It’s Saturday morning as I’m writing this blog post and short story. I just finished the outline for the first season of Ted Saves the World. Even though there’s a lot of work left, I’m very happy to move down to the next step on the to-do list. If all goes well, I’ll have the first draft finished five weeks from today.
Last week, I told you that I’d share some of the stories of my life with you. I thought I’d start with something lovey-dovey. My first kiss. Enjoy.
It was dangerous. Leah and I walked hand-in-hand on the shoulder of a dark road not 200 feet from where I’d gotten in my first traffic accident a year earlier. I felt invincible when she was with me. Her long, slender fingers intertwined with mine as the cars passing by gave us a wide birth. Leah’s arm dangled lower than mine and she bent her elbow to accommodate. She had yet to fully grow into her body, a fact I wouldn’t notice until years later in still photographs. We turned off the narrow pathway and onto a residential street. It would have been easy to drive Leah to her friend’s house for girl’s night. But I was in the business of spending as much time with her as I could.
As we walked under the street lamps her face became illuminated. It was thin like her frame and contained punctuation marks of freckles on her cheeks. Her lips were full and pink. She had no need or desire for makeup. The two of us walked up her friend’s driveway and I began to feel a familiar knot in my stomach. We’d been on four dates and we’d walked together in school almost every day for a month. I had yet to go beyond a peck on the cheek and a hug. The knot reminded me how afraid I was of rejection and how much pressure I’d put on myself to get into a fairy-tale relationship. Instead of enjoying these heartfelt goodbyes, my fight or flight response was working overtime.
“Have fun,” I said.
“Thanks. What are you going to do?”
“Think about how much fun you’re having.”
Leah laughed. Her laughs were hearty and genuine. They made me feel like the funniest person alive. Every so often, I’d make her laugh hard enough that a vein would come out on her forehead. Pulling that off was like winning an award for me.
“I’ll call you tomorrow,” I said.
I leaned in toward Leah’s face. Everything inside me told me to turn and avoid her lips at all cost. Instead, I went for it, and she accepted me. I’d watched her lips move when she smiled or talked or laughed but it was different when I pressed them against mine. There was a lightness to it. A gentle, temporary touch. The kiss was brief, but it made my worries evaporate and transform into joy. We paused for a moment after we pulled back to soak it in. I didn’t know it then, but a first kiss can tell you volumes about a relationship. Ours foretold tentative and caring compatibility. I watched her walk inside and floated back home.
Top Image: Flickr Creative Commons Kiss by Marcus