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My First Kiss

It was a simple thing, if you think about it. Just one person's lips touching someone else's, but at the same time it wasn't.

It happened on a fall afternoon in 1999, when I was in the sixth grade.

I’d been gearing up for it all day. I was nervous, and extremely so. You wouldn’t believe how nervous I was, actually, unless you were once a 12-year-old boy who was about to kiss a girl who was not your Mom for the first time. Then you might get it, I guess, but otherwise I’m not so sure.

Notes had been exchanged. In a rare written moment of confidence and bravado, I had broached the subject in a note to Brittnee -- the apple of my sixth grade eye -- which I had composed during second period Social Studies class. We’d been given a few minutes of free time to get started on our homework, but I wrote instead. She was more important than homework, for sure. I wrote to her that I liked her so much I wanted to kiss her, one of those impulsive things a guy sometimes does just to see if he can actually make something happen. I gave it to a friend who said he’d pass it to Brittnee in the class they had together the next period, and then I walked around anxiously until the end of lunch, when she slipped me a response.

It was on. She liked me, and wanted to kiss me, too. So we would kiss. That day, in fact. She said we could do it after school, on the sidewalk where we said our goodbyes before she walked to her sister’s car and I got on the bus.

I can’t be 100 percent sure, but I’m fairly certain the moment after I read this note was the first instance in my life I ever executed a sweeping fist pump.

At the end of the day, we exited our middle school and clasped our hands together to make them look like a single person’s two hands in a prayer formation (you know what I mean, the more intimate method of hand-holding), and began walking. I remember how sweaty my hand was. My hands are constantly sweaty, but that day was even worse. She was calm, though, and that helped.

We reached the spot a few steps from my bus where we would part hands and ways on a daily basis, and we faced each other. Neither of us said anything. I giggled a little bit, like an idiot, and she just looked up at me and stood up on her tip toes. I bent down slightly, our lips met for a second, and it was the greatest I think I’d ever felt in my entire leading up to that moment. I pulled – no, drifted, I was floating or something – away, thinking a peck was exactly what a guy gets for his first kiss, and that maybe I’d give the whole making out thing my brother was always talking about a try in another three years or so.

But Brittnee had a different idea. She brought her lips back to mine, and we kissed again for at least another five seconds. I could have lived in those five seconds for the next five years. I remember tasting her Dr. Pepper-flavored Lip Smackers balm, and wanting to open my eyes just a little bit to see how beautiful a girl could be up close (of course I didn’t, because I knew a thing or two about kissing etiquette). There was no tongue involved, just two adolescents touching lips and moving them around a little bit. It was amazing, and I almost fainted when we parted and I walked toward the bus, where I would sit for the next 20 minutes smiling like an idiot while I tried to explain what had just happened to my best friend.

I can say it without any doubt: That was the moment that changed everything. I didn’t become a different person, really, but something inside me was altered irrevocably. Kissing a girl was awesome, and it immediately became the most important thing in my life. It was a simple thing, if you think about it. Just one person’s lips touching someone else’s, but at the same time it wasn’t. It became a priority of highest value. Since then, the vast majority of decisions I’ve made and things I’ve done have been with an end result in mind that involves me (at least) kissing a girl.

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