This time there was no way my religious parents wouldn't find out.
The week that Lauren and I broke up, my father had slipped an envelope through the cat door sawed into the bottom of my bedroom door. A sticker of a mockingbird sealed the clasp. The front read: (to read after you've had your coffee and are awake).
A month later, I sat in front of Lauren's dad's house in my car, with the engine on, and the lights off. It was ten-thirty p.m. and Lauren was alone. But it wasn't a me-stalking-her situation. It was me having come over to see her in the late afternoon and make her homemade buttermilk biscuits. It was her saying they were amazing while curling up next to me as we watched The Triplets of Belleville on her bed. It was us making out, and me taking off my shirt, and Lauren saying we shouldn't go much further than kissing and touching with our shirts on — just yet — because it was the first time we'd seen each other since agreeing that we were going to try again.
When Lauren said that we shouldn't go much further, I stopped. I put my shirt back on. I hadn't come over to fuck her. One of the most intimate times we'd had sex was on a Sunday when my parents were at church. Lauren and I were on the carpet of my bedroom with our jeans around our ankles.
"It's just so good," Lauren whispered.
"Why's that?" I asked.
"You're not fucking me," Lauren said. She was on the pill, but she'd always said that she liked being so close without a condom. On top, I looked into Lauren's eyes, making it last. After, she told me that I was the only guy she'd ever let come inside her.
So later, when I was idling in front of Lauren's, a half-hour drive from my parents' house, unable to get my car's lights to work, all I could think about was my father's letter:
My father is the copy coordinator at Campus Crusade for Christ's corporate magazine Worldwide Challenge™. (They always use the trademark symbol.) My parents have been missionaries for longer than the thirty years they've been married. From them, I grew up with the commandment to save sex for marriage. But my parents didn't know that their youngest son, who mom introduced as her "baby," had a pack of Trojans in the pair of motorcycle gloves that sat next to his Swiss Army knife and Good News Bible in the drawer of his bedside table. Bottom line: my father's letter was way too late.
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