As Levi Johnston tells it, it was love at first sight — or at least what counts for love in a 15-year-old. He ran into Bristol Palin in the local grocery store back when he was a student at Wasilla High playing on the hockey team. “She had on a soft-pink turtleneck sweater. Hot,” he writes in his new book, “Deer in the Headlights: My Life in Sarah Palin’s Crosshairs.” “I walked right up to her. Just ‘cause. ‘Cause I couldn’t keep away.”
She came to his hockey game the next night, and well, the cliche struck. “I looked up,” he writes, “and there she was. Bristol, her eyes fixed on me. As I headed for the bench during a line change, something electric happened over the heads of my teammates.
“It’s lucky the ice didn’t melt.”
That night, his love ablaze, he begged his dad to let him take his truck out to go see Bristol, even though at 15 he didn’t have a driver’s license. His father refused, and Levi was heartbroken. “Her body drove me crazy,” he explains. “All those curves and everything. It still does.”
Soon, Levi tells the world, “she was the sun of my life. We became secret camping lovers, scraping gnarly gnats off our lips before we kissed. . . . I love you, I’d started to say, and before I finished, she’d said the same thing to me.”
How badly it all ended, as anyone even half-conscious cannot have missed. In the book, Levi parades his love, their young lustful appetites and the turmoil over teenage parenthood.
We read about them getting interrupted while showering together when Bristol’s dad, Todd, comes home unexpectedly but fails to catch on to their antics. We learn that they were ”more careful” when they “took a bubble bath downstairs in Sarah’s Jacuzzi.”
We hear his side of the story about her pregnancy and the birth of their son. Levi says that Bristol was inspired when she learned her mother was pregnant.
“I’m the one, Bristol said, who should be having a baby. Not Sarah. . . . Bristol looked at me. Let’s get pregnant.” Levi says Bristol didn’t stop talking about having a baby after her mother’s new son, Trig, arrived. “When she started talking about it, I asked her about birth control, but she assured me that everything was safe. I only half believed her.”
Later, he writes, “Bristol got pregnant on purpose. She had finally come clean, admitted to me that she hadn’t been taking her birth control pills. We were having a baby, end of story.”
When Bristol eventually began speaking out against sexual activity among teens, she and Levi saw the irony in it. “My babe had now been transformed into a sexual-abstinence advocate,” Levi writes. “I told her it sounded sexy dirty to me.”
Bristol started to laugh, and Levi joined in. Soon they were doubled over in laughter.
“She caught her breath enough to tell me that, when her mom first mentioned this career possibility to her, Bristol asked her what abstinence was. She was just joshing me, making fun. She was collecting piles of money describing the horrors of teen pregnancy and before that, of course, teen sex. Which every single kid Bristol and I knew was engaged in. Give me a break.”
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