VMA‘s de 20098? I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

8

Aqui ela se refere à entrega de prêmio para Melhor Clipe Pop Feminino do VMA onde a cantora Taylor Swift ganhou em disputa com muitas candidatas entre elas com Beyoncé, que é a “comadre” de Kayne. Quando Talylor estava agradecendo o prêmio, Kayne subiu ao palco, arrancou o microfone da mão da cantora e disse que quem merecia ganhar o prêmio era Beyoncé. Foi a maior cena da história do VMA.


Quando ele finalmente saiu, eu o observei perto da minha porta, e em seguida parou. Ele olhou para o número de metal do apartamento pregado no tapume, e apenas olhou fixamente por um momento. Depois ele sacudiu sua cabeça, e encaminhou-se para seu próprio apartamento. Eu esperei até que eu não pudesse vê-lo mais, e então eu esperei por outros cinco minutos apenas para segurança (6 mais mordidas de formiga, 1 transeunte a mais, e 4 visões de automutilação mais tarde). Assim que eu entrei, eu me curvei em cima da cama. A mesma cama onde eu quase fiz sexo. A mesma cama onde eu quis fazer sexo... mais ou menos. A mesma cama que tinha mantido um garoto Britânico incrivelmente sexy, incrivelmente nu. Talvez eu apenas tivesse pulado de um penhasco para dentro da cidade Maluca, mas eu podia jurar que o edredom ainda estava quente onde o corpo dele esteve. Como uma completa psico 9 , eu inclinei meu rosto no travesseiro e funguei como as garotas nos livros e filmes sempre fazem, para ver se eu ainda podia captar o cheiro dele. E não pude. E eu fiquei super assustada. Eu também não conseguia dormir nessa cama sem enlouquecer. Eu me transferi com meu travesseiro para o sofá, onde eu me sentei anestesiada, provavelmente em choque. Por fim, eu pude me reassegurar que isso era apenas uma humilhação privada. Ninguém mais tinha que saber o quanto patética eu era. E depois da minha incerta exibição esquizofrênica de antes, eu estava bastante certa que ele ia me evitar tão avidamente quanto eu planejei evitá-lo. Nós poderíamos viver no mesmo condomínio, mas se fosse do meu jeito nós nunca teríamos que ver um ao outro. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

*** A manhã veio muito cedo, e eu estava tensa de dormir na porcaria do meu sofá por toda a noite. E mais, minha cabeça estava latejando como se eu 9

Psico – psicopata.


tivesse realmente me socado no rosto como eu estava tentada na noite anterior. Estúpida tequila. Eu me movi lentamente, me arrastando para dentro e para fora do chuveiro em uma passada mais lenta do que o normal. Meu cabelo ainda molhado quando veio uma batida na minha porta. Kelsey praticamente caiu em cima de mim quando eu abri a porta porque ela estava tentando espiar pelo olho mágico. Silenciosamente, ela sorriu e pronunciou —, Ele ainda está aqui? Eu suspirei e disse —, Não, Kels, ele se foi. — Eu me virei para longe dela, agarrando minha cabeça para tentar parar o giro que estava acontecendo lá dentro, também. Eu deixei a porta aberta, e me afastei, sabendo que ela entraria quer eu emitisse o convite ou não. — Alguém está um campista rabugento essa manhã. O que é? Foi horrível? Ele era... minúsculo? — Ele não era minúsculo! — Não que eu tivesse uma grande quantidade com a qual comparar, mas eu estava bastante confiante que esse não era o caso. — Oh, então foi só ruim? Eu devia ter contado a ela que eu não tinha ido adiante com isso, mas minha cabeça estava martelando, e meu estômago estava se revirando, e eu não queria ser forçada a sair novamente essa noite para tentar o número dois. Então eu menti. — Ele foi bem. Eu só estou de ressaca. — Bem? BEM? Vamos lá, aquele cara era incrível! Por favor ao menos finja que você gostou! — Eu gostei disso! — Se pelo ―isso‖ nós estivéssemos falando sobre a única e melhor sessão de pegação da minha vida. — Eu gostei dele. Aquelas palavras saíram da minha boca antes de eu realmente pensar nas conseqüências. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


— Ah não! — Kelsey exclamou. — Não, você não gosta! Eu sei que ele foi o seu primeiro e tudo, mas isso não significa que você tenha que pular para o amor-instável. Isso foi puramente físico isso sim. Se você tentar fazer algo estúpido como se casar com esse cara, eu irei pessoalmente arrastar você esperneando e gritando para longe do altar. — Não! Você está certa, lógico. — Eu encolhi de ombros como se não fosse grande coisa, mas minha garganta estava ficando seca, e eu podia sentir a pele do meu pescoço e bochechas ficando vermelhas. Eu esperava que ela fosse apenas assumir que eu estava envergonhada, porque normalmente ela podia descobrir minhas mentiras como ninguém mais. — Eu juro que não é algo importante. Eu não estou apaixonada por ele. Eu não vou me casar com ele. De fato, eu mal me lembro da maior parte. — E pelo mal me lembrar, eu quis dizer a maior parte do que realmente não aconteceu. O restante, contudo... estava impresso no meu cérebro. Nem mesmo a toda poderosa tequila podia retirar essas memórias de mim. Eu só desejava que ela tivesse tirado as memórias de como terminou. — Bem, isso é uma droga. Mas tudo foi bem,certo? — É —, eu forcei um sorriso —, Tudo está bem. Kelsey me abraçou, e eu senti como se fosse um daqueles momentos onde nós deveríamos estar ligadas ou conectadas ou pensando sobre a mesma coisa, mas desde que tudo da minha parte era uma mentira, eu só a abracei de volta, e tentei fingir que ela estava me confortando sobre minha inabilidade. — Tudo bem, agora coloque seu traseiro em uma roupa. Se eu não conseguir café antes da aula, eu vou morrer. Meu horário de sono ainda está atrasado do Recesso de Natal, e eu me sinto como uma aberração de zumbi. — Zumbi para Kelsey significa que ela estava no 6 na escala atrevida ao invés de um 10. Eu sempre achei que eu fosse extrovertida até eu me tornar uma aluna avançada de teatro. Depois eu percebi que eu só não gostava de silêncio. Quando havia muitas outras pessoas ao redor ansiosas para serem as I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


divertidas, eu descobri que eu preferia muito mais apenas observar. A Starbucks no campus estava inundada com uma horda de zumbis de outros alunos privados de sono. No momento que eu consegui meu caramel macchiato 10 eu tinha bastante certeza que já estava acordada, e nós estávamos definitivamente indo nos atrasar para a primeira aula do último semestre do nosso último ano da faculdade. Nós reservamos o café para o prédio de Belas Artes, passando os atuais alunos avançados de Artes fumando do lado de fora das portas. Nós corremos o corredor abaixo para descobrir com bastante certeza que, as portas do pequeno teatro preto onde nós tínhamos aula já estavam fechadas. — Shipoopi —, Kelsey disse. Em seguida... porque nós éramos alunas avançadas de teatro... nós irrompemos com a música do The Music Man11. Porque algumas vezes a vida apenas precisava de um pouco de música. (Mas nós a cantamos silenciosamente e no modo avançado porque nós ainda estávamos atrasadas para a aula). Não havia forma de entrar nesse teatro sem fazer uma ridícula quantidade de barulho. As portas rangiam e batiam sem importar o que você fizesse. Nós empurramos abrindo uma das portas e imediatamente ouvi Eric Barnes, o cabeça do departamento dizer —, Atrasadas! Nós exclamamos um automático —, Desculpe, Eric! Cuidadosamente para não cuspir nossos cafés, nós atravessamos as cortinas que cercavam a extremidade do espaço, e apanhamos os assentos vazios mais próximos no pé dos degraus. Eu descartei meu café e fui organizando minhas coisas, remexendo na minha bolsa por uma caneta e meu fichário. — Como eu estava dizendo —, Eric continuou. — Ben Jackson deveria estar lecionando esse curso. — Ben era com muita certeza nosso I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

10

Nome do café com leite com essência de caramelo. É um musical, que no Português tem o nome de O Vendedor de Ilusões. Onde a música Shipoopi é uma das principais. Recebeu Oscar de melhor trilha sonora. 11


professor favorito, mas para ele foi oferecido um papel nesse novo show off Broadway 12 de arrasar e seria retirado do semestre. — Mas como todos vocês sabem, ele está em Nova Iorque por alguns meses. Para substituí-lo por enquanto, nós temos um dos nossos mais talentosos ex-alunos – Sr. Taylor. Eu finalmente encontrei uma estúpida caneta no fundo da minha bolsa. Ela teria que servir. Kelsey escolheu aquele minuto para agarrar meu cotovelo e me puxar em direção a ela. Eu olhei acima para ela e então para frente da aula onde ela estava olhando. Depois a caneta que eu trabalhei tanto para encontrar caiu da minha mão, e rolou para longe, perdida no abismo sob os degraus. O novo professor estava me encarando, mesmo embora todos estivessem aplaudindo, e ele provavelmente devesse estar acenando ou ao mínimo sorrindo. Nossos olhos se encontraram, e subitamente eu estava muito contente que eu já tinha abaixado meu café. Porque o novo professor tinha estado nu na minha cama há meras 8 horas atrás. Garrick era meu professor. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

12

Circuito de peças da Broadway que ficam longe da Times Square, mas que ainda são considerados Broadway.


oito passaram antes que ele afastasse o olhar sobre mim. Quando ele fez, o sorriso que ele deu para a aula foi ansioso, e ele puxou obstinadamente-inconsciente a gravata ao redor do seu pescoço. — Obrigado, Eric. Mas por favor, todos vocês, me chamem de Garrick. Eu pensei que eu realmente pudesse sentir os hormônios liberarem-se na atmosfera quando as garotas na sala ouviram seu sotaque. Eu senti Kelsey me encarar, mas eu fixei meus olhos em uma das luzes de palco penduradas no alto, e tentei não pensar no meu acelerado coração batendo em submissão. Isso era ruim. Isso era MUITO RUIM. — Como Eric disse, eu fiz minha universidade aqui, e então me formei em Maio passado com a MFA13 em Atuação na Universidade Temple na Filadélfia. Eu estava trabalhando em cenário teatral ali por cerca de seis meses quando Eric me ligou e perguntou se eu estaria interessado em uma posição temporária aqui. Eu olhei para ele do canto do meu olho, simultaneamente antecipando e temendo o pensamento de fazer contato visual com ele. Ele não estava olhando para mim. De fato, seu corpo todo estava angulado em direção aos alunos do outro lado da sala, basicamente ignorando toda a sessão onde eu estava sentada. Além do fato que ele estava incisivamente não olhando para I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

13

Mestrado de Artes Modernas.


um lado da sala, não havia sinal de que ele estivesse preocupado ou exausto de alguma forma; ao passo que eu podia sentir o calor nas minhas bochechas e minhas mãos estavam tremendo conforme eu as pressionava nos meus joelhos. — Eu amei meus quatro anos aqui, e, eu estou, hum... Ele olhou para mim, e eu não podia fazer nada a não ser olhar de volta – olhos abertos e petrificada. Ele limpou sua garganta e retornou seu olhar para o outro lado da sala. — Eu estou realmente animado de estar de volta. Eu queria me arrastar para dentro de um buraco e morrer. Eu queria me arrastar para dentro de um buraco no fundo de uma ravina, depois ser enterrada sob uma avalanche, e então morrer. Eu queria... chorar. Eric se desculpou em seguida, e nos deixou para conhecermos nosso novo professor. Eu desejei que eu pudesse me desculpar também porque eu já vinha a conhecê-lo muito bem. — Bem, então —, Garrick começou. — Eu percebi que eu não sou tão mais velho que muitos vocês. — Outro agitar dos seus olhos para mim. Estava se tornando quase impossível de engolir. — Mas meu objetivo aqui é fornecer a vocês algumas dicas para entrarem no próximo passo da sua jornada, por alguém que não está muito distante. Todos nós amamos Eric, Ben, Kate, e o restante da faculdade, mas vamos encarar isso, eles não são exatamente os caras mais novos na área. — Toda a sala gargalhou. Eu estava muito ocupada concentrada em não vomitar. — Era um mundo diferente quando eles iniciaram a carreira deles. Quando eu estava sentado onde vocês estão, nós chamávamos essa aula de Preparação Sênior; eu acho que agora é chamado de Empresa de Teatro. Com isso, nós estaremos cobrindo tudo de audições à opções de carreira à Equidade de Atores. Nós também iremos gastar algum tempo conversando sobre o lado mais abstrato das coisas. Porque eu odeio desestimular vocês pessoal, mas a parte mais difícil sobre esse negócio não são papéis I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


protagonistas ou ter dinheiro para se virar, embora isso seja difícil. A coisa mais difícil é poupar o seu espírito e se lembrar do por que você escolheu isso em primeiro lugar. Ele não tinha que tentar muito nos assustar sobre nossos futuros. Todos nós já estávamos operando no Nível Laranja de Ameaça. Nós estávamos tendo conversas no meio da noite, de vasculhar a alma (enquanto bêbados, lógico) desde que o ano começou. — Agora, se vocês não se importam. Eu gostaria de ouvir um pouco sobre todos vocês. Por que vocês não me contam seus nomes e o que vocês estão interessados em fazer depois da graduação. Havia cerca de vinte na sala. Os primeiros oito, mais ou menos, recitaram todos seus nomes seguidos pelo obrigatório, ―Eu estou me mudando para Nova Iorque.‖ Quando você é um ator, se mudar para Nova Iorque é quase o mesmo que um sonho. Aqueles que são sortudos e podem realmente fazer disso o plano. Alguns de nós temos que pensar um pouco menos realisticamente. Cade, meu melhor amigo ao lado de Kelsey disse —, Cade Winston. No momento eu estou um pouco dividido entre Escola de Graduação e apenas ir direto para as audições. Eu não posso de verdade dizer se eu realmente quero ir para à Escola de Graduação ou se eu só estou assustado. Garrick sorriu, e mesmo embora eu estivesse apavorada, eu sorri, também. Eu me sentia assim sobre muitas coisas na minha vida... não apenas atuar. Ele disse —, Bom. Isso é honesto, Cade. E quanto mais honesto você possa ser com você melhor. Esperanças e sonhos são ótimos, mas eles são muito mais fáceis de se partirem do que um plano sólido. Nós veremos se nós não podemos exatamente descobrir o que você quer enquanto você estiver nessa aula. Depois disso, foi como se todos se sentissem bem em dizer o que nós realmente estávamos pensando, ao invés de o que nós sentíamos que era esperado de nós. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Nós passamos tanto tempo defendendo nossa escolha por fazer isso que se tornava difícil mostrar qualquer vulnerabilidade. Há apenas tantas vezes que você tem que lidar com alguém te perguntando sobre seu plano B para quando as coisas não funcionarem, antes de você pensar que talvez o plano B deve ser apenas o seu plano. Algumas vezes eu desejava que eu fosse um pouco mais como Kelsey. Ela era praticamente destemida. Embora, eu imaginasse que é fácil ser um pouco destemida quando sua família é cheia da grana. — Kelsey Summers. Eu estou tirando um ano de férias para viajar e apenas explorar antes que eu decida o que eu vou fazer. As pessoas sempre dizem que os atores mais interessantes são interessados em pessoas, então eu imagino que seja um bom investimento passar algum tempo me tornando mais fascinante do que eu já sou. — Diva —, eu murmurei sob minha respiração. Ela estreitou seus olhos, e depositou um rápido beliscão na parte de trás do meu braço em resposta. Eu gritei, e quase tombei do meu assento no mesmo momento em que Garrick virou seus olhos para mim e disse —, E você? Esfregando meu braço, eu tive que afastar meu olhar dos seus olhos antes que eu pudesse responder. — Bliss Edwards. Eu estou um pouco dividida entre atuar e gerenciamento de palco. E desde que eles de fato não oferecem Cursos de Mestrados onde você pode fazer ambos, eu acho que eu apenas vou continuar e entrar no, hum, mercado de trabalho ou o que for. Eu olhei de volta para ele, mas seus olhos já tinham se movido para Dom, que estava sentado uma fileira acima de mim. Eu fechei meus olhos e respirei fundo. A mão de Kelsey encontrou a minha, e ela apertou. Precisou de outros vinte minutos para terminar as apresentações porque, bem, nós éramos pessoas teatrais. Nós amávamos ouvir a nós mesmos falar. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Com apenas cinco minutos restando de aula e Garrick disse —, Ótimo. Parece que todos vocês ao menos deram um pensamento ao próximo passo. Quarta feira eu quero que todos vocês venham para a aula com o currículo e uma fotografia de rosto e estejam prontos para a audição. — Para o que? — Dom perguntou? — É a primeira semana de aula. Não há quaisquer audições por algumas semanas. — Dom amava ouvir a si mesmo falar mais do que a maioria. — Não importa. — Garrick respondeu. — No mundo real, você pode ir a dez audições em um dia. Você pode ter semanas para se preparar ou você pode ter uma hora. Seu trabalho é apenas atuar se você conseguir o papel, até lá seu trabalho é audição, então é melhor você ser bom nisso. Dispensados. Vejo todos vocês na Quarta. Ele sorriu. Não muito como deslumbrante-inspirador quanto os sorrisos que ele usou na noite passada, mas ainda foi o bastante para fazer meus passos gaguejarem no meu caminho descendo o degrau. Eu estava na cortina, a meros três metros de distância da porta quando eu ouvi —, Senhorita Edwards, eu posso falar com você por um momento? O rosto de Kelsey ficou preso em algum lugar entre pena e alegria. Pela primeira vez em doze horas eu queria socar alguém além de mim. — Almoço ao meio-dia? — Ela perguntou, mesmo embora eu não estivesse certa se eu iria sobreviver até ao meio-dia. Inferno, eu não estava sequer segura se eu podia ter vontade de comer indo para minha próxima aula. Eu levei o meu tempo caminhando em direção a ele, esperando pelo resto da sala esvaziar. Dom estava no momento presente bombardeando Garrick com perguntas, então eu levei um segundo para me distrair com Cade. Onde Kelsey era minha amiga que me arrastava para bares e me encorajava a comportamentos estúpidos, Cade era o amigo que sempre sabia a coisa certa a dizer. Suas primeiras palavras — Em uma escala de um à irritável, quanto de ressaca você está? I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Eu ergui o canto da minha boca em um sorriso. Isso era tudo o que eu consegui no meu vórtice de emoções, mas era um sorriso mesmo assim. — Depende... agora? Um sólido onze. Se Dom tentar falar comigo... nós vamos precisar de uma escala maior. Ele riu, e algo me fez perguntar o quanto da noite passada teria se passado se eu contasse a ele o meu segredo ao invés de Kelsey. De alguma forma eu duvidava que as coisas tivessem acabado da mesma forma. — Eu tenho que correr. Ciência-Política. — Ele fez uma cara, e eu concordei, alegre que eu tivesse escapado dessa no ano passado. — Vamos fazer algo essa noite, tá? — Claro. — Dessa vez eu sorri, porque Cade era ótimo para distrações, e isso era definitivamente o que eu precisava agora. Ele me deu uma bitoca na bochecha, e então pegou o seu caminho. Eu me virei para Garrick para encontrá-lo me observando, seus olhos escuros e estreitos. Dom já tinha ido embora há tempos. Ele deve ter saído pelas portas do outro lado. Nós ficamos em pé ali desajeitadamente por vários segundos. Suas mãos estavam empurradas em seus bolsos, e as minhas estavam lutando com a bolsa pendurada sobre meus ombros. Finalmente, ele limpou sua garganta. — Como está a sua perna? Eu engoli, e olhei abaixo para minhas pernas. Eu estava usando uma saia hoje para mantê-la descoberta. Eu inclinei minha perna para que ele pudesse ver a bandagem. — Boa. Eu refiz o curativo essa manhã. Está com bolha, mas até onde eu sei dizer, ou bem de acordo com a internet, está normal. Eu olhei de volta, mas seus olhos ainda estavam nas minhas pernas. Eu enrijeci. Deus, isso era tão embaraçoso. Ele limpou sua garganta novamente. — Então... você está na faculdade. — Então... você não está. Ele permaneceu imóvel por outro segundo, depois se virou de lado I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


abruptamente, marchando vários metros para longe de mim, e depois de volta. Seus dedos arrastaram-se através do seu cabelo em frustração, e tudo o que eu pude pensar era nos meus próprios dedos no seu cabelo, e quanto incrivelmente suave tinha sido. — Eu pensei— Ele começou. — Bem, eu não estava fazendo muito o ato de pensar, em nada. Mas, você não tem aparência de como estivesse na faculdade. Eu disse que eu vim à escola aqui, e que eu tinha acabado de retornar, e você disse ‗Eu também‘, então eu só assumi que você tinha feito o mesmo. Eu continuei tendo essa irracional necessidade de piscar. Eu não estava chorando nem nada, mas eu só não conseguia parar. Eu disse —, Eu vivi no Texas quando eu era realmente jovem. Eu quis dizer que eu retornei para cá para a escola. Ele assentiu uma vez, e depois continuou assentindo. Então, eu estava assentindo e eu estava piscando e nenhum de nós dois estava dizendo o que realmente precisava dizer. E desde que eu não conseguia permanecer em silêncio, eu fui a primeira a romper. — Eu não irei contar a ninguém. — Suas sobrancelhas se ergueram, mas eu não podia dizer se era de surpresa ou julgamento ou apenas um tique facial. — Eu quero dizer que não há nada... não que nós... eu quero dizer nós não realmente...hum, fizemos um animal com duas costas14 e tudo. OH.MEU.DEUS. MATEMEAGORAMATEMEAGORAMATEMEAGORAMA15. Um animal com duas costas? Sério? Eu tenho vinte e dois anos, e ao invés de apenas cuspir a palavra sexo, eu usei uma referência de Shakespeare! Uma referência realmente embaraçosa. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

14

Do original ‘make the beast with two back’ que é uma citação em Othello de Shakespeare onde ele se refere a ter relações sexuais. A tradução ao pé da letra seria ‘fazer animal com duas costas’ porque o ato sexual parece uma pessoa com duas costas. 15 Mate-me agora.


E ele estava sorrindo! E seu sorriso fez coisas engraçadas com meu interior que me fizeram pensar na noite passada, o que era totalmente algo sobre o qual eu não precisava estar pensando nesse momento. Sem animais. Sem costas. Sem noite passada. Eu olhei para longe, tentando me recompor. Eu respirei fundo, e disse tão calmamente quanto eu pude. — Isso não tem que ser algo importante. Ele demorou um momento para responder, e eu me perguntei se ele estava esperando que eu olhasse para ele. Se ele estivesse, ele iria esperar por um tempo. — Você está certa. Nós dois somos adultos. Nós podemos apenas esquecer o que aconteceu. Não havia forma que eu pudesse esquecer o que aconteceu. Mas eu podia fingir. Eu podia atuar. — Certo —, eu assenti. Eu me virei para partir mas sua voz me impediu. — Como está o seu gato? — Que gato? Oh! MEU GATO. O gato... que é meu. Oh, ela está.... — Eu tinha dito que era uma ela, certo? — Ela está bem. Completamente miando e ronronando e outras coisas de gato. Deus, por que a porta tinha que ser tão longe? Eu continuei andando, convocando minhas últimas poucas palavras sobre meus ombros. — Eu tenho que ir para a aula. Eu verei você na Quarta eu acho, tudo bem, tchau! Eu aumentei a velocidade da caminhada para sair pela porta, descer o corredor para dentro da ala de artes, passei as aulas de cerâmicas, e entrei no banheiro de deficientes que ninguém nunca usava. Depois eu me afundei de joelhos (no PISO DO BANHEIRO. Claro, eu fui distraída porque... NOJENTO) Eu me foquei em não hiper-ventilar. Apenas eu poderia ter um caso I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


com um professor por acidente. Eu sabia de uma coisa com clareza. Não havia nenhuma maneira, de jeito nenhum, que eu ia à minha aula seguinte.

