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


   "Hey, wanna go for a walk?" Mystomach flip-flopped and released a thousand butterflies as I felt myboyfriend's hand on my shoulder and looked up into his grinningface.

"Oh, so we're talking to me now?" I pretended to be angry,crossing my arms over my chest and turning away from him to look out at the muddyroad and dripping trees.

He hopped up on the porch railing next to me,knowing full well that I wasn't a bit mad.

"Come on. Pleeeeease? I'msorry, I didn't mean to insult your spaghetti. It was good, actually ... um,yeah, nice and crunchy." I punched his arm, not really hard, but just enoughto let him know he wasn't totally forgiven.

"Ow!" he yelped,playing along. Then he looked at me. "You know, you still owe me the otherhalf of my birthday present." I froze and the butterflies that had justbegun to go back to their cocoons started viciously beating their wings again. Ohgosh, I thought, all traces of anger flying out of my head. This is it.

Iuncrossed my arms and let my tanned, scraped legs dangle from the chipped greenporch railing of our Allegheny cabin.

"Okay, I'll go tell FatherDan."

Andy made a face. "No, Mrs. G. is definitely the betteroption," he said. "Father Dan would send a SWAT team out after us if weweren't back in ten minutes."

I laughed, knowing how right he was.Our youth group's priest, Father Dan, was psycho about the dating stuff. Heseriously couldn't handle Andy and me standing closer than two feet apart. If heknew we were taking a walk, gasp, I would definitely come back pregnant. Ithought he was overreacting. And perhaps just a tiny bit jealous ... after all,he was a priest.

"All right, I'll get Mrs. G.," I leapt off theporch and ran to the girls' cabin. Slamming open the battered screen door, Igasped, "Mrs. G, is it okay if Andy and I go for a walk?" Her petitebody was curled at the foot of her cot. Mrs. G bobbed her blond head inconsent.

"Sure, Kate, just as long as you're back for Mass atnine," she answered with a knowing smile.

"Okay, we will!"I called as I banged down the rotting wooden steps.

Andy was waitingoutside the cabin for me. I smiled at his worn khaki shorts and faded blueAbercrombie t-shirt, as I thought of the fights we always had about theridiculous amount of money he spent on clothes.

He flashed me a grinagain, grabbing my hand. "Where to?" he asked.

"Um,dunno," I replied. "This way." I pointed toward the slippery hill,and we cautiously made our way, trying unsuccessfully to avoid the turrets ofwater streaming between the rocks. My feet, half-naked in sandals, were soaked bythe time we got to the bottom.

"Oh man, it's starting to rainagain!"

Andy laughed. "Wouldn't be the first time today that wegot caught in the rain." We'd already gotten lost in the bear-filledAllegheny woods for four hours, caught in a flash thunderstorm. After we'dfinally found our way back, it looked promising enough to go to the beach. We'dventured out into the timid sunshine. But as soon as we'd spread our towels andFather Dan had slathered on enough sunscreen to last a small child three days inthe Caribbean, the thunder was crashing and the rain was coming down in bucketsagain.

So now, as we strolled down the pebbly road and I stared up at thedarkening sky, I was running out of dry clothes. Thankfully, it wasn't much morethan a quick sprinkle. Andy and I walked in comfortable silence through thedarkening campground, his hand lightly holding mine. We climbed a hill behind thelaundromat and sat on the cold guard rail. I thought hard about what I knew wasgoing to happen before this walk was over; I was getting my first kiss. I wassweet 16 and never been kissed. This was the second half of Andy's birthdaypresent I'd promised him almost two months ago.

Andy was talking to menow, but I'd been so busy contemplating the kiss that I wasn't paying attention,and it wasn't until he'd stopped that I realized he'd said anything. Fortunately,he didn't seem to notice, and he started up again as soon as I looked at him."... you really are a realist though, Katelyn."

Then somethinginside me snapped. I didn't care what the previous conversation had been, all Iknew was that if I stopped talking, it would give him the chance to kiss me. Andthat could not happen. It wasn't that I didn't want to kiss him, rather that Ihad no idea how. So I took whatever idea popped into my head and went withit.

