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The first time I ever kissed a girl, I was five.
I was fresh off of the monkey bars with pride for completing them and pain for bruising my knee. I felt confident, arrogant even. I was the first kid in my kindergarten class to beat the treacherous monkey bars. I felt like Neil Armstrong, my hero. And wanting to be an astronaut, just like pretty much any other five year old boy, this was a big thing for me.
I had also impressed Kat, hopefully. Kat was the prettiest girl, and still is, even ten years from then, in the entire universe, in my opinion. She was an angel: blonde ringlets falling to her butt, blue eyes that shone the color of crystal, and a body any woman to would die to have the curves. Well, now. Back then, she was all of that, minus the curves.
I waltzed up to her, eyeing her slim figure holding the yellow weed that kids think is a flower. She was extra beautiful under the sun.
“Hey Kat!” I tried to say coolly, an EPIC fail, and she turned to me.
“Hey Anthony,” She sighed and plucked at the flower. Being her best friend, in my mind and now, at fifteen, in real life, I knew something was wrong.
“You know, I beat the monkey bars.” I asked, triumphant.
“Yeah,” She sighed again and plucked another flower.
‘“What’s wrong?” I asked, my five year old head tilting to the side.
“It’s just, the boy I like doesn’t like me back,” She repeated the process of sighing, then plucking a flower once more.
“Who’s that,” I was ready to kill whoever she mentioned.
She leaned on the tips of her toes and whispered in my ear. “You.” Then crashed her lips against mine. She ran away, giggling and ever so often for the rest of the day, I would touch my smiling lips. And the monkey bars didn’t matter, they were the cause. What was amazing, the kiss, was the effect.
Now a days, I don’t get more than a friendly pat on the back. And though it doesn’t matter that we’re closer than ever, that she tells me everything, even the girly pitter patter that I don’t want to hear, she still shows no interest for me.
And now that I do show interest, however subtle, she doesn’t respond. Kat’s a bright girl, in all AP classes, but I think she just doesn’t take a hint. And when it’s just the two of us, she is the most annoying talkative lovable girl I have ever met, but in front of someone else, even her mom, she’s quiet. Reserved. Like I am the only person in the world she has ever open up too. And she still doesn’t think of me the way I think of her; i.e.: sex.
But it doesn’t have to be sex. I just want to kiss her, to hold her in my arms, and maybe cop a feel or two. I am only male. But what do I get? Mulling of the hair, pats on the back, helping of the homework I could do in fourth grade, and its trigonometry.
My house phone rings, I run to it and press the phone to my ear.
“Marino residence. May I ask whose calling?” I ask, lowering my voice to sound manlier, in case it’s Kat. She never, not once in the four years I have had a cell phone albeit a crappy one has she ever called it.
A woman sniffles, and then bursts out into sobs.
“A-a—N-thony!” The woman wails. “I- It’s M-Mrs. Re-Redfield. K-k-k-Kat’s at the hospital. S-s-s-s-s-s-s-something’s wrong! Come quick!” Before she can complete her thought, the phone on the hook, I have shoes on and keys in my hand. I have my permit, and I don’t care if I get arrested for driving without a license. The law can go f itself.
I’m out of my family’s dingy house and into my mom’s piece of sh*t of a car in a time that racecar men would be impressed by. The engine revs and I drive out of the driveway. The car screams down the highway towards the nearest the hospital, where she is obviously.
I park, not bothering to think to even close the door, but knowing my mom’s car that she took to work is yards from mine, so she or one of her friends will take care of it.
I burst through the doors, well that wouldn’t be exactly accurate. They’re automatic doors, so I more than likely just walk right past them, but in an angry stomp. I’m mad at life in general.
There is an elderly woman sitting at the front desk, and my mom.
“Mom! Where’s Kat!” I scream. She glances up at me, he face etched with concern. Grabbing me by the arm, she drags me up the second floor, up to the E.R, and to the room where a group of people are working on her. Blood is splattered all over her and her leg is pretty beat up, but otherwise she looks fine, just sleeping.
“What happened?” Horrified, I can’t turn away from the scene unfolding in there.
“She was heading over to our house, I guess. She was right by 119”-the road that turns into my neighborhood-“and a truck driver swerved and hit her.”
I roar, something she would have laughed at the drama put into it if she were not incapacitated. Mom walks in to the room and walks back out, her face void of emotion. My face falls. I know my mother. When the news is so terrible something that makes people crumple to the ground in, she goes blank.
I can’t breathe. The world is closing in on me. It feels as if I have a plastic bag over my head, and I can’t pull it off. That’s because I’m frozen. Frozen with fear. And being my usual self, I automatically jump to multiple conclusions, all horrific. She’s dead. She’s paralyzed. She’s got three second to live. She’ll live but she never wants to see me again, claiming it’s my fault.
“Sh-she’s okay.” Mom exclaims that runs into my arms. I hug her and kiss her on the cheek, then throw her off. I need to see Kat. I need to smell that lavender scent of hers. I need to see her alive to believe she is.
I walk in, and immediately regret it. Her clothes are still bloody, and –much to my testosterone’s happiness but not my own- a hefty amount of cleavage is showing from where they had to rip her shirt to do compressions. Her face is pretty much shredded from the glass and a generous amount of large bruises cover her body.
But she’s okay. She alive, and going to stay that way. These will all be scars soon enough.
I walk up to her and kiss her, full on the lips, not even thinking about it. Just glad she is safe. Away from harm. She gasps against my lips but kisses me back, her lips moving in synchronization with my own. I can taste the metallic taste of blood on her lips and tongue but I don’t care. I finally got to kiss her again. And she’ll be alive tomorrow. And we can kiss again.
“What was that Andy?” She croaks, even in her state calling me by my nickname.
“Kat, from the day I met you, I have been in love with you,” She gasps, and pulls me closer and kisses me again. This time I deepen the kiss, letting my tongue slide into her mouth. We kiss for a few moments and her movements become slower and slower, until they stop.
I roll off of her to the other side of the hospital bed, I have no idea how I got on, and stare at her. She doesn’t blink. She doesn’t close her mouth. I don’t see her chest heave like mine is.
I scream, a blood curling, nails against a chalkboard, you’d think I was a six year old girl, scream. They nurses, including mom, come rushing in and look for a heartbeat.
It’s obvious they don’t find one.
She’s dead. My heart sinks and I curl into a ball. Again, the feeling of no breathing comes back. But this time, I feel dead inside. I don’t feel as if I am drying. I feel dead. There’s no emotion, there’s no room for that. No one can live with the amount of grief I would feel if I weren’t trying my best to block everything out.
The doctor walks in and comes out an hour later; Kat is gone and done away with until the funeral now.
“She was internally bleeding. We didn’t catch it. I am so sorry.” He says.
I don’t think as mom drives us back home. I can’t think. If I think, I will think of Kat.
And that is something I never want to again. Or it will surely be the end of me.