I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?” I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


nove

tanta vergonha no ar, que parecia praticamente sólido. Meu rosto estava pressionado contra a mesa no salão dos alunos enquanto Kelsey tentava me entupir com batatas fritas e outros carboidratos maravilhosos. Ela me afagou nas costas meio-sinceramente. Não havia nada sequer remotamente maternal sobre Kelsey, mas ao menos ela estava tentando. — Você está exagerando, Bliss. A única coisa que eu senti no ar foi tensão sexual. Eu quero dizer, ele não olhou para você com frequência, mas quando ele olhou... Alô! Síncope! — Não há forma alguma que eu possa sobreviver ao semestre nessa aula. — Isso é ridículo. Você é uma atriz. Atores dormem uns com os outros o tempo todo, e então seguem em frente. Inferno – não se lembra no ano de Calouro quando você não queria ficar com Dom naquela cena, e Eric mandou vocês para a outra sala e disse a vocês se beijarem até que vocês estivessem confortáveis um com o outro? — Por que você traria à tona o que é, como o dia de hoje, o segundo momento mais mortificante da minha vida? Ela rolou seus olhos. — Porque você tem que superar isso. — Eu nunca irei superar a língua de Dom descendo na minha I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


garganta. Eu ainda posso sentir o gosto do idiota. — Você ficará bem, Bliss. São cinco meses. E você apenas tem que vêlo por 3 horas por semana. Estará terminado antes que você perceba. Em seguida você pode ter relações sexuais com ele mais uma vez antes da sua viagem ao mundo comigo. — Há tantas coisas malucas nessa afirmação que eu não sei nem por onde começar. — Você irá começar comendo, ou nós nos atrasaremos para Direção. Resmungando, eu empurrei algumas batatas fritas na minha boca para agradá-la. Ela vasculhou na sua bolsa pelo seu celular, mas suas mãos fecharamse em torno de algo. — Oh, eu esqueci. Eu tenho aspirina... você quer um pouco? Eu engoli e disse —, Por que eu iria querer isso? Ela torceu sua cabeça ao lado —, Você não tem uma úlcera... você sabe...quando você surta? Bliss estúpida. Tão malditamente estúpida. — Oh! Oh, certo. Não, eu estou bem. Eu tomei um monte essa manhã. Eu estou bem, obrigada. Eu atravessei o resto do dia no piloto automático, pronta para ir para casa e me arrastar para dentro do casulo do esquecimento que é o sono. Eu nem sequer tirei minhas roupas antes que eu caísse na cama. Meu celular me acordou algumas horas mais tarde. Era Cade. — Oi, bebê – você está pronta para sair? Eu espiei com olhos turvos o relógio. Era apenas 7 horas da noite. Eu bocejei. — Tá... claro. O que você tem em mente? — Bem, eu estava pensando— — Sem bebidas —, eu o cortei. — Eu não posso aguentar nenhuma bebida. Ele riu. — Sem consumo de bebidas alcoólicas como remédio para você? Tudo bem... Lindsay está tocando essa noite no Grind. Como o café I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


soa? Eu bocejei novamente. Lindsay era uma colega, aluna avançada de teatro. Uma noite escutando sua música seria simples e brando. Exatamente o que eu precisava. — Café soa perfeito. Quando eu saí cerca de 20 minutos mais tarde, minha cabeça oscilou de um lado ao outro, paranóica que eu esbarraria em Garrick. Quando eu estava certa que ninguém estava nas redondezas, eu corri ao estacionamento e subi no velho, batido Honda de Cade. Ele me cumprimentou com um sorriso. Eu resisti com a urgência de olhar para trás na direção do apartamento de Garrick. — Eu me esqueci de mencionar antes que você estava ótima hoje. Eu quero dizer, menos aquele adorável mérito da ressaca. Você nunca usou saia na aula. Eu queria dizer ―Só dirige logo!‖ Mas isso soaria louco mesmo para mim. Então eu respondi —, Oh, eu queimei minha perna, e eu não deveria usar roupa apertada sobre ela. — Sério? — Ele perguntou. — O que aconteceu? Eu não podia exatamente contar a ele a razão. Porque então ele iria querer saber de quem a moto era e por que eu estava com ele e blá, blá. — Oh, queimei com minha chapinha. — Você queimou sua perna com a sua chapinha? Quanto comprido é seu pêlo da perna? Você pensaria que depois de toda a mentira que eu contei nas últimas vinte e quatro horas que eu estaria ficando levemente melhor nisso. Você está errado. — Ha-ha. Tão engraçado. — Eu fiz uma careta. — Eu o derrubei do balcão, seu traste, e ele atingiu a minha perna. Eu brinquei com a ventoinha do ar condicionado mesmo embora ela mal funcionasse nesse pedaço de lixo de carro. — Apenas não derrame café em si mesmo. Ou melhor ainda... pegue café gelado. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Eu disse. — Sim, sim capitão. Grind era uma bonitinha casinha na extremidade do campus que tinha sido transformada em uma cafeteria alguns anos atrás. No interior você pedia café, e no exterior havia uma varanda onde eles acolhiam música ao vivo na maior parte das noites. O interior estava lotado. Eu mandei Cade para o lado de fora para encontrar assentos, e disse a ele que eu pegaria as bebidas. Eu peguei um café-mocha gelado para mim e um smoothie para Cade. Ele nem sequer gosta de café, mas ele vem aqui por mim. Eu fiquei na fila por 10 ou 15 minutos, então no momento em que eu segui para o lado de fora, eu não tinha ideia onde Cade estava. Eu caminhei passando as mesas, acenando para as pessoas que eu conhecia, evitando contato visual com àqueles que eu não conhecia. Eu fiz contato visual com Lindsay acima no palco conforme ela instalava, e ela sorriu. Finalmente eu localizei Cade em pé junto de uma mesa perto da frente. Era um lugar maravilhoso considerando o quanto lotado esse lugar estava. Eu apareci atrás dele, e cutuquei meu cotovelo em suas costas. — Jesus, Cade, eu achei que eu nunca encontraria você aqui fora. Você não poderia ao menos ter mandado mensagem? Cade olhou por sobre seu ombro para mim, depois envolveu seu braço ao redor do meu ombro, e pegou seu smoothie da minha mão esquerda. — Desculpe, bebê, eu estava conversando e me distraí. Olhe quem está aqui! Ele me arrastou para frente, ali estava Garrick. Dessa vez, eu não tive tanta sorte por já ter descartado o meu café. Então quando eu vi Garrick, ele escorregou da minha mão, e salpicou por todos os meus pés. Cade, com seus reflexos super-rápidos, evitou por pouco de ter tudo derramado por sobre seus Toms16. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

16

Marca de tênis.


— Caramba, Bliss. Eu estava brincando sobre o café gelado, mas eu estou contente que você escutou. Eu juro que você não costumava ser desajeitada assim. Eu ainda não conseguia falar. Meus pés estavam frios e melados. E meu rosto parecia muito quente. — Aqui —, Cade disse. — Sente-se, Sr. Taylor disse que nós podíamos dividir a sua mesa. — É Garrick, Cade. — Eu tenho certeza que ele disse a Cade isso uma dúzia de vezes já. Cade o ignorou e se virou para mim. — Eu irei correr lá para dentro e conseguir para você guardanapos. Você quer outra bebida? — Não, não. Eu estou bem, Cade. Você fica. Eu irei me limpar. — Esqueça isso. Você gosta da música de Lindsay muito mais do que eu. Todas as coisas de ―seja aquela a mudar‖ e ―poder das garotas‖. Eu não quero que você perca isso. Sente-se. — Dessa vez, suas mãos empurraram meus ombros para baixo até que meu bumbum atingisse o assento. Depois ele saiu, e eu fui deixada sozinha com Garrick novamente. — O que você está fazendo aqui? — Minha pergunta saiu zangada. Em comparação, ele estava melodioso e calmo, e possivelmente um pouco triste. — Minha internet ainda não está conectada ao meu apartamento, e eu precisava verificar meu email. Eu posso ir, se você quiser. SIM. — Não —, eu suspirei. — Eu não vou despachar você. Eu só desejava que você não tivesse nos convidado para sentar com você. — Bem, Cade não disse que ele estava aqui com você. Eu estava apenas tentando ser gentil. — Desculpe... eu só... isso é embaraçoso. Cade não sabe— — Eu não vou contar a ele, se é o que está te preocupando. Eu gostaria de manter isso profissional, e além disso, sua vida pessoal não é da minha conta. O que aconteceu entre nós acabou. Sua voz ficou dura enquanto ele falava. Acabou? Por que isso se I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


assemelhava como um soco no estômago? Seus dentes estavam cerrados, atraindo meus olhos para a forte, lisa linha da sua mandíbula. — Você se barbeou —, eu disse. Claramente... sem censura. Sua mandíbula se afrouxou, e ele olhou para mim confuso. — Uh, sim, eu me barbeei. Nós nos sentamos em silêncio, e eu só não conseguia me impedir de olhar para ele. Seus olhos eram um oceano de água azul, e sem a barba por fazer ele parecia mais novo, menos um sexy rude e mais como o gostosinho do cara-ao-lado. Seus olhos caíram para meus lábios, e eu percebi que eu estava mordendo o lábio inferior. Deus, eu queria beijá-lo de novo. Eu me levantei correndo do meu assento. — Isso foi uma péssima ideia. Diga a Cade que eu fiquei doente ou algo. Ele se levantou, também. — Não, Bliss, espere. Me desculpe. Não parta. Eu irei...Merda, eu não sei o que eu farei. Eu irei apenas sentar aqui em silêncio, e vocês dois podem me ignorar completamente. Eu prometo. Naquele momento Lindsay voltou para cima do pequeno palco improvisado, e as luzes entraram e as pessoas aplaudiram. Se eu ia partir, eu precisava fazer isso agora. Se eu levantasse no meio da apresentação, Lindsay veria e ela ficaria chateada. Então contra o meu melhor julgamento, eu me sentei de volta. Garrick seguiu com a sua promessa, e manteve seus olhos grudados na sua tela. Eu me sentei em silêncio conforme Lindsay fazia o seu ajuste de som, meu pescoço resistindo à força para não olhar para ele. Cade voltou no mesmo momento em que Lindsay estava se apresentando. — Ei —, Ele sussurrou. — Randy estava trabalhando, e ele me emprestou uma toalha. Eu achei que isso seria melhor do que um punhado de guardanapos. Em seguida ele ergueu um dos meus pés melados no seu colo, removeu meu sapato, e começou a enxugar minha perna com a toalha úmida. Eu ri I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


quando ele passou por uma seção particularmente sensível. Eu ouvi Garrick parar de digitar. Apenas por instinto, eu olhei acima para ele, mas ele estava olhando para Cade... e para minhas pernas. Eu limpei minha garganta, e puxei meus pés para trás. Eu peguei a toalha de Cade e disse. — Obrigada, eu acho que eu posso fazer isso. Eu não confio em você para não fazer cócegas em mim. Garrick voltou ao seu computador, Cade se focou em Lindsay, e eu mergulhei minha cabeça para dar uma olhada mais de perto ao meu pé. Quando eu estava certa que eles não estavam olhando, eu fechei meus olhos apertados e soltei um grito silencioso. Um grito verdadeiro teria sido melhor, mas eu aceitaria o que eu poderia ter. Eu reconheci as primeiras músicas de Lindsay, tendo ouvido-a tocar várias vezes antes, tanto no palco e justamente no greenroom17 durante o ensaio e entre as aulas. Ela tinha esse ótimo, cru, som acústico, e suas letras tinham sempre algum tipo de comentário social, ligando as pessoas com suas falsidades. E é por isso que quando ela se inclinou no microfone e apresentou a sua seguinte música, eu estava tão incrivelmente surpresa. — Essa próxima é um pouco diferente para mim. O adorável dono desse estabelecimento —, Ela apontou para o lado. — Wave Kenny. — Ele levantou sob coação, mas ele acenou. — Enfim... Kenny fez um pedido que eu tocasse ao menos uma música que não era... como você colocou isso, Kenny? Amarga ou Política, eu acredito que seja o que ele disse. E desde que, eu sou incapacitada de escrever qualquer coisa assim, eu estou cantando uma música escrita por um amigo meu que deseja permanecer anônimo. É chamada Resistir. A música se abriu gentilmente, com uma simples progressão de acordes, similar ao som normal de Lindsay. Depois ela mudou, se tornou fúnebre, passional, quase desesperada. Ela cantou... e eu desejei que eu tivesse partido quando eu tive a chance. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

17

É uma sala de espera ou sala de utilização dos artistas, interpretes, ou executantes quando não estão no palco. Como um camarim.


Sem importar o quanto perto, você sempre está muito longe Meus olhos são atraídos para qualquer lugar que você está As silenciosas conversas que estavam acontecendo antes pararam. Era uma mudança tão dramática que todos os olhos se fixaram nela. Mas eu podia jurar que eu senti um par de olhos em mim.

Eu estou cansado da forma com que nós dois fingimos Cansado de sempre querer e nunca ceder Eu posso sentir isso na minha pele, ver isso no seu sorriso Nós somos mais. Nós sempre fomos. Pense em tudo que nós estamos perdendo. Cada toque e cada beijo. Porque nós dois insistimos. Resistimos. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?” I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed.

O olhar dele era esse peso físico pressionando contra minha pele. Meu coração batia rapidamente no meu peito, e minhas respirações acontecendo mais curtas. Eu não queria resistir. Eu não podia evitar. Eu olhei. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

Segure seu fôlego e feche seus olhos Distraia-se com outros caras Não é surpresa, seus suspiros derrotados Você não está cansada das mentiras? Mas ele não estava olhando para mim. Ele não estava digitando, mas seus olhos estavam fixos no seu computador e ele pareceu... inconsciente. Era apenas eu? Eu estava imaginando tudo isso?

Pense em tudo que nós estamos perdendo.


Cada toque e cada beijo. Porque nós dois insistimos. Resistimos. Sem importar o quanto perto, você está sempre muito longe Meus olhos são atraídos para todo o lugar que você está Subitamente, eu não queria mais estar ali. Eu não podia estar perto assim dele. Eu ia enlouquecer. Era estúpido... até mesmo mais estúpido do que uma noite de sexo sem compromisso teria sido, mas eu gostava dele. Ele não gostava de Shakespeare, e ele guiava uma moto, e ele era meu professor... mas eu gostava dele.

Eu estou farto. Eu não vou ignorar. Eu não vou fingir ou resistir. Eu quero mais. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?” I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


dez

os últimos acordes, depois mostrou sua língua e disse —, Eca. Feliz, Kenny? Cade riu e deu uma alta vaia! A multidão começou a aplaudir e assobiar. Eu tentei erguer minhas mãos para me unir, mas elas eram como chumbo no meu colo. Eu olhei para Garrick, e dessa vez ele estava olhando para mim. Seus olhos estavam escuros, e quando nós conectamos, ele não fez nenhum esforço para desviar o olhar. Talvez eu não tivesse imaginado seu olhar fixo antes. Nós observamos um ao outro conforme os aplausos morriam, e pela primeira vez em toda a minha vida eu realmente entendia a coisa de ―coração batendo para fora do seu peito‖ porque parecia como se houvesse algo dentro de mim, desesperado para sair. Antes que eu ficasse maluca, eu arranquei meus olhos para longe, e puxei Cade pelo seu cotovelo. — Ei, o que há? — Ele era tão bom em me ler, e eu o observei enquanto seus olhos iam de divertidos para preocupados. — Tudo bem? — Tá, lógico. Eu só estou cansada. Você pode me levar para casa? — Claro, lógico. — Ele pressionou uma mão na minha bochecha como se ele fosse minha mãe verificando minha temperatura. Ele mal tirou seus olhos de mim enquanto dizia, — Obrigado por nos deixar dividir sua mesa, Sr. Taylor. Vejo você na Quarta. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


— É Garrick, Cade, por favor. Vocês dois tenham uma boa noite. Garrick olhou apenas para Cade enquanto ele falou, o que provavelmente foi para o melhor. Com um braço envolto no meu ombro, eu deixei meu amigo me guiar para fora de uma arcada na lateral da propriedade que conduzia para o estacionamento. Eu nunca estive tão contente de subir em um carro enferrujado que cheirava fracamente a óleo e queijo. Cade entrou ao meu lado. — Você tem certeza que está bem? — Sim, eu prometo, eu só estou cansada. — Tudo bem. — Ele não pareceu convencido. — Vamos levar você para casa então. Ele virou a chave, e nada aconteceu. Sem motor, sem luzes, nada. — Aww... merda. — O que? — Eu perguntei. — O que isso quer dizer? — Quer dizer que meu carro é um pedaço de porcaria. Ele virou a chave novamente, e quando nada aconteceu ele bateu a palma no volante. Eu puxei minhas pernas para cima do assento e deitei minha cabeça contra meus joelhos. — Espere um segundo. — Cade saiu do carro, e abriu o capô. Eu fiquei curvada no meu assento tentando mentalmente apagar as últimas 24 horas do meu cérebro. Em algum lugar entre analisar cada olhar que Garrick me deu essa noite e planejar o que eu diria e como eu agiria nas nossas aulas seguintes, eu devo ter caído no sono. A seguinte coisa que eu soube, Cade estava me sacudindo para me acordar, e o carro definitivamente ainda não estava ligado. Eu esfreguei meus olhos, e saí do carro. — Desculpe, eu imagino que eu estava até mesmo mais cansada do que eu pensei. — Escute, nós não conseguimos fazer o carro ligar, e nós tentamos tudo que nós pudemos pensar. Meu cérebro não registrou o ―nós‖ até o capô começar a abaixar, e I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Cade ainda estava ao meu lado. E lógico, lá estava Garrick novamente. Porque o mundo apenas não podia tornar as coisas mais fáceis para mim. — Nós até mesmo tentamos dar uma chupeta usando a moto do Sr. Taylor. — Eu disse a você, é Garrick, Cade. — Tá, tá, eu sei. Então enfim, desde que eu não moro muito longe... Oh senhor. Não. Por favor não. Cade era um RA 18 em um dos dormitórios, o que significava que ele podia caminhar para casa. Eu, por outro lado, morava a algumas milhas do campus. — Eu perguntei ao Sr. Talylor, e ele disse que ele podia dar a você uma carona. Acontece que vocês dois até mesmo moram no mesmo condomínio. — Você não disse. — Eu tentei transformar os meus dentes cerrados em um sorriso. — É gentil dele, mas eu posso apenas ligar para Kelsey para vir me pegar. Não é uma grande coisa. — Mas vocês vão para o mesmo lugar... — a confusão de Cade era cativante, mas eu meio que queria chutá-lo nas canelas. — Tá, mas— — Bliss —, Garrick interrompeu. Deus, eu nunca me cansaria de ouvi-lo dizer meu nome no seu delicioso sotaque. — Está tudo bem. Sério. Eu não me importo, e eu irei levar você para casa num instante. Eu prometo. Ele estava olhando para mim como se essa fosse a coisa mais casual no mundo. Como ter os meus braços envoltos nele enquanto ele pilotava seria totalmente legal. Como se eu ainda não tivesse uma bandagem na minha perna da última vez que eu estive na sua moto. Cade bocejou. Ele pareceu tão cansado quanto eu me sentia. Eu sabia que se eu pressionasse a questão, e quisesse esperar por Kelsey, ele iria esperar comigo. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

18

Residente assistente que é o responsável pelo andar em cada alojamento universitário.


Eu esfreguei meus olhos, e respirei fundo. Não foi fundo o bastante. — Tudo bem. Obrigada... Sr. Taylor. E eu verei você amanhã, Cade. Cade sorriu, absorto à minha tormenta, e disse —, Ótimo! Ele colocou um beijo na minha testa, disse boa-noite para nós dois, e então correu para o outro lado da estrada e em direção ao campus. Eu nem sequer me incomodei em acalmar a respiração dessa vez. Eu sabia que não iria adiantar. Eu ajustei meus ombros, e virei para encará-lo. Ele me observou por um segundo, franzindo o cenho, e depois disse — , Você não pode me chamar de Sr. Taylor. Apesar da tensão entre nós, eu ri. Realmente era ridículo... pensando bem. — Tudo bem... Garrick. Não havia uma boa maneira de fazer isso, então ele apenas me entregou o capacete, e subiu na moto. Ele não teve que me dizer para ser cuidadosa com o cano de descarga enquanto eu montava na moto, mas ele fez do mesmo jeito. Essa noite ele estava usando uma jaqueta leve por causa de uma frente fria (ou bem... tão fria quanto ela vinha a ser no Texas) que tinha acabado de passar. Eu segurei na jaqueta ao invés dele. O percurso era até mesmo mais assustador sem algo mais sólido para segurar, mas eu me recusei a fechar meus braços ao seu redor. Na maior parte porque eu não estava certa se eu teria a força de vontade de abri-los depois. Quando nós chegamos, eu estava fora da moto em segundos. Eu acho que eu disse adeus. Honestamente, eu estava tão em pânico que eu apenas saí correndo. E ele me deixou. Quando eu escorreguei para dentro do apartamento, eu arrisquei um olhar para trás. Ele ainda estava na moto, e depois de um segundo, ele começou a dar marcha ré, e disparou. Eu o observei ir, lutando com loucos impulsos de segui-lo. Sem importar o que eu estivesse sentindo... não poderia haver nada entre nós. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


*** Quarta, eu esperei no greenroom até o último minuto, para que a aula já estivesse cheia na hora em que eu chegasse lá. Eu estava com minha foto e currículo como me foi atribuído, e eu peguei um assento com Cade longe na lateral, assim havia cerca de dezenas de pessoas entre mim e Garrick. Cerca de um minuto mais tarde, Garrick pediu a sala ficasse em silêncio. — Tudo bem, então. Como eu disse na Segunda – nós não estamos perdendo nenhum tempo. Nós estamos pulando dentro do grosso das coisas. Hoje, nós vamos fazer audições de simulação usando leituras a frio de A Streetcar Named Desire por Tennessee Williams. Se vocês não leram, vocês deveriam estar questionando seus agentes nesse momento. Eu vou dividir vocês em pares. Essas tarefas junto com o script que vocês estarão lendo estão na mesa à minha esquerda. Eu mandarei vocês para o lado de fora e vocês terão dez minutos para se prepararem antes que eu chame o primeiro grupo. Vocês notarão que a cena que eu escolhi da peça é a cena conduzindo ao momento clímax onde Stanley estupra Blanche, a irmã da sua mulher. — Cara, ele a estupra? — Esse seria Dom, obviamente um daqueles que deveria estar questionando o seu agente. — Sim, Dom. Agora a dificuldade da audição é que vocês frequentemente devem retratar o clímax das cenas sem o beneficio de ter toda uma performance para construir àquele ponto. Vocês entram nisso emocionalmente cegos. Os momentos antes da sua audição são extremamente importantes. Vocês têm dez minutos para encontrar a conexão com seu parceiro e com o personagem. Boa sorte! Ele deu um passo para o lado, e era como Black Friday no Walmart conforme os atores corriam para a mesa, tentando pegar um script e encontrar o seu parceiro. Eu não estava realmente muito a fim de pular na multidão, mas Kelsey me agarrou pelo cotovelo e não me deu muita escolha. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Eu peguei o script, reconhecendo a cena. Garrick não estava brincando sobre começar bem no clímax. Blanche já está bastante e profundamente maluca. Eu olhei para folha de atribuição e você não adivinharia... eu estava pareada com Dom. Eu pressionei uma mão na minha testa, um chato latejar começou justo sobre meu olho esquerdo. Dom girou um braço no meu ombro um momento mais tarde. — Adivinha o que Blissful19, nós estamos juntos novamente. Eu retirei o seu braço com um movimento de ombros e segui em direção à porta. — Vamos acabar logo com isso, Dominic. Quando eu saí do teatro, pares já estavam acampados em vários lugares por todo o corredor. O único lugar restado era diretamente na frente das portas do teatro, o que era quase uma garantia de nos tornar o primeiro grupo escolhido. Isso significava que nós teríamos menos preparação do que todos os outros. O pensamento me fez sentir como se eu fosse me partir em seções, mas evidentemente o mundo estava contra mim hoje. Seja o que fosse, ao menos eu terminaria com a aula mais cedo. — Tudo bem, Dom, vamos ver o que nós conseguimos. Eu gastei mais do que dez minutos explicando a peça e a cena para Dom. Ele era um daqueles caras que tinha boa aparência e era muito bom em atuar o babaca super-confiante (basicamente porque ele era um babaca super-confiante), mas era só isso. — Então, meu cara está bêbado, certo? — Sim, Dom. — Agradável. E você está louca? Eu suspirei. — Bem, mais ou menos. Eu estou um pouco delirante, e você destrói esses delírios. — Ótimo. Depois eu ataco você. Eu rolei meus olhos. Qual era o objetivo? — Sim, claro. Enfim, eu vou começar sentada em uma cadeira, e você I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

19

Blissful significa bem aventurada.


