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by Julie Britt When my cousin, Carol, invited me to spend bicentennial week with her family at Myrtle Beach, I immediately went to J.C. Penney to search for the perfect bathing suit. Carol and I spent a lot of time picking out clothes, shoes and hairstyles that enhanced our feminine allure. Snug tops emphasized perky breasts and slender waists. Tight hot pants hugged our behinds and exposed lengths of tanned legs. We weren’t dressing for sex. That would have been wrong. We were only 17, not to mention unwed. We just wanted potential boyfriends to notice our timely fashion sense and get a hint of what might be theirs if they were patient enough to wait for love in God’s good time. The first day at the beach, we paraded down Ocean Boulevard in our new denim cutoffs and tube tops. We giggled as boys honked, whistled and called out compliments. “Ooh, baby, come to Papa!” “Sweeeeet!” “Marry me, darlin’!” When the compliments turned to raunchy innuendo, we ducked into the Gay Dolphin, a souvenir shop whose inventory included thousands of treasures from the sea — genuine sharks’ teeth, shells of every hue and the mysterious sand dollar with its reminders of our Savior’s sacrifice. We had

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by Julie Britt As soon as I discovered that nasty thing the grownups called “sexuality,” I just knew it would get me in a lot of trouble some day—with Jesus, my parents and some yucky boy—so I hid it. But my Mama and Daddy noticed my sinful sexiness way before I knew I had it, not to mention what I was supposed to do with it. I was only 10—too young to be thinking about boys, sex and chastity, a real important and mysterious word they talked about in church all the time. One night I was filling the tub when I realized we were out of bubble bath. I turned off the faucet and briefly considered taking a bath in plain old water. No. That wouldn’t be good enough. It was summer, and I had spent most of the afternoon playing in the woods with Josh, my pesky little brother. I needed the extra clean that only Mr. Bubble could bring. I figured Mama had a fresh box in the pantry. “Mama!” I called through the bathroom door. No answer. Daddy probably had turned up the TV so he could hear his western above the racket from the kitchen, where Mama was busy preparing our

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