I started to think perhaps I have been a bit harsh in my flippant remarks about my relationship with Viktor. Maybe “harsh” isn’t the word exactly… but to be honest, I don’t look back on my relationship with any strong feelings, good or bad. He was the first boy I had intercourse with, yes, but I wasn’t in love with him. I wasn’t smitten by his good looks or personality. I suppose I dated him because we were both lonely. It was winter and we were lonely.
That’s not to say he wasn’t a nice guy, so I have decided instead of recording my relationship with him via flippant remarks and a short paragraph in the book… perhaps I would do a little write up on him and some things I remember from our three months together.
Svea was instrumental in introducing us and getting us to date. I recall a few others from their class pushing us towards each other as well – but I don’t recall exactly who. It seemed as though they all knew we were both lonely. I think maybe Viktor was a sad-sack in class about being single; so they thought we could help keep each other company. I doubt the matchmaking had anything to do with actually believing we would be a good fit. Where’s Yente when you need her, eh?
My first date with Viktor was to go see “Analyze This,” he paid which was unusual for Swedish boys to do. Even though I hadn’t thought of this relationship as remarkable, I still kept the ticket stub from that date for quite awhile.
We went one evening for Indian food with some friends, including Svea. He ordered some kind of vindaloo… Someone said it would be too spicy – it had more than one chili noted next to it on the menu. He was confident that he could handle it. Good thing we each ordered a Lassi… because that boy’s face was red and quite literally sweating once he started his food. I tried a bit and oh Lord. Svea and I were used to spicy African fare as well as had eaten our fair share of other ethnic spices… but goodness. This small restaurant somewhere in Stockholm had the most chokingly hot food I had ever tasted.
Viktor persevered because he was not about to be undone by a silly dish of stewed meat.
Later that night, after everyone else had all gone separate ways, Viktor walked me past the Asplund Stockholm Public Library to the train station at Rådmansgatan. On the way I came to find out that he was an Atheist. The thought passed through my mind asking myself if I was okay with that. I had thought I should be with a “Good, Christian Boy.” But then again – no Good, Christian Boys seemed to be interested in me… and previous experience had me realizing saying that they are “Christian” didn’t mean much if they tended to abuse. So we had a chat about it, he asked me if I cared that he was Atheist. I told him, no… It didn’t bother me. He gave me a hug and then kissed me as he dropped me off at the train station. I remember his black pea-coat covered arms felt warm around me, I also remember looking up and thinking his ears must be cold – he wasn’t wearing a hat and his ears were red. Or maybe it was just left over effects of the vindaloo.
We talked about it a bit before doing it. We did the right thing and verified each other’s STD status. We were both virgins, so there you go. Then, on December 6, 1999 I lost my virginity to Viktor. I was 16 years old – soon to be 17. I sometimes wonder about calling myself a virgin then (after all that had gone on with Wyatt), but Viktor was the first guy I had actual intercourse with – so how else would I explain it?
I recall his mum was never home when I went over. I had the base knowledge that he had a tough home life, a broken up family and a mum that didn’t care much (eventually she moved away and left him alone in Stockholm while we were still in Gymnasium so I heard.)
She was nowhere to be seen when he had me come over to his flat. We turned on some music and nervously started about what I was there for. I’ll spare you the gory details – except that I remember hitting my head in the process. SMOOTH. It was also not entirely pleasant on my part. It hurt. He wanted to stop because he saw I was in pain. I told him I’d have to get it over with eventually, so hesitantly he continued on.
Afterwards, we laid in his bed, watching the snow outside of his window fall steadily onto Mariatorget. We joked and teased a bit. I shivered and tried to curl further into the blankets. He grabbed a hold of a hot water pipe that ran along his wall and then placed his now warm hands on me to help warm me up.
We got to talking about now that we had been together for a little while… and got to this point in the relationship, that it must be official. We started talking about couples that have a song. “Don’t people usually have a ‘song’ because they had their first dance to it or something?” I said.
“Well, we just had a first… maybe that song can be our song?”
I laughed. “Okay, Viktor… You do realize that song is called Pathetic, don’t you?”
Viktor and I dated for another couple of months. We continued to sleep together now and again. I remember what he got me for Christmas that year – a small grey Jansport backpack he knew I wanted, and a couple of posters that he knew I’d like – and that matched a larger one I already had. I thought it was nice to know he actually paid attention to me – my likes, my personality.
But we did not mesh well. We did annoy each other sometimes. Our individual senses of humor were foreign to the other. Eventually I gathered some courage to break up with him. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, but I felt nothing. I felt almost trapped in a relationship I didn’t want and I knew it wasn’t fair to either of us to continue the facade. I sat him down on a bench in a common area on the 5th or 6th floor at school. I broke up with him and he accepted it in stride. I felt relieved. I felt quite literally free, and it was exhilarating.
The next day, he told me he had been a bit sad after the break up, but on his way home he felt a weight lift off of his shoulders and realized he felt much the same in our relationship. He too experienced a sense of freedom.
He then assured me he was fine because “Besides, now that I’ve seen it – I can imagine you naked whenever I want to.”
“Fair enough,” I said.
He closed his eyes, smirked, and murmured “Oh, looking good, Emma.”
I laughed and shoved him, calling him something to the effect of “Jerk.”