entrará da parte esquerda do palco, tudo bem? Eu não posso imaginar que ele nós fará interpretar toda a cena porque ela é bastante longa. E isso foi tudo o que nós tivemos porque a porta se abriu e os olhos de Garrick caíram em mim. — Bliss, Dom, estão prontos? Dom me puxou aos meus pés contra minha vontade, e disse —, Com certeza, Garrick. Pronto era o exato oposto de como eu me sentia. Eu odiava estar despreparada. Garrick pegou nossas fotos e currículos e olhou por sobre eles em silêncio por cerca de um minuto. Eu apanhei uma cadeira e a movi ao centro da sala e me sentei. Eu dobrei o script da minha audição para que o papel não fosse muito grande e desajeitado. Ele se apresentou como se nós nunca o conhecêssemos, e em seguida nos deu permissão para começar. A cena começou com Blanche vestida nas suas roupas mais elegantes (incluindo uma tiara) falando com imaginários pretendentes em uma festa imaginária. Demorou-me alguns segundos para entrar na cena porque meus próprios sentimentos de pavor e mal-estar eram tão contrários à ignorância feliz de Blanche. Mas uma vez eu cheguei lá, foi fácil bloquear a sala ao meu redor e me deixar levar no seu riso e seus sonhos e seus delírios. Quando Dom se vangloriou para dentro do espaço, eu tive que admitir, ele fazia um ótimo Stanley. Apesar de não saber nada sobre a peça, ele exalava o carisma de Stanley, sua absoluta desconsideração por Blanche. Eu usei meu mal-estar sobre a situação com Garrick, deixando-o se infiltrar e direcioná-lo em direção à Dom. depois de outra meia página, Garrick nos parou. — Bom, bom. Bliss, você começou um pouco insegura, mas você estava morta no final. Dom, eu acho que você teve uma compreensão realmente boa sobre Stanley. — Eu resisti com a urgência de rolar meus olhos. — Mas... eu não estou sentindo tanta conexão do seu lado como eu estou com Bliss. Ela está consciente de você todo o tempo, ajustando os I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


movimentos dela com os seus movimentos. Eu preciso ver você reagindo um pouco mais. Vamos pular adiante logo antes de você re-entrar no banheiro. Comece com Blanche ligando para a União do Ocidente20, e vamos ver se nós não podemos de verdade, nos concentrar em conectar um com o outro. Eu assenti, me movendo para o lado oposto do espaço onde eu tinha planejado colocar um telefone imaginário. Ele escolheu possivelmente a parte mais difícil para eu começar. Nós pulamos bem para a parte onde Stanley despedaça o perfeito e amável mundo que eu sonhei para mim mesma, e eu tinha que transmitir o mesmo medo e paranóia do mesmo jeito. Eu fechei meus olhos e respirei fundo. Medo. Paranóia. Como eu me sentiria se alguém descobrisse sobre Garrick e eu. Ou se ele descobrisse que eu era virgem. Inferno... Como eu me senti logo antes de eu nos impedir de fazer sexo. Isso era medo e paranóia no seu melhor. Sentindo-me um pouco mais confiante, eu abri meus olhos e imitei apanhar um telefone. Desde que eu ainda tinha que segurar o script, eu tive que renunciar a imitação do fone e apenas fingir falar com no receptor. Eu ofeguei no telefone, pedindo por um operador. O medo parecia tão real que lágrimas pressionaram nos meus olhos sem qualquer esforço da minha parte. Eu balbuciei, pânico erguendo-se e asfixiando as palavras. Minha voz partiu mais que minhas ligações por socorro. A sensação de estar presa veio tão facilmente. Que era sufocante. Eu ouvi Dom aparecer atrás de mim, e eu congelei. Eu recuei, e ele deu um passo entre a porta imaginária e eu. Ele riu de mim, e eu não tive que fingir a repulsa que eu senti. Eu tentei partir, e ele pisou no meu caminho. Eu pedi para ele me deixar passar, mas ele permaneceu. Rindo, ele começou a esgueirar-se na I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

20

Do original Western Union. A Western Union começou em 1851 quando um grupo de homens de negócios liderados pelo juiz Samuel Selden e Hiram Sibley, fundaram a empresa New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company na cidade de Rochester, estado de Nova York, com o objetivo de prestar serviços telegráficos. Ou seja era a empresa de correios e telégrafos da época.


minha direção, e eu senti o baque do meu coração saltar um pouco. Eu escorreguei para fora do personagem apenas tempo o suficiente para achar que nós estávamos fazendo um bom trabalho. Muito melhor do que eu tinha pensado que nós faríamos. Em seguida o sorriso no rosto de Dom entrou na minha visão e eu estava de volta. Eu tentei fugir dele, mas ele continuou vindo, ainda rindo. Depois suas mãos se fecharam ao redor dos meus antebraços, me arrastando para cima e contra ele. Eu lutei, contorcendo todo o meu corpo para tentar me afastar. Ele me puxou contra ele, me apertando mais forte, forte o suficiente que realmente doeu, e um pequeno calafrio de mal-estar subiu na minha coluna. Seu rosto estava bem contra o meu, de modo que eu senti o calor do seu hálito contra o meu rosto. Eu deveria me desmoronar, derrotada, e ele me levaria para fora do palco para a cena de estupro, mas não é como as coisas realmente aconteceram. Dom largou seu script, agarrou meu pescoço e me puxou para frente em um beijo. Chocada, eu me empurrei contra ele com minha mão livre, mas ele continuou vindo, não percebendo que era eu protestando, não Blanche. Eu empurrei e me contorci, mas ele era muito forte, e seus lábios estavam pressionados contra os meus tão forte que eu não podia dizer nada para fazêlo parar. Eu estava me preparando para meu movimento final de protesto, uma rápida joelhada no lixo, quando Dom foi arrancado de mim. Eu engoli ar, e vi Garrick, que estava fervendo, soltar um dos braços de Dom que ele tinha torcido para trás em um ângulo estranho. — Onde exatamente no script você viu essa particular encenação, Dominic? — Garrick perguntou, seu tom mortalmente calmo. Eu não estava perdendo tempo com as perguntas lógicas. Eu voei em Dom, empurrando-o para trás. — Mas que inferno foi isso, Dom? A cena de estupro ocorre fora do I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


palco, seu babaca! Ele agarrou meus pulsos conforme eu fui para empurrá-lo novamente. — Ei, eu estava tentando conectar. Eu estava improvisando. É isso o que atores fazem! A mão de Garrick desceu no braço de Dom, e ele apertou um pouco mais forte do que era provavelmente apropriado. Dom soltou os meus pulsos imediatamente, e eu recuei. — Seja como for — Garrick começou. — Atores também respeitam uns aos outros. Ao menos que você gostaria de ser acusado de violência, você tem que combinar algo assim com o seu colega de antemão. — Eu podia ver a fachada calma de Garrick despedaçando. — Agora vá. Você está dispensado. Eu podia dizer que Dom estava puto. Ele me deu um olhar fulminante, e empurrou a porta tão forte que ela bateu contra a parede do lado de fora. Eu só não podia ter uma pausa essa semana. Estava o mundo largando merda em todo o mundo ou só em mim? Houve um leve toque no meu braço, e em seguida Garrick estava na minha frente, embalando meu braço em suas mãos. Uma contusão já estava se formando onde Dom tinha me agarrado durante a cena. Garrick correu uma mão sobre o meu rosto, e depois olhou para mim. Ele disse: — Eu provavelmente poderia ter lidado melhor com isso. Eu não percebi quanto minha cabeça ainda estava martelando até que eu ri, e o movimento ricocheteou dor pela minha cabeça. Eu fechei meus olhos por instinto. Os dedos de Garrick roçaram junto da minha mandíbula, enviando um terremoto de tremores sobre minha pele de onde nós tocávamos. Eu mantive meus olhos fechados, porque enquanto eles estivessem fechados, eu não ia fazer nada errado, certo? Mas se eu os abrisse, e eu olhasse para o seu rosto esplêndido e visse aqueles lábios... eu estaria cruzando um território completamente diferente que era definitivamente muito errado, errado, errado. Um sussurro: I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


— Bliss... — foi todo o aviso que eu tive antes dos seus lábios estarem nos meus.

I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?” I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


onze

de como má ideia o beijo tinha sido por exatamente três segundos antes que eu parasse de pensar completamente. Sua língua se arrastou para dentro da minha boca, indagando e furiosa e exigente. Era paixão na forma mais crua. Eu sempre fingi entender a química quando diretores falavam sobre atores tendo-a em conjunto no palco, mas agora eu entendia. O que quer que fosse que acontecia quando ele me tocava era como uma reação química – moléculas colidindo, deslocando, desprendendo calor. Deus, havia tanto calor. Uma alta gargalhada que eu reconheci como a de Kelsey cortou através do torpor na minha mente, e eu me arranquei para longe de Garrick. Havia outros alunos do lado de fora esperando para entrar. Quanto tempo eu estive aqui sozinha com ele? Ele deu um passo para frente para me seguir, e eu estendi uma mão. — Pare! Pare! Você não pode apenas fazer isso! Nós dizemos que nós íamos esquecer sobre isso! Você disse isso, realmente! Você não pode dizer aquilo e depois fazer isso! — Me desculpe. Ele não pareceu penalizado. Ele pareceu como se ele quisesse fazer isso de novo. Eu neguei minha cabeça, e me desloquei em direção à porta. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


— Espere, Bliss, eu sinto muito. Isso não irá acontecer novamente, tudo bem? — Tudo bem. — Foi o que eu disse, mas pareceu qualquer coisa exceto tudo bem. Ele agiu como se eu não quisesse aquele beijo tão malditamente quanto ele queria, mas alô! Ele tinha apenas tanto a perder aqui quanto eu! Por que eu era a única pensando nas consequências? Eu saí para ouvir Dom se queixando para umas duas pessoas que tinham se reunido perto da porta. — O cara é um completo cretino. Ele agiu como se eu estivesse tentando estuprá-la ou algo. Foi apenas um beijo. Não como se nós não estivéssemos feito isso antes. Eu rolei meus olhos. — E de alguma forma foi até mesmo pior dessa vez do que foi antes. Você não deveria melhorar com o tempo, Dom? — Seus amigos estavam rindo, mas eu ainda ouvi Dom me chamar de vadia. Eu continuei andando. Eu tive apenas tempo o suficiente para comprar a maior xícara de café que eu pude encontrar antes da próxima aula. O resto da semana foi rotineiro. Garrick manteve sua distância, e eu tinha o suficiente acontecendo para me manter distraída. Nós começamos nossos trabalhos em direção, o que significava que era hora de me empenhar e ler para que eu pudesse encontrar uma cena. Sexta feira na Preparação Sênior nós conversávamos sobre nossas audições, e ele nos atribuiu uma leitura sobre a Associação de Equidade dos Atores 21 . Então, eu gastei a maior parte da semana examinando cada peça que eu tinha (e mais as de Cade) e lendo a mais entediante repartição do AEA conhecida no mundo. Na semana seguinte foram as inscrições para nossa primeira Audição no Palco Principal nesse período, e a penúltima para mim. Se eu não me desse bem na Sexta, eu apenas teria mais uma chance de fazer outro show antes da graduação. Eu estive no primeiro show do ano, e gerenciei o palco de outro, mas nada desde então. Eles já tinham me oferecido a Gestão de I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

21

Seria o sindicato que representa a interpretação teatral ao vivo. Ou seja, dos atores e profissionais relacionados ao teatro. Ou também conhecido como AEA.


Palco do último show do ano, mas eu estava muito assustada para aceitar ainda, em caso de eu não conseguisse um papel nele. Deus, isso estava realmente começando a me atingir. Eu estava prestes a me formar, e minha vida não estava em nenhum lugar perto de onde eu achei que estaria. Quando eu comecei a escola três anos e meio atrás, eu achei que agora eu fosse ter um plano. Eu achei que eu saberia positivamente o que eu quisesse fazer e para onde eu estava indo. E se eu fosse honesta... eu achei que eu teria encontrado o cara que ia se casar comigo por agora. Eu quero dizer, todo casal casado que eu conheci se conheceu na faculdade, e aqui estava eu há apenas meses para terminar, e a ideia de casamento nesse ponto parecia absurda para mim. Não ajudava que a pergunta imediata de mamãe toda vez que nós falávamos era, ―Você já conheceu alguém?‖ eu me perguntei brevemente com ela reagiria se eu dissesse a ela o estado atual da minha vida amorosa da próxima vez que ela perguntasse. Talvez ela entrasse em pânico. Talvez ela perguntaria quando nós planejávamos nos casar – era difícil dizer com mamãe, algumas vezes. Como as pessoas podem decidir com quem elas querem gastar o resto das suas vidas com essa idade? Eu não posso sequer decidir o que jantar! Eu não posso decidir se eu quero ser uma atriz, mesmo embora eu já tenha conseguido 35.000 dólares com empréstimo estudantil me dizendo que era melhor eu ter certeza absoluta em ser uma atriz. Pelo final da semana de audição, a coisa com Garrick estava começando a parecer como uma ―coisa sem importância‖ que eu continuava dizendo que era. Eu chegava na aula no último minuto e normalmente era a primeira a sair da sala. Verdadeiro a sua palavra, ele manteve seu profissionalismo na aula, o que realmente apenas significava que nós apenas interagíamos o mínimo necessário. Eu nunca o vi no Grind novamente, e nós estávamos bastante lá. Ele estava nas audições, mas estavam também muitos outros membros da faculdade. E nem mesmo sua presença pode amortecer minha excitação I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


por esse show. Como uma atriz, eu sempre estava mais atraída para papéis clássicos do que contemporâneos (bem... uma versão de um show Grego, de qualquer forma). Phaedra não teria sido minha primeira escolha, considerando que era completamente sobre amor proibido, o qual era muito o que eu não precisava nesse momento. Mas, pelo menos, eu tinha uma ótima compreensão da minha personagem quando eu fiz a audição. Claro, Phaedra estava cobiçando o seu enteado, não seu professor, mas os sentimentos eram os mesmos. Eu não quis um papel tanto assim por um longo tempo. Quando foi minha vez de entrar no teatro para audições, eu me senti bem, confiante. Eu sabia minhas falas. Eu conhecia meu personagem. Eu sabia como era querer alguém que você não pode ter. E mais do que qualquer coisa... eu sabia como era querer e não querer algo tudo ao mesmo tempo. Eu derramei cada pitada de luxúria e medo e dúvida e vergonha naquele minuto e meio de interpretação. Eu me arranquei abrindo-me de uma maneira que eu nunca fiz na minha vida real, porque aqui... aqui eu podia desafogar e suportar e fingir que não era sobre mim... fingir que era sobre Phaedra. Eu fui mais honesta sob o calor daquelas luzes do que eu jamais fui à luz do dia. E em minutos estava terminado, e eu estava de volta ao greenroom, deixada perguntando se tinha sido o suficiente. Quando as audições terminaram, todos nós saímos para comemorar. Eles postariam os resultados pela manhã, e isso seria uma coisa toda nova para se preocupar, mas por agora, isso estava fora das minhas mãos. Todos juntos (na maior parte seniores e juniores), nós ocupamos toda uma sessão do Stumble Inn. Mesmo embora nós estivéssemos em mesas separadas – nós conversávamos ao outro lado da sala uns com os outros antipaticamente e não dávamos a mínima para quantas pessoas estavam irritadas. Nós começamos a noite com algumas doses de tequila, o que era um pouco assustadoramente semelhante à minha noite aqui com Garrick, mas I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


eu arranquei isso da cabeça. Eu estava aqui com amigos. Faria algum bem me soltar e me divertir. Eu estava na mesa com Cade e Kelsey, lógico. Lindsay estava aqui, também, junto com Jeremy, um bonitinho garoto do segundo ano com quem eu embriagadamente fiquei no ano passado. Ele meio que me marcou por um tempo desde então, mas eu tinha bastante certeza que ele sabia que nada ia acontecer entre nós. Esses dias ele estava com olhos-estrelados para nossa residente linda louca-por-sexo, Kelsey. Então havia Victoria, que poderia facilmente ter se passado pela filha biológica de Kelsey e Lindsay. Ela tinha os peitos de Kelsey (e sua vadiagem), mas a atitude eu-odeiotodos-e-tudo de Lindsay. E terminando a mesa estava Rusty, que era basicamente o rei de todas as coisas aleatórias e hilárias. Jeremy era o único muito jovem para beber, mas a garçonete nem se quer se incomodou em pedir a identificação da mesa toda. Ela olhou a identidade de Cade, e depois apenas verificou as outras. Nós pedimos bebidas, comidas, e depois mais algumas bebidas. Eu estava me sentindo muito bem no momento em que a conversa deu a volta para as audições. Era Rusty, que quebrou o gelo. — Então... que tal aquela peça incestuosa? Eu rolei meus olhos. — Não é incesto, Rusty. Eles não têm relação sanguínea. — Não importa —, ele deu de ombros. — Eu tenho uma madrasta, e eu me cagaria nas calças se ela flertasse comigo. Kelsey riu —, Isso provavelmente tem mais a ver com você sendo gay. — Eu conheci sua madrasta. Ela pode flertar comigo a qualquer hora —, Cade disse. Se nós fossemos diferentes tipos de pessoas, Rusty teria ficado puto, talvez socado Cade no braço... ou no rosto. Ao invés disso, eles bateram a mão. — Sério, entretanto, como foi com tudo mundo? — Rusty perguntou. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


— Eu fui uma droga. Eu terei sorte em conseguir o soldado número dois ou o servente. Kelsey intrometeu —, Eu mataria para interpretar Afrodite. Eu quero dizer, quem mais tem os peitos para isso? Victoria ergueu sua mão —, Hum, alô? Seus olhos não enxergam? — Ela apontou para o seu peito. — Vai, você sequer quer Afrodite? — Inferno que não —, Victoria disse. — Não significa que meus peitos não guardam rancor de você por ignorá-los. Com olhos-amplos, Jeremy disse —, Eu nunca ignoraria seus peitos. Todos riram. Jeremy geralmente permanecia muito em silêncio quando todos nós estávamos juntos. Eu imagino que deveria ser difícil para ele nos acompanhar, considerando que nós gastávamos cada momento acordados uns com os outros pelos quatro anos passados, e ele era o mais novo do grupo. — E você, Bliss? — Lindsay perguntou. — Todos nós sabemos que você se umedece só de pensar sobre isso. Eu poderia ter corado, se minhas bochechas já não estivessem coradas do álcool. — Eu acho que fui bem. Eu só... eu de fato entendo Phaedra, sabe? Kelsey estourou a rir, e eu a chutei sob a mesa. Cade sorriu para mim —, O que? Você está cobiçando algum membro familiar que nós nunca conhecemos? Eu o empurrei no ombro, ele riu, envolvendo seu braço ao meu redor e me puxando para perto. — Eu estou brincando, bebê. — Eu só... eu entendo como é querer algo, mas tentar e forçar a si mesmo a realmente acreditar que você não quer. Isso não tem sequer que ser sobre amor. É sobre querer algo que você não pode ter ou algo que você não acha que merece. Inferno, nós queremos os papéis que nossos amigos conseguem, mesmo embora eles sejam nossos amigos e nós deveríamos estar I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


felizes por eles. Nós sentamos na platéia e pensamos sobre como nós poderíamos ter feito o papel. Nós queremos o que nós não podemos ter. É a natureza humana. Eu posso ter me deixado levar um pouco. A mesa ficou em silêncio quando eu terminei. Até Rusty dizer —, Você certamente não está bêbada o bastante! — Então, nós pedimos mais bebidas, e nossa comida chegou, parecendo gordurosa e gloriosa. — Pessoal, vocês percebem que há um tópico principal que nós não discutimos. — Victoria ergueu uma sobrancelha, e continuou. — Professor eu sou o sexo encarnado e provavelmente poderia deixar você grávida apenas ao olhar para você. A maioria dos caras ao redor as mesa (menos Rusty) resmungou, enquanto que a maior parte das garotas (menos eu) e mais Rusty disseram várias subdivisões de ―Inferno que sim!‖ Victoria se abanou. — Sério, naquele primeiro dia quando ele falou, eu achei que só o seu sotaque quase me deu um orgasmo. Eu permaneci em silêncio, e Kelsey permaneceu, também, disparandome um olhar interrogativo. Eu podia pedir licença e ir ao banheiro. Isso teria sido bizarro? Não era como se eu não tivesse bebido muitos drinks. — Kelsey, por que você não está me apoiando aqui? — Victoria perguntou. — Eu posso clamar meu direito assim que nós nos formarmos? Eu tentei manter meu rosto indiferente. Kelsey sorriu —, Oh, sim, ele é bonitinho. Mas ele é um pouco formal e respeitável para mim. Eu gosto de um cara que seja um pouco mais perigoso. — Ela piscou para Jeremy, e eu tenho certeza que sua mandíbula teria se separado se ela caísse mais baixo. — O que? A moto dele não é perigosa o suficiente para você? — Cade perguntou. — Ele tem uma moto? Eu não sabia disso! — Ela disparou a mim um olhar acusatório como se eu estivesse traindo-a por não retransmitir essa I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


parte da informação. — O que aconteceu com ele e Dom? — Lindsay me perguntou. — Dom ainda está reclamando sobre como ele maltratou ele durante a sua audição. A mão de Cade escorregou da parte de trás do banco para ao redor dos meus ombros, ele me deu um rápido aperto. — Dom é só um idiota. Sr. Taylor apenas o arrancou de mim, isso é tudo. Rusty sorriu e apontou para Cade e para mim —, Vocês dois são tão bonitinhos. ‗Oh Sr. Taylor isso e Sr. Taylor aquilo.‘ Eu acho que vocês são os únicos que ainda tratam ele como o professor ao invés de um pedaço de carne. Eu rolei meus olhos. Eu nunca o chamei de Sr. Taylor na sua cara, mas apenas parecia estranho falar dele com outra pessoa e chamá-lo de Garrick. Eu senti como se eles fossem capazes de ler todos os meus segredos no meu rosto, e eles saberiam exatamente quão como-não-professor eu o considerava. Talvez eu precisasse daquela pausa para o banheiro afinal de contas. Eu cutuquei Cade, e ele escorregou para fora do banco, e me deixou ir. Com cada passo para longe daquele banco, minha ansiedade acalmou. Eu ficaria longe por alguns minutos, depois eu voltaria e eles estariam em uma conversa completamente diferente, e tudo estaria bem. Eu estava andando no bar quando eu ouvi meu nome. — Bliss! Eu me virei, mas não vi ninguém. — Bliss! A voz estava mais perto, e dessa vez quando eu olhei atrás do bar, eu o vi – o Garoto Garçom. Eu sorri, e tentei parecer feliz em vê-lo. Mas honestamente... eu não podia sequer me lembrar do seu nome. Havia tantas outras coisas que tinham tirado o meu foco naquela noite. Como sempre quando eu pensava I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


em Garrick, meu estômago dava cambalhotas e eu tinha que me concentrar em não me perder nas memórias. Quando nós estávamos um na frente do outro no bar, Garoto Garçom disse —, Oi... eu espero que não seja assustador que eu me lembre do seu nome. Era. Um pouco. — Eu prometo não ficar assustada, se você me perdoar por não me lembrar do seu. Seus lábios caíram em um franzir de cenho brevemente antes que ele sorrisse e dissesse —, Brandon. — Certo, Brandon. Lógico. Desculpe. Está sendo uma longa semana. — Bem, deixe-me torná-la um pouquinho melhor. — Ele puxou um copo e derramou para mim uma dose de tequila. — Por conta da casa. Eu me senti estranha tomando a dose sozinha, mas eu não podia declinar muito bem. Entao, eu agradeci a ele, encolhi de ombros, e a engoli rapidamente em um gole. Eu ri, não porque algo fosse engraçado, mas porque pareceu como a coisa a se fazer. — Escute —, Brandon começou. — Eu não tenho a intenção se der agressivo, mas você quer sair algum dia? Eu queria sair com ele? Mais importante de tudo, eu queria dormir com ele? Apesar de toda a loucura com Garrick, eu ainda era virgem. E eu ainda desejava que eu não fosse. Aqui estava outra oportunidade para consertar isso... uma que não envolvia infringir as regras escolares e arriscar expulsão. Eu olhei para ele. Kelsey estava certa; ele era bonitinho. E ele definitivamente estava interessado. Eu tentei imaginar o que dormir com ele poderia ser. Eu tentei imaginar o derramamento das nossas roupas, suas mãos contra minha pele, seus lábios contra os meus. Eu tentei, mas cada imagem que eu conjurei foi de Garrick fazendo essas coisas, não Brandon. Maldição, por que eu não podia apenas estalar os dedos e não ser mais I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


uma virgem? Por que o sexo tinha que estar envolvido? E por que era isso que tudo o que eu podia pensar era em Garrick, mas eu até mesmo desisti do sexo com ele? Por que meu cérebro absolutamente se recusava a fazer sentido? O próprio Brandon respondeu sua pergunta —, Eu estou imaginando que isso seja um não. É normalmente o que se leva mais tempo para responder. Eu sorri um apertado, sorriso de lábios fechados. — Desculpe. Você parece muito legal, mas eu só não estou interessada assim... agora. — Droga, eu sempre fazia isso. Eu era uma droga em confrontação, então eu sempre adicionava frases como ―agora‖. Brandon assentiu —, Está legal. Não se preocupe sobre isso. Eu, huh, melhor voltar ao trabalho então. Ele não esperou pela minha resposta antes dele percorrer a extensão do bar para ajudar um cliente na extremidade final. Suspirando, eu fiz meu caminho ao banheiro, onde eu salpiquei alguma água no meu rosto. Isso não ajudou no caos no meu cérebro, mas eu pude sentir o álcool formigando no meu estômago, e isso ao menos me fez sentir bem com o caos. Eu retornei à mesa onde outras duas doses estavam esperando por mim, cortesia de Cade, e agradecidamente a conversa estava em alguma outra fofoca que não envolvia Garrick. Na hora que nós pedimos outra rodada, minha pele parecia como um cobertor quente e minha garganta doía de rir de coisas que poderiam ser ou não ser realmente engraçadas. Todos nós estávamos tão estragados que nossa conversa envolvia fragmentos, piadas internas, e risos. — Eu estou tão bêbado —, Rusty começou. — Que eu só quero sentar no meu carro e tocar meu acordeão até eu ficar sóbrio. Minha gargalhada estava vergonhosamente alta. — Você tem um acordeão? — Inferno, sim, eu tenho. Quer me ouvir tocar? I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


— Claro! Eu deixei minha carteira com Cade, para que ele pudesse pagar para mim. Eu dei nele um beijo lambão na bochecha como recompensa. — Oh! Eu também! Eu também! — Kelsey exclamou. Ela deu sua carteira para Cade, também, com um tapinha na cabeça ao invés do beijo, e Rusty envolveu um braço ao redor de cada uma de nós. — Tomem notas, rapazes! As damas sempre amam um homem que pode tocar um instrumento! Lindsay bufou —, O seu instrumento nem sequer gosta de garotas, Rusty! — Não significa que elas não gostem dele! Eu estava certa que o volume no bar reduziu pela metade quando nós fomos embora, mas eu não podia dizer a diferença. Ainda estava alto na minha cabeça. Depois de alguns minutos, o resto do grupo se uniu a nós do lado de fora do capô do carro de Rusty, onde ele estava tocando seu acordeão e cantando uma musica que ele disse que era Francês (eu tinha bastante certeza que era apenas linguagem sem nexo). Isso não importava nada para nós. Depois de alguns minutos, nós sabíamos a linguagem sem nexo suficiente para cantar junto. Nós fizemos serenata aos clientes do bar conforme eles serpenteavam aos seus carros às 2 da madrugada. Nós cantamos em Inglês e linguagem sem nexo. Nós cantamos Britney Spears e Madonna e Fantasma da Ópera. Cade fez um rap ridículo onde ele rimou talvez com sarnas. E nós continuamos fazendo serenata até que todos eles se fossem, e o dono saiu para dizer para nós sumirmos. Nós ainda estávamos todos muito bêbados para dirigir, exceto por talvez Jeremy, mas nenhum dos nossos carros era grande o bastante para caber a todos nós. Então eu um rompante eu disse —, Vamos para a minha casa. É cerca de meia milha daqui, mas eu tenho bastante certeza que eu tenho vodka no meu freezer. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Com uma exclamação de batalha de ―Vodka!‖ nós partimos. Eu vim a me arrepender daquela noite mais tarde, mas naquele momento, eu só não queria que terminasse.