"Actually, I'm not. I'm a total idealist. Kind of like thephilosopher, what's his name, John Locke." John Locke? What was Idoing?

I launched into a recitation of my AP European history classes,reaching into my brain and digging out any random fact I couldfind.

"Yeah, well, he's this philosopher, known for his idealisticpoints of view. He wrote the 'Essay on Human Understanding' and-"

"Oh no, it's starting to rain again!" Andy interruptedmy speech (I really was just getting going) and jumped up quickly. "It'sprobably close to nine anyway. And it's pretty dark, we should start headingback." Was John Locke that much of a turn off?

We walked back throughthe gently falling mist. My head was swirling like the creek, totallycontradicting itself with every thought. I wanted to kiss him, but I wasterrified I would screw up ... I really should just shut up and do it, but if Istop talking, he might take me by surprise ...

As we started back up thehill, the rain started coming down hard. I was definitely going to need newclothes; you could have rung me out like a wet dishrag. Well, this night was justgetting better and better.

"Oh, wow. We're totally soaked!" Andypulled me under a huge tree. "We should probably wait here till it calmsdown a little." Right. Because we were so much drier under the dripping,saturated leaves.

Andy looked at me, a look that sent shivers down myspine (or maybe it was the fact that I was soaking wet, I'm not sure) and again,my crazy brain told my mouth to start talking, because this was getting a littletoo intense.

"So, you know what this reminds me of? Well, obviouslynot, because then I wouldn't be telling you. But you know the movie 'LittleWomen,' the one with Winona Ryder? Well, this totally reminds me of the scenewhere Amy and Laurie are standing under this tree when they're caught in arainstorm, and Laurie is trying to get Amy to like him ... but you probably haveno idea what I'm talking about because it was definitely a chick flick and seeingas you're not a girl and everything, you probably didn't see it-"

And then it happened. It was so fast, I wasn't even sure it washappening. Andy leaned toward me, and for a split second, I wondered if we weregoing to smash into each other's noses, and then boom, he was kissing me. Iremembered to close my eyes (they always tell you never to kiss with your eyesopen) and that was it. Kissing definitely was not the terrifying thing I hadimagined it to be all these years. And after a few seconds, which felt likeyears, it was over, and I pulled my head away, glancing quickly up the hill toour cabins. For a fleeting second, I wondered if Father Dan had seen us (becauseI knew he was up there somewhere, spying on us) and then I decided I didn'tcare.

Andy dropped his arm lightly around my shoulders and we startedwalking back up the hill, even though it was still raining prettyhard.

"That wasn't so bad, was it?"

It was my turn togrin now. "Nope."

Arm in arm, we splashed the rest of the wayback to the cabins and a frowning Father Dan, the butterflies in my stomachdancing wildly the whole time.

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






Join the Discussion

This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

FunFace said...
Nov. 2, 2010 at 4:21 pm

i like how she (you?) is super nervouse but then when he kisses her she realizes it isnt scary.  I also love how he knew she was nervouse. 

Style: for the most part good, i'm not sure if this was a mistake in the posting but a lot of your words are smushed together.  for example sweetsixteen and some other things as well

 

other than that greta work :)

 

would you mind commenting on some of my work if you get a chance? Mine are Alone... (more »)

 
billgamesh11 replied...
Aug. 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Nice story!

I love your sense of humor and I agree with FunFace, I too love the way that she was nervous about the kiss, that is what I was like too!

But in the end, we all come to the realization that kissing is not that bad, you kind of actually like it :) And i also noticed that your words are smushed together. If it was a TeenInk thing, I understand, but if it was an editing mistake, you should repost an edited version of this story because this was an amazing story, but the... (more »)

 
luvtaylor16 said...
Oct. 17, 2010 at 6:00 pm
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is sooooo good!!!! I love it how Andy kissed you right when you were talking and talking. I kind of guessed that he would do that. Is this a real story?
 
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