While writing a scene for the second book in the Magestic Dreams Trilogy, I had to dig deep into my past and remember what it was like to get that first kiss. I’m not talking about the first kiss you took on a dare with the boy you grew up with because you were so damn competitive you had to beat him in every game of kickball, tag, and… Oh wait! That was me. No, I’m talking about that first kiss in all its awkward glory with the boy you’d been crushing on for weeks, maybe even months. And when you found yourself alone with him, you shoved a big wad of gum in your mouth just moments before so his tongue didn’t have room to move around. Or was that just me, too?
We’ve all written or read about the perfect first kiss, on a starry night, by the light of the moon, and just before the rain falls. My first kiss was nothing like that, though I dreamed it would be. To be honest, it was hardly memorable, except for the part where my bubble gum got all strung up in his braces. You thought I was kidding? What kiss I do remember is the one that prompted me to write a list of all the qualities I would look for in a boyfriend. The top of the list: A good kisser.
Let me paint a picture for you. Small town, small breasts, and zero prospects. Enter the new boy from an exotic far away location. Okay, it was California but that was exotic enough for me. He was tall, super good-looking, and he made the football team as the star quarterback on the very first day of school. Cliché I know, but it’s the honest truth. He was a nice guy but he was way out of my league. I don’t know where all the growth hormones were in my chicken, but I was one of the last girls in my class to bud out. So, I admired him from afar.
Three years later (I told you I was a late bloomer), rumors began to surface that this boy had a crush on me. I had long since given up on him but now, my interest was renewed. I have to explain something here before I proceed. I lived in a small, middle of the country kind of town, where there was nothing for teenagers to do on a Saturday night but drive up and down the main street (the drag) and meet up with friends in parking lots and the Sonic Drive-In which was the turnaround spot. We called it “doing the drag.”
One night, I was on the drag with my older sister and her friends in the parking lot of Slick’s Drive-In (a hamburger joint that was closed for the night). Hunky football crush was there, too. When my Mom was spotted passing by, thirty minutes before my curfew was up, my older sister suggested I run and hide. She also suggested my crush go with me so I wouldn’t be alone, in the dark, behind a sketch building… (Yeah, I’m throwing her under the bus right now.) Knowing my mom would insist I just ride home with her and not wanting to end my night before I had a chance to talk to the hunky football crush, I ran behind the building.
This is the good part, straight out of a horror romance novel. With my back pressed against the wall, he leaned into me so we didn’t cast shadows on the ground. We stood quietly for several minutes, just staring at each other and listening to the voices out front.
“I think you’re safe, now,” he whispered as he took a step back. He held my hands and peeled me from the wall.
With trembling legs and a pounding heart, I braced myself for the inevitable kiss. I’m not sure if music was playing in the background or if it was just playing in my head, but Endless Love was the song I remember. It was a beautiful summer night and yes, the sky was starry. A gentle breeze was blowing my hair into my face and he brushed his hand across my cheek, grabbing a stray strand and tucking it behind my ear. The moment was right, everything was perfect. His head tilted, his lips parted, and I took in a deep breath right before his lips found mine.
And thank God I did! Little did I know that would be the last breath I would get to take for a while.
The music abruptly stopped, like a needle screeching across a record as it spins on a turntable. Time stood still as I endured the longest, wettest, sloppiest kiss I have ever known. The awkward moments came later, when I couldn’t find a polite way to wipe the slobber off my face.
I needed a breath mint and a towel.
So, I ask you: What’s wrong with the well written, totally unrealistic, passionate first kiss? Did all those romantic movies and novels influence me to set my expectations too high? Do you have a story you’d like to share? I’d love to know I’m not alone.