I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?” I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


doze

entre o bar e meu apartamento, eu perdi meus sapatos. Eles eram de salto baixo, mas eles estavam matando meus pés mesmo assim. Então, eu simplesmente me inclinei e os arranquei. — Whoa, bebê, o que você está fazendo? Eu caí em Cade, rindo. Eu achei que eu estava bêbada antes, mas agora que um pouco de tempo tinha se passado... tinha realmente me atingido. Eu estava possivelmente mais estragada do que eu jamais estive. — Sapatos são estúpidos. Por que as pessoas os usam? Ele riu —, Para que elas não pisem em um prego e peguem tétano, isso é por que. — Usar. Onde. Usar. U‘ar é estraaaaaaanho. Ele riu, então eu ri, mesmo embora eu não tivesse ideia do que era engraçado. — Você é adorável. Venha aqui. Eu darei a você uma carona de cavalinho para casa para salvar seus pés. — Ê! Ele se agachou, e eu saltei em cima das suas costas. Com meus calcanhares em suas mãos, nós oscilamos descendo a rua. Quando nós entramos no estacionamento, eu estava cantando uma música inventada que era algo como —, Cade é meu herói! Zero para o herói! — O que você quer dizer com zero? Eu nunca fui um zero! I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


— Cade é meu melhor amigo! Um dia nós vamos para o Lado Oeste! Seu carro cheira como queijo! Eu só quero lhe dar um aperto! Rusty exclamou —, Dê a ele um aperto em privado! — E Rusty é um babaca! E o vento no meu cabelo cheira como um vussssh! Cade riu —, Você não quis dizer sons22? — Que sons? — Deixa para lá —, Ele riu. Eu vi meu apartamento ficando visível. — Ah, porcaria. Eu esqueci minha bolsa. — Eu a peguei, bebê. — Você pegou? Você é o melhor! Eu dei a ele um alto, beijo estalado. Eu estava mirando na sua bochecha, mas eu acho que aterrissou em algum lugar no seu pescoço. Nessa altura, eu ouvi Jeremy gritar —, Oi! Sr. T23! E aí? — Há um lutador de luta Greco romana aqui? — Eu perguntei. — Não, é o Sr. Taylor. Eu guinchei, soltei o ombro de Cade, e me inclinei para trás para olhar para ele. Ao fazer isso, eu desequilibrei Cade, e nós dois caímos no chão, ele em cima de mim. Eu gemi. — Merrrrrda. Cade pesa muito. Muito mais do que eu achei! — Eu gemi/cantei. Eu me senti à deriva, meu mundo balançando como se eu estivesse no mar afora. Cade disse —, Oi Sr. Taylor. — Oi Cade. Você está bem? — Com certeza. — Ele se empurrou para cima em seus joelhos, e depois de levantou. Quando ele tentou me levantar, também, eu dei uma boa olhada em Garrick encarando-me. Seu cabelo estava completamente I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

22 23

Aqui a rima seria a palavra douche (idiota) com a palavra sounds. Do original Mr. T que é o personagem do seriado que virou filme; Esquadrão Classe A.


sexy e seu sorriso tão esplêndido. Não era justo que ele parecesse tão bem. Eu gemi e cobri meus olhos. — Por que o mundo me odeia? Eles dois riram, mas não era engraçado. SÉRIO. Por que o mundo me odeia? — Venha, bebê. — Cade tentou me puxar para cima, mas meu corpo parecia morto. — Eu não acho que eu possa levantar —, eu disse a ele. — Eu me sinto como um miojo molhado. — É mesmo? — o rosto divertido de Cade se afastou de mim, e meus olhos fecharam. — Você se importa, Sr. Taylor? A próxima coisa que eu soube eu estava no ar e eu estava voando. Eu me inclinei para minha esquerda, e lá estava a lateral do rosto de Garrick. Era uma lateral de rosto tão bonita. Meu braço estava ao redor do seu ombro, e juntos, ele e Cade estavam me carregando. Garrick me segurou completamente enquanto Cade se agachou e vasculhou a minha bolsa pelas minhas chaves. Eu deitei minha cabeça contra o peito de Garrick. — Você cheira tão bem. Por que você sempre cheira tão bem? Cadê riu —, Tuuuudo bem. E isso é nossa deixa para deixar o professor ir. Eu abandonei Garrick, e o braço de Cade envolveu ao redor do meu meio. — Desculpe, Sr. Taylor. — Não é uma grande coisa. — Escute, ela ficaria horrorizada se ela soubesse que você a viu assim. Eu juro que ela normalmente não é assim. Ela apenas está estressada ultimamente por alguma razão. — Está tudo bem. Eu prometo. Boa noite, Bliss. Eu me animei e apanhei uma manga da sua camisa. — Não, fique. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Rusty apareceu em seguida, seu acordeão ainda na sua mão. — É, Garrick, fique. Baby Bliss tem vodka. Garrick sorriu amplamente para mim. — Eu acho que a Baby Bliss teve o bastante. E obrigada pela oferta, mas há ainda algumas linhas que eu não devo cruzar. — Seus olhos encontraram os meus, e eu soube que ele não estava falando apenas sobre a festa. Isso me deixou sóbria um pouco, não muito, mas o bastante para saber que eu estava me fazendo de tola. — Vocês pessoal tomem cuidado. Divirtam-se. Em seguida ele se afastou, e Cade me ajudou a entrar para o meu sofá. Os caras estavam prestes a atacar minha geladeira, e Kelsey sentou-se perto de mim no sofá, e deitou sobre o meu colo. — Então, seu amor estava com aparência bastante boa essa noite. — Kelsey! Cale a boca! — O que? Ninguém me ouviu. Eu olhei ao redor. Ela estava certa. Os caras estavam roubando batatas fritas da minha despensa. Lindsay e Victoria estavam derramando vodka em copos de suco de laranja. Quando eu estava certa que ninguém estava prestando atenção, eu olhei de volta para Kelsey. — Ele sempre tem boa aparência. Eu não sei quanto tempo eu posso suportar isso. Um dia eu vou entrar em combustão espontânea sexual e pular nele no meio da aula. Ela riu —, Por mais interessante que isso possa ser... você sabe que isso é uma ideia terrível. Além disso... você já teve ele. Aparentemente ele foi bastante bom para fazer você querer ele de novo, mas não é como se ele fosse um mistério que você está morrendo para juntar as peças. Você apenas precisa de distração. Eu assenti meio-sinceramente, mesmo embora eu estivesse bastante certa que nada poderia me distrair de querer Garrick. E o que Kelsey não sabia era que ele ainda era um mistério para mim. E Deus, eu queria interpretar a Nancy Drew24. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

24

Personagem de livro do autor Edward Stratemeyer, onde ela banca a detetive, para investigar um assassinato.


Os olhos de Kelsey brilharam, e ela se empurrou para cima e para fora do meu colo. — Você sabe que jogo eu nunca brinquei? — Ela perguntou para toda a sala. — Gire a garrafa! Victoria parecia cética. — Você nunca jogou Gire a garrafa? Sério? Kelsey encolheu de ombros, depois olhou para mim por sobre seu ombro, e piscou —, O que eu posso dizer? — Ela continuou. — Eu tive um início tardio. No momento em que essas senhoras apareceram —, ela apontou para seus gigantescos peitos —, as pessoas pararam de precisar de um jogo como uma desculpa para ficar. Cade ergueu uma sobrancelha para ela. — E nós precisamos de uma desculpa agora? Ela pulou do sofá, e se sentou em estilo indiano no chão, pegando uma garrafa de água metade-cheia da mesa de centro. — Claro que não. Mas é um jogo que é excitante. Ela agarrou meu braço e puxou. Eu aterrissei no chão em um monte, rindo histericamente. — Vê? — Kelsey disse. — Bliss já está se divertindo. Vic. Traga a vodka! Nós tornaremos isso um pouco mais interessante. É um Girar de Garrafa adulto. O que significa que nada de beijinho nos lábios. Eu quero ver língua. — Eu juro, Kelsey, você é mais pervertida do que a maioria dos caras que eu conheço. — Lindsay disse. — Obrigada! Agora, eu não sou irracional. Você pode escolher dar um beijinho ao invés... mas você tem que tomar uma dose como penalidade. A maioria dos garotos pareceu aliviada. Rusty pareceu desapontado. — Há muito mais garotas aqui que garotos —, Lindsay apontou. Victoria sorriu —, Talvez nós devêssemos ir encontrar Garrick e fazer com que ele se junte a nós. Eu embranqueci —, Não! Absolutamente não. — Deus, Bliss, você é tão puritana. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Kelsey me enviou um sorriso conhecedor. E eu definitivamente precisava daquela distração. Eu estendi a mão adiante e fiz a garrafa rodar. Ela aterrissou em Rusty, e eu nem sequer dei a ele a chance de não optar pelo beijo. Eu me inclinei ao outro lado do círculo, agarrarei o seu colarinho e o puxei na minha direção. Eu estava bastante bêbada que o beijo foi um pouco lambão, mas todos nós estávamos bêbados, então o que isso importou? Eu o beijei por vários segundos a mais antes de empurrá-lo para trás e deslizar de volta para o meu lugar. Rusty assobiou. — Droga garota. Se eu não fosse 110% gay, eu iria pedir para sair com você agora mesmo. Eu joguei minha cabeça para trás e ri. Era bom me deixar levar. Rusty foi a seguir, e o pobre Jeremy foi a próxima vitima. Ele agarrou a garrafa de vodka e disse —, Sem ofensa, Rusty, mas você apenas não é o meu tipo. — Ele riu, deu um grande gole, e depois plantou um leve beijinho relâmpago nos lábios de Rusty. Nós fizemos ohhhh como estudantes do ensino médio. Uma batida na porta, e Kelsey saltou e derrapou corredor abaixo. Ela retornou com dez pessoas a mais do nosso departamento. — Você não se importa, importa? — Ela me perguntou. Era exatamente como a Kelsey convidar primeiro e pedir permissão depois. Eu neguei com minha cabeça de qualquer forma, há muito tempo sem me importar. — Excelente, sentem-se senhoras e senhores. É hora da segunda libertinagem. E não havia realmente outro termo para isso. Em questão de minutos, eu vi tantos amigos ficando com amigos, indiferentes de se eles gostavam um dos outros ou se levavam uns aos outros à loucura ou pensavam uns nos outros como irmãos. Por uma noite nós colocamos tudo de lado e deixamos a garrafa de Aquafina25 determinar nossas vidas. Na vez seguinte a garrafa aterrissou em mim, a pessoa que girou uma I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

25

Marca de água.


garota. Todos os caras vaiaram para nós quando nós duas escolhemos a penalidade da dose. Mas eles vibraram com nosso beijinho de qualquer forma. Rindo, eu girei a garrafa novamente e ela parou em Cade. Cade tinha aquele olhar de menino inocente, bem abaixo do sorriso infantil que ele fixou em mim agora. Eu encolhi de ombros e rastejei na sua direção. Ajoelhando diante dele, eu coloquei minhas mãos em seus ombros e me inclinei. O beijo foi como qualquer outro beijo no início... e em seguida subitamente não era. A mão de Cade embalou na minha cabeça e sua outra me puxou pela cintura. Seus lábios se moveram contra os meus freneticamente, desesperadamente, como se o mundo estivesse prestes a terminar e essa era sua última chance de felicidade. O beijo foi apenas forte o suficiente para fazer desenrolar calor no meu estômago, mas gentil o bastante que eu me senti como se estivesse sendo venerada. Por um momento, eu me esqueci de onde eu estava e com quem eu estava e apenas me deleitei no calor, com prazer. Em seguida alguém assobiou, e peça-por-peça o mundo voltou para mim. Eu abri meus olhos e olhei para meu amigo, que tinha me beijado como se ele quisesse ser algo mais. Eu retornei ao meu lado do círculo, ignorando os comentários dos meus amigos com o beijo. Atordoada e muito além da confusão, eu me voltei para dentro de mim pelas próximas viradas. Eu podia sentir olhos em mim. O de Cade com certeza, provavelmente o de Kelsey, também. Mas minha mente estava focada em se manter firme, porque eu estava a um estalo de distância de desintegrar. Nós estávamos bêbados. Provavelmente não significou nada. E eu estava tão confusa sobre Garrick, que eu estava desesperada por contato com qualquer um. Era isso. Não significou nada. Nós ainda éramos amigos. Cade e eu sempre seríamos amigos. Eu fiquei por alguns minutos a mais, até que minha cabeça estivesse I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


girando tanto para que eu ignorasse. Eu estava me sentindo um pouco enjoada no meu estômago. Eu me levantei e me desculpei, dizendo a todos para ficarem tanto tempo quanto eles quisessem. Eu disse a eles onde encontrar cobertores extras e travesseiros se eles quisessem ficar e se largar, e em seguida eu me retirei ao meu quarto, me arrastando sob as cobertas, e deixando cair o sorriso forçado. Eu disse a mim mesma que as coisas estariam melhores pela manhã.

I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?” I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


treze

Kelsey estava desmaiada ao meu lado da cama, e havia cinco pessoas na minha sala de estar e uma mais na minha banheira. Eu sorri disso por meio segundo antes que minha ressaca não-tãogentilmente me relembrasse do quanto eu odiava o mundo. Eu escovei meus dentes e borrifei meu rosto com água antes de retornar para o meu quarto. Eu ouvi minha porta da frente abrir e fechar silenciosamente, e eu espiei minha cabeça para fora da cortina para ver quem era. Cade retornou com bastante café da manhã gorduroso para alimentar a todos nós. Eu respirei fundo e entrei na sala. — Você é um salva-vidas! — eu sussurrei. Ele olhou para cima, sorrindo, e me entregou um maciço burrito de bacon, ovo e queijo. — Como você está se sentindo? Eu franzi o cenho. — Como se eu tivesse sido atingida por um ônibus. E um realmente pesado, cheio de lutadores de sumô. Eu pulei em cima do balcão, e me arrependi disso por outros dez segundos enquanto minha cabeça girava. Ele se sentou na banqueta abaixo de mim. O burrito estava perfeito. Grosso, com tortilha macia, ovos quentes, I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


salsa deliciosa. — Eu estou apaixonada por esse burrito. Eu me casaria com ele se eu não quisesse comê-lo tão malditamente. — A tragédia do amor verdadeiro —, Cade sussurrou. Eu meio que sorri e ele meio que sorriu, e pela primeira vez em anos, eu me senti estranha com Cade. Eu afastei o olhar e me foquei nas pessoas desarrumadas pela minha sala de estar. — Como foi tudo depois que eu fui para cama? — Basicamente o mesmo. Como se ele já não estivesse, Jeremy estava apaixonado por Kelsey. Victoria deixou meio maço de pontas de cigarros no chão do lado de fora. E Rusty estava cruelmente enjoado no seu banheiro. Eu enruguei meu nariz. — Não se preocupe. Está tudo limpo. Eu sabia que você teria um ataque do coração se você acordasse com isso. Eu engoli e um peso se acomodou fundo no meu estômago. — Você é muito bom para mim, Cade. Ele apenas encolheu de ombros. Ele sempre tinha sido muito bom para mim. — Escute —, eu comecei. — Sobre a noite passada... Ele coçou a parte de trás da sua cabeça, e sua boca se levantou em um sorriso meio-sincero. — É, eu imagino que nós devemos falar sobre isso, hein? Suas mãos se acomodaram em cima do balcão ao meu lado, como se ele precisasse se apoiar para o que estava por vir. Eu limpei minha garganta, mas isso não tornou nada mais fácil falar. — Então... você? Suas mãos se apertaram até seus nódulos ficarem brancos. Depois, tudo de uma vez, ele soltou e respondeu —, É, eu gosto. Eu tenho... por um tempo. Eu olhei para cima, mas seu rosto estava ilegível. — Por que você nunca me contou nada? — Porque... eu estava assustado. Você é minha melhor amiga. E você I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


quase nunca namora... eu só não achei que você estaria interessada. Eu estava interessada? Eu podia sentir lágrimas sem sentido pressionando nos cantos dos meus olhos, e eu pisquei-as para longe. Cade era um cara ótimo. E eu amava passar tempo com ele. E o beijo definitivamente tinha sido bom. Fazia sentido gostar dele. Eu queria gostar dele, porém... Garrick era o porém. Eu poderia parar de pensar sobre Garrick? Parar de querê-lo? Eu ouvi Cade suspirar. — Você não está interessada, está? Deus, os seus olhos tinham que ser tão expressivos? Eu podia ler cada desapontamento, cada insegurança neles. Eu o amava; esse tanto era certo. E eu acho que eu poderia um dia estar apaixonada por ele, mas eu tinha que me livrar dos meus sentimentos por Garrick primeiro. Se isso tivesse acontecido no semestre passado, eu sequer estaria despedaçada? — Honestamente, Cade? Eu não sei. Talvez é uma resposta terrível? Ele pensou sobre isso por um momento, e eu não podia suportar o silêncio. — Não é que eu não goste de você. Eu acho que você é muito perfeito realmente. Eu só... você é meu melhor amigo, também, e eu não tenho certeza. Eu preciso ter certeza. — Eu quero estar certo, também. — Ele respirou fundo e sorriu. Era um sorriso bom, mas não tão brilhante quanto eu estava acostumada dele. — Eu posso viver com um talvez. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

*** Quando eu cheguei ao teatro na Segunda de manhã, a lista de re-chamada26 já estava postada. As listas do elenco (e de re-chamadas) eram os próprios monstros. É só um simples pedaço de papel na parede, mas cercadas por pessoas que já sabiam nosso destino e se tornava como caminhar para a forca. Olhos se 26

Lista de Re-chamada ou recallback é uma lista onde os atores são chamados para uma segunda tentativa de testes, porque o diretor ainda não escolheu de quem será o papel principal.


viraram na minha direção. Eu lutei para aferir suas reações. Eles estavam olhando para mim com pena? Eles estavam apenas ocultando sua animação? Sessenta centímetros de distância, e eu existia em um mundo inteiramente diferente do deles, a pressão não me impediria. Na lista, você não podia mostrar emoção. Você não podia chorar sobre um papel que não era seu ou reclamar para quem o papel ficou. Você não podia gritar de excitação ou de raiva. Você apenas tinha que lê-la, e não representar emoções. O qual não parecia tão difícil, exceto que nós éramos atores. Emoção era o que nós éramos. Cade me encontrou alguns metros de distância. — Você já olhou? Ele negou com sua cabeça. — Não, eu estava esperando por você. As coisas ainda estavam esquisitas de onde nós tínhamos conversado no dia anterior. Nós não descobrimos muito bem o que aquele todoimportante talvez significava para nós. Mas naquele momento, não importava. Nós éramos dois atores, prestes a encarar a rejeição ou outra batalha. Todos nós estávamos cheios até a borda de ansiedade, mesmo se nós tentássemos não transparecer isso, e não havia nenhum espaço para as múltiplas emoções que tínhamos acontecendo entre nós naquele momento. Ele pegou minha mão, e eu não me deixei ficar preocupada sobre o que isso poderia significar. Eu precisava do conforto. Eu precisava que ele me equilibrasse. E eu estava fracamente certa que ele precisava do mesmo. Nós demos os últimos poucos passos em direção a lista rapidamente, e a multidão ali se ajustou para nos deixar passar. Hippolytus era o primeiro da lista; ele era o enteado. Havia sete rapazes chamados para retornarem, Cade e Jeremy dentre eles. Eu olhei acima para ele, e ele estava completamente estóico. Nenhuma coisa transparecendo no seu rosto. Sem excitação, sem nervosismo. Sete significava que o diretor não estava certo. Isso significava que ele não tinha visto o que ele queria ainda. Isso significava que o papel I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


era um jogo para qualquer um, quem se esforçasse mais durante as rechamadas. Eu apertei a mão de Cade, e imediatamente ele apertou de volta. Eu sabia que as pessoas falavam sobre seus corações acelerados todo o tempo, isso nem sequer parecia uma coisa tão importante assim. Mas conforme eu olhei de volta para a lista, meu coração estava acelerado como se toda a minha vida repousasse naquela linha final. Sons estavam imprecisos nos meus ouvidos, e minha visão tinha se estreitado, e eu me sentia como se eu estivesse no limite, na beirada de algo terrível e glorioso que poderia significar voar ou cair – sucesso ou desastre. Meus olhos encontraram o negrito PHAEDRA bem abaixo disso. E depois eu vi meu nome, nada além do meu nome, como se fosse a luz no final do túnel. Era melhor do que cruzar qualquer linha de chegada. Era como dar aquela primeira respirada de ar quando eu tinha certeza que eu estava me afogando, certa que eu estava morrendo. Eu reprimi o alívio e a alegria, porque as pessoas estavam observando, e porque essa era apenas a lista de re-chamada. Apenas significava que eles não tinham me descartado ainda. A outra mão de Cade tinha se unido a nossa já unida, cobrindo a minha completamente. Meus olhos continuaram descendo. THESEUS Isso não podia estar certo. Theseus era um personagem. Meus olhos voltaram para cima, procurando pelo que eu tinha deixado escapar. Havia sete nomes abaixo de Hippolytus. E ali, abaixo de Phaedra, havia apenas um nome. Eles não estavam chamando mais ninguém. Era apenas eu. Eu tinha conseguido o papel. E em seguida, quebrando todas as regras da lista, eu gritei. Cade riu, e me ergueu pela cintura, me girando. As pessoas ao nosso redor estavam I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


aplaudindo, e eu soube que alguns tinham ouvido os rumores do nosso beijo baseado na forma que eles estavam olhando para nós. Mas por um momento, por um feliz momento, nada disso importou. Eu tinha conseguido o papel.

