I was twelve. Maybe thirteen – fourteen. I’m not sure. At the time I was grappling with the man/woman relationship thing. Actually, I am still grappling with it.
Her name was Anita. She was blond and delicious and the absolute love of my life. I saw her on Sunday mornings and evenings and on Wednesday evenings at church. We could sit together and intertwine our fingers surreptitiously under the hymnal or Bible or church bulletin. That is until her mother gave us the evil eye. Once I nonchalantly placed my arm on the back of the pew behind her shoulders, and her mother, sitting on the other side of Anita, whacked my arm in disapproval. I withdrew it quickly. After church services, Anita and I would stroll around the church building together. When we reached the rear of the building, we would quickly hold hands for the few moments allowed us.
Anita liked to write, and so did I. So upon meeting, we would exchange love letters. I remember spending hours pouring over just the right words and phrasing, so that she would gasp in loving and endearing delight. I wish that I could see those letters now. It seemed that we wrote volumes – and I simply cannot imagine what we could have talked about.
One Sunday afternoon, I was invited to have lunch with Anita and her parents. I don’t remember a thing about the meal, but I do remember later sitting with Anita on the couch in the living room. She was showing me a photo album. Of course, the large album was in between us and covering our laps. And yes, our hands met underneath the album, and our fingers massaged and locked in a juvenile ecstasy.
My mother had delivered me to Anita’s that day. As we sat on the couch slowly perusing the album, my mother arrived to pick me up. She drove into the driveway and gave a little toot on the horn. It was time for me to go -- and it was horrible. I was where I wanted to be, and Anita was where she wanted to be. We were wrapped in our own magic, and it seemed cruel that outside world would pull us apart.
The album closed and I shifted in preparation to leave. Anita looked at me, ripping into my soul with her blue eyes. I looked back, breathless and longing. To this day, I am not sure what happened next. Did I lean toward her, or was it her that leaned toward me? All I know is that suddenly we were kissing. My mind blanked out and the world was a whirlwind. I guess by today’s standards, we would consider it a polite, chaste kiss. No tongue, no groping, no gasping, no moaning, no frantic twisting of the head with lips crushing. But – it was just the most fantastic, endearing, sensuous kiss in the world.
After kissing, we stared at each other for a second, and then I stood, with my heart soaring dizzily. I somehow stumbled to the door, crashed out onto the porch, and immediately walked off the end – the part of the porch with no steps. I tumbled to the ground. I lurched back to my feet, walked five steps, and crashed right smack into the trunk of a large tree. Down I went again. Slowly I returned to my feet, and cautiously made it to the car. I looked at the front door. Anita was standing there with her hand covering her mouth. And my mother was asking, “What’s wrong with you?”
This was my First Kiss.
I accidentally came across Anita a few years ago at a convention. She was married, as I was. And she was older too. I think we both wondered about our youthful passion, and perhaps wanted to tap just a piece of it. We sat down and drank coffee together. And we couldn’t think of anything to talk about. After all those love letters – we couldn’t think of anything to talk about. But, there was one thing that did connect. She asked, “Do you think that you can get to the car without killing yourself now?”
I'm pretty good at embellishing stories, but this one occurred exactly as I described it.