2017 AMAB/HBF Flash Fiction Competition | Shortlisted Story - The Day You Lost Your Virginity By Fred Atanda | The Arts-Muse Fair

The Day you Lost your Virginity by Fred Atanda

IT happened on a bright December day, in your tiny student-room, and afterwards, you lay outside yourself on the bed, staring at the ceiling above, thinking you'd finally done it. Later, you wrote in your diary: 'My life of nineteen years ended on a bright, sunny day, right before my eyes, right after a bout of rough, less-than-pleasant sex.' (You decided against ‘Life as I knew it ended…’, which was truer, or ‘I lost the last of my faith…’, which was more direct but less dramatic, because you wanted something of a drama in the whole affair.)

The sex wasn't good. The bitch – you forgot her name as soon as she mentioned it, and she became marked in your mind simply as ‘the bitch’ – was filthy and wild, digging her fingernails painfully into your ass, asking you to bite her nipples and squeeze her neck. She tired you out. But you hadn't expected any better. John had warned you. 'Cheap girls like that are never any fun. How much are you paying her, one-five? She'd probably come long before you do.' She didn't come before you, but that didn’t make any difference.

John hadn't thought you were capable. Right until the last moment, he kept saying that you'd probably flee the room when she got naked. You laughed and said he was crazy, but didn’t disagree. While you waited for the bitch to arrive, you downed a few bottles of Guinness, to get yourself in the right mind. (This drinking, too, was new. Two months? Three? Before that, you were proudly teetotal.) When the bitch arrived, she knocked on the door loudly. You hoped none of your neighbours had seen her. You sent a WhatsApp message to John, with whom you'd been chatting: 'Gtg. She's here.'
'Whoa! Good luck, bro!!! Hope you don't run out of the room, lol!!!' he replied.

She didn't waste any time getting undressed. There was a half-finished bottle of Guinness on the floor beside the table. She seized it and downed its content in one long, noisy gulp. Her body was ugly: extra-large breasts, an equally large belly, and an ass that was like mashed potatoes. You undressed slowly, as though trying to decide if you really wanted to do this. But you knew you must. You'd had the conversation countless times with John. You had to. You had to show yourself that you were truly done.

'But why sex,’ he had said. ‘At least, now you drink and all. And you stopped doing solah, or whatever you call it. You’ve even stopped mentioning the word ‘God’. Doesn't that mean you're done?'
'Maybe.' You had explained that drinking and halting prayer had the effect of oxygen and moisture on a piece of iron, rusting it slowly, but with sex, you could achieve that rust in a single moment. With sex, you would know truly, that you were done and there was no going back.
'Ok. But why a prostitute – and one so cheap?'
'Do you know any girl who's not a prostitute who'd want to fuck me at such short notice? Besides, who it is doesn’t really matter.'

John shook his head. He was by far the most liberal of your friends. He believed in freedom and equality and all of that talk, and wasn't very religious himself. You'd known him since your first year at Akoka, but it wasn't until last year, your second year, that you grew close with him. When you thought on it, your friendship together was based on mutual respect, the kind of friendship a record-breaking physicist would have with another record-breaking physicist. Now, you were closer to him than even your own family, for while he knew of your flight from religion, they remained clueless. He’d helped to hire the bitch.

Because she hadn’t figured in your mind as someone who had even a smattering of good sense, you were surprised when she brought out a sachet of Durex and handed it to you. You didn’t tell her that you had your own sachet. You tore it open and wore it on your rising phallus. She pulled you to her, smiling. You’d expected her to groan when you entered her, but she didn’t. She kissed you.

After you came and rolled off her, she pleasured herself until she, too, came. Then she began to snore. And you just lay there, outside yourself, staring at the ceiling, thinking you'd done it, finally.

WHY did you leave religion? When John asked that question, although not quite in the same words, you used the analogy of the dark empty room.

Here is you in a dark empty room, you said. There are four walls. You've been here for years now in that solid darkness, sitting quietly. Then suddenly, a window appears on the right wall and lets in a little sunlight. A few years later, another window materialises on the left wall. More sunlight. You can see the room clearly now. You look around. The room is filthy: dust; spider webs; maggots; dead bodies lying about – hundreds of them. It's not difficult to imagine that they are the corpses of people that had been in the room before you, that had been quashed by the heat. You’re appalled, you said. Terrified. You want out. Then, the walls begin to tremble, and soon, they're falling apart, all four of them, all at once. Now, you can see the sun.'
'What does that even mean?' John had asked, puzzled.               
'The room was religion. My intellect, what I know now, provided the windows and ultimately brought down the walls.'
John sighed.
The bitch sighed in sleep.
Your phone beeped from under the pillow: a message. It was from John. You opened it: ‘Boss. You never finish?’ You didn’t reply him.