Someone has stuck a sanitary pad to the inside of the stall door. It’s raining hard outside. I stand back from the toilet, my feet shoulder width apart, to avoid stepping in the puddle of piss. Someone has stuck a pad to the inside of the door, but all I can think about is how I don’t want to move house. The band is getting ready to start. I can hear the tentative twangs and booms of the guitars and bass being taken up through the walls of the toilet. I wash my hands.
I was sixteen years old. I cried. Not with pain, not with pleasure – certainly not with desire. I cried with the sheer relief at having sloughed off the weight of my clunky, ungainly virginity, which I had carried with me everywhere I went. I was free to turn away from the boy in whose bed I had divested myself of something I no longer had any use for.
It was gone.