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Friday November 13, 2009
On Friday November 13, 2009 I vowed I’d never kiss Mitch Moore again. On Saturday November 14, I kept my vow. As on Sunday, and on Monday, and so on and so forth.
It’s been a year since that day now.
Since the day he asked me out, walking up to my locker and leaning against it in his oh-look-what-we-have-here way. One exact year since I last saw his smirk, his lips moving, “Come to the beach with me tomorrow?”
Dumbly, I nodded, and he sashayed away, heading down the hallway for some unknown reason. Everyone knew that the student parking lot – and his car – was the other way. But that was just the way Mitch was, always bending your mind in new ways.
The next day, I remember my eyes fighting for dominance between the door and the phone, waiting for him to call or stop by. It was senior skip day, everyone knew that, and here I was, skipping.
Originally, I was wearing my bikini, but then I thought better. Did he really want to swim in 60-degree weather? No. Quickly, I remember dashing up the stairs, throwing on some clothes, putting my hair in a messy bun, before darting back down, checking the door and the phone.
But no show from Mitch.
It’s been a year, but I remember my scalding anger towards him, as the clock turned 6 and still no show. The sun was about to set, and all my brain could think of was how I’d wasted the day, even though I probably would only have watched cartoons anyways.
Then, a knock on the door, and a whirlwind of activity. I remember being ready to give him a piece of my mind, but he was there too quickly, pulling me towards his old, beat-up mustang, the top down and beckoning. I remember the almost mind-numbing shock, because everyone knew, Mitch’s top was never, ever down.
My hair quickly wormed it’s way free of the confining bun, and if flew behind us as we flew in the car, too quickly for anything to register.
Then we were there, at the beach, and the sun was setting over the water. It was all kinds of colors, yellows and reds and oranges, nature’s gift at it’s finest.
I remember just standing there, shocked and awed, and Mitch let me take it all in, standing next to me without a word. Then, when the sun was down, he produced a picnic basket and a blanket, setting us around the artificial light of his car as we sat down, eating and laughing. For a boy of his reputation, he was oddly smart, matching my wit in anything I threw at him, always there, one-step ahead.
Then, even later still – my parents were probably ready to have a hernia by then – he took my hand, leading me down to wade in the still-cool waters lapping at the shore. We talked some more, hand-in-hand, occasionally splashing each other.
And – the thing I remember the most about that day – I remember him kissing me, on Friday November 13, 2009. It was a random kiss, nothing to indicate it was coming. One second, we were walking, the other, we stopped, the next, his face was close, and the one after that, his lips were on mine. Yet still, for all the un-preparedness, it was the best kiss of my life. I wasn’t what you’d call the Queen Bee, but I’d gotten my fair share of smooches, long and short, in all sorts of situations. This was the first one in many accounts.
It was the first one from Mitch Moore, the first one on the beach, the first that was so unexpected, and the first that made me really feel something. Down, deep down, in my heart and in my stomach, and I kissed him back.
I cannot tell you how long we stayed there because I have no idea. None, zip, nada. That is my one timeless moment, and I can’t differentiate between a second and ten minutes.
I remember him pulling away, looking at me with hooded eyes, then speaking, “I’m moving to Nebraska tomorrow.”
My brain stopped, even when he walked us back to the car, even when he packed up the picnic, even when he put the top up. I didn’t say a word as he drove me home, sticking to the speed limit now, my hair lying flat on my shoulders.
Our goodnights were hasty, like a mess left for someone else to clean, and I remember standing on my porch, vowing as I watched him drive by.
That was on Friday November 13, 2009, when I vowed I’d never kiss Mitch Moore again. On Saturday November 14, I kept my vow. As on Sunday, and on Monday, and so on and so forth.
Today, it’s Saturday November 13, 2009, and I’ve returned to our little town in north Florida. I expected to just speak to my friends, unlucky as they were to stay here. I know they’ll be envying me, lucky as I was to go off to the University of Florida. But still, I make my rounds, heading to the beach.
Unthinkingly, my car traces the same path ours did that fateful night, one year ago, and I pull up next to something I thought I’d never see before.
There it is, Mitch Moore’s old, beat up Mustang, top down with him sitting on the hood, staring out into the sun. It’s not the sunset yet, but he’s just there, silent.
I thought about seeing him again, thought about it a lot, but I don’t do any of those malicious things now. Instead, I park my car behind his, walking towards him, letting my hair free of it’s messy bun. Comfortably, I sit down next to him, inches away but not touching, letting him speak first. He doesn’t though, just turning to me, and that’s when I see my favorite oh-look-what-we-have-here look, accompanied by the smirk I’ve been missing. His body turns towards me, and I’m reminded of that day, a year and a day ago, when he leaned against my locker, looking no different than he does now.
On Friday November 13, 2009 I vowed I’d never kiss Mitch Moore again. On Saturday November 13, 2010, I did.