You always remember your first kiss. Mine was slimy and with a boy named Omar. I remember wondering how people were into that sort of thing, yet I also knew I wanted to do it some more. There are all sorts of kisses in the course of your life. There’s first kisses, routine kisses, sweet kisses, kisses on the cheeks of your children, kisses on the forehead when you’re really afraid and then there’s the magical kind. The kind you can’t ever forget. This is a story about that magic.
I remember noticing when things had changed between us. He was going away on a trip and I wasn’t going to see him for a few weeks. I knew I was going to miss him. As I traced back the breadcrumbs of my thoughts that night, the feelings I had for him came to view. I always wanted to be near him. He was present, and funny, and passionate and when I was around him I felt alive. But, we were friends and both in different relationships, so I buried that realization as far down as I could. I wished him a safe trip.
A few months later we were both strongly aware that there was something between us. We were magnets and could feel each other’s presence across towns. Maybe we won’t have physical chemistry I told him. Maybe it’s just not meant to be. I kept searching for the excuses that would deter us from hurting the people we cared for, but every minute without him felt wrong.
The weather wasn’t definable that day; it was a perfect mix of sun and clouds. He had driven us to my favorite park, and as I walked by the play ground to the picnic tables, I realized it was no longer my childhood play ground. it wasn’t the place that I rode my first bike or sledded into a tree, it was the place that I first held his hand and the place that he told me I made him feel like a teenager again. Soon, it would be the place where we had our first kiss.
“I have always looked at other girls,” he said. “it’s just how I’ve always been. But ever since I met you, you’re the only one I want to see.”
I linked my arm through his walking to the picnic table unsure of what we should do. I knew the situation had to come to an end one way or the other. We couldn’t continue our emotional affair and yet we both had to know what was between us. Both of our partners were aware that we were confused and connected to one another, but they held on anyway. Nothing felt easy, except sitting next to him. I was calm around him, and I am not a calm person.
“I guess we have to stop being friends,” I said softly. “We are hurting everyone.”
“Yeah,” he stared ahead.
I closed my eyes feeling the energy between us. He was sitting on the top of the picnic table and I was on the bench. Goosebumps spread on my skin just being near him. Suddenly his lips were on mine and I kissed him back with everything I had. For a moment, I didn’t think, I just felt and I let go of all of the shoulds and coulds. I did exactly what I wanted to do. We moved like a perfect match with all of our emotions coming together in that one perfect moment. I had kissed a lot of people in my time, but nothing ever felt like this. My first kisses were usually awkward and full of growing pains, but this one wasn’t. This kiss felt like we had been doing it for fifty years and knew every inch of each other’s skin. He felt like home. It was the kind of moment that you wanted to hold onto forever.
When I came up for air I remember every one of my senses being heightened. I could hear the squirrels in the trees behind us and I could see the sun shining through the clouds onto his chocolate hair. It was as if our kiss had caused the world to stop and now it was moving fast to catch up.
“You have to bring me home,” I said. I grabbed his hand and pulled him to his feet. I was in a total panic. I had never felt something that strong before. He followed me quickly saying nothing on the walk to his car. As we got into the car I knew I had to go break up with my boyfriend. I knew I had to tell him exactly what had happened and how I felt. The only problem was I couldn’t even put words to what I was feeling. it was as if every emotion possible was hitting me all at once.
He pulled the car into reverse.
“People don’t just kiss like that,” he said. “I’ve never been kissed like that.”
I knew he was right but I couldn’t speak. I was stunned. Whatever was between us was bigger than us and I didn’t know how to handle it. He tried to talk to me but I was unreachable. The girl who was always a product of her emotions was completely gone. She had found real love, and she was terrified.
“We have to talk about this,” he said.
“I’ll call you later,” I said getting out of his car and into mine.
“I’ve never felt anything like that,” he said again.
Me either, I thought.
I wish I could go back to that moment. To tell myself that it was okay to be loved. I wish I had jumped into his arms and figured out the rest of the world with him, but I didn’t. I didn’t know how to let someone love me, and the story that would unfold between us was a product of that missing puzzle piece. If I could have been whole for anyone, it would have been him, but I wasn’t. I was messy, and tangled and he was wonderfully magic. And you see, that’s the thing about magic; once you realize it’s real, you’ll never see anything the same again.