“When anybody asks, 'What are you writing about now?' if I try to reply, the book-in-the-works sounds so idiotic to me that I think, 'Why am I trying to write that puerile junk?' So now I give up; if I could talk about it, I wouldn't have to write it."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet


First Kiss

Friday, August 08, 2008

This is my submission to Scribbit's August Write-Away contest. I've been searching unsuccessfully for blogging inspiration, but when I saw her topic for this month's contest I knew I had found it. The story is true, but the names have been changed.


I was ten years old and standing in a closet with a boy. It was dark; so dark I couldn’t see his face, or the clothes that hung by my head, or even the door. I stood there waiting, but for what I didn’t know. After all, I was only ten.

“Did you do it yet?” His little sister’s voice carried excitedly from the other side of the closet door in a world where light still shone and one could see the clothes – or the boy – before them.

“Geez, Jenny!” Kevin replied. We stood there silent for a few more seconds that seemed like hours. He didn’t seem to be moving toward me, not that I would know in the dark. Did I want him to kiss me? I wasn’t sure. He was a boy after all, and even though he was a nice boy, every ten-year-old girl knows that boys are icky.

A sliver of light appeared where Jenny cracked open the sliding door, immediately followed by her left eye peering into the darkness. Apparently she couldn’t see well enough to satisfy her impatient curiosity, so she slid the door open wide. “I thought you two were going to kiss,” she said. She was irritated. We had failed to live up to her expectation.

Kevin exited and I was right behind him. People called us “boyfriend and girlfriend” – mostly our moms with winks and goofy grins – but I wasn’t sure why. I mean, I liked him and all, and it was nice to hang out with him sometimes, like the time I got invited to go horseback riding with him and his mom and her friend on his birthday. It was fun. Was that what being a boy’s girlfriend was all about? Jenny seemed to think it involved kissing too, which kind of made sense, but was still icky.

We never did kiss. Kevin and Jenny went home with their parents that night and I quickly forgot about the whole kissing thing; a favorite book was a quick and easy distraction. It wasn’t long after that night that Kevin and I “broke up”, which I figured out meant that we didn’t get to hang out together anymore. Apparently I said something that made him mad. I still got to be friends with Jenny though, which was nice because with her no one used silly words like “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” and no one expected any kissing.

It was over ten years before the kissing issue came up again. Boys never paid much attention to me in that time since my best friend was gorgeous and vivacious – oh yeah, and blonde. That was fine with me – mostly – because it meant I didn’t have to talk much and risk making a fool of myself which I invariably did whenever I opened my mouth. On the other hand, I was sometimes jealous of her because she always had a boyfriend and I never did. Boys didn’t seem so icky as they used to.

And then I met him. He was just past being a boy, at least on the outside. He was playful and silly, a little geeky and still a bit boyish, but just serious and smart enough to be attractive to the young woman I had become. He asked me to marry him, and though we had never been on a date I knew I would be happy with him for the rest of my life. We could sit and talk for hours on end, and I hardly ever made a fool of myself, and if I did, for the first time in my life it didn’t really matter – because he loved me. He loved me. Maybe it was time to finally kiss a boy.

He wanted to wait until our wedding day. We were going to be married in about four months, but he wanted to play it safe, to not take any chances by doing things that might “lead us into temptation”, like kissing. So we didn’t kiss, even though he loved me and I loved him back. We smiled and laughed and talked and planned and loved each other, but we did not kiss.

As our wedding day approached, I began to get nervous. Soon we would be standing in front of two hundred of our friends and family, and I, who had never kissed anyone before, would have my first kiss on display before them all. My heart pounded in trepidation at the thought of it.

So, not having any superstitions about my groom seeing me before the wedding, I requested one practice kiss. Shortly before the ceremony, when all the preparations were complete and we were both dressed in our wedding day finery, he, at my request, came to my dressing room. We chased out bridesmaids and mothers and attendants for just a few minutes.

He came close to me, put his hands on my shoulders and drew me toward him. I closed my eyes and let all the world fade away. It was our wedding day and for this moment all that remained were the two of us. “Tilt your head like this,” he said quietly, and the man I loved, who would soon call me his “wif”, gently tilted my head to the side, and kissed me.

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At 8/08/2008 11:27 PM, Blogger Scribbit wrote:

I can just picture him chasing them all out of the room--my parents were high school sweethearts and each has never kissed anyone but the other and I used to love hearing their story growing up of their first date and first kiss. I'm a sap :)

At 8/09/2008 8:28 AM, Blogger Jeana wrote:

I love this. Love it.

And it's so good to hear from you!

At 8/17/2008 10:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote:

OK... I was one of the "chasees", having done your hair, and I didn't realize that he was kissing you. In fact, as horrible as this sounds, I don't remember being chased out. I probably had to go do a sound check for the song or some other pre-wedding thing, and was fine with getting away.

Perception is a funny thing, huh? I'm glad I got to hear this story.

At 8/20/2008 10:29 AM, Blogger MoziEsmé wrote:

Awww! A kiss made all the more special for all the waiting and self control you guys used . . .

At 8/20/2008 1:28 PM, Blogger Gabrielle wrote:

That was beautiful! Sooooo, I guess the kiss was amazing?! :-)


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