By: Radhika Sanghani

“AND YOU THINK I DON’T KNOW THAT?” I yelled through the phone at her. She responded with silence and I sighed despondently. “Anyway, I give up on my life—it’s too depressing. What’s your crisis? I hope it’s worse than mine. I need major distraction.”

“Trust me, it is. I’m home for Easter and want to see Jez but, as usual, he is being a dick and won’t reply to my messages. So now I’m in central London just waiting for him to reply so I can see him tonight.”

“Wait—so you’re in London with no plans? Why don’t you come over to my place?”

“Well, I’m kind of already on my way.”

“I can’t believe you assumed I’d be home alone with nothing to do.”

“But that’s exactly what you are doing.”

“Okay, point taken. Anyway, I hope you’re willing to ditch Jez, because I have a proposition for you and it involves going out tonight.”

“But what if he calls and wants to see me? I don’t know if I can go out out tonight.”

“Lara, come on. He is ignoring you, which he does every few weeks, so you can’t just be at his beck and call. Embrace your inner feminist, stop being his booty call and come out with me tonight to help me lose my virginity.”

She started laughing. “Are you kidding? You want to lose your virginity tonight? To a stranger?”


“I’m not helping you get deflowered by a one-night stand. You’ve held on long enough, so you may as well last a bit longer for The One.”

“I am so bored of that phrase,” I retorted. “Do you know how many websites have advised me to keep on waiting? WikiHow’s entire virginity page is full of Hare Krishna crap like that.”

“Did you actually search for virginity advice on Wikipedia?”

“See how desperate I am?” I pleaded in my best whiny voice.

“Promise you’ll never do that voice again and I’ll consider it.”

“Oh, fine. Have you brought any chocolate with you? I’m going to need calorie support for when I tell you about last night.”

“I’m on a diet again.”

“Are you kidding me?! You’re a size eight—you don’t need to diet.”

“I know, but I feel kind of gross and I was planning to see Jez tonight and I didn’t want to be bloated.”

“Lara, you’re speaking to someone who had to buy size twelve jeans the other day—and they still left imprints on my legs when I took them off. Do not even think about saying you feel fat. Besides, do you want to end up looking like those anorexic A-listers in magazines? They’re completely airbrushed and no normal humans look like that and—”

She groaned through the rest of the rant I recited to her every time she tried to diet. We had both decided long ago never to become girls who only ate celery and used their diaries for cumulative calorie counting, but occasionally one of us lapsed and found the willpower to start dieting. It was normally Lara.

“Okay, okay, I’m sorry,” she said. “I’ll see you in five with chocolate.”

We sat looking doubtfully at the pile of clothes on the bed. I had no idea what to wear. Cosmo’s What to Wear for Any Occasion guides were open on twenty website tabs but none of them had a What to Wear for Finding a One-Night Stand to Lose Your Virginity To page.

“Once we’ve chosen where we’re going, it will be easier to choose an outfit,” said Lara.

I sighed and fell back onto the pile of discarded dresses on my bed. “The thing is, I don’t want to lose it to a skanky student, especially because I might see him again, so we can’t go to a student place . . .”

“Okay, why don’t we go somewhere a bit nicer?” she suggested. “In Mayfair or something? Lots of people from my uni go out round there.”

Normally the thought of going to those clubs made me break out in a cold sweat. Hordes of Oxbridge graduates in designer clothes would make me stick out like a sore thumb. I had already tried the typical student clubs, however, and had had no luck whatsoever.

I shrugged. “You know what? Fuck it. I’m desperate. Let’s go to a posh club.”

She whooped and I carried on. “Besides, I may as well get deflowered by someone who can actually afford to buy me a drink. Hell, if I shag someone wealthy with connections, I might even get a writing internship out of it.”

Lara stopped cheering. She crinkled up her perfect-sized nose and stared at me. “Are you sure you’re not being a bit, um, blasé about this whole breaking-your-hymen thing?”

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