do you guys remember back when you were a tween (though we weren't called that) or early teen and you and your friends talked and thought about kissing all the time? i remember when my friends & i were about 11, the mysterious pull of some lip on lip action became so mesmerizing that it seemed to dominate many of our giggly conversations. most of us hadn't done it yet, but we'd heard about it from older friends or siblings or trashy neighbor girls who we publicly scorned but privately envied just a little.
over the next couple of years, one by one, each of us lost our lip virginity as the opportunities presented themselves for some smooching. i remember waiting anxiously for my moment to come since i knew that it would be a once in a lifetime event. you only get that first kiss one single solitary time & i'd heard stories letting me know that i'd probably remember it forever, so it had to be a good one. it had to be perfect. and yet, that's too much pressure for any kid, especially when it comes to something that's likely to be awkward and messy.
when i was 13, my parents decided that they needed a night away from their 4 kids. my brother is a year older than me & we were both very responsible, as a general rule. we'd been babysitting our younger sibling for a few years by then & had shown ourselves to be trustworthy. i guess they thought that leaving us home overnight wasn't so much different than leaving us home for an extended period during the day, so they went ahead & planned that date.
i thought it was pretty cool to be left home overnight since none of our friends had ever been allowed to do that before. i felt mature and wise and trusted. something that i'm not sure was factored in to the plan when my parents made these arrangements was that my brother's friend from out of town (who i shall call jeff) was staying with our family for several days.
this jeff guy was one of the cutest boys i knew. i didn't see him often since he lived a few hours away, but over the years when i had seen him, i'd always thought that he would make a lovely long-distance boyfriend for me. however, he never paid any attention to me. i was there. i was the little sister. i was flirty, but i was ignorable. he wasn't rude, but he never reciprocated.
that did not dampen my enthusiasm for flirtation in the slightest. maybe if i just tried a little harder or giggled a little more often or followed him around for a bit longer, he'd realize that i was the girl of his dreams & pledge his undying love to me.
that night when we got the little kids put safely to bed, the three responsible teens hung out & played some silly games. i'm sure there was probably some truth or dare or uno played before the evening was over. then the boys went upstairs to go to bed and for some reason, i decided that i was going to sleep downstairs on the couch. i crawled under the holey green and orange afghan on the scratchy plaid sofa only to realize that i'd left a light on in the other room.
i got up & walked over to turn it off & there was jeff. he was just coming around the corner dressed in those heather grey elastic-bottomed sweatpants. he was looking so fine i just stared at him before realizing that i was only wearing my big minnie mouse t-shirt and undies and nothing else. i froze for a moment & then reached out & slapped off the light, hoping he hadn't noticed my lack of pants. neither of us said anything. we just stood there for several seconds in the dark.
then he slowly walked toward me until i was backed up into a wall. i couldn't back away from him anymore and i realized that i didn't want to. i put one hand up and barely touched his chest. i tipped my chin up to see his shadowed face to figure out what was happening. my heart was pounding and i was holding my breath. i was sure that he was going to laugh and then walk back upstairs. but he didn't.
he gently slid his hands around my waist and pulled me tight up against him. he leaned down and put his lips against mine and every ounce of myself melted into that kiss. it was exactly as wonderful as i'd been hoping. i was weak in the knees as i stood up against that wall with so much warm, male contact pressed up against me. i'd never felt anything like that before. i didn't know those feelings existed.
after a couple of minutes, he pulled back, looked me in the eyes and then without a word, he went back upstairs.
i floated over to the couch where i laid awake for hours wondering how i'd gotten so lucky. i replayed every wet moment of that kiss in my mind over and over until i was sure that i'd never forget how perfect it was. i couldn't wait til morning so that i could see jeff again and spend the next few days trying to steal him from my brother for more smooching adventures. i wanted to call all my friends and tell them that my kiss had arrived and it was delivered by a boy who was sure to make them all jealous.
the next morning, jeff acted like it never happened. he treated me exactly the same as he always had, not rude, but a little bit dismissive. i cried for days when he wasn't around, trying to figure out what i'd done wrong. and when he was around, i tried to show him as much adoration as i possibly could through eye contact only, in hopes that he would pay even a moments attention to me again.
i never did talk to him about it. but i never forgot it either. and i'll always have the memory of that one night when i got my first kiss and it was magical in every way.