Post Graduation: The Kiss

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“I dare you to kiss…” She looked around the circle, and then pointed to me. “Autumn.”
“What! You can’t involve other people. That would make it a dare for me too!” I said, mad she chose me of all people.
“Do it! You have to, you’re the one that chose dare.” She said ignoring me.
“No.” He said looking at me, thinking I wasn’t ok with it. And I wasn’t.
“I triple dog dare you!” shouted Caraline. Kevin looked at me, unsure if I was comfortable with the idea of us kissing.
“You know you don’t have to do this, right?” he told me.
“Let’s just get it over with,” I decided. This was going to be awkward enough.
Slowly his face inched closer to mine, hesitating. I could taste the sweetness of his breath before his warm, soft lips touched mine. Slowly, with tender caution, he kissed me gently, our lips lingering there, uncomfortable at first but memorizing this new feeling.
Caraline interrupted, “Come on Kevin, you can do better than that!”
His lips pressed onto mine like a tidal wave. Quickly, goose bumps covered my skin as the kiss increased to passion, our tongue’s meeting. My hands moved from my lap to his hair, I was grabbing it, wanting more. His hands slid up my arms, his tender lips moving with mine. I don’t know how long we sat there like that. Slowly, our lips pulled apart, leaving both of us breathless.
After the kiss was the most awkward part. Not only are we best friends and just had an insanely great kiss, but everyone else was staring at us. I looked at him and he looked at me, our eyes meeting. A new bond was forming between us, I could feel it.

“Whoa, I wasn’t expecting that!” Caraline spoke with a huge grin across her face.

“Are you two sure you’ve never kissed before?” Questioned Lindsay.

I looked at Kevin and he looked at me, “No we haven’t.” We said together.

“You sure?”

“Yes…” I said it slowly, speechless from what just happened.

“Hmm… well then,” Lindsay still didn’t look convinced.

Not really wanting to talk about it anymore, I decided to change the subject, “Hey, we haven’t given each other our graduation gifts yet!”

Kevin following my lead said, “Yeah your right! I can’t wait for you guys to open the gifts I got you!”

I got up and walked over to the corner of the room where I put the gifts and brought them to the circle. Everyone else did the same. “This one’s for you Allie,” I handed her a small wrapped box.

“Here, this is yours,” she handed me a light rectangle box. “And here’s Caraline’s, Kevin’s, and Lindsay’s.” She gave them each a wrapped gift. Quickly everyone began handing out their gifts to the rightful owners. Once everyone had all four of their gifts, we agreed on going around the circle, taking turns opening each other’s gifts.

Caraline started, she opened Allie’s first. It was wrapped in hello kitty paper. Inside was a ring that said class of 2010. “Ah, thank you, I love it!” She immediately put in on her finger. Next it was Allie’s tern. She chose to open a small rectangle shaped gift from Lindsay. It was a picture of none other than Chad Albee himself in a picture frame. She gave Lindsay a big hug. Then it was Kevin’s tern. He opened Caralines gift first. She bought him a coffee cup with a picture of all of us on it. His face lit up, and let out a little chuckle. Now it was my turn. I chose to open the biggest gift I got, which happened to be from Lindsay.

I shook it first, “What is it?” I asked looking at her.

“You’ll have to open it up to find out.” She replied smartly.

Slowly, I ripped the paper from the box. Inside was a quilt she had made herself with pictures from all the great times we shared. “I love it! I am definitely bringing this to Duke with me!”

“Good, because I worked awful hard on that,” she said smiling. “Alright, my turn!” Lindsay also chose the biggest gift. This one was from me. When she opened it up, her mouth fell open. I made her a memory box. I decorated the box with pictures of everyone and filled it with loads of memories. It took me a few hours to make. “Thank you!” She said while half hugging me.

