I was seventeen.
It was a damp and grey Sunday. I was home alone. Rain was spattering on the windows as I cast about for something to do.
I turned on the TV, and then turned it off. There was nothing to watch. I opened a mystery I had started the day before, but it wouldn't hold my interest. I set it aside.
I lay back on the couch, wondering at the sluggish passage of time on quiet, rainy days.
And then it happened.
It started as an idle curiosity. Something I had heard so much about, but never experienced for myself. Today seemed as good a day as any to try something new.
I began slowly. Tentatively. Shyly almost.
But the deeper in I sank, the faster the waves of pleasure rolled. And I wondered how I had missed out on something so delicious for so long.
I thought for a minute how I should feel ashamed in some way. But I didn't.
I felt strong. I felt alive.
I lost track of time. The rain stopped. The sky darkened. But I stayed there, absorbing the wonder of this virgin outing.
Already knowing with certainty that I would return soon. And often.
As the finale drew near, I unconsciously picked up the pace. Straining for a resolution. Wishing it would never end.
I was a woman possessed.
The garage door opened. The phone rang. And rang again. I heard it all dimly, as if I was at the bottom of a pool and the sounds were coming from dry land. And I ignored it all.
I stayed on the couch.
Remained fixed in place.
Unable to move;
until the final, satisfying conclusion.
Exhausted, exhilarated, already ready to try again.
No, I'll never forget the very first time -
I read a romance novel.
This post is in honor of yesterday's 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice, the book that set the stage for my beloved romance novels of modern day.
Lady Jane, generations of women thank you.
For a different version of my first brush with romance novels, check out the very first post I ever wrote on this blog.