33: Countdown to a Kiss

33: Countdown to a Kiss

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Just for Preteens

Countdown to a Kiss

A kiss seals two souls for a moment in time.

~Levende Waters

“So, who’s it going to be?” Julie inquired. Everything was different this summer now that we were the oldest juniors in our summer camp. We were nicknamed “OOTH” which stood for “Oldest On The Hill.” The hill was where all the junior girls lived, and finally we got to live in the biggest bunks at the bottom. A lot of the girls in the age group had already gotten kisses from boys, and Julie, my counselor, wanted to know who I had my eye on. It was like having a big sister at camp, since she was nineteen and I was only twelve. We made the perfect pair.

“I’m not sure,” I confessed, “although...” There was one guy that I could see myself getting closer with. The only thing holding me back was that I was terrible at talking to boys, and usually got scared or tongue-tied around them. The last thing I wanted to do was say something stupid in front of yet another boy.

“Although what?” I had done it — caught Julie’s attention. That was the other reason why she was just like my big sister; annoying her was my favorite pastime.

“Nothing... it’s nothing important...” I teased. But, of course, she wore me down like a pro. After several minutes of talking in hushed whispers Julie convinced me to talk to Chris.

“I don’t think I can, Julie. I’m no good with boys,” I confessed.

“It’s easy. During free play just ask him about whatever he’s doing.”

I followed her advice, not that I had a choice anymore. Any gossip spreads like wildfire through the girls’ camp and soon I had a whole throng of supporters practically tailing me to make sure that I didn’t chicken out.

I didn’t.

“Hi,” I said, walking up beside him. I was so surprised that my voice wasn’t shaky. My breath was steady too, and you could probably be fooled into believing that I had confidence. I didn’t, but he didn’t have to know that. I was fine so far, and didn’t want to mess up.

“I’m Rachel,” I said.

“Chris,” he said, giving me a smile. I returned it with a weak smile, thrilled that this was working so well.

For the next couple of days we continued to have conversations, and he (attempted) to teach my uncoordinated self how to use a Chinese yo-yo. His patience amazed me, and I realized I loved him, even if it was only for the two weeks before he had to go home.

In the days that followed our conversations grew longer, our topics differed, and we began to look more into each other’s eyes. I had a feeling we were both thinking the same thing: almost every girl and guy pair that talked at camp ended up kissing. Would we be next?

Our question was answered soon after. Apparently, our friends believed we were taking the whole thing a bit too slowly. That night they practically pushed us into each other, hoping that they were giving us a sign. It only made me embarrassed and hurt. I ran away in tears, but somehow Chris found me within minutes and brought me out of my hiding place.

“They’re jerks for doing something stupid like that,” he told me.

“Yeah, what right do they have to make decisions for other people? All of them should just go get a life or find some other people to annoy,” I said, bitterly. Being next to Chris wasn’t a foreign or nerve-racking thing anymore. I felt at ease with him now.

“Come with me,” he said. “I want to talk to you.”

Suddenly, all my ease melted away and I was jittery. What did he want to ask me? My heart was racing. What did he want to say?

We walked all the way to the baseball diamond. It was late at night and the moon was full. It seemed to be spotlighting the pitcher’s mound: the exact place where Chris stopped walking.

He looked at me, and said, “Rachel, do you want to go out with me?”

“Of course!” I said, throwing my arms around him. It felt good, like my arms belonged there.

Two days passed and blurred together. It was nearing the end of his stay at camp, and soon he would have to go back home. Living several states away from where I did, it would be next to impossible to see him before the reunion in six months. We hadn’t kissed yet, and our window of opportunity was getting smaller and smaller. In fact, we hadn’t even decided if we wanted to kiss in the first place.

But the “general public” had another idea. Mobs and mobs of both boys and girls followed us everywhere we went, telling us to kiss or asking us about how much we liked each other. It was madness and I was starting to realize why celebrities hated paparazzi so much. Finally we got away and hid behind the hockey rink at the back of the camp.

“Would it kill them to leave us alone?” I asked, annoyed and out of breath from running.

“I bet it would, but a person’s got to wonder why they follow us all the time,” Chris told me; he seemed out of breath as well.

“I think they’d die of boredom. After all, they’re so boring that they need us for entertainment.” I laughed at my own joke, and I saw Chris chuckle. I could tell we were both happy just to be alone.

A couple moments of silence passed between us. We were trying to be as quiet as possible so we wouldn’t be discovered.

“It’s just so funny, everyone chasing us and everything,” he said.

“I bet I know why they’re doing it,” I said after a couple of minutes.

“Why?”

“Because they think we’re going to kiss.”

Another minute of silence passed between us. He seemed to be very calm, as was I on the outside. But on the inside I was anxious and excited. I did want to kiss him. After thinking for several minutes, I finally selected the right words to say, and though I was confident, talking seemed like a challenge.

“Well, would you, if they didn’t find us?”

“Would I what?”

“Kiss me?”

Another second of silence followed, but then everything happened at once. Almost like we were reading each other’s minds we turned to face each other. Then, slowly, he leaned in and kissed me.

The moment was magical, and time seemed to stop. It was like everything fell into place that day, and the world was perfect.

Three days before he left, he gave me a little note, telling me how he was happy that I wanted to go out with him, and that I was the first girl he had ever wanted to be his girlfriend. Now that I think about it, he was truly the perfect boy to be my first boyfriend. He was smart, sensitive, and an all around great person, and that was why I loved him.

~Rachel Davison

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