I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?” I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


quatorze

Eles sempre chamavam as pessoas de volta. Mesmo se eles tinham bastante certeza que eles sabiam quem eles queriam, era uma chance de estar certo, de ver o melhor mais uma vez. Mas eles me chamaram para o elenco completamente, o que significava que eles já estavam certos. Algo inchou no meu peito, e antes que eu pudesse evitar havia lágrimas construindo nos meus olhos. Eu precisei de um segundo atrás das cortinas antes de entrar no espaço da aula. Eu tentei profundas respiradas, mas isso não soltou nenhuma emoção reprimida no meu peito. Então, eu fiz a próxima coisa mais lógica. Eu dancei. Eu dancei sem música. Eu gritei sem som. Eu celebrei em silêncio, no escuro, atrás das cortinas onde ninguém podia ver. Exceto que com a sorte que eu tinha, alguém totalmente viu. — Eu estou adivinhando que você viu a lista. Eu congelei, meu bum-bum ainda inclinado para a esquerda da minha última celebração de balanço de quadril. Lentamente, eu endireitei minha postura, e me virei conforme eu disse —, Oi Garrick. Seus lábios estavam franzidos e seus olhos amplos, e eu sabia que ele estava tentando muito em não rir. — Oi, Bliss. Parabéns. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Meu cabelo estava em todo o lugar devido a dança referida, então eu o enfiei para trás das minhas orelhas como o melhor que eu podia. — Obrigada. Eu estou, huh, muito animada. — Como você deveria estar. Sua audição... — Ele se aproximou, e como sempre, sua presença arrancou a vergonha e qualquer outra emoção, e substituiu com o seu calor, com desejo. — Sua audição foi fantástica. Não havia competição. Eu engoli, mas o caroço na minha garganta permaneceu. Para minha gratidão saiu como um sussurro. — Mas Sexta à Noite... — Oh, Deus— — Por mais ridiculamente bonitinha que você fique, por favor não fique bêbada novamente. Eric irá precisar que você esteja no seu absoluto melhor para esse papel. — Lógico —, eu assenti, petrificada. — Absolutamente. Eu prometo. — E... eu estava preocupado com você, também. — Oh. Seus olhos agitaram-se ao redor do meu rosto, correndo do meu cabelo sem dúvida louco para meus olhos e para meus lábios, depois rapidamente desceu para minha perna, onde a queimadura tinha curado e deixado uma cicatriz rosa escura. — Eu não gosto de estar preocupado com você. Meu coração sentiu como se ele fosse fazer uma fuga da minha costela se eu não fizesse algo logo. Esse era um território perigoso. Havia coisas se empinando dentro de mim, coisas além da atração, além de uma obsessão com sua aparência e seu corpo e seu sotaque – coisas perigosas. Seus dedos tocaram uma mecha perto da minha bochecha, e a proximidade da sua pele me fez sentir como se eu estivesse à beira da explosão. Eu sorri e tentei suavizar a situação. — Você deveria provavelmente se preocupar com você. Me chamar de ‗bonitinha‘ de novo é um limite para conseguir com que você se machuque, possivelmente mutilado. Ele deu um passo mais perto de mim, e o mundo pareceu como se I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


estivesse se encolhendo ao redor de nós dois. A mão no meu cabelo inclinou-se para perto, seus nódulos roçando na minha bochecha. Ele abaixou a sua voz e disse —, Desde que eu não posso muito bem chamar você de uma forma alternativa aqui, bonitinha terá que servir por agora. — Minha mente teve um lampejo da primeira vez que ele me chamou de ridiculamente bonitinha. Eu tinha minhas calças presas ao redor dos meus joelhos. Ele tinha então me chamado de ridiculamente sexy e me ajudado a tirá-las. Claramente, eu precisava aprender a parar de dizer a primeira coisa que estourava na minha mente. Mas eu não podia pensar sobre isso nesse momento, porque minha mente estava presa nas suas duas últimas palavras... por agora, por agora, por agora. Ele limpou sua garganta, e recuou, largando a mecha que ele tinha prendido entre seus dedos. — Por que você não vai se sentar para a aula? Eu assenti, escorregando e passado por ele e atravessando as cortinas. Havia um assento livre para mim entre Kelsey e Cade, ambos dos quais estavam usando idênticos sorrisos enormes. Eu sorri, sacudindo para longe o encontro com Garrick para aquecer mais uma vez a minha alegria. Kelsey inclinou-se para me abraçar quando eu me sentei, e sussurrou no meu ouvido —, Eu imagino que se excitar pelo o professor realmente ajudou a entrar no personagem. Eu estou tão orgulhosa de você, docinho. Eu olhei meio-sinceramente, mas assenti meus agradecimentos. E em seguida me virei para Cade. Nós estávamos de mãos juntas antes, e abraçados quando eu descobri, mas eu não estava certa qual era o protocolo agora. Viver em um mundo de talvez era... complicado. Antes, Cade e eu éramos sem esforço. Estando com ele era apenas uma pressão tão baixa como estar sozinha. E agora de repente havia essa intensidade em tudo que nós fazíamos e tudo que nós dizíamos. Como se minha vida estivesse em letra cursiva. Quando nós estávamos nos tocando, eu percebi. Quando nós não I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


estávamos nos tocando eu percebi. E subitamente eu não podia encontrar um meio termo. Sem talvez. Então eu congelei. Nós estávamos ambos esperando, presos naquela área entre ação e recusa. Nós não éramos nada. Nós éramos inatividade. Então Garrick chamou a turma para prestar atenção, e a estranheza foi adiada por um pouco mais de tempo. Eu sabia... eu sabia eventualmente que nós tínhamos que superar isso... descobrir alguma forma de co-existir novamente. Você poderia apenas adiar tanto tempo antes que a merda atingisse o ventilador. Mas certamente eu podia esperar um pouco mais de tempo. Hoje era um dia emocionante, sem razão em arruinar com meu próprio desfile. Quando a aula terminou Eric estava esperando por mim do lado de fora. — Bom dia, Bliss. Eu posso falar com você por um momento? Eu pisquei, pega fora de guarda. — Claro. Ele abriu a porta do teatro, e gesticulou para eu re-entrar. Eu o segui através das cortinas, e ele apontou em direção ao assento diretamente ao lado de Garrick. Eu me empoleirei no assento com cuidado e olhei entre eles, insegura do que estava acontecendo. Depois eu me dei conta. Ele descobriu. Por que mais ele iria querer falar comigo e com Garrick? Oh meu Deus. O que ia acontecer comigo? Eles iriam me chutar para fora do departamento? Para fora da escola? E por fim, eu provavelmente perderia minha bolsa de estudos. Como eu pagaria a mensalidade escolar em seguida? Havia um rugido nos meus ouvidos, e a atração da gravidade pareceu tão pesada que eu senti como se eu fosse afundar bem no chão. Garrick provavelmente perderia seu emprego. O que ele faria então? Ele voltaria para a Filadélfia ou Londres ou algum outro lugar e eu nunca o veria I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


novamente. Eu me virei para ele, tentando transmitir meu remorso com um olhar, mas ele estava... sorrindo? — Bliss —, Eric disse —, Eu tenho que admitir que eu estou surpreso. O ar deixou os meus pulmões com pressa. — S-senhor, eu sin— — Você certamente aproveitou muito bem o seu tempo aqui ao longo dos anos, mas eu não tinha ideia que você era capaz desse tipo de representação que você fez na audição. Eu ainda estava cerrando meus dentes e segurando meu fôlego contra a vergonha chegando, então me demorou um momento para perceber que não estava vindo afinal. — Você sempre foi um pouco introspectiva, eu suponho. Controlada. Cuidadosa. Mecânica, pode ser a melhor palavra para isso. Mas naquela audição – você estava vivendo o momento. Você estava sentindo ao invés de pensar. Eu vi as sombras de emoção em você – força e vulnerabilidade, desejo e nojo, esperança e vergonha – isso foi simplesmente cativante. Eu não sei o que você estava fazendo ou o que você fez, mas por favor continue a fazer. Você é muito melhor quando você faz escolhas ousadas. Espontâneos, meus olhos travaram-se nos de Garrick. Ele sabia? Ele imaginou que fosse ele? Que essa coisa entre nós me fez sentir coisas que eu nunca senti e assumir riscos que eu teria me recusado há não tanto tempo atrás. Minha noite com ele foi possivelmente a única coisa impulsiva que eu já fiz. — Obrigada, senhor. — Você também, de nada. Eu estou muito ansioso para trabalhar com você. Falando nisso, eu gostaria que você viesse nas re-chamadas na Quarta. Nós gostaríamos que você lesse algumas cenas com Hippolytus, para que nós possamos obter uma boa ideia da química e da aparência no palco. — Lógico, eu estarei lá. — Ótimo, Garrick estará aqui para responder quaisquer perguntas I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


para você, também. Ele vai ser o assistente de direção nessa produção, então se você precisar de algo, você pode vir para nós dois. Ele deu uma batidinha levemente no meu ombro, e foi embora. Em seguida eu estava sozinha com Garrick. Meu coração ainda martelando impacientemente, quer por causa do medo de nós termos sido pegos, ou apenas porque eu estava sentada ao lado do cara que eu queria mas não podia ter. — Eu não posso me lembrar se eu mencionei isso, mas eu realmente estou orgulhoso de você —, Garrick disse. — Obrigada. Eu acho que eu ainda estou em choque. — Eu estava ainda em choque por tudo isso. — Bem se acostume com isso. Do que eu pude ver, eu não acho que você terá que se preocupar sobre Gestão de Palco ao menos que você realmente queira. Você é uma atriz, Bliss, quer você acredite nisso ou não. Eu assenti, arquivando aquele pensamento para longe. — Você pensou mais sobre isso? O que você gostaria de fazer após se formar? Eu peguei os fios desgastados no joelho do meu jeans. — Não muito... — Bem, se você quiser falar sobre isso, você sabe que pode sempre contar comigo. Eu ergui uma sobrancelha para ele, incapaz de colocar em palavras quanto absurda a ideia era. Ele disse —, Eu estou falando sério. Você age como se nós não pudéssemos possivelmente ser amigos. Se possível, minha sobrancelha arqueou até mesmo mais. O pensamento de ser amiga dele... era além da imaginação. Eu não pensava sobre como meus amigos eram nus. Eu não me espancava por não dormir com meus amigos. Ele riu debaixo da sua respiração e negou sua cabeça. — Tudo bem, tudo bem. Então amigos é precipitado, mas eu espero que você venha I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


a mim se você precisar de algo... de qualquer coisa. A corrente oculta de saudade que eu senti por ele em seguida era diferente do que quaisquer uma das outras atrações em direção a ele que eu senti antes. O desejo de estar com ele ainda estava ali, mas agora eu queria mais do que isso. Eu queria me enrolar em seus braços e apenas descansar minha cabeça, apenas sentir seu conforto. Que o céu me ajudasse, mas eu queria que meu professor fosse meu namorado.

I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?” I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


quinze

papéis, procurando por algo quando eu entrei no auditório na Quarta. — Oh, Bliss, você está adiantada como sempre. Isso é ótimo. Eu pareço ter perdido minhas anotações, então eu vou correr de volta lá em cima para o meu escritório. Sente-se com Garrick e apenas relaxe por um momento. Apesar do fato que eu já tinha um papel, eu estava uma pilha de nervos por essas re-chamadas. E se todos esperassem que eu fosse perfeita? E se minha audição fosse totalmente um acaso feliz? Eu observei Eric sair pela porta dos fundos e me perguntei... E se ele mudou de ideia? Eu me sentei na fileira abaixo de Garrick, desejando que eu já tivesse terminado e matado algum tempo na greenroom com os atores esperando e preparando sua segunda rodada de audições. Quando ele se inclinou na minha direção, eu disse —, Oi... amigo. Eu desisti de tentar não ficar estranha, e estava apenas aceitando isso ao invés. Ele riu, o que eu imaginei que era bom. Certamente poderia ter sido pior. Ele disse —, Não muito acreditável, mas A pelo esforço. — Alguém dá notas muito facilmente. — Alguém apenas tem um fraco por alguém se você quer saber. — Ele estava inclinado na minha direção e mesmo embora seu rosto estivesse uns bons trinta centímetros de distância de mim, eu juro que eu senti aquelas I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


palavras como se ele tivesse sussurrado-as no meu ouvido. — Desculpe —, ele respondeu quase que imediatamente. — Algumas vezes eu só me esqueço. Eu disse —, Eu também. — Mas isso era uma mentira. Eu nunca realmente me esquecia. Eu queria esquecer. Eu desejava que eu pudesse esquecer sobre os quilômetros nos separando, e apenas me deixar estar lá, apenas trinta centímetros de distância, mas eu não podia. Ele limpou sua garganta, e dessa vez eu não estava imaginando sua aproximação, ele estava centímetros da minha orelha. — Eu tenho que perguntar algo a você. — Tudo bem —, veio minha resposta ofegante. — Cade. Eu me virei, confusa, e imediatamente me inclinei de volta porque eu trouxe nossos rostos muito perto. — Isso não é uma pergunta. — Você ainda está com ele? — Com ele? — Eu só – eu não posso dizer. Vocês ainda sentam juntos na aula, mas está diferente agora. Então, eu achei que talvez vocês dois tivessem terminado. Ele pensou que Cade e eu estávamos juntos? Quanto esdruxulamente distraída eu fui? O mundo todo praticamente percebeu os sentimentos que meu melhor amigo tinha por mim. Tanto por ser como Nancy Drew, eu era claramente como Salsicha e Scooby Doo nesse cenário. — Não há nada para se terminar —, eu disse a ele. — O que? — Sim! Cade e eu não estamos juntos. Nós nunca estivemos. — Seus olhos estavam amplos agora, e sua cabeça inclinada daquele jeito que dizia que ele não acreditou em mim. — É isso o que você pensou todo esse tempo? Que eu estava traindo ele com você? Oh, meu Deus. O cara que eu poderia estar ou não estar apaixonada I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


pensou que eu era uma piranha. As coisas poderiam ficar mais ferradas? Sua cabeça estava balançando para frente e para trás, mas eu não estava certa se isso era um não ou apenas ele tentando encaixar as peças. — Eu não sei o que eu pensei. Vocês sempre estavam juntos, e ele toca você, ele está sempre tocando você. Acredite em mim, eu percebi. Eu só assumi que foi a razão... bem, por que você correu naquela noite. — Eu não corri por causa do Cade. Eu tinha que pegar o meu gato... — Bliss, eu não sou um idiota. Deus, era isso. De alguma forma, eu pensei que eu fosse escapar com essa horrível desculpa. Eu quero dizer, obviamente, não tinha deixado-o completamente desinteressado como eu originalmente achei. Mas ele sempre soube que era uma desculpa, ele apenas entendeu a razão errada. E eu não podia deixá-lo saber a razão verdadeira, não agora, não aqui nesse teatro onde nós deveríamos ser profissionais (embora eu estivesse fracamente certa que profissional já tinha sido chutado para o meio-fio). — Eu tenho um gato! Eu tenho! — Droga... por que eu não podia nunca me lembrar do gênero do meu gato imaginário? — Huh, ela é cinza e adorável e seu nome é... — Eu disse a primeira coisa que estourou na minha cabeça. — Hamlet. Eu era um gênio. Eu não podia sequer inventar um gato fêmea com um nome de fêmea. É como se houvesse essa ponte no meu cérebro entre a razão e o absurdo, e de alguma forma eu tivesse queimado-a. — Você tem um gato chamado Hamlet? — Eu tenho. — Mate-me agora. — Eu definitivamente tenho. Era isso. Eu ia ter que encontrar um gato. — Ótimo. Então, se você não está namorando o Cade, o que está acontecendo entre vocês dois? Eu podia sentir calor parasitando na minha pele do meu pescoço. — Nada. — Você é uma terrível mentirosa. Eu era uma terrível mentirosa. Minhas orelhas provavelmente I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


pareciam como se eu gastasse uma hora na mesa bronzeadora. — Não é nada. É só algo que aconteceu na Sexta quando eu estava... como vocês pessoas Britânica dizem isso? Ébria? Sorvada? Ele se sentou para trás, longe de mim, mas deixou suas mãos fechadas nas costas do meu assento. — Você dormiu com ele? — O que? Não! Ele não se inclinou de volta na minha direção, mas seu aperto na cadeira se afrouxou. Um dos seus nódulos roçou contra meu braço. — Bom. — Garrick... — Ele estava indo para aquele lugar que nós não deveríamos ir. Ele sorriu atrevidamente. — O que? Só porque eu não posso ter você agora, não significa que eu estou bem com ele tendo você. Meu cérebro deu cambalhotas com aquela locução agora novamente, mas eu forcei meus pensamentos para longe disso. — Eu vou fingir que eu não acabei de escutar você se referir a mim como uma propriedade que tem um dono. — Nós não podemos ser donos um do outro? Se cérebros pudessem ter orgasmos, eu tenho certeza que foi essa sensação que eu tive. Eu não deveria gostar disso, mas havia possessão nas suas palavras que estava ecoando nos seus olhos escuros, e causou arrepios descendo na minha coluna até meus dedos ficarem anestesiados com seu vazio. Eu não podia responder a sua pergunta, então eu perguntei uma própria. — O que aconteceu com você? Eu achei que você tivesse prometido para mim que nós não faríamos isso novamente. Ele colocou suas mãos através do seu cabelo, seus cachos saindo de formas adoráveis que fizeram meu estômago dar vira-voltas. — Eu não sei. Eu só... eu estava enlouquecendo pensando sobre vocês dois juntos. — Nós nos beijamos. Nada mais. Ele se encolheu para trás como se eu dissesse que Cade e eu estivéssemos nos casando ou tendo uma casa cheia de filhos. Eu não podia I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


olhar para o seu rosto. Fazia-me querer fazer coisas insanas. Eu me repeti —, Foi apenas um beijo. Não significou nada. — Eu não quero que ninguém mais beije você. — Garrick... — Eu estava começando a odiar o tom de aviso na minha própria voz. Se ele continuasse pressionando assim, eu não seria capaz de dizer não por mais tempo. Eu ia me jogar nele, mais provavelmente no mesmo momento em que Eric voltasse. — Eu sei que eu não estou sendo justo. Eu estou sendo um completo cretino, realmente. Eu continuo dizendo a mim mesmo para deixar você em paz, mas a verdade é... que eu não tenho certeza se eu posso. E agora que eu sei que você não está com Cade... — O que você está dizendo? A porta dos fundos chiou, e eu percebi o quanto perto nós estávamos. Meu coração tamborilando como uma corda de violão arrancada, eu dei um espaço de alguns assentos antes que Eric re-entrasse no lugar. Ele sustentava seu caderno triunfantemente. — Achei! E eu trouxe um script de verdade para você, Bliss, para que você não tenha que usar os secundários. Eu lutei para acalmar meu coração quando Eric me entregou a peça. Não olhe para Garrick. Não olhe para ele. Não importava... eu estava super-consciente dele. Mesmo se eu me movesse várias fileiras para longe dele, eu estava certa que eu saberia toda vez que ele se deslocasse ou respirasse ou olhasse para mim. O pequeno livro parecia bom em minhas mãos, ainda quente do aperto de Eric, e eu tive que resistir com a urgência de começar a despejar as palavras que cada segundo me distraiam de Garrick. A Gestora de Palco, Alyssa, que era um ano mais nova do que eu, entrou na sala para anunciar que nós já estávamos prontos para começar quando Eric estivesse. Ele assentiu para ir adiante, e então se virou para mim. — Bliss, nós vamos começar com Hippolytus. Eu vou fazer com que eles interpretem seus monólogos mais uma vez, depois eu mandarei você lá para cima. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Apenas apegue-se com o que você esteve fazendo no seu monólogo. Interprete o objetivo – que você o quer, mas sua vergonha, seu medo é o seu próprio obstáculo. Eu olhei para Garrick. Deveria ser bastante simples. Alyssa entrou novamente, Jeremy caminhando calmamente no seu rastro. Ela sentou-se na mesa técnica, ele ficou no meio do palco, seus ombros para trás, seu queixo erguido. Ele parecia bem. Eu sorri com orgulho para ele. Nosso pequeno secundarista. — Oi Jeremy. Eu gostaria começar vendo você no seu monólogo mais uma vez, só para começarem as coisas. Em seguida nós veremos como você trabalha com Bliss. Jeremy limpou sua garganta. Pausou por um momento. Eu amava aquele momento anterior. Era o peso da antecipação e esperança. Era como mergulhar de um penhasco, sabendo que o que vinha a seguir era aterrorizante e bonito e um objetivo de vida. Aquele momento... era viciante. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.”

Eu me deixei correr longe demais. Eu vejo que minha razão cedeu à violência. And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

Havia desespero na interpretação de Jeremy quando ele começou, mas ele soou jovem. Ele parecia jovem. Quando ele falou, suas palavras e suas emoções saíram com pressa. Como se uma vez que ele tivesse começado sua confissão de amor por Aricia, não havia como parar o derramamento.

Minha alma, tão orgulhosa, está finalmente dependente. Por mais do que seis meses, desesperada, envergonhada, Tendo ao longo a ferida com a qual eu estou mutilado. Eu me endureço em direção a você, e a mim mesmo, em vão...


Eu não tinha percebido até então que ambos, Hippolytus e Phaedra estavam apaixonados e envergonhados – Phaedra por causa de quem ela amava, e Hippolytus porque ele amava. Eu podia ver a vergonha na atuação de Jeremy, corroendo-o, e eu me perguntei se é o como eu tinha parecido na minha audição... se é como eu me parecia cada vez que eu pensava em Garrick.

Presente, eu fujo de você: inexistência, eu encontro você novamente. Os olhos de Garrick estavam em Jeremy, olhando de volta ocasionalmente para as anotações que ele estava escrevendo no bloco de notas no seu colo. Aquela última fala estava ecoando pela minha cabeça como música, uma melodia que fica presa e não dá a você nenhum descanso. Presente, eu fujo de você. Mas sem importar a distância entre nós, eu continuo voltando para ele. Tudo continua voltando para ele. Eric se levantou do seu lugar e disse —, Bom. Bom. Vamos ver você com a Bliss. Eu arranquei meus olhos de Garrick, e me atrapalhei com o script. Eu caminhei em direção ao palco, meus joelhos um pouco fracos, e meus pés de alguma forma trôpegos. Por mais que eu amasse Jeremy, estava evidente para mim em minutos que ele não era Hippolytus. Pela primeira vez, ele não era o herói, o bonito jovem homem que poderia virar do avesso o coração de Phaedra. Ele era mais como um menino. Ele tinha a paixão, mas algumas vezes até isso não era suficiente. Nós passamos por mais dois garotos que eram também deficientes – ambos em convicção. Aquelas audições foram rápidas. Em seguida foi a vez de Cade. Eu sempre achei que a melhor habilidade de Cade era sua voz. No palco, assumia seu baixo estrondo que sem importar o volume sustentava poder. E com a peça que era tanto sobre o texto e o lirismo nas falas – sua I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


voz era perfeita. Era sempre difícil ler o rosto de Eric, mas ele definitivamente pareceu mais feliz com Cade do que ele ficou nas duas audições anteriores. Quando as coisas ruíram foi quando Cade e eu interpretamos no palco juntos. Nós estávamos fazendo a cena onde Phaedra revela pela primeira vez seus sentimentos por Hippolytus. Eles estavam conversando sobre a morte de Theseus – marido da Phaedra e pai de Hippolytus. Hippolytus nunca gostou da sua madrasta. Ele não sabia que ela o tratava mal, para que ela pudesse mais facilmente manter sua distância porque ela o amava até mesmo antes de Theseus supostamente morrer. Nós passamos bem pela sessão sobre a morte de Theseus, mas eu estava quase na metade do meu monólogo onde eu declarava meus sentimentos quando Eric saiu da mesa e para cima do palco. — Pare, pare. Cade, o que você está fazendo? Cade pareceu aturdido, e talvez à beira de vomitar. — Me desculpe? — Você a despreza. Quando a revelação dos sentimentos dela desponta em você, você deve estar horrorizado, enojado, até mesmo zangado. — Claro, senhor. — Então porque você se parece como um filhotinho doente de amor que retorna a afeição dela? Como se eu não estivesse canalizando culpa o bastante por essa interpretação, eu senti o peso da minha própria culpa adicionada. Isso era minha culpa. Isso não era sobre a peça. Era sobre mim. Ele manteve seus sentimentos presos por tanto tempo, mas eu percebi desde àquela festa, desde que eu o beijei, que tudo estava perto da superfície. Ele usava sua esperança como um casaco de inverno, camadas e mais camadas em cima dele todo. Eu não olhei para ele enquanto ele e Eric conversavam, porque eu não estava certa se eu podia impedir que a pena saísse do meu rosto, e ele odiaria ver isso. Então, eu olhei para Garrick ao invés disso. Seu rosto estava I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


deformado. Mesmo embora ele estivesse cerca de quatro metros e meio longe de mim, eu senti como se eu estivesse vendo-o de muito longe. Ele apenas olhou para mim por um momento mais longo, antes do seu olhar pular para Cade, e seu cenho franzido se aprofundou. Depois de alguns segundos, ele encontrou meus olhos novamente, e sustentou-os ali com seu olhar. Havia algo diferente no seu olhar, algo mudado, algo que fez meu coração bater mais forte e o cabelo formigar na superfície da minha pele. Cade e eu terminamos nossa cena sem mais incidentes. Não foi a interpretação mais forte que ele poderia ter dado, mas eu achei que ainda era a melhor até agora. Embora eu fosse imparcial, eu imagino. Eu deveria ter ficado feliz que meu amigo tivesse problemas em até mesmo atuar em ter nojo de mim. Mas no fundo da minha mente, um pensamento estava plantado, suas raízes se cavando mais fundo apesar das minhas tentativas de empurrá-lo para longe. Se ele soubesse da razão verdadeira de eu ter dito talvez... se ele soubesse o que estava nos mantendo separados, ele provavelmente não teria nenhum problema em me desprezar. Eu estava um pouco desfocada do início ao fim do próximo teste. Tanto que Eric decidiu que era hora de dar um intervalo. Precisando de ar fresco, eu escorreguei para fora, pela Saída de Emergência (a qual nunca era utilizada), e eu soube antes que eu ouvisse a porta guinchar abrindo novamente atrás de mim que Garrick me seguira. — Você está indo bem —, ele disse. Eu soprei um rápido fôlego. Poderia ter sido uma risada, se eu tivesse mais energia. — É, isso é por que você está aqui fora tentando me fazer sentir melhor. — Minhas razões por estar aqui fora são inteiramente egoístas. Eu continuei achando que eu poderia me acostumar com ele dizendo coisas assim, sua franqueza. Eu nunca me acostumava. — Você estava certo. Você está agindo como um cretino completo. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Aquele pequeno calor que havia nas minhas palavras acabou quando ele sorriu. Ele deu a volta para ficar ao meu lado, olhando para fora em algum ponto distante no campus. — Eu continuo achando que essa peça é uma visão. É tanto como nós. — Eu sou a mãe cheia de luxúria nessa situação ou você? Seus olhos voltaram para mim, mergulhando e explorando as curvas e linhas do meu corpo. — Oh, essa definitivamente sou eu —, ele respondeu. — Phaedra continua dizendo que ela está sendo egoísta. Que ela se odeia por isso, mas ela faz do mesmo jeito. Ela não pode negar para si o que ela quer, mesmo se isso traga a sua ruína e a dele. — E você aprendeu alguma coisa do nosso paralelo literário? — Não muito. Eu continuo achando que ela faria isso repetidamente se houvesse uma chance... uma chance que isso pudesse dar certo. Mesmo se em 99 de 100 vezes na estória acabar mal, vale a pena se ela conseguir apenas uma vez um final feliz. — Escute, Garrick, enquanto esse paralelo que você está desenhando é adorável, especialmente com esse sotaque, eu estou um pouco cansada de metáforas, e ser comparada à estórias de amor condenadas. Apenas diga o que você quer dizer. Eu estive confundindo textos antigos a noite toda. Eu não quero ter que decifrar você, também. — Eu estou dizendo que eu estava errado. — Ele deu um passo mais perto, e minha exaustão fugiu, substituída com eletricidade sob minha pele. — Eu estou dizendo que eu gosto de você. Eu estou dizendo que eu não dou a mínima que eu sou o seu professor. Então ele me beijou. Eu o empurrei para trás antes que meu coração e mente se deixassem levar. O prazer que me atingiu depois do beijo já estava encerrado, então pareceu como um eco. E mesmo embora eu fosse aquela que o afastou, eu sentia a sua falta. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


