What is it with the twists and the turns in the tales this week? After last week’s page turner, here’s another. I’ll try not to ruin the ending by telling you it before you’ve begun this time.
I read this story whilst en route to Chris Morgan Jones’s book launch in London’s Diagon Alley-esque Cecil Court. Very early on in my book publishing adventures, Chris’s lovely wife got me a meeting with the legendary Lennie Goodings of Virago Press. I had very little concept at the time of just how important this meeting was – or how important Lennie was in the world of British book publishing. Had I known, I probably would have been a nervous wreck. As somebody memorably said to me afterwards, 'most writers would crawl over broken glass to get a meeting with Lennie Goodings'....
As it happens, I never did quite ‘seal the deal’ with Lennie but the fact that she was prepared to sit and entertain me and my book idea for a good 45 minutes one winter’s afternoon in the offices of Virago Press meant the world to me. It gave my idea gravitas and more importantly, it gave me bags of confidence. Fast forward 5 years, 2 agents and all sorts of twists and turns in the world of publishing and Icon Books have published my book ‘The First Time: True Tales of Virginity Lost & Found (Including My Own). And I finally got to have my own book launch at Lutyens & Rubinstein Book Shop in Notting Hill:
Which was all a long way of telling you that my blackberry only allowed me to read half the story below before it truncated the message and I had to wait until the next day to find out the ending. Once again, still trying not to give it away….so here it is.
'I had been with Jonny 4 months, I was 18 and had waited to have sex as I truly wanted the experience to be special and with someone I loved.
I had met Jonny a year before and at first did not take to him. It had been a night full of drinks and at the end of it; I had been talking to a friend, telling them my woes of the current man who was taking up the space within my head. Jonny walked past us, turned, looked at me and said 'get over it, he obviously isn’t into you'. Of course my reaction was to wonder who was the arrogant conceited man who had just walked past and stuck his nose in for no reason other then to be spiteful.
A little time passed and I was working part time selling magazines door to door, the advantage being that I got a team of friends who would walk the streets together after Sixth Form College and try and sell these charity magazines. One day Jonny turned up. I turned to my friend and said 'he's horrible, I don’t like him' to which my friend replied 'Ha I know him, actually he's a really good guy'. That evening, once again, I was selling the magazines door to door and Jonny was placed on my team. There is little to say other than, I have not laughed like that in years, we immediately hit it off. Long story short, it took a year to become Jonny’s girlfriend as I was still holding out for the guy who I should 'get over'.
One day like a thunderbolt it hit me. Who made me laugh? Who did I fancy? Who was a friend? Who acted like they would treat me like a princess? The answer, Jonny. So I became his girlfriend, four lovely months later and we were out on our usual Thursday night rock night at the local pub. I had by this point stressed to Jonny the importance of my virginity to me, I had stated that it need not be lost in a fairy tale romance but it should be lost in a sensitive and caring environment where I felt safe and loved.
I felt ready at four months but I was holding out for Jonny to do something special, candles maybe, music. Just something to show he cared. So back to the night out, I had drunk so much that I could hardly walk, Jonny was due to meet his friends at a club but I had to return home. Jonny agreed to walk me home. The entire way I begged him not to leave to stay and be with me, but he wanted to go, there was no persuading him. So eventually I turned and said 'if you stay I'll have sex with you'. He agreed and we returned to my home and with my mother upstairs we lay down on the living room floor and had short, painful sex. It did not last long and my head was spinning, after an awkward ten minutes, Jonny withdrew and stood up, put his pants on and sat on the couch and fell asleep, I sat there naked wondering why I had just used my virginity as a bargaining tool and did I regret not holding out. I was hurt by the lack of comfort, but in a way relieved that finally it had happened.
Do I regret it, hmmm…No I don’t think I do, as it taught me a cold hard truth, sometimes things just don’t turn out the way you planned. Me and Jonny split after 2 and half years, we remain in contact but loosely...'