I kept putting off writing this post because every time I came to it, I kept laughing and shrinking in embarrassment. It makes me want to go back to 18 year old Selina and pat her head or shake her.
This story goes back to January 2016 during my Christmas break in Mayrhofen, a small town in Austria. I had gone with my host family to ski in the Alps. My host Mama had enrolled me in a beginner’s skiing class of which I was the towering 18 year old amongst tiny, giggling beings who to my very inexperienced self, were far more reckless and daring on the deceiving fluffy snow. I kept getting flashback to my first time putting on the skiing gears on the snow in Freiburg and without prompt I started sliding. I had also just came from the restroom so I missed all the important instructions like how to STOP which was what I wanted to do then. But I stood up straighter putting my legs closer to each other therefore I went faster on the small slope.
From an observer’s point of view, I was going at a slow speed. That was what my roommate told me after the ordeal. Yet I was screaming and yelling as if I was going to die which at that moment I was sure was going to happen. The speed was disconcerting and my heart was having trouble pumping much needed oxygen into my squeezed lungs. I kept screaming my head off and motioning a co-year of mine who was at the bottom of the slope with a giant ice behind him to move because I will crash into him. The hero that he was, thank God, only braced his legs and said, “It’s okay. I got you. I got you.” Of course I just kept screaming and yelling at him to move.
OOMPH! I did not die. He caught me. Now for a person who spent significant amount of time buried in romance novels, you can get an idea of just how I reacted. He was a knight in shining armor in my bedazzled eyes and I developed a crush on him right then and there.
Aaaannnndddd I am getting side-tracked. 😉 But let me tell you, skiing gives you serious leg muscles!
Anyways fast-forward to Mayrhofen, in few days I graduated from the beginner’s class to the intermediate class. Now I was the youngest with a handful of grown-ups. Goodness but the transition from gentle to steep slope was dramatically bizarre. I wanted to run to my host Mama and beg her to let me go down to normal grounds. I would not mind walking the entire day but you see I have this thing called pride and it does not like making me look like a fool or a weakling. Though it definitely is not a weak or foolish thing to respect your fear or discomfort and that is my mantra every fortnight.
Therefore on that first eventful day, I pushed or rather my instructor kept making me go behind him so that I was first in line but eventually everybody kept passing me. Because I started getting this tidal force of a pain on my side. Every time I made a turn to my left to control my speed down the plunging slope, the fiercest of pain would bloom down my side. By the time I got to the bottom I was a shaking mess with watery sight. I had to be half-dragged to the ski lift where when we reached our destination on the lower part of the mountain, I collapsed. I was conscious but I could not move at all.
The next I opened my eyes, these two beautiful angels were staring down at me.
“Have I gone to heaven?” I thought. Then I heard all the chattering around me and I gave a pained giggle. Here I was in so much pain and this is what my brain made me think? It was two of the workers who had been called to help. Meanwhile everybody cheered when they heard me giggle.
“She’s alright. She is fine.” were the relieved statements.
Soon after a helicopter landed next to where I had been laid down. I was put onto the helicopter with a gentle doctor who kept wiping my tears for me while I kept praying the cardiac monitor will not tattle-tale on me. I was thinking it was so silly romantic. Or maybe what I felt was really loneliness. Nobody outside my long gone parents and grandparents had ever wiped my tears for me and here was a stranger doctor who was on a helicopter with me while I was in so much pain treating me with so much gentleness I had only ever read in my romance novels. It felt unfamiliar to be cared for. Granted he was a doctor so he is suppose to be caring for me but it brought to clarity the void in my life.
I was succumbed in self-pity. Once again I was in pain and I had no one while my family had each other. But then even if they were around, my pride would not allow me to ask them for help.
I was also calling out to my grandparents in my head.
“Bubu, Jimma. Do you both see me? Your island girl is actually on a helicopter being flown from the Alps. Isn’t it so amazing?”
It was a rainbow of emotions that day.
When we landed on the hospital’s roof I was brought immediately to a room. Now this is where I do not know whether to hide myself or hug myself with what played out next.
My bladder was full and I needed to pee but when I was helped up from the bed, I nearly landed face down on the floor. My entire body was jelly. When I was brought a urinary catheter I became frantic. I caught the hand of the nurse. Gosh.
With tears trailing down my cheeks and a very child-like voice I asked, “Will I… Will I lose my virginity?”
My cheeks are so flushed right now. I want to laugh and cry. But yes back to story. The nurse just smiled and said they will be putting it into my pee hole. I did not know what the difference since what I was told and from the books I read, if something is inserted into your hole then you lose your virginity.
The nurse proceeded to wipe me down and inserted the tube into what I know now as my urethra.
Few weeks later I was back in school and I asked my friends about it. They went from shocked to laughing hyena’s and snorting pigs.
They went to Google image and searched up vagina. With a very detailed photo of a vagina pushed to my face they explained, “Selina, there. We have three holes. There is the peeing hole where they inserted the tube. There is the vagina hole where sex happens. Finally there is the poo hole.”
For 18 years I always thought we only had two holes. Period, pee, and baby came out of one hole and feces out the other. I was astounded at the discovery. They asked me if I never had sex education and I said no. What I knew about sex came from the books I read but even then I never understood most of sex scenes. I would try to imagine what was written word for word but I always got confused and nothing was coming into my mind so I gave up.
It would go like this in the book, “He kissed her nether lips.” And so I would sit straight with a pen in my hand, serious concentration game on. Ok so he is kissing her on the lips. But then in the book it mentioned hair and inner thighs immediately after. And there I was confounded. Lips do not have hair nor are they next to the inner thighs. Did he just spider speed down her body? Or they would use words like pussy and cock. And I would be lost. Why is the cat and rooster there? What in the world are these people doing? Goodness gracious I will not even go into the positioning of the limbs.
The sex education I got back home in Majuro were the two visits from Youth to Youth in Healthy during 3rd grade and our nurse at MIHS. The first one they talked about periods and wet dreams. Apparently only boys get wet dreams. Which is not true. They had also separated the boys and girls into separate rooms because some of us might be related and it is inappropriate in our culture to speak about intimate things with the opposite sex. The second one, our nurse just talked personal hygiene and how you should not use your underthings from one side to the other. This was in freshmen year of high school I believe.