At the beginning of Forever …, the protagonist, Katherine, and her best friend Erica, (both seniors in high school) attend a New Year's Eve party. The party is given by Erica's cousin Sybil, who is described as having a poor self-image because she is overweight and tends to be sexually promiscuous in order to feel loved. At the party, Katherine meets Michael, a friend of Sybil. The next day, Michael asks Katherine to go for a drive with him. Afterward, he kisses Katherine before saying good-bye and tells Katherine that she is delicious.
Katherine is at home, telling her mother that she has met a nice boy and that she has a date with him that weekend. Katherine describes her mother, whose name is Diana and who works in the children's room at the local library, as thin and tall and not necessarily athletic. Jamie, Katherine's younger sister, is also introduced. Jamie is in the seventh grade and is artistic, unlike Katherine. Jamie and Katherine, despite their age difference, appear to be friends. They respect one another's talents and are supportive of one another. Jamie volunteers, for example, to embroider a design on Katherine's jeans to wear on her first official date with Michael.
Katherine then talks about Tommy Aronson, the boy whom she dated before she met Michael. Her relationship with Tommy was not good. Tommy dated Katherine, she finally discovered, only to have sex with her. When Katherine made it clear that she did not want to have sex with him, Tommy dropped her for another girl, presumably one who would. Unlike Tommy, Michael makes Katherine feel good about herself. He is attentive and caring.
Katherine invites Michael to come back to her house after their date. She takes him to a private room downstairs that has a lock on the door. They start to kiss, but Katherine stops Michael when he goes a little too fast for her. He asks if she is a virgin, to which Katherine answers yes.
Katherine introduces her father, who is a pharmacist. Later, Katherine invites Michael and Erica over to the house. Michael brings Artie with him. Erica and Artie play backgammon in the kitchen, while Michael and Katherine retreat to the downstairs room. They kiss, but Katherine stops Michael again because he is moving too fast for her. Michael and Artie leave, and Erica spends the night. Erica says that Artie seems shy because he did not even try to kiss her. Then Katherine and Erica discuss their feelings about sex. Erica says that girls do not have to be in love to have sex, but Katherine disagrees.
Jamie plans a big dinner with her grandmother, who has come to stay with the girls while their parents are away. Michael picks Katherine up one night at the hospital where she works as a candy striper. Michael invites Katherine to his school's play. Artie has the lead role, so Katherine then invites Erica to come along. When they get home, Katherine introduces Michael to her grandmother, who later warns Katherine to be careful about pregnancy and venereal diseases. Katherine is a little embarrassed and disturbed that her grandmother assumes that Katherine will have sex.
After Michael leaves, Jamie tells Katherine that she wishes Michael had a younger brother. When Jamie asks if Katherine and Michael are having sex, Katherine becomes upset. Jamie tells her that Katherine's generation is too hung up on sex.
By chapter six, Erica is frustrated in her relationship with Artie. He still has not kissed her, so she tells Katherine that she plans on doing something about it. The two girls then go to see Artie in the school play. Sybil and Elizabeth are also in it. When Katherine sees Elizabeth, her jealousy begins to swell. By the time the play is over and everyone has gone to Elizabeth's house for a party, Katherine has trouble controlling her emotions. Everyone congratulates Artie for his wonderful performance, but this is not a sufficient distraction for Katherine, who can barely talk because she is so emotional.
(The entire section is 3,054 words.)