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My First Kiss This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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“We're going to play Spin the Bottle?” I asked, shocked. “I can't play that! I don't know how to kiss!”

“So practice. That's what I've been doing,” Adrianna said, calm as usual. I knew why she was so calm; she'd probably kissed millions of guys by now. Even though we were only 11, more than half the guys on the football team we cheered for liked her, and they had every reason to. I glanced at my friend again. After an hour of trying, her hair was finally in a perfect ponytail. Her blue eyes shone brighter than usual, thanks to eyeliner and mascara; her tanned skin glowed and her cheeks were flushed, partly from the excitement of our cheerleading competition, and partly from the blush her mom had applied. We were wearing our uniform: green and white sweaters with “Hawks” across the chest, short green pleated skirts and saddle shoes. She wore beige stockings which showed off her athletic legs and the gold anklet our coach had given us for good luck. “Girls, are you ready?” Adrianna's mom asked from the bottom of the stairs.

“Coming, Mom!” Adrianna yelled back and continued to talk to me in a low voice. “If you practice, you'll be fine by Friday. That's six days away.”

*

“Hello?”

“Sean, guess what? We got first place. I'm so excited; we did the cheers perfectly!” I was talking a million miles an hour, the adrenaline still rushing through me.

“Wow, Brianna, slow down. You guys won? Congratulations, I told you your team was the best.” Sean was my closest guy friend; we'd practically grown up together. I could trust him to do anything for me. Thinking about that, a plan started to form. It was probably the best idea I ever had.

“Hey, Sean, you've never kissed anyone, right?” I was calming down, and my mind was focused on the upcoming party and impending game of Spin the Bottle.

“Nope, why?” he asked. I'd known the answer before I asked, but figured I should lead into the plan, not just spring it on him.

“I was thinking when you get a girlfriend, you're gonna have to kiss her eventually, and you want to be good at it, in case she's experienced, right?” Tricking him into wanting to do this was the key.

“Yeah, I never thought of that. I'm guessing you have a plan, so let's hear it.”

“Considering that we both need to learn how to kiss – me for this party on Friday, and you for when you actually get a girlfriend – I figured we could practice with each other!”

“Umm … ”

I knew he was gonna go for it; he had to.

“All right, I guess this could work. It wouldn't be considered our first kiss either because we're just practicing, right?”

“Exactly!”

*

“Brianna! Sean is here!” my mother called; I had finished my homework and invited him over for the our first practice.

“Okay, Mom, tell him to come down,” I yelled back. I was excited, but scared. So many questions ran through my mind. What if he is really good, and I'm horrible? He walked down the stairs; he seemed as nervous as I was, which made me feel a little better. He was wearing black baggy jeans, a white tee-shirt with a soccer ball on the front and a green hat, which contrasted nicely with his big brown eyes. His skin was pale, and his lips were stained red, probably from an ice-pop. He walked over to the couch and sat next to me.

“So, how do we start?” he asked. I shrugged.

“How about we just kiss, and however it happens we just go from there?” I suggested. That was what my cousin did, and she practiced a lot with her boyfriend.

“Okay, here goes nothing.” He leaned in and tried to kiss me, but as I watched him get closer I started giggling, so he backed up.

“What? What did I do wrong?” He looked even more nervous.

“Nothing, you just look weird so close up. Maybe I should close my eyes.”

He started to kiss me again, and I closed my eyes. I felt his lips push against mine and quickly pull away. I opened my eyes and looked at him, trying to figure out what was wrong with the kiss, but I didn't know what to think. It was nice in a way, but maybe it should last longer. Whenever I watched my cousin and her boyfriend, they kissed for almost half an hour straight. Of course, we wouldn't be able to do that the first time; we'd have to build up tolerance.

“So now what?” Sean asked.

“That was good, but let's see if we can hold it longer, okay?”

I watched him shut his eyes, then closed mine. Again I felt his lips gently press against mine. They stayed there longer this time, 30 seconds to be exact. When he pulled away I realized what the next step would be: the tongue. This had always been the most disgusting idea. Why would you ever want to put your tongue against a guy's? My cousin had told me I would enjoy it once I learned how to do it right, but I doubted it. “Okay, now for the disgusting part. We have to stick our tongues out and rub them against each other, and kiss at the same time.” I watched his face drop; he felt the same way I did.

“All right, I guess so, but this is gonna be disgusting.” He stuck his tongue out and I followed. With once last shake of our heads, we shut our eyes and moved toward each other. His tongue felt warm and slimy against mine, and my first instinct was to throw up. After a few seconds, though, it actually worked into a kiss and almost felt natural. We opened our eyes and decided we should practice a few more times before giving up for the night. By the time he left an hour later, I was beginning to like it.

We practiced every night that week, and it wasn't until Wednesday that we realized the kiss worked even better if you didn't start with your tongue sticking out. By the time Thursday night came we both felt ready for other people, and to have our first real kiss.

*

As I was leaving the house Friday night for the party, the phone rang.

“Hello?”

“Hey, I'm just calling to wish you good luck tonight. Call me when you get home, so you can tell me how your first kiss was,” Sean said.

“Thanks, no problem. I'll talk to ya then.”

It seemed to take forever for my mom and me to drive to Adrianna's, though the clock said it only took five minutes. I was so excited that I'd actually be ready when we played Spin the Bottle. Adrianna was waiting at the door, wearing almost the same outfit as me, like we had planned: a short black skirt with a tank top.

When we got to the party a lot of people from the cheerleading and football teams were already there. Jackie, a cheerleader, was having the party for her birthday in the basement. Her parents had agreed to stay upstairs.

We had dinner and danced, then someone lowered the lights. Someone else grabbed an empty soda bottle and everyone made a circle. Adrianna sat next to me and tapped me on the shoulder.

“So, did you practice?” she whispered.

“Yep, I practiced a lot, actually. I'm ready for this.” I whispered back confidently.

The room became hushed as people started spinning. Three people went before me. I spun the bottle and watched it go around and around. Who will I have to kiss? I wondered. Before I could think about it the bottle stopped, pointing directly at Bobby. I'd had a huge crush on Bobby since the football season began. I felt butterflies in my stomach. What if I forgot everything Sean and I had practiced, or even worse, what if we had practiced wrong? Everyone was waiting for me to kiss him. I knew Bobby had experience, so I decided to follow whatever he did.

He came over to me, and we closed our eyes, then his lips were on mine. It wasn't soft or gentle like kissing Sean. He stuck his tongue so far in my mouth, I thought I was gonna choke. I decided he wasn't a very good kisser, so I pretended it was Sean and just kissed the way we had practiced. After 20 seconds it was over and I went back to my seat. I thought my first kiss hadn't been very good, but at least I'd had it and could stop practicing. I couldn't wait to tell Sean he was a better kisser than Bobby. Boy, would he be happy.

“Wow, that was amazing,” Adrianna whispered.

“I told you I'd been practicing,” I said.

“You learned how to do that on a pillow?” she whispered in amazement.

“On a what? No, I practiced with Sean. Who said anything about a pillow?” I asked without turning my head from the people kissing; I was amused by how much they needed to practice.

“When I said to practice, I meant on a pillow, not a guy. Wow, so this was your second kiss, not your first. What's it like?”

I kissed a guy before Adrianna? Wait until I tell Sean!

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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