— Garrick, isso é louco. — Eu gosto de louco. A pergunta era... eu gostava? Essa era a coisa mais louca que eu já tinha feito, e estava tanto me aterrorizando e me excitando. Eu recuei, precisando de distância para pensar, para acondicionar o meu cérebro ao redor da sanidade. Havia tantas formas para isso terminar mal. Mas então, em seguida, pela primeira vez na vida, eu achei minha própria vida mais interessante do que a estória de um personagem em uma página. E Deus, eu queria saber como terminava. E Eric não tinha dito que eu era melhor quando eu fazia escolhas arrojadas. Ele estava falando sobre atuar, mas isso não se confirmava para a vida, também? A mão de Garrick roçou sobre minha testa, depois empurrou meu cabelo para trás. — Apenas pense sobre isso. Oh, eu iria pensar sobre isso. Praticamente seria tudo o que eu poderia pensar. Ele pressionou um rápido, quase não beijo na minha testa e me deixou do lado de fora, meus pensamentos em uma desordem e meu coração uma bagunça. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


dezesseis

você iria querer um gato? — Kelsey perguntou enquanto nós deixávamos Direção no dia seguinte. — Eu só quero, tá bom? Você quer vir ou não? Ela encolheu de ombros. — Não posso. Desculpe. Eu tenho trabalho. Apenas leve o Cade. Como se ele estivesse sido chamado, Cade apareceu entre nós, e eu me perguntei quanto tempo ele esteve escutando nossa conversa. — Me levar aonde? Eu disse —, Eu vou a uma sociedade humanitária buscar um gato. — Oh. Legal —, ele disse, assentindo. — Eu desejaria que eu não estivesse vivendo nos dormitórios. Eu amaria ter um cão. Eu estava consciente do espaço cuidadoso que ele manteve entre nós, e da quase constante sacudida da sua cabeça, como se acenando tivesse dado a ele algo a se fazer, e ele não queria desistir. Kelsey abaixou seus óculos escuros da sua cabeça e sobre seus olhos mesmo embora nós ainda estivéssemos no lado de dentro. — Bem, por mais divertido que isso seja... eu tenho que conseguir um emprego. Vocês dois se divirtam no abrigo. Não venham para casa com um gato fêmea, Bliss. — Kelsey estava absorta do olhar em pânico que eu estava disparando para ela. Cade e eu realmente não tínhamos ficado sozinhos desde toda a conversa do talvez. Ele mexia na sua mochila carteiro no seu outro ombro, inquieto I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


como ele sempre ficava quando ele estava nervoso. — Se você quiser ir sozinha — está legal. — Não, não. Você deveria vir. — Nós tínhamos que acabar com isso. E eu só via duas maneiras – nós ficando juntos ou não. A espera ia acabar com o nosso relacionamento (se já não estivesse bastante estropiado). Se nós tínhamos que ter essa conversa, ao redor de animais bonitinhos provavelmente era o melhor lugar. — Tudo bem. Legal —, ele disse. Legal... tá bom. Eu estava feliz em ser a pessoa dirigindo. Isso me deu uma forma de ocupar meu corpo e minha mente. E era meu carro, então eu podia aumentar a música tão alto quanto eu quisesse. O que eu não tinha contado era Cade estando à vontade o bastante no meu carro para diminuí-la. — Então, o que fez você decidir ter um gato? Oh, você sabe. Eu quase tive uma noite de sexo sem compromisso com nosso professor, mas fugi usando meu gato imaginário como desculpa, e agora ele pode querer que nós estejamos juntos, juntos mesmo embora seja a pior ideia do mundo, mas eu meio que não me importo com isso também, porque meu corpo e provavelmente meu coração estão me dizendo que é a melhor ideia do mundo. Então agora eu preciso de um gato para que ele não perceba que eu estava mentindo sobre o gato e porque eu sou virgem e me acovardei de fazer sexo com ele. — Apenas quis um —, foi o que eu realmente respondi. — Oh. Legal. Se ele disser, ―legal‖ mais uma vez eu vou gritar. Eu entrei no estacionamento da sociedade humanitária, desejando que eu tivesse dito a Cade que eu queria ir sozinha afinal de contas. Eu precisava de algo felpudo e adorável em minhas mãos, fato. Nós entramos naquele distinto cheiro medicamentoso que era reservado para abrigos e veterinários. A moça na mesa da frente até mesmo pareceu vagamente felina, como se ao trabalhar aqui estivesse no seu DNA. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Seu rosto estava levemente severo, seus olhos inclinados, e seu cabelo curto e ondulado. — Oi! Como eu posso ajudá-los? — Oi —, eu disse. — Eu estou interessada em adotar um gato. Ela aplaudiu mãos minúsculas que eu imaginei como patas. — Isso é fantástico. Nós temos muitos candidatos. Por que eu não levo vocês ao ambiente dos gatos, e eu darei a vocês dois uma chance de olhar por aí. Nós a seguimos corredor abaixo, aquele cheiro de anti-séptico ficando mais forte, sem dúvida cobrindo o odor de uma multidão de animais vivendo em um lugar. — Aqui estamos nós. A sala estava empilhada com gaiolas, e eu não sei se o coro de miados começou com a nossa entrada ou se era constante, mas nós fomos cercados pelo som. — Eu irei deixar vocês dois sozinhos. Tudo o que nós pedimos é que vocês apenas tirem um animal de cada vez. — Com um amplo, sorriso de Cheshire27 e um aceno, ela partiu. Em silêncio, eu espiei dentro das gaiolas, me sentindo perdida. Eu gostava de gatos, mas eu não estava certa se eu realmente queria um. O que eu faria com ele quando eu me formasse? Valia a pena por um cara? Valia a pena apenas para fazer sexo? Eu quero dizer, não é como se não houvesse outras opções para perder minha virgindade. Eu olhei para Cade, que tinha escorregado seus dedos para dentro de uma gaiola próxima, acariciando um gato preto meia-noite. Se eu fosse honesta, isso não era apenas para fazer sexo, mesmo se tivesse começado dessa forma. Por mais que eu quisesse Garrick, eu tenho bastante certeza que se eu tentasse dormir com ele novamente, se transformaria em uma repetição da minha primeira performance desajeitada. — Você quer saber? — eu disse alto. — Talvez eu não esteja pronta I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

27

O nome do gato do desenho Alice no país das maravilhas.


para um gato. Eu me virei para partir, mas Cade entrou no meu caminho. — Opa. Muito sem personalidade. Você nem sequer segurou um. Dê uma chance. Ele abriu a gaiola com o gato preto e o arrastou para os meus braços. Ele o trouxe na minha direção, esfregando a mandíbula do gato. Eu estava no nível visual com bola de pêlos, e eu podia ouvir o ronco do motor dos seus ronrons daqui. Eu dei um passo para trás, e tentei explicar sem realmente explicar. — Não é que eu não goste de gatos. Eu de fato, eu acho que eu adoraria ter... um gato. Mas e se eu tiver um gato antes que eu esteja pronta? E se eu escolho o gato errado? Ou e se eu sou péssima em... ser uma dona de um gato, eu quero dizer? Deus, quanto mais fácil seria se eu pudesse dizer o que eu realmente pensava? Cade rolou seus olhos, e empurrou o animal nos meus braços. — Bliss, você não pode ser péssima com isso se você tentar. Eu poderia ser péssima no sexo, porém. Conhecendo o meu superativo, cérebro neurótico –eu poderia ser completamente terrível com isso. O gato se esticou e esfregou o topo da sua cabeça contra meu queixo. Foi bastante adorável. Cade estava radiante para mim, e eu pensei... talvez Cade fosse a melhor escolha. Eu estaria tão aterrorizada por sexo se eu estivesse fazendo isso com Cade? O pensamento me fez sentir trêmula, insegura. Eu passei o gato de volta para seus braços, ainda insegura, mas me sentindo um pouco mais calma. Quando cheguei na fileira de gaiolas, e procurei por uma cinza que poderia se passar por Hamlet. Quando eu a encontrei, o Destino deveria estar rindo de mim. Ela estava agachada no fundo da sua gaiola, seus grandes olhos verdes cautelosos. Eu abri a porta da gaiola, e ela respondeu com um rosnado gutural. Lógico... eu iria ficar com o gato assustado. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Sobre meu ombro, Cade disse —, Você não está falando sério. Se eu apenas não estivesse. Mas eu tinha dito ao Garrick que Hamlet era cinza. — Algumas vezes, são as coisas assustadoras na vida que valem à pena. — Eu disse a ele. Tenho certeza que eu tinha lido no biscoito da sorte uma vez. Isso pareceu sábio, certo? Eu estiquei minhas mãos dentro da gaiola, preparei para uma mordida ou um arranhão ou um massacre completo, mas enquanto minhas mãos circulavam o meio da fera, ela reagiu apenas com um baixo rosnado. Cade negou sua cabeça. — Por que você não iria querer esse? — Ele levantou o gato preto perto do seu rosto. — Ele é tão doce! Em contraste, o gato nos meus braços estava em alerta máximo – suas pernas eretas, olhos amplos. Eu tinha uma sensação que se eu tentasse segurá-la mais perto, ela iria me espancar. Eu a coloquei no chão e ela saiu correndo, se escondendo em baixo de um banco perto. Eu sabia que ele estava apenas me perguntando sobre o gato, mas eu ouvi outra pergunta. Uma que ele não tinha feito, não hoje de qualquer forma. E Cade era doce, e o pensamento de estar com ele não me deixava imobilizada com medo. O pensamento de estar com ele não me deixava com nenhuma emoção poderosa, realmente. Foi quando eu soube— — Cade... eu preciso retirar o meu talvez. Eu juro que até os gatos pararam seus miados. Eu podia imaginar seu silêncio aturdido. Eu fiquei imaginando o que na língua do gato fosse por I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

Oh, não ela não fez. — Oh. Eu desejei que ele reagisse – gritasse, argumentasse, qualquer coisa. Eu esperei por ele brigar como aquele gato, garras para fora, dentes descobertos. Ao invés disso, ele caminhou calmamente para longe e colocou o gato preto cuidadosamente na sua gaiola, provavelmente porque nós não podíamos ter mais do que um gato solto de uma vez como a moça disse. Esse era Cade,


sempre pensando sobre as regras. É como eu sempre fui, também, mas eu estava começando a pensar que não era como eu queria ser agora. Seu movimento foi mecânico, simples, preciso. Ele fechou a porta da gaiola e virou o trinco com um estalo agudo. Ele manteve suas costas para mim enquanto ele falou. — Tenho a permissão de perguntar por que? Eu suspirei. Eu devia isso a ele, mas como eu poderia contar a ele isso? Ele não podia saber. Se eu fosse fazer essa coisa com Garrick (quem eu estava enganando? Eu provavelmente vou), então ninguém poderia saber. Nem mesmo meus melhores amigos. — Eu... pode haver outra pessoa. — Pode haver? Isso era enfie-sua-mão-em-um-terrível-liquidificador. Ele não olhava para mim, e o coração em meu peito parecia um fino papel, como papel de seda, o que significava que eu estava bem perto da insensibilidade, fazendo isso com o meu melhor amigo. — As coisas ainda estão um pouco... complicadas. Mas eu gosto dele, muito. Eu ia esperar, ver se os sentimentos sumiriam, para que talvez você e eu pudéssemos... — Eu parei, não querendo colocar em palavras o que eu estava pensando. Não havia objetivo nisso. — Mas Cade, eu não posso lidar com como as coisas estavam. Faz menos de uma semana, e eu sinto que eu estou morrendo. Eu odeio questionar tudo que eu faço perto de você, me perguntando se está correto, me perguntando se isso cruza a linha, me perguntando se eu estou magoando você. Eu sinto falta do meu melhor amigo, mesmo quando eu estou bem ao seu lado. Então... eu tenho que fazer uma escolha. E eu preciso muito de você na minha vida para estragar tudo conosco. Se eu lhe dissesse sim, e em seguida meus sentimentos por ele não sumissem... eu não poderia fazer isso. Por favor me diga que eu já não estraguei tudo. Por favor, por favor. Ele se virou depois, e eu estava assustada pela mágoa que eu vi nele. O rosto de Cade pareceu estranho com uma careta. — Eu quero dizer que I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


nós estamos bem, Bliss. Eu preciso de você, também. Mas eu não posso fingir que eu não estava esperando que isso fosse a algum lugar. Eu não sei se eu posso fazer isso. A verdade é que... você está me magoando. Não de propósito, eu sei disso. Mas eu amo você e cada segundo que você não me ama de volta... machuca. — Cade— eu estendi a mão para ele. — Não, por favor. Eu não posso. O cheiro de medicamentos do abrigo subitamente estava opressor, enjoativo. Eu perguntei —, Não pode o que? Não pode ser meu amigo? — Eu não sei, Bliss. Eu só não sei. Talvez. — A sugestão de amargura no seu tom era pequena, mas me golpeou como uma bofetada sobre o rosto de qualquer forma. Ele saiu pela porta, e eu me afundei no banco, sentindome desgastada e queimada e ferida. Meu coração de papel de seda estava em farrapos. Eu fiquei sentada ali, tentando decifrar uma forma que eu pudesse ter feito isso melhor. Havia algum caminho razoável que eu poderia ter pegado que não teria ferrado com isso tão completamente? Contando a ele não diretamente teria sido melhor? Eu deveria ter esperado até que o ano estivesse terminado e Garrick tivesse partido, e então tentado ter algo com Cade? Minha mãe tinha me dito uma vez quando eu era pequena e tive uma amizade desfeita que alguns relacionamentos apenas terminavam. Como uma estrela, eles queimam brilhantes e intensos, e depois nada em particular dá errado, eles apenas chegam ao seu fim. Eles se esgotam. Eu não podia compreender a minha amizade com Cade sendo terminada. Algo cutucou a minha panturrilha, e então a cabeça do gato cinza apareceu entre as minhas pernas. Ela empurrou todo o seu corpo através do espaço entre os meus membros, roçando contra mim conforme ela passava. Ela circulou de volta e pressionou sua cabeça contra minha canela. Eu I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


estendi uma mão para baixo, e ela congelou, se agachando contra o chão com medo. Lentamente, eu me movi até que minha mão pressionasse contra suas costas, deslizando ao longo da sua pelagem em um afago suave. Seu rosto relaxou, e eu a acariciei novamente. Eu me abaixei no chão ao lado dela. Ela olhou acima para mim, mas ela não correu. Quando eu estava certa que ela estava confortável comigo, eu a ergui em meus braços. Eu pressionei meu rosto contra sua pelagem, absorvendo o conforto que ela não percebeu que estava me dando. — Vamos fazer um acordo, Hamlet. Eu irei ajudar você a ter menos medo, se você me ajudar, também.

I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?” I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


dezessete

em que eu preenchi a papelada necessária, e tinha Hamlet alojada dentro de um transportador de gato de papelão barato, quase trinta minutos se passaram desde que Cade saiu em direção ao meu carro. De pé no estacionamento, eu não podia encontrá-lo em nenhum lugar. Eu puxei meu celular, nenhuma mensagem. Eu olhei nos pára-brisas, nenhum recado. Eu liguei para o seu telefone, sem resposta. Eu liguei para o seu telefone novamente, direto na caixa postal. Ao som do bipe, eu estava chorando. — Cade, eu sinto muito. Eu sinto muito. Eu não sei como fazer isso melhorar. Eu só quero que nós sejamos como nós sempre fomos. Deus, isso é estúpido. Eu sei que nós não podemos. Eu sei que as coisas não podem ser como elas eram antes, mas... eu não sei. Deixa pra lá. Só... deixe-me saber que você está bem. Você não está no meu carro, e eu não sei como você foi para casa, se você foi para casa. Apenas me ligue. Por favor. Vamos conversar sobre isso. Alguns minutos mais tarde, eu estava sentada ao lado do meu carro no cascalho, meu jeans manchado com poeira, eu recebi uma mensagem. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

Eu estou bem. Eu tentei ligar de volta, direto na caixa postal de novo. E por mais forte que eu tentasse me sentir de outra forma, mais forte


que eu tentasse ter esperanças que nós superaríamos isso... eu já sentia. Eu sentia se esgotando. Talvez fosse a mágoa. Talvez eu finalmente tivesse enlouquecido. Talvez eu só não tivesse mais nenhum lugar para ir. Mas quando eu voltei para meu condomínio, eu não fui para meu apartamento. Com Hamlet nas mãos, eu fui para o de Garrick. Eu não sei como eu me aparentava quando ele abriu a porta. Eu realmente não quero saber. Mas ele abriu a porta amplamente quase que instantaneamente, gesticulando para eu entrar sem fazer perguntas. Eu nunca estive no seu apartamento. Eu deveria ter assimilado tudo e pedido para que ele me mostrasse os arredores. Eu deveria ter dito algo, mas a única coisa na ponta da minha língua foi um soluço, e precisou de toda a minha energia, e toda a minha concentração para segurá-lo no lado de dentro. Mas até mesmo isso não foi o suficiente quando seus dedos inclinaram meu queixo para cima. Ele falou meu nome, e eu vi o olhar preocupado naqueles olhos. As lágrimas fluíram de mim como uma xícara transbordando, e eu não pude controlar, não pude respirar direito, não pude explicar. Ele tirou a caixa de Hamlet das minhas mãos e envolveu um braço no meu ombro. Ele me conduziu descendo um corredor quase idêntico ao meu, para dentro de uma sala de estar que era vastamente diferente. Estava cheia com livros, alguns em prateleiras, alguns em pilhas no chão. A mobília era simples, levemente moderna, mas não tão moderna que eu hesitaria em me afundar no acolchoado sofá preto, apanhando um travesseiro branco para abraçar no meu peito. Depois Garrick estava ao meu lado, arrancando o suave travesseiro das minhas mãos, e substituindo o conforto com ele próprio. Ele me puxou para o seu colo, me embalando como uma criança, enxugado minhas lágrimas, colocando meu cabelo para trás, esfregando minhas costas. — Ele me odeia —, eu finalmente consegui. Ele não tinha perguntado, I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


mas sua preocupação arrancou isso de mim de qualquer jeito, arrancando as palavras direto da minha boca. — Quem, amor? Rápidas, curtas respiradas se arremessaram dos meus lábios, pequenos gemidos que eu parecia não poder controlar. — C-Cade. — Cade nunca odiaria você —, ele disse. — Ele odeia. Ele partiu. Ele não vai sequer falar comigo. — Eu me dissolvi em outro ataque de lágrimas, e ele apenas me puxou mais perto, enfiando minha cabeça debaixo do seu queixo, contra seu peito. Ele me deixou chorar, murmurando coisas todo o tempo. Você irá

ficar bem, amor. As coisas irão se resolver. Acalme-se. Respire, Bliss. Eu estou aqui. Ficará tudo bem. O que quer que seja nós vamos resolver. Está tudo bem, amor. Ele deve ter sussurrado milhares de variações. Mas ele nunca parou de tentar, sem importar o quanto eu não o estivesse ouvindo. Quando eu terminei de chorar, eu estava tão cansada para fazer qualquer outra coisa. Eu fiquei mole contra ele, não fazendo nada além de inspirar e expirar. E ele me segurou firme. Finalmente, um barulho rompeu através da névoa. Um baixo, rosnado irritado. Hamlet. Eu tinha deixado Hamlet presa naquela caixa todo esse tempo. Cheia de propósito, eu me sentei, de cabeça limpa novamente pelo momento. — Desculpe, eu preciso levá-la para casa. — Eu estava me levantando e estendendo a mão para seu caixote, quando Garrick me pegou pelos meus cotovelos. — Fique, amor. Você está chateada. Eu cuidarei do gato. Não. Eu não podia deixar que ele fizesse isso. Porque então ele veria que todas as coisas do gato que eu trouxe na noite anterior ainda estavam novinhas em folha e sem uso. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


— Não, está tudo bem. Eu realmente devo ir. Eu estou bem, agora. Obrigada. — Bliss, por favor, converse comigo. Meu corpo estava inclinado na direção dele contra a minha vontade, doendo pelo seu conforto novamente, mas eu não tinha tomado uma decisão ainda. — Eu não sei... — Que tal isso – você vai para casa e cuida do gato, e daqui a pouco, eu irei levar o jantar. Nós podemos conversar ou apenas assistir a um filme ou qualquer coisa que você precise fazer. Eu só... se você partir assim, eu irei enlouquecer de preocupação com você. Depois de um momento, eu assenti. — Tudo bem. — Jura? — Sim, apenas me dê uma hora, tá bom? Ele sorriu, e eu soube... que eu estava com problemas. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?” I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed.

***

“You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more

Eu tinha certeza que meu novo gato me odiava. Não que eu a culpasse, depois que eu a tivesse deixado naquela caixa por tanto tempo. Sem importar o que eu fizesse, ela soltava aquele rosnado de boca fechada toda vez que eu desse um passo em qualquer lugar perto dela. Eu preparei comida para ela na cozinha, a qual ela ignorou. Eu fiz uma caixa de areia e coloquei no armário da dispensa. Eu a ergui, e a carreguei para a caixa, colocando-a no interior para que ela soubesse onde estava. Ela sibilou uma vez, e depois correu, chutando areia no seu caminho. Ela desapareceu debaixo do sofá, apenas seus olhos diabólicos brilhando, visíveis na escuridão. Por que eu não tinha dito ao Garrick que eu tinha um gato chamado


Lady Macbeth? Isso teria sido muito mais adequado. Pelo resto do tempo, eu fui deixada sozinha com meus pensamentos, os quais eram cerca de tão prazerosos quanto o vírus Ebola. Eu endireitei a sala de estar, depois pensei em fugir. Eu endireitei meu quarto, depois corri para o banheiro, certa de que eu fosse vomitar. Eu não vomitei. Eu quase desejei que eu tivesse. Eu poderia ter dito que eu estava doente. Antes que eu realmente tivesse a chance de falar comigo mesma para entrar ou sair disso... houve uma batida na porta. Meu coração pareceu como se alguém estivesse usando-o como trampolim. Eu respirei fundo. Eu não tinha prometido nada a ele. Ele tinha dito que nós poderíamos conversar. Ou assistir a um filme. Ou fazer qualquer coisa que eu quisesse. Isso não tinha que ser uma coisa importante. Quando eu abri a porta, Garrick pareceu tão feliz que foi difícil continuar a temer a sua presença. — Eu me esqueci de perguntar o que você queria, então eu trouxe pizza, um hambúrguer e uma salada. — Ele estava equilibrando todos os três em suas mãos, e eu fui de repente dominada pelo quanto eu gostava dele. Não apenas de uma forma romântica. De um modo geral. Ele era meio que impressionante. Eu sorri. — Pizza está bom. Eu recuei, e ele entrou no meu apartamento. Por mais que eu estivesse entrado em pânico antes, parecia natural tê-lo aqui. Não que eu ainda não estivesse nervosa, era apenas... que ele parecia como se ele pertencesse. Nós fomos para a minha cozinha/sala de estar, e ele colocou a comida na pequena ilha circular que se projetava do balcão da minha cozinha. Eu me ocupei conseguindo para nós dois bebidas e pratos, e quando não havia mais nada com o que eu pudesse me distrair, eu puxei uma das baquetas enfiadas debaixo da ilha balcão e me sentei ao lado dele. Eu arrastei uma fatia de pizza no meu prato, e ele abriu a salada. Eu estreitei meus olhos para ele. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


