Section J

There you are, sweet sixteen and so in love with this no-good boy who just wants to get laid, by you, which you find inordinately flattering.

Are you ready? he asks. Already he is unzipping your pants.

We both know you’re not. All you have to do is say No. Go on. Say it. Say what you really feel. What are you afraid of? What does it matter what this boy thinks of you? In four months, he’ll be gone and you’ll be left with a baby girl.

Oh, but think of your girl, the way she’ll wrap her chubby arm around your leg to steady herself before she’s ready to walk, the way she’ll blow you kisses with all her fingers spread wide when she leaves for her first day of preschool. She’s his, too, you know. His blood is in her as much as yours, which may account for more than you’re willing to acknowledge.

Okay, sweets. Fine, go ahead. I know you want to see what it’s like. At least you’ll get something good out of it.

Go to section O.