14. I’d lost it a year earlier and had already moved on to the next, and the next after that. One day my mother was shopping when, an aisle over, the second girl I’d been with muttered to her friend, “That’s Fredrick’s mom…Yeah, yeah, he was the one I was with last summer, the one with the big dick.”
My mother called me into her bedroom and paraphrased what she’d heard. I nodded. She asked if that girl had been my first. I figured the shock was enough already without saying I’d been at it for a while; I nodded again and left the room.
I went into the basement to paint. I heard talking upstairs, then footsteps. The door to the basement opened and my father came down. He was clearly embarrassed. He was not a man to talk about things too much, especially when they were literally called the Talk. Staying on the stairs, already half-turned to go back up them, he said, “You know everything already, right?”
The old man let out a sigh of relief, barely holding back a proud smile. One of only a handful I can remember—he thought I was queer for the longest time—and said, “Okay, good; lemme know if you need any condoms.”
I nodded. He grinned, “And, uhh, what that girl said at the store. That runs in the family,” he said, puffing his chest slightly.
He quickly went back up the stairs and was gone. He never even made mention of the fact that I was in the middle of painting a naked woman covered in ink splatters.