— Você seriamente não vai sentar-se aí e comer salada enquanto eu entupo meu rosto com a bondosa gordura, você vai? Ele despejou molho em cima do seu alface e sorriu. — Oh, eu vou comer o hambúrguer, também. E um pouco da pizza, se você deixar alguma coisa para mim. Eu rolei meus olhos. Caras eram um saco. Nós conversamos. Não realmente sobre alguma coisa importante. Ele hesitou quando eu mergulhei a minha pizza no molho. Quando eu o fiz tentar, ele enrugou o seu rosto como se isso fosse grosseria, mas eu o vi mergulhar um pedaço novamente mais tarde quando eu estava reabastecendo minha bebida. Não foi até que eu estivesse tão cheia que eu me sentia como se eu fosse explodir que ele trouxe a tona o meu colapso anterior. — Então, você pode me contar agora o que aconteceu com Cade? Eu cutuquei o pepperoni da fatia meio-comida da pizza no meu prato. — Nós tivemos uma briga, eu acho. Eu não tenho certeza. Nós nunca de verdade tivemos uma briga antes. — Sobre? Eu empurrei o ar para fora que eu estava prendendo nos meus pulmões, e decidi por retornar as coisas à geladeira, e colocar nossos pratos na pia. — Sobre o beijo. Eu podia imaginar a reação de Garrick mesmo sem vê-la, então eu decidi continuar e lavar os pratos... à mão... mesmo embora eu tivesse uma máquina de lavar. — Ele gosta de mim —, eu continuei. — Ele me disse depois do beijo, e nós estávamos tentando agir como se nada mudou, mas foi horrível, e eu só me cansei de fingir que as coisas estavam normais. Ele apareceu ao meu lado, pegando um prato, e secando-o para mim. Ele deve ter percebido por agora que era mais fácil para eu falar, quando nós não estávamos olhando um para o outro porque ele manteve seus olhos I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


focados no prato bem depois que estava seco. — Então, o que você fez? — Eu disse a ele que eu não achava que isso fosse acontecer. — Você não estava nem um pouco interessada? — Garrick perguntou. Eu não achei que Garrick realmente quisesse ouvir isso, mas ele ia ter o que ele estava pedindo. Eu precisava de alguém para desabafar. — Eu pensei sobre isso. Cade é doce, e eu gosto de estar com ele, mas ele não me faz sentir algo, de verdade. Ele parou de encarar o prato, e se virou na minha direção, inclinando seu quadril contra o balcão ao meu lado. — Eu faço você sentir algo? Eu olhei acima para ele apenas tempo o bastante para ver se ele estava brincando. Ele não estava. Eu afastei o olhar. — Essa é uma pergunta estúpida. — É? Você é muito mais difícil de ler do que você pensa que é. Eu sequei minhas mãos em uma toalha, e me movi até o sofá, empurrando-me em um canto, e arrastando um travesseiro para o meu colo. — Eu estou falando sério —, Garrick continuou. — Algumas vezes você reage... como, bem, como eu quero que você reaja. Mas depois outras vezes, como no lado de fora durante as re-chamadas, você me afasta como se você não estivesse afetada por mim da forma com que eu estou por você. Eu apertei o travesseiro mais forte ao meu peito. — Eu estou afetada, Garrick. Eu só estou confusa também... e preocupada. E eu não entendo por que você não está. Ele se sentou no lado oposto do sofá, todo o meio acolchoado nos separando. — Eu acho que tudo o que eu faço é me preocupar —, ele disse. — E ainda assim você acha que isso é prudente? Ele negou com sua cabeça, rindo. — Oh, definitivamente não é prudente. Eu sei disso. Mas honestamente, Bliss? Eu estou extremamente infeliz aqui. É ótimo ter um emprego estável, e eu estou adorando ensinar, I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


mas eu não tenho quaisquer amigos permanecentes por aqui. Eu vou ao trabalho, e depois eu volto para o meu apartamento. E eu penso em você porque eu não posso evitar, e não há nada mais para me distrair. Especialmente quando eu sei que você só está a um prédio de distância. Na noite em que nós nos conhecemos... Bliss, eu normalmente não faço coisas daquele tipo. Mas eu estava considerando tudo sobre vir para cá, e você era tudo o que eu precisava. Eu não sei quantas vezes eu me impedi de vir até aqui e bater na sua porta. E sim, ver você com Cade foi definitivamente uma motivação, mas mais do que isso... eu apenas gosto de você, Bliss. Como um professor. Como uma pessoa. Como um cara. Era difícil manter minha respiração firme, difícil impedir a cobiça de aparecer no meu rosto, difícil de me impedir de me esticar para ele. — Então, e agora? — eu perguntei a ele. — Eu não tenho absolutamente nenhuma ideia Eu tinha tantas ideias. Esse era o problema. — Se nós fizermos isso... — eu comecei e depois parei. Toda a sua postura mudou, e eu a senti ecoar na minha própria. Nós estávamos prestes a cruzar a linha, e nós dois sabíamos disso. — Se nós fizermos isso, nós temos que ser cuidadosos. — Ele assentiu, seus olhos fixos em mim. — E eu acho que nós devemos ir com calma. Se nós entrarmos nisso muito rápido, nós ficaremos descuidados. — E eu precisava de mais tempo para pensar sobre isso, sobre sexo com ele, e se isso era algo que eu queria fazer. Eu não estava certa se lento era algo que nós poderíamos fazer, mas era a única maneira que eu podia fazer isso sem entrar em pânico. Quem eu estava enganando? Eu ia entrar em pânico independentemente. A diferença era se isso fosse como um sinto-me-como-se-eu-vou-adoecer-de-pânico ou um tranque-me-no-meu-apartamento-por-uma-semana-de-pânico. — Tudo bem —, Garrick escorregou para perto de mim no sofá, na metade do caminho do meio do sofá. — Eu posso ser cuidadoso... e lento. Minha pele foi invadida com arrepios quando ele estendeu uma mão para mim. Eu me deixei ter medo por um segundo, mas depois a necessidade I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


de tocá-lo dominou até mesmo meu medo. Eu empurrei o travesseiro para fora do meu colo, e deslizei na sua direção. Eu coloquei minha mão na dele, e ele a ergueu para sua boca, segurando-a ali contra seus lábios. Ele fechou seus olhos, e o simples toque encharcou o meu corpo, suavizando minha ansiedade. Como uma chave em uma tranca, meu corpo caiu no dele, encaixando-se perfeitamente. Com minha cabeça no seu peito, e seu braço ao redor do meu ombro, eu respirei fundo e soube que não havia volta.

I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?” I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


dezoito

anterior evaporou na Sexta de manhã. Cade não estava com raiva por assim dizer, mas ele não estava muita coisa de fato. Ele não conversou comigo na greenroom ou sentou perto de mim na aula. Quando eu me unia a uma conversa, ele saía. Eu era uma droga, e ela pareceu estar em abstinência. O gentil sorriso de Garrick na Preparação Sênior ajudou. Nós requisitamos os computadores do laboratório de Designer pelo dia para fazer pesquisa de pós-graduação. Alguns estavam pesquisando escolas de graduação, outros vasculhando estágios. Kelsey estava procurando passagens aéreas e hotéis em cidades aleatórias ao redor do mundo. Eu estava olhando para a página de mecanismo de busca. Mãos se enroscaram na parte de trás da minha cadeira, e o corpo de Garrick se inclinou perto do meu. A proximidade era completamente perturbadora. — O que você está pensando, Bliss? Eu deveria ter dito, você. Nu. Isso o teria chocado. Não que eu realmente estivesse pensando nele nu... bem, agora que eu mencionei isso, eu estava... droga. Como eu disse, perturbadora. Eu neguei com a minha cabeça, porque eu não tinha uma resposta, não uma que eu poderia dizer em voz alta. Ele me contornou e se inclinou I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


na mesa, olhando para mim. — Atuação ou Gestão de Palco? — O olhar que ele fixou em mim pareceu muito pessoal nessa sala cheia com meus colegas, mesmo se nenhum deles estivesse olhando, bem, exceto Kelsey. Ela observava bastante qualquer momento que Garrick conversava comigo, o que me relembrava que nós tínhamos que ser cuidadosos. — Eu não sei —, eu murmurei. — Tá bom, bem e que tal a cidade? Você pode começar a olhar apartamentos. Isso certamente é algo sobre o qual você tem que pensar, especialmente se você está indo para Nova Iorque. Eu olhei para a caixa do mecanismo de procura. Ela estava me insultando. — Eu não posso pagar por Nova Iorque —, eu disse a ele. — Tudo bem. A maioria das pessoas não pode. Há muitos mercados regionais para se considerar. Filadélfia. — Eu me virei para encará-lo. Ele estava me dizendo para olhar em Filadélfia? Onde ele vivia? Ele estava tentando me dizer algo ou eu estava lendo muito além disso. Seu rosto estava em branco conforme ele continuou —, Dallas e Houston ambos têm uma boa quantidade de trabalho. Chicago. Seattle. Boston. D.C. Há bastante de onde se escolher, realmente. — Eu me virei de volta em direção ao meu computador, meu coração ainda batendo um pouco muito rápido. Eu definitivamente estava lendo além. Não era como se nós estivéssemos sério. Nós passamos a noite aconchegados no meu sofá. Isso não significou que nós estávamos juntos ou que eu estava pronta para me mudar para o outro lado do país com ele. — Apenas explore. Olhe algo —, Ele disse antes de me deixar para continuar andando pela sala. Eu coloquei meus dedos nas teclas, mas eles pareciam como chumbo, muito pesados para se mover. Eu encarei a tecla com a letra ―F‖. Eu podia ver Kelsey me observando do canto do meu olho, e por mais curiosa que eu estivesse agora sobre a Filadélfia, eu digitei ―Estágios de Gestão de Palco‖ no I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


mecanismo de busca. Depois eu cliquei de site para site, observando o relógio pelo canto da tela, com vontade que os números mudassem mais rápido. Quando a aula terminou, meu alívio foi fugaz. A lista de elenco tinha sido postada. Eu ainda era Phaedra, o que era bom. Quanto vergonhoso teria sido se Eric tivesse mudado de ideia? Kelsey conseguiu Afrodite como ela queria. Rusty conseguiu um soldado, apenas como ele tinha previsto. E Cade era Hippolytus. *** Eu bati na porta de Garrick naquela noite, nervosa apesar do nosso acordo de levar as coisas devagar. Nós não tínhamos realmente conversado sobre fazer qualquer coisa essa noite, e apesar do nosso tênue relacionamento, nós ainda tínhamos que trocar os números. Então, eu esperava que não estivesse sendo carente ao procurar por ele uma segunda noite seguida. Hamlet, definitivamente, estava feliz em me ter fora do apartamento. Nós ainda não estávamos co-existindo muito bem. Minha preocupação suavizou quando ele abriu a porta e disse —, Graças a Deus. Eu estive pensando em chegar à sua casa por mais de uma hora, mas eu estava com medo que eu batesse na porta e você tivesse pessoas por lá ou algo. Eu ri. — Talvez nós devêssemos trocar nossos números então. Ele disse —, Você vai colocar o meu telefone sob algum codinome secreto para que ninguém saiba que eu sou quando eu enviar mensagens obscenas? Meus olhos se ampliaram. — Você está planejando me enviar mensagens obscenas? Seus olhos dançaram com diversão e aquele sorriso ofuscante estava I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


de volta no seu rosto. — Eu não estou descartando isso. Oh. Oh. Meus nervos dispararam de novo. Ele pegou a minha mão, e me arrastou para dentro da sua sala de estar onde um livro estava aberto no seu sofá. Era poesia, lógico, porque ele era perfeito, e lamentavelmente demais para mim. Ele marcou sua página, e colocou o acervo em cima de uma pilha de livros na extremidade do sofá. Ele esticou sua mão e enlaçou nossos dedos no espaço entre nós. Eu queria me inclinar nele, enrolar-me ao seu redor, e não me mover dos seus braços até que eu fosse obrigada, mas eu ainda me sentia incomoda. Nós ainda estávamos nesse ponto onde nós podíamos apenas fazer isso? Ou nós tínhamos que trabalhar nossa saída disso? — Então... A lista de Elenco? — Ele perguntou. Eu resmunguei e inclinei minha cabeça para trás contra seu sofá. — Não é tão ruim assim, é? — Isso depende se ou não o Cade estiver falando comigo na época dos ensaios, cerca de duas semanas. Eu não tive que me preocupar sobre como relaxar com isso, porque Garrick não tinha receios sobre me arrastar para ele. Minha cabeça encaixava perfeitamente na curva do seu ombro. — Cade parece ser um cara razoável. Eu tenho certeza que depois de um tempo para processar tudo, ele estará melhor. Eu assenti, esperando que ele estivesse certo, mas não me sentindo confiante. Cade era razoável. O problema era... que a razão provavelmente dizia a ele para ficar longe de mim se ele não queria que seu coração ficasse arrasado. E talvez fosse melhor assim. Ele merecia alguém melhor. — Tudo bem —, Garrick disse. — Já chega disso. Eu não gosto desse olhar triste no seu rosto. Infelizmente nossas opções para a noite estão limitadas, uma vez que nós não podemos realmente ir a lugar algum. Então que tal um filme? Eu arranquei um sorriso no meu rosto. Quando ele sorriu de volta I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


precisou de menos esforço para mantê-lo ali. — Um filme parece bom. Ele escolheu algo engraçado, provavelmente no esforço de me animar. Depois ele desligou as luzes, e se uniu a mim no sofá. Enquanto os créditos de abertura começaram, ele se deitou de costas, me arrastando com ele. Ele estava esticado de costas, e eu estava de lado, encaixada entre ele e a parte de trás do sofá. Eu hesitei um momento antes de deitar minha cabeça contra seu peito. Eu tentei assistir ao filme, eu realmente tentei, mas foi difícil me concentrar com suas firmes, respirações arrepiando meu cabelo, e sua mão traçando para cima e para baixo na minha coluna. Era algo entre delicado e sedutor. Eu estava super-consciente da forma com que, de vez em quando, seus dedos continuavam um pouco mais além das minhas costas, até que ele quase tocasse o trecho de pele entre a borda da minha blusa e o topo do meu short. Ele ficava ali por apenas o mais breve dos segundos antes de retornar de volta para cima. Depois seu dedo dançava para cima à sensível pele na parte de trás do meu pescoço, e eu tive que segurar um gemido. Eu olhei para ele rapidamente, mas ele estava focado no filme, completamente inconsciente da loucura que ele estava me causando. Finalmente, eu decidi que era hora dele obter uma dose do que eu estava sentindo. Eu abri o punho que estava descansando no seu peito, pressionando a ponta dos meus dedos até mesmo mais levemente no seu peito. Eu comecei traçando um desenho abstrato na sua T-shirt, algo de uma banda, eu acho. Mas uma vez que fiz isso eu continuei traçando minhas mãos sobre seu peito, sobre a curva de um peitoral, descendo o esterno ao seu estômago com gomos, subindo de volta no seu peito aos músculos esticados do seu ombro ao seu bíceps. Quando minha mão fez um dos seus movimentos, quase traçando ao longo da bainha da sua T-shirt, sua mão nas minhas costas ficou imóvel. De alguma forma, a imobilidade me pôs até mesmo mais no limite. Sentindo-me um pouco corajosa, eu fui de volta para a bainha, empurrando meus dedos para cima e por baixo da sua blusa, usando a ponta I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


dos meus dedos para desenhar os mais leves dos toques sobre sua pele. A mão nas minhas costas se moveu, se deslizando e passando meu pescoço e para dentro do meu cabelo. Eu achatei minha mão, pressionando minha palma contra sua pele morna. A mão no meu cabelo apertou, não o bastante para machucar, apenas o bastante para que ele pudesse usá-la para inclinar minha cabeça para trás levemente. Quando eu ergui uma das minhas pernas, enroscando-a na dele, finalmente, ele agiu. A mão no meu cabelo me puxou para trás, e ele me encontrou no meio do caminho. Toda a antecipação dos dez últimos minutos focada naquele ponto onde nossos lábios se encontravam. A conexão era tão pequena para trazer à mente fogos de artifícios, mas era algo próximo, como a excitação de segurar uma estrelinha – o ímpeto de sensação das faíscas se arrastando perto da sua mão. Sua boca permaneceu fechada, e mesmo embora eu tivesse provado dele várias vezes, o mistério estava me matando. Pareceu como um primeiro beijo. Ele recuou, e pressionou sua testa contra a minha. — Obrigado —, ele disse. Obrigado? Isso foi como um obrigado, mas sem gratidão. Obrigado, mas eu estou assistindo um filme, me deixe em paz? — Por? — Por dar uma chance. Eu sei que você estava, provavelmente está, com medo. Mas você já tornou minha vida imensamente melhor. Eu não sei se era por ele ser um ator que o deixava tão honesto, tão destemido em estar vulnerável, ou se era apenas quem ele era. Eu desejei que eu pudesse fazer o mesmo, mas essa não era quem eu era. — Eu posso lhe fazer uma pergunta? Sua mão no meu cabelo traçou sobre a minha mandíbula. — Claro —, ele respondeu. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


— Por que você aceitou esse emprego? Não que eu não esteja feliz por você estar aqui, mas você disse que estava extremamente infeliz. — Eu não... estou mais. — Ele se inclinou de volta e me beijou novamente, murmurando conforme ele pressionava seus lábios contra os meus. Não passou despercebido para mim que ele não tinha respondido minha pergunta, mas eu não me importei o bastante sobre a resposta para parar de beijá-lo, especialmente quando sua boca finalmente se abriu, e eu provei doce e menta e seu hálito misturou-se com o meu. Sua língua deslizou-se contra a minha, e minha mão embaixo da sua camisa voltou à vida, enroscando-se na sua lateral, puxando-o mais perto até que minha pélvis estivesse pressionada no seu quadril. O beijo estava vagaroso e divino, mas muito, muito, lento. Eu queria mais. Eu queria nossos corpos nivelados, eu queria nossos lábios esmagados, não suavemente provocadores. Eu não queria perder o contato com sua pele, mas eu queria assumir o controle. Minha outra mão estava presa embaixo de mim, apoiando-me de lado. Então eu deslizei minha mão para fora da sua camisa, e a coloquei no seu rosto ao invés disso. Eu o arrastei para mais perto, tentando mudar de lugar. Ele permitiu isso por um momento, nossos lábios se movendo mais rápido, fôlego escapando enquanto nossas cabeças se inclinavam e nossas bocas batalhavam. E Deus, era bom. Eu continuei arrastando, não satisfeita, não perto do bastante, até que ele se inclinou para cima e rolou de lado para me encarar. Um suspiro de êxito escapou de mim, depois ele pegou minha mão que estava no seu rosto, e a arrastou para longe, longe, até que ela estivesse presa atrás de mim, mantida lá, pressionada na parte inferior das minhas costas pela sua mão. Depois novamente, ele recostou-se, mudando o ritmo, roçando contra meus lábios, lentamente, suavemente. Era enlouquecedor. Eu tentei me inclinar nele, mas ele segurou forte, me prendendo de costas, sem pressa. Eu gemi de frustração. E ele sorriu. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


— O que é, amor? Qualquer quantidade de palavras que pudesse sair da minha boca, algumas delas seriam incoerentes, e a maior parte delas não muito legais. Com sorte, aquelas que eu consegui eram exatamente o que eu pretendia. — Muito lento —, eu choraminguei. Eu estava realmente choramingando. — Eu disse a você que eu podia fazer lento —, ele disse. — Seu babaca. — Essa provavelmente foi uma das palavras mais gentis atravessando a minha cabeça. Ele nem sequer teve a decência de ficar preocupado. Ele apenas riu. Eu me contorci, tentando libertar o meu braço, e ele me apaziguou com um beijo, esse um pouco mais forte, um pouco mais satisfatório do que o último. E apenas quando eu estava me esquecendo do por que eu estava tão frustrada antes, ele recuou novamente. Era um absurdo, mas eu realmente me senti como se eu pudesse chorar. Seus lábios traçaram ao longo da minha mandíbula para aquele local abaixo da minha orelha que fazia todo músculo esticado do meu corpo amolecer. — Eu não estava tentando ser o esperto —, ele sussurrou. — Eu estou tentando dar a você o que você quer. É difícil quando eu me deixo levar, quando eu beijo você como eu quero. Porque tudo o que eu posso pensar em seguida é do gosto da sua pele, e quanto eu quero prová-la novamente. — Sua boca queimou contra meu pescoço. Seus dentes ralando contra mim, e por impulso, meus quadris se lançaram para frente, escassamente fazendo contato com ele. Ele gemeu em resposta, seus sussurros tornando-se rudes, perdendo sua suavidade. — Eu me lembro do peso dos seus seios na minha mão, e da forma que você reagiu com os meus dedos dentro de você. — Eu mordi meu lábio contra o choramingo se construindo na minha garganta. Eu queria suas mãos em mim. Eu queria nossas roupas arrancadas. — Eu penso sobre ter o seu corpo embaixo de mim. Eu penso sobre estar dentro de você. Eu penso sobre isso, e isso me consome. E ir lento é a última coisa a cruzar a minha mente. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Eu perdi. Eu não podia segurar o choramingo, e eu senti como se eu fosse despedaçar somente pelas suas palavras. — Então, eu tenho que beijar você lentamente. Ao menos que você tenha mudado de ideia. Você mudou? Mudou de ideia? SIM! Por favor, oh Deus, sim. Isso era como tortura. Mas a razão desenrolou no fundo da minha mente, assumindo controle, mantendo-me fundamentada. E se nós tentássemos fazer sexo e eu me acovardasse novamente e eu arruinasse com tudo? — Não, eu não mudei de ideia —, eu disse. Depois adicionei —, Seu babaca —, porque isso era tortura, e pelo sorriso no seu rosto, ele sabia. — Hmmm... então lento será.

I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?” I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


dezenove

um pouco zangada com Garrick quando eu parti naquela noite, mas quando ele caminhou comigo até a minha porta, e perguntou o que eu ia fazer no dia seguinte, eu não estava zangada o bastante para enxotá-lo. Cade não estava falando comigo, e eu não tinha ouvido falar de Kelsey, então eu disse a ele que eu estava livre, e nós fizemos planos para jantar na minha casa. Eu dormi até o meio-dia, minha cama muito confortável para eu sair dela. Em seguida eu me distraí com um banho extra longo, seguido pelo dever de casa, depois um livro. Quando eu verifiquei o relógio, era ainda apenas 3 P.M. Eu peguei meu computador, e pesquisei, ―Teatro na Filadélfia.‖ Eu encontrei um site da aliança de teatro que dava informações de um monte de teatros na cidade, assim como anúncio de empregos e audições. Eu cliquei, vendo que shows estavam atualmente em execução aonde, lendo descrições de emprego, e marcando como favoritos algumas páginas. Meu celular tocou, mas ele soou muito longe. Eu tentei seguir o som, mas o toque terminou antes que eu fosse capaz de restringi-lo mais além da sala de estar. Com sorte, quem quer que estivesse ligando era persistente, e ligou novamente em alguns momentos mais tarde. Definitivamente estava em algum lugar perto do sofá. Finalmente, eu caí no chão espiei em baixo do sofá. Ali estava, a luz iluminando a escuridão poeirenta abaixo da I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


mobília. E logo ao lado dele, me encarando, estava Hamlet. Aquele breve interlúdio de suavidade que eu tinha visto nela no abrigo tinha ainda que fazer outra aparição. E eu não tinha dúvida que ela, de alguma forma, tinha arrastado meu celular lá para baixo para me aborrecer. — Escute, gato, eu não sei por que você me odeia tanto, mas você deve ter esquecido do memorando. Eu resgatei você. — Apoiando-me no estômago, eu me apertei em baixo do sofá, esticando a mão para o meu telefone. — Você deveria estar agradecida. Quando minha mão ficou mais perto, ela soltou o seu agora familiar rosnado baixo. — Tá, tá, cale a boca. Eu tive que arrastar metade do meu corpo na abertura do móvel e do chão para alcançar o meu telefone e sair foi até mesmo mais desconfortável do que entrar. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use

2 ligações perdidas da MAMÃE.

she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t

Eu gemi. Eu deveria ter deixado debaixo do sofá. Naquele momento, ele tocou novamente, pela terceira vez. Eu atendi —, Oi Mãe. — Por que você não atendeu as primeiras duas vezes? Está tudo bem? — Eu estou bem, Mãe. Eu só não conseguia encontrar meu telefone. — Oh, bem, você realmente deveria ter um lugar para você colocá-lo cada vez que você vai para casa, dessa forma você sempre saberia onde ele está. — Eu irei manter isso em mente, Mãe. — Então, sua desorganização é notícia antiga. O que mais está acontecendo na sua vida? — Eu juro, minha mãe era a única pessoa no mundo que não achava que eu era uma maníaca neurótica por controle porque ela definitivamente era pior. Ela fez a pergunta inevitável —, Você conheceu alguém? Eu rolei meus olhos, o qual eu nunca conseguiria me safar no cara-acara. know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


