My gynecologist, a woman in her fifties with ragged cheeks but a soft voice, flipped through her chart and said, "You've tested positive for gonorrhea."
"That's impossible," I said, because what else was there to say? She must've read her papers wrong. Must've needed a refresher course in genitalia.
She gave me a tiny, oh-you-poor-little-thing, smile. "STDs are more common than you think. It's nothing to be embarrassed about, and gonorrhea can be cleared up with the right medication. " She scribbled onto her pad. "Of course, you don't want to risk that beautiful body of yours. You should be more careful in the future. Have you been using condoms?"
"I... No. But I've been with my boyfriend for a year. I'm on the pill."
"The pill is pretty effective in preventing pregnancy, but it does nothing to stop the spread of sexually transmitted--"
"You don't get what I'm saying. I don't sleep around. I've been with one guy, and we were both virgins when we met, so..."
"I can double check the results, but I'm pretty sure I won't come back with the news you're hoping for." She rested a slender hand on my shoulder, and I resisted the urge to push it away.
"He wouldn't cheat on me."
That smile again. "I'm sorry, dear."
When I saw Max sitting on the curb with his Van Halen shirt tight against his muscles and his shaggy hair draped across his forehead, I wanted to forget about my appointment and plant kisses across his pretty face.
I loved him. Loved his fit body and his high-pitched laugh and his amazing taste in music. Loved how he sent out morning texts at 8am and bought me ice cream when I was PMSing and never even looked at another girl when we went out on our weekly dates. How could someone like that cheat on me?
But the doctor had double checked the results. Would've triple checked if I'd kept up my stubbornness. So he must've. He must've cheated.
Thinking about his lips pressed another girl pissed me off, so I stormed up to him, shoved his shoulder, and said, "The whore you cheated on me with gave you gonorrhea."
"What?" He rose to his feet, eyes squinting. "What are you talking about?"
"I have an STD. And I wonder who I could've gotten it from? Aren't many options. Only one, in fact."
His brows pushed together, like he was confused. Then the eyes beneath them widened, like he finally understood. "Listen. Listen. Shit." He sighed. Sighed again. "Okay, so I wasn't actually a virgin when I met you."
"What? Why are you--So you lied?"
He scratched at his scalp. "Yeah. I mean, you seemed so insecure about being a virgin, and I thought you'd calm down if you thought I was, too. Guys always lie to get in a girl's pants, you know? It's not right, but it's... Shit. I'm sorry. But I didn't cheat on you. It was her, just for a night, and then it was you, forever. I swear."
I licked my lips, knowing that he was telling the truth, but not sure if I should accept the apology. "And you didn't get tested after you slept with her?" I asked.
"No. I figured I was fine. It didn't have any symptoms or anything."
"Neither did I. They don't always pop up. But once my dad found my pills in my pocketbook and realized what we were doing, he insisted on having me checked. You know how he is." I paused. "I guess it's a good thing he's like that, huh?"
Max let out a few more curses. "You didn't tell him, did you? About the STD? I don't want him hating me."
"It doesn't really matter what he thinks about you, anymore."
"Wait, why? Do you think I'm lying about cheating? I didn't. I wouldn't do that. I love you."
I shrugged. "But you still put me at risk. What if it was something worse? Something incurable?"
"I really am sorry."
"You don't have to keep saying that," I said. "Just give me some time to think."
And with that, I swiveled around to walk back to my house. I wasn't sure if I wanted our relationship to continue or if I'd break both of our hearts by leaving, but I knew one thing for sure. I was going to keep a pack of condoms in my purse, right next to my birth control pills.
** That's the whole story! I hope you enjoyed it. And remember, ladies, it's important to practice safe sex! **
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