We continued to go around the circle opening each other’s gifts. Kevin was opening his last present, it was from me. I got this one special for him since I knew him the longest. It was in a tiny envelope. He careful opened it, trying not to rip the anything. Inside was a plane ticket to come see me. He chuckled and his eyes lit up. He looked right into my eyes, giving me a special thanks. “You’re welcome,” I said not wanting to touch him again with everyone watching. He gave me a tight hug anyways.

“Thank you so much! I am totally going to come out and visit you before school starts in the fall!” He said excited. I was excited too, even more then I thought I would be. “You need to open my gift now,” he pushed a small box wrapped in silver paper closer to me. I picked up the small box slowly, trying to guess what was in it. After ripping the paper off, I opened the small jewelry box with my eyes closed. Caraline, Lindsay, and Allie gasped in unison. I tentatively opened my eyes. Inside the small jewelry box was a beautiful opal diamond necklace, my birthstone. I couldn’t believe my eyes. “Thank you so much! You are the best!” I couldn’t control my emotions. “How could you even afford this? This had to have cost a lot!”

“Don’t worry, you’re worth it. You are the greatest person I know.” He said it sincerely. My emotions got the best of me. I tear drop began to fall down my cheek. He caught it with his finger. “Why are you crying?”

“Because you’re amazing,” I responded quietly. “And I am terribly going to miss you.”

“Good thing you got me plane tickets.” He said with a big smile on his face.

“Yeah, good thing,” I said, whipping the remaining tears off my cheeks.

“Not to ruin your little love scene here, but you guys are perfect for each other! I can’t believe you’ve never dated before!” Caraline of course interrupted again.

I would have been mad at her for interrupting us, but I was still shocked. I wanted to wear the necklace he got me. “Kevin, can you do me a favor and help me put this on?” I asked with the necklace in my hand.

“Anytime,” He responded, taking the necklace, freeing my hands. I held my hair from my neck as he put it on. His hands brushed the back of my neck before her lowered them.

“Thank you,” I couldn’t stop smiling. Allie, Caraline, and Lindsay looked from me to Kevin, then back to me again, trying to figure out what exactly just happened. They all had big grins on their faces.

“What?” I asked, knowing what they were thinking.

“Nothing,” they responded all at once.

“So…” The whole thing seemed extremely awkward to me. I didn’t feel comfortable with them all staring at me.

“So…” Repeated Allie.

“Swimming anyone?” Kevin was truly the greatest. He knew me the best, and he knew I wanted to get a moment to myself. I hated being the center of attention.

Quickly I said, “I’m in.”

“It is getting pretty steamy in here,” Lindsay joked.

“That’s for sure,” Agreed Allie. I jokingly hit her and Lindsay.

“Well let’s go then people!” Caraline was always so impatient. But it was a quality of her that I found funny throughout the years. “Come on!”

I went to my bag and gathered my new bathing suit, glade I brought it. I went upstairs to Allies bedroom and change. Kevin took Allie’s brother’s room, Lindsay changed in the basement, Caraline took the bathroom, and Allie changed in the other bathroom. Kevin, being the only boy, was done changing first. I finished second. When I opened the door I saw him standing in the hallway. Hearing the door open, he looked in my direction, his blushed and walked over to me.

“Well that was interesting.” Words couldn’t really explain what had happened in the basement.

I laughed, “Yeah.”

“I can’t believe we’re all going to college already!”

“I know, high school flew by,” I couldn’t stop looking at him. His grey-blue eyes poured into mine. And before I realized it we were once again inches apart and holding hands. It felt nice, it felt right.

We could hear Caraline, Allie, and Lindsay already heading outside to the pool. “Well I guess that’s our cue…” We were still looking into each other’s eyes. I didn’t want to move. I could have stood there forever. But then Caraline shouted up for us.

“Coming!” we yelled back down in unison. Unwillingly I let go of his hand and lead the way to the pool outside. All three of them were already swimming when we got down there. Kevin chose to jump right in, while I took my time using the stairs. The water was surprisingly warm and felt refreshing.





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