— Eu estou muito ocupada com a escola, Mãe. Eu realmente acabei de conseguir um papel como uma protagonista em uma peça. — Oh, isso é legal —, ele disse suavemente. Ela achava que entrar no teatro era uma perda da minha inteligência. — É realmente meio que uma coisa importante. — Claro que é docinho. Você só sabe como eu e seu pai, nos preocupamos. Nós nos sentiríamos muito melhor se você tivesse alguém para tomar conta de você financeiramente. Houve uma batida na porta, e eu fui atendê-la enquanto eu falava. — Primeiro de tudo, segurança financeira não é uma razão boa o bastante para se casar, Mãe, mesmo se isso faz você se sentir melhor. Segundo, eu não preciso de um cara para cuidar de mim. Eu posso cuidar de mim mesma. — Garrick era a pessoa que estava do outro lado da porta, quase uma hora adiantado, e ele conseguiu ouvir o fim do meu discurso. Ele ergueu uma sobrancelha, sorrindo, e se eu pudesse atravessar o meu telefone para estrangular minha mãe, eu teria feito. — Enfim, eu preciso ir, Mãe. Eu tenho companhia. — É uma companhia masculina? Eu gemi e disse —, Adeus. Desligar era tão bom. Eu estava tentada em ligar para ela de volta e fazer isso uma segunda vez. Garrick sorriu —, Sua mãe soa um pouco como a minha. Eu olhei para ele. — Você está adiantado. — Eu só puxei o meu cabelo em um molhado rabo de cavalo essa manhã. Eu estava planejando endireitá-lo antes dele aparecer, mas agora eu só parecia desalinhada. E depois de me arrastar debaixo do sofá, eu estava empoeirada, também. — Tudo bem? Provavelmente seria muito rude dizer a ele ir para casa e voltar em uma hora. — Não, está bem. Você pode assistir TV ou algo. Eu só preciso de um segundo. — Eu gesticulei para ele entrar na sala de estar, e escorreguei para I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


dentro do meu quarto, me perguntando o quanto de melhoria eu poderia fazer em cinco minutos. Eu arranquei o elástico do meu cabelo, e olhei para a ondulada, bagunça úmida com a qual eu tinha que trabalhar. Não havia tempo para secá-lo e alisá-lo. E se eu secasse sem alisá-lo, eu teria uma afofada bola de cabelo. Eu usei minhas mãos para bagunçá-lo um pouco mais, amassando-o com as minhas mãos, esperando que a aparência cacheada funcionasse. Eu enterrei um pouco mais de mousse nele, mas foi tudo o que eu tive tempo. Eu coloquei uma rápida camada de rímel e um pouco de brilho labial, esperando que ele gostasse da aparência ao natural. Quando eu saí do quarto, ele estava deitado no meu sofá, assistindo TV, e Hamlet estava enrolada em uma bola firme no seu peito. Eu fiquei ali em choque, certa de que eu estava sonhando. Ele se virou, e me viu observando. — Ei, seu cabelo está enrolado. — Eu assenti. Eu quase sempre o usava liso. Ele disse —, Eu gosto assim. Eu ainda estava emperrada no fato que meu gato estava empoleirado alegremente no seu peito... ronronando. Ele tinha poderes mágicos. Essa era a única resposta. — Venha aqui —, ele disse, sentando-se, e trocando Hamlet para o seu colo. Eu me sentei cautelosamente, alguns metros de distância. Eu apontei para Hamlet, e disse —, Como você fez isso? — Fiz o que? — Conseguir que ela deixasse você segurá-la. — É uma ela? — ele perguntou. — Sim, e ela odeia todo mundo. Especialmente a mim. — Seu próprio gato odeia você? — Nós estamos resolvendo os nossos problemas. Ele riu. — Talvez ela esteja ofendida por você ter dado a ela um nome de garoto. Eu estendi uma mão para acariciá-la, e como sempre, recebi um rosnado pelas minhas angústias. O pensamento de Garrick sobre o ódio de I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Hamlet por mim era hilário. E ele continuou segurando-a, o que significava que eu fui banida para o lado oposto do sofá porque meu gato roubou meu... o que quer que ele fosse. Argh. Isso era algo sobre o qual eu não queria pensar. Eu quero dizer, obviamente, era um relacionamento secreto, então não era como se nós necessariamente precisássemos de rótulos, mas eu estava curiosa. O que aconteceria quando o ano terminasse? Nós sequer iríamos durar tanto assim? Eu me levantei para começar o jantar para me distrair. Eu fiz espaguete porque era a única coisa que eu confiava que eu não estragaria quando eu estava nervosa. E bem... eu sempre estava nervosa perto de Garrick. Ele aparentemente ele tinha o efeito oposto com Hamlet, que estava adormecida em seu colo. Eu vi minha janela de oportunidade pelo que eu estava desejando desde quando ele chegou. Eu deixei a comida cozinhando no fogão, e fiz meu caminho ao sofá. Eu não me sentei por medo de acordar a mal-humorada, mas eu coloquei uma mão no ombro dele, e me inclinei abaixo para um beijo. Uma vez que suas mãos estavam presas embaixo de Hamlet, eu assumi o controle do beijo. Minhas mãos encontraram seu cabelo, o qual era tão viciante e suave quanto sempre, e o beijo se aprofundou. Eu o beijei forte, porque eu podia, e ele não fez esforço para me impedir. Era o beijo que eu queria na noite anterior que ele tinha se recusado a me dar. Eu não queria recuar, mas eu tinha um jantar para fazer. Seus olhos estavam escuros quando nós nos separamos. — Eu acho que você pode ser um pouco diabólica —, ele disse. Eu ri. — Sim, eu planejei isso tudo. Hamlet estava nisso, também. — Beije-me de novo. Ele não teve que pedir duas vezes. Cada vez que nós nos beijávamos, minha confiança ficava mais forte. Quanto mais eu o conhecia, mais ousada eu me tornava. Eu gostava disso... I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


quase tanto quanto eu gostava dele. Alguém bateu na porta, três altas pancadas, seguidas por mais três apenas segundos mais tarde. Nosso fôlego ainda estava curto do beijo, e eu não estava certa se o batimento-muito-rápido do meu coração era devido ao Garrick ou ao choque. — Você está esperando alguém? — ele sussurrou. Eu neguei com minha cabeça. Mais três batidas, e em seguida o grito de Kelsey atravessou a porta —, Eu sei que você está aí, Bliss! Abra! — Merda. Eu não fiz nenhum esforço para ser gentil conforme eu erguia Hamlet do colo de Garrick, e a largava em cima do sofá. Eu quase nem percebi o rosnado; tinha se tornado tão banal. Eu agarrei Garrick, e o puxei aos seus pés. Eu não tinha ideia onde colocá-lo, mas decidi que o banheiro provavelmente era melhor do que o quarto, sendo que ele realmente tinha uma porta. Eu o empurrei para dentro com um rápido, ―Desculpe. Eu vou me livrar dela, eu prometo‖. Se apenas nós tivéssemos ido para a casa dele. Eu esfreguei meus lábios, esperando que eles não estivessem inchados como eles pareciam. Eu corri uma mão sobre o meu cabelo, e quando eu estava certa que não houvesse nada flagrantemente fora do lugar, eu abri a porta. Kesley passou por mim, esvoaçando — Já não era sem o maldito tempo. O que você estava fazendo? Eu fingi um bocejo. — Oh, você sabe, apenas descansando. Ele rolou seus olhos, e olhou para mim como se eu fosse a frustrante. — É uma coisa boa que eu vim até aqui então. Eu não estou prestes a deixar você em casa em um Sábado à noite se lastimando sobre a coisa com Cade. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Ela pegou o meu pulso, e me arrastou para dentro do meu quarto. Então, o banheiro tinha sido a escolha certa. — Eu não estou me lastimando! — eu disse. — E como você sabe sobre a coisa com Cade? — Porque todo mundo sabe, querida. O que, por falar nisso, eu estou irritada pois você não me contou que todo esse drama estava acontecendo. Ótimo. — Não há realmente tanto drama assim. Nós iremos consertar as coisas logo, eu tenho certeza. — eu disse. — Oh, querida, você não soube? Cade quase recusou o papel em Phaedra. Ele não recusou, graças a Deus. Rusty conversou com ele e o fez desistir disso. Mas eu não chamaria isso de ‗não tanto drama assim.‘ Eu me afundei na minha cama, meu interior se contorcendo como um trapo retorcido. Cade estava chateado assim? Ele desistiria assim de um papel apenas para que ele não tivesse que estar perto de mim? A voz de Kelsey veio do meu closet, e eu tive um déjà-vu da noite em que tudo isso começou. Ela começou a tirar blusas, saias, e eu perguntei —, O que você está fazendo? — Nós vamos sair. Você precisa se lembrar que o mundo existe do lado de fora do seu apartamento. — Não, Kelsey, eu realmente gostaria possivelmente que não. — Eu pensei em Garrick no meu banheiro, e me perguntei se ele poderia nos ouvir. — Merda nenhuma. Eu não estou dando a você uma escolha. Eu não danço há uma eternidade, e eu preciso de uma companhia. Eu gemi e cai de costas na minha cama. Ela largou uma saia no meu rosto. — Se vista. Em seguida eu me lembrei de uma perfeita desculpa —, Eu não posso. Eu tenho que preparar o jantar. — Ótimo. Eu estou faminta. O que nós temos? I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Algumas vezes eu achava que a minha vida seria mais fácil se eu não tivesse amigos. Eu retornei para a cozinha, e ela seguiu. Eu tinha deixado o molho um pouco mais de tempo e ele tinha queimado nas bordas. Tanto para não arruinar com o espaguete. — Caramba mulher, você estava planejando devorar seus problemas? Você fez o suficiente para três pessoas! — eu só encolhi de ombros. Eu não tinha nada para explicar por que eu estava cozinhando para duas pessoas (uma com um apetite muito grande). Eu coloquei um pouquinho de espaguete nos nossos pratos, tentando deixar algum para Garrick, mesmo embora eu não tivesse ideia quando ele conseguiria comê-lo. Eu comi rapidamente, deixando Kelsey dominar a conversa, a qual era sobre quanto tempo tinha se passado desde quando ela realmente fez um bom sexo. Eu assenti, rindo nas partes certas, enfiando comida na minha boca todo o tempo. Eu limpei meu prato antes dela sequer fazer uma marca no dela. Eu coloquei meu prato na pia, e depois segui para o corredor. — Onde você está indo? — Kelsey perguntou. Eu falei ―banheiro!‖ sobre meu ombro, continuei andando. Quando eu cheguei à porta, eu olhei por sobre meu ombro, contente em encontrar Kelsey preocupada com o seu espaguete, e eu escorreguei para dentro do lugar. — Ela se foi? — Garrick perguntou. — Sssshhh! — Ele estava inclinado contra a pia, e eu o contornei para abrir a torneira para encobrir nossos sussurros. — Não, sinto muito. Ela realmente está comendo nosso espaguete. Seus lábios se enrugaram, e eu me inclinei para frente, abafando minha gargalhada contra seu peito. — Ela está partindo logo? Eu olhei acima para ele, mas permaneci perto contra ele. — Não. Ela acha que eu estou deprimida sobre Cade, e ela está I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


determinada em me forçar a sair. Ele me arrastou para ele, e pressionou seu rosto no espaço onde meu pescoço fazia uma curva com o meu ombro. Ele soltou um rosnado que era estranhamente semelhante ao de Hamlet. Eu envolvi meus braços ao seu redor, apenas tão desapontada. — Eu sei. É uma droga. Como se eu tivesse dado a ele a ideia, seus lábios cobriram meu lugar pulsante, sugando suavemente. Eu ri, e o empurrei para trás. — Garrick, ela está lá fora. Como se como uma deixa, Kelsey bateu na porta. — Chega de enrolar, chica! Eu escolhi sua roupa! — A maçaneta começou a rodar, e eu corri para interceptá-la. Eu mantive um pé no caminho para que apenas uma fenda de espaço se formasse. Eu disse —, Eu não estou enrolando, apenas me aprontando. Entregue-me as roupas, e eu irei me trocar. Ela pareceu suspeitar da minha animação fingida. Eu nunca estava animada quando ela me arrastava para sair assim. Eu continuei sorrindo, como se talvez o estresse estivesse chegado a mim, e eu finalmente acabei de desmoronar. Ela me passou as roupas, e antes que ela tivesse uma chance de responder, eu empurrei a porta fechada, e a tranquei tão silenciosamente quanto eu pude. Quando eu me virei, Garrick estava afundado em cima da privada. Eu liguei o rádio, aumentando-o tão alto quanto ele podia suportar, e fechei a torneira. — Sinto muito, Garrick. Sentado, sua cabeça estava ao nível do meu peito, e ele descansou suas mãos nos meus quadris, me puxando para frente. — Tudo bem, amor. Isso estava fadado a acontecer mais cedo ou mais tarde. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


— Eu desejaria que você pudesse vir comigo. — Eu também, amor. Mas tudo bem. Nós vamos jantar outra hora. Você deve se trocar. Quanto mais cedo você sair daqui. Menos susceptibilidade nós temos de sermos pegos. Eu assenti. Minhas mãos tremeram levemente enquanto eu puxava as roupas ao meu peito. Ele disse —, Eu irei fechar meus olhos. — E eu me abaixei um pouco, dando um beijo de agradecimento na sua bochecha. Sorrindo, ele fechou seus olhos, e então inclinou seus cotovelos em seus joelhos e seu rosto em suas mãos. Tão rapidamente quanto eu pude, eu arranquei minha camisa, e tirei meu short. Eu arrastei uma camiseta preta sobre minha cabeça, e depois eu ergui a saia. Meu estômago despencou. Era aquela Deus-me-livre, horrenda mini-saia minúscula. Eu devo ter feito um barulho porque Garrick ergueu sua cabeça. Ele manteve seus olhos fechados enquanto perguntou —, Tudo bem? Eu disse —, Sim. Mesmo embora eu estivesse pensando o inferno que está. Eu me deslizei na saia, e era apenas tão curta quanto eu me lembrava. Eu suspirei. Não havia jeito que eu pudesse usar isso. Eu toquei uma mão no ombro de Garrick, tendo a intenção de dizer a ele que eu ia sair para encontrar qualquer outra coisa, mas seus olhos se abriram e se fixaram na minha perna, as quais subitamente sentiram-se fracas, como poças de tecido ao invés de músculos de carne e osso. Uma das suas mãos se enroscou e fez cócegas na parte de trás do meu joelho, e eu tive que me firmar com uma mão no seu ombro para me impedir de desabar. — Você está tentando me matar, não está? — Ele engasgou. — Essa não é a saia que você disse que nunca usaria? — E eu não vou usá-la essa noite. Eu vou voltar ao meu quarto e encontrar qualquer outra coisa. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Eu me virei, e sua outra mão tocou na minha coxa. — Espere. Suas mãos se arrastaram para cima até a indecente bainha curta, e ao redor da parte de trás das minhas coxas, centímetros abaixo da curva do meu bumbum. — Você. Está. Inegavelmente. Sexy. — Sua voz estava tão baixa e rouca, que eu pude sentir as vibrações ensopando a minha pele. Ele se inclinou para baixo e remarcou cada palavra com um beijo casto subindo a lateral da minha coxa. Eu podia ter virado argila em suas mãos, pela maneira com que ele estava me controlando. Se ele tentasse, eu poderia ter desistido da minha virgindade por ele aqui nesse banheiro sem muita resistência. Mas o punho de Kelsey bateu na porta, me tirando da minha luxúria. — Droga, Bliss. Você pode se apressar? Com suas palavras, voltou meu medo. Certo, ele achou que eu estava sexy agora. Mas virgens eram basicamente as últimas coisas sensuais no mundo. Ele mudaria de ideia quando ele descobrisse? — Eu tenho que ir. Desculpe. Provavelmente ainda sobrou espaguete para você se você quiser algum depois que eu partir. Eu irei... eu irei ligar para você, tá bom? Eu caí para o corredor, uma bagunça de hormônios e emoções. Eu estava tão distraída que eu nem sequer me lembrei que eu tinha a intenção de trocar de roupa até que eu já estava afivelada no carro de Kelsey e nós estávamos a caminho da boate. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


vinte

, a boate, estava escura e nebulosa quando nós entramos. A batida da música martelou pelas paredes e o piso, ensopando minha pele, me levando ao limite. Isso não era nada meu local, mas Kelsey amava. Eu descobri que tudo o que eu tinha que fazer era passar um tempo no bar, talvez conversar com um cara ou dois para que ela saísse das minhas costas. Depois ela provavelmente iria para casa com algum cara e me deixaria o seu carro. É como essas coisas normalmente funcionavam. O que eu não tinha antecipado era a forma como a minha mudança de trajes fosse alterar o plano normal. Nós mal passamos pelas portas em um minuto antes de um cara me pedir para dançar. Eu declinei, o que me valeu uma encarada de Kelsey. — O que? — Eu gritei sobre a música. — Você disse que eu tinha que vir, não que eu tinha que dançar! Nós estávamos no bar, e eu trabalhei para acenar ao garçom, enquanto ela me censurava. — Você é a pessoa mais irritante que eu já conheci! Você está parecendo extremamente gostosa essa noite, e tudo o que você vai fazer é sentar aí e fazer beicinho como sempre! — Então talvez você devesse ter me deixado em casa fazendo beicinho! Um cara bateu no meu ombro, e eu nem sequer esperei por ele pedir I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


antes que eu dissesse —, NÃO! Kelsey fixou suas mãos em seus quadris, e para uma aparência de Barbie, ela ainda estava bastante intimidante. — Eu percebi que você está chateada, e você tinha muita coisa acontecendo. Eu estou tentando ser compreensiva, mas qual é o seu problema? — Eu não tenho problema, Kelsey. Eu só não gosto que você acha que pode me arrastar para lugares sem nenhuma preocupação com o que eu realmente quero! — Ótimo! Deixa para lá! Eu desisto! Sente-se aí e faça beicinho! Eu vou dançar! Ele girou e se empurrou pela multidão, entornando várias bebidas e nocauteando pessoas para fora do seu caminho. Barbie Assustadora. Eu avancei sobre uma baqueta, consciente do fato que minha curta saia fez com que minhas pernas despidas estivessem grudadas no plástico. Eu não estaria surpreendida se minha bunda estivesse pendurada, mas no momento eu estava muito irritada para me importar. Eu pedi um Jack e Coca, e sentei-me ali fervendo enquanto eu esperava. Eu sabia que ela tinha boa intenção, mas a solução para todos os problemas do mundo não era festejar. Eu sempre soube que nós éramos pessoas muito diferentes, mas eu nunca percebi o quanto ela não me entendia. — Eu posso lhe comprar uma bebida? — Uma voz perguntou sobre meu ombro. Eu ergui minha bebida cheia, e o ignorei. O cara se sentou ao meu lado mesmo assim. Ele se inclinou para me perguntar algo mais, e eu vociferei —, Eu não estou interessada. Em seguida uma voz familiar respondeu. — Eu fico feliz em ouvir isso. Eu quase despenquei da banqueta quando eu captei o sotaque. — Garrick! Garrick era o cara sentado perto de mim, um boné enterrado sobre seus olhos, cobrindo seu esplêndido cabelo loiro. I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


Ele não tinha soado como o Garrick quando ele falou da primeira vez. — Você soou— Quando ele respondeu daquela vez seu sotaque se foi, e ele pareceu Americano. Nenhum dialeto em particular, apenas... normal. — Eu sou um ator, Bliss. Eu sei como encobrir o meu sotaque. Ainda em choque, eu respondi —, O que você está fazendo aqui? E se alguém vir você? — Eu estou incógnito, mais ou menos. E se alguém me vir, eu irei apenas dizer que nós nos esbarramos por acaso. Eu sou um professor. Eu não fiz um voto para ter zero de vida social. — Mas por que? — Porque eu não podia aguentar o pensamento de você dançando com outra pessoa nessa saia. — Sua mão roçou na minha coxa, e todo o calor de antes veio desmoronando. — Garrick, pare! Alguém vai ver! E se Kelsey volta? — Baseado no show que vocês duas protagonizaram mais cedo, eu não vejo isso acontecendo tão cedo. Eu rangi os dentes. Talvez eu tenha sido um pouco megera. — Venha. — Ele se levantou, e me ofereceu uma mão. Eu olhei ao redor, com medo de pegá-la. Estava tão escuro. Se houvesse alguém aqui que nós conhecêssemos, nós não teríamos forma de saber ao menos que nós ficássemos cara-a-cara. Isso era uma chance exagerada. — Pare de pensar muito —, ele me disse e enroscou um braço ao redor da minha cintura, deslizando-me para fora do assento. A pele desnuda das minhas coxas guinchou, embaraçosamente contra o assento, mas ele não pareceu perceber ou se importar. Ele enroscou nossos dedos e me arrastou dentro da multidão. Eu mantive minha cabeça baixa, concentrada em colocar meus pés onde o dele tinha acabado de pisar. Ele me conduziu para baixo alguns degraus em direção ao piso inferior, onde estava de alguma forma até mais escuro, e os corpos estavam mais unidos. Eu não podia ver ninguém além I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive brain of yours. G ood j ob. Now stand there and let me work my magic.” And by magi c, she meant torture. After vetoing three shirts that ma de me feel like a prostitute, some pant s that were more


das pessoas bem perto de mim. Ele gesticulou e me arrastou até que nós estivéssemos no canto mais distante, depois me puxou entre ele e a parede. Suas costas estavam para o restante do ambiente, e sua figura alta me cobriu completamente. Sua respiração fez cócegas contra minha orelha enquanto ele sussurrou —, Melhor? Eu assenti. Estava melhor. Eu quero dizer, nós ainda estávamos em uma boate e eu teria preferido estar em casa sozinha, mas essa já era a melhor experiência de boate que eu já tinha tido. Mesmo sabendo como ele se sentia sobre mim, eu estava muito nervosa para dançar com ele cara-a-cara. Então eu me virei até que minhas costas estivessem pressionadas contra a sua frente. Suas mãos foram imediatamente aos meus quadris, me puxando contra ele. A sensação expulsou todo o ar dos meus pulmões. Eu fechei meus olhos para que eu não tivesse que olhar para a parede e eu tentei deixar a música investir sobre mim. Lentamente, seus quadris se inclinaram para frente, e eu segui, empurrando para trás contra ele. Ele exalou contra minha orelha, e causou calafrios na minha coluna. Ele escorregou uma mão do meu quadril ao meu estômago. Com seus dedos espalhados, seu polegar descansou cerca de três centímetros abaixo do meu sutiã e seu dedo mindinho seguiu o cós da minha saia. Ele usou aquela mão para me puxar para ele no mesmo momento que ele girava seus quadris. Estrelas dançavam atrás dos meus olhos fechados e meu batimento cardíaco combinou com o tamborilar constante da música. Seu corpo contra o meu pareceu ampliar o ambiente já abafado, e eu senti suor começar a umedecer meu pescoço. Seus quadris continuaram girando com a música, lentamente e sensualmente, mas de vez em quando em um ritmo forte, seus quadris empurravam mais forte contra mim. Seus lábios tocaram a pele do meu pescoço, e eu estava me entregando, entregando, entregando à sensação. Não era o suficiente. Alguma vez eu teria o suficiente dele? Eu estendi I took a deep breat h. You are awesome. I didn’t quite believe it so I thought it again. Awesome. You are so awesome. If my mother heard my thoughts, she’ d tell me that I nee ded to be humble, but humility had gotten me now here. Bliss Edwards, you are a freaki ng catch. So then how did I en d up twe nty-two years old, a nd the only pers on I knew who had never had se x? Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and G ossi p Girl, it beca me unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Car d still in hand. And now I was standi ng in my room, regretting that I’d gathered the courage to admit it to my frien d Kelsey. She reacted like I’d j ust told her I was hidi ng a tail underneath my A-li ne skirt. And I knew be fore her jaw even fi nishe d droppi ng that this was a terrible idea. “SERI OUSLY? Is it be cause of Jes us? Are you, like, saving your self for hi m?” Se x seeme d simpler for Kelsey. She had the body of a Barbie a nd the s exually-charged brain of a teenage boy. “No, Kelsey,” I sai d. “It would be a little difficult to save mysel f for someone who died over two thousa nd years ago. ” Kelsey whipped off her shirt and thr ew it on the fl oor. I must have made a face beca use she looke d at me and laughe d. “Rela x, Princess Purity, I’m just cha nging shirts. ” She step ped int o my cl oset and started flipping thr ough my clot hes. “Why?” “Be cause , Bliss, we’r e going out to get you laid.” She said the wor d ‘laid’ with a curl of her tongue that remi nde d me of those late night commer cials for those a dult phone line s. “Jesus, K elsey.” She pulled out a shirt that was snug on me, and woul d be downright s candal ous on her curvy frame . “What? You said it wasn’t about hi m.” I resisted the urge to sla m my palm into my forehea d. “It’s not, I don’t think… I mean, I go to church a nd all, well, sometimes. I just… I don’t know. I’ve never bee n that interested. ” She pause d with her new shirt halfway over her head. “Never intereste d? In guys? Are you gay?”

I once overheard my mother, who couldn’t under stand why I was about to graduatecollege without a ring on my fing er , ask my father the same que stion. “No K elsey, I’ m not gay, so keep putting your s hirt on. N o nee d to fall on your se xual sword for me. ” “If you’re not gay and it’s not about Jesus, the n it’s just a matter of fi nding the right guy, or shoul d I say… the right sexual sword. ” I rolled my eyes. “Gee? Is that all? Find the right guy? W hy didn’t s ome one tell me sooner?” She pulled her blonde hair ba ck into a high ponytail, which s ome how drew eve n more attention to her chest. “I don’t mean t he right guy to marry, honey. I mea n the right guy to get your blood pumpi ng. To make you turn off your analytical, judgmental, hypera ctive brain and think with your body instead. “ “Bodies can’t think.” “SEE!” She said. “Analytical. Judg mental. ” “Fine! Fine. Whi ch bar tonight?” “Stumble Inn, of cour se.” I groaned. “Classy. ” “What?” Kelsey looke d at me like I was mi ssing the answer to a really obvious que stion. “It’s a good bar. More i mportantly, it’s a bar that guys like. And since we do like guys, it’s a bar we like.” It could be worse. S he could be taking me to a cl ub. “Fine. Let’ s go.” I st ood, a nd headed for the curtain that se parated my bedroom from the rest of my loft apartment. “WH OA! Whoa. ” She grabbed my elbow and pulle d me s o hard that I fell back on my bed. “You can’t go like that. “ I looked down at my outfit—flowery A-line skirt and simple tank that showe d a de cent amount of cleavage. I looke d cute . I could totally pick up a guy in this… maybe. “I don’t see the pr oble m,” I sai d. She rolled her eyes, a nd I felt like a child. I hate d feeling like a child, and I pretty much always did when talk turned to sex. Kelsey said, “Honey, right now you look like someone’s adorable little sister. No guy wants to screw hi s little sister. And if he does , you don’t want to be near him .” Yep, de finitely felt like a child. “Poi nt taken.” “Hmm… sounds like you’re pra cticing turni ng off that overactive