Taking His Virgin

By: Lila Younger


“I’ve never done a renovation before,” my mom says, worry knitting her brow. “It sounds like a huge headache.”

“That’s why Bill brought me here,” James assures her. “So you don’t have to worry about a thing.”

Knowing my mom though, that’s never going to happen. Her second job is worrying.

“So have you seen a movie star yet?” Gary asks James.

“I bumped into Matthew Perry once at the airport,” he replies. My brother gives him a puzzled look. “Before your time huh?”

“And what about a nice girl?” my mother asks coyly.

“There’s not many of those. Nor natural ones either,” James says as he helps himself to more pancakes. “They’re all a little too... plastic for me.”

I don’t realize I’ve been holding my breath until I release it. I don’t know what I’d do if James has a girlfriend. It hurts too much to think about. I mean, it has to happen eventually. I remember he dated back when we lived in Boston. And he’s a super successful businessman now. He’d be a catch for any woman. But knowing that logically doesn’t change the fact that it pains me to not be able to have him for myself.

“You know, Sandra knows someone at her book club who could be perfect for you,” my dad says. “Monique or Mona or something like that, right honey?”

“Yes! She’s wonderful, and makes chocolate chip cookies that are out of this world. We should invite her over to dinner.”

I stand up suddenly from the table. I can’t listen to this talk anymore. I don’t want to hear about James going out with anyone else. My mom gives me a perplexed look, but I just grab my dish and pop it into the dishwasher.

“I’m going to go and get changed if we’re going to be doing work on the B and B today,” I say as I get out of the room as fast as possible.

********

Selkirk House is over a hundred and thirty years old. I know this because I did a lot of research once my mom and dad told me they were going to buy it and we were going to move in. A robber baron had it built for his wife, though they never did stay in it for more than a few weeks a year. It passed on down the family, falling into disrepair, until it was bought and turned into a B and B forty years ago. At the time, only the first two floors were updated. Slowly, as Selkirk House became a more and more popular place to stay, additions and updates were done.

Then the recession hit, and things started going downhill again. My parents bought it for really cheap, just as things started to turn around. Business as far as I can tell has been steadily rising, so it does make sense in a way to start updating the rest of the house. It’s a mish mash of a bunch of different design styles, none of them coherent or true to the house. The idea of bringing it back to its time period is something that my mom and I both love, but we just never knew how or where to start.

Once I’ve showered and changed (and okay, put on a little bit of makeup), I head up to the third floor. I am glad we’re fixing up these rooms. I always felt bad when I had to put a guest in one of them during the summer. It gets really hot, especially in the rooms where the roof slopes down. I find my mom in the first room, pushing a dresser towards the center of the room.

“Hey mom,” I say, coming in and helping her drape plastic over the furniture. “You’ve got a lot done already huh?”

“I’m going to need your help for the bed here,” she replies, gesturing at the old canopy bed. “Although we might need to wait for James. I wish your dad could be here to help too.”

Dad works as a park ranger for the National Park just outside of town. During the summer, we get lots of families who like to visit.

“Well, if the business does pick up like dad and James are talking about, then maybe he could quit and help out here too,” I say.

“Wouldn’t that be nice?” my mom says. “It would make it all worth it wouldn’t it?”

I go to one side of the bed and my mom moves to the other. It’s solid wood, and old, so it takes us a bit, but we finally manage to pull it out enough that we can wedge ourselves behind the headboard and push the bed to the center of the room.

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