After it was over she lay encircled in his arms. They did not do it.

She felt small, like she needed to be protected.

Her physical exterior was shrinking into smaller and smaller scales of magnitude. At the same time her vital organs – heart, brain, lungs – were rapidly swelling. In biology class, she had learned that when plant cells are in an hypotonic environment, they become turgid. Now she lamented that she did not have a cell wall. Because cytolysis is messy business.

At one point in the night the broad mahogany expanse of her shoulders had disappeared and was replaced by hollow bird bones. Her quadriceps and hamstrings had all but atrophied into immobile facsimiles of what they once were. One heavy sigh from him and she would be lifted clear off the bed, a shivering mass of atoms full of weepy sadness.

You are gorgeous, he told her. But you should save your first time for someone you really like.

She nodded her heavy cranium, shaking drops from the two watery globules nested inside her head. The extravagance of his benevolence touched her. But his kindness could not turn his green eyes blue or the little girl within her into a woman.

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