21 years old
I stared in horror at the words on Dr. E. Bowers’ computer. The status of my hymen was plastered across her screen in capital letters.
The letters glowed luridly on the green computer screen, the kind used before Steve Jobs figured out Apple. They imprinted themselves into my mind in an eighties blur. A lump of anxiety lodged itself into my throat and my cheeks started burning. I felt sick.
My humiliating secret was all over my medical records and Dr. E. Bowers was going to see it. I didn’t even know what the E in her name stood for but she was about to find out that in the two and a half years I had spent at uni, not a single boy had wanted to deflower me. Not one. I was twenty-one years old and I still had my V-card.
“Ms. Kolstakis?” she asked, pushing her rimless glasses up her nose. “You’re a final-year student at University College London, and you’re here to register, is that correct?”
I forced my paralyzed face into a smile and tried to laugh politely. “Yep, I don’t know why I didn’t join earlier. I, uh, I think it’s because I’ve just never been sick, you know?”
She stared blankly at me.
“Um, also, you can call me Miss Kolstakis, or just Ellie, if you want,” I added.
She turned her head back down towards the forms, creasing her brow as she struggled to read my messy attempt at writing in block capitals.
I wiped the sweat from my palms onto my jeans and told myself to be calm. She was a doctor. She wasn’t going to be shocked by meeting a twenty-one-year-old virgin. Besides, she was probably just going to ask me about the Kolstakis family history, and the worst thing I would have to tell her would be about Great-Granddad Stavros smoking a pack of cigarettes every day from the time he was nine. He didn’t even die from lung cancer in the end; he choked on an almond at the age of eighty-nine.
She breathed in sharply. “Mm, oh dear—this isn’t very good at all. You have more than seven alcoholic drinks a week?”
Oh, God. If she figured out I had deliberately rounded down by three drinks, I would probably be on the first bus out of here to rehab.
Dr. E. Bowers cleared her raspy throat.
“Oh, sorry.” I giggled nervously in a way I hadn’t since Girl Guides. “I don’t always have seven drink a week; obviously it’s just during term-time. We normally go out on Thursdays. Oh, and Mondays. Sometimes Wednesdays, but that club night is kind of full of freshmens these days so we don’t go as much.”
Dr. E. Bowers furrowed her forehead and pursed her lips together. She started tapping awa
“Virgin is laugh out loud, share with a friend, nonstop entertainment. Even Bridget Jones’s Diary could take a page from this novel.”—Joan Rivers
"Bridget Jones and Carrie Bradshaw, meet your wisecracking, vagina-obsessed match. Sanghani’s debut is a hilarious, irreverent look at smart-alecky, painfully self-conscious, 21-year-old Ellie’s relentless mission to rectify a disastrous first attempt at performing oral sex, get deflowered, find the perfect Brazilian wax, avoid her tradition-bound Greek mother’s nagging, graduate summa cum laude, be a writer, and fit in...This story for millennials is a wonderful blend of modern angst with old-fashioned sweetness."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)