My Very First Kiss

My Very First Kiss

From Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul

My Very First Kiss

I was in the seventh grade when I fell in love at the school-bus stop.

“Who’s that?” I hissed to Annie, my best friend.

“I dunno. New kid. Let’s find out,” replied Annie. Then she approached him. “Hi!” she dimpled.

Annie never just smiled at boys. She dimpled. She had the cutest, roundest cheeks with a dimple in each cheek. I was so jealous.

“I’m Annie. Did you just move here?” Annie lowered her head and looked up at him through her lashes.

“Yeah,” he answered.

“This is my friend, Patty.”

He looked at me.

I had never seen eyes so blue . . . eyelashes so long . . . a gaze so intense. . . .

I FELL IN LOVE.

Everything you have ever heard about falling in love came true for me at that instant. My legs started to quiver and my kneecaps turned to jelly. I felt like I couldn’t breathe very well. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t even see very well. I just stood there, like the skinny geek that I was, looking at him.

His name was Jerry. He had moved into a house only four blocks from mine. Jerry was shorter than me, but that didn’t matter. He didn’t have much to say, but that didn’t matter either. I was truly in love.

I started riding my bike past his house every day, gliding past the big picture window in the front, afraid he was looking out, yet praying and hoping that he was.

I was miserable and ecstatic all at the same time. I didn’t want to share my feelings about Jerry with Annie, because if I made him look too desirable, she would probably want him. And if she wanted him, she would get him.

Then one Friday I got an invitation to a party. I couldn’t believe it. It was a boy/girl party. My first. And my parents said I could go. And Jerry was invited.

The party was at Phyllis’s house, and her parents had a room for parties that was separate from the rest of the house. Her parents wouldn’t be watching us all the time. Annie told me that meant that it would be a kissing party. Perfect. The sweat was already forming under my armpits.

After two hours of eating potato chips, drinking Cokes and listening to our favorite music, someone suggested that we play Seven Minutes in Heaven. Someone else suggested Spin the Bottle. Spin the Bottle seemed much less threatening than spending seven whole minutes making out in Phyllis’s garage. We all voted on Spin the Bottle, but you had to really kiss, not like some kind of kiss you give your grandma.

We all sat in a circle: boy-girl-boy-girl. Whoever had the tip of the bottle land on them had to go into the garage with the spinner of the bottle. If you were a girl, and you landed on a girl, you got another turn until you landed on a boy. Same for boys. Couples went into the garage and came back out, some looking weirded out, and some totally grinning.

Then the bottle landed on Jerry. He went into the garage with Charlene. Then, it was Jerry’s turn to spin the bottle. It landed on Brian. Jerry spun the bottle again. It landed on me.

I thought I would die, right then and there. I couldn’t even breathe. I tried to untangle my legs and stand up, but everything was jelly. I felt every pair of eyes on me. Somehow, I managed to get up and walk into the garage with Jerry. The door shut behind us.

It was pitch black. I could hear him breathing, somewhere in the darkness.

“Patty?”

“Huh?” Nice. Real smooth.

My eyes were getting accustomed to the darkness, and I could see the outline of his face. How was this supposed to happen? Was I supposed to close my eyes or keep them open? If I closed my eyes, how would I know where his face was? If I kept them open, would I look cross-eyed to him when we got close—sort of like the Siamese cats in Lady and the Tramp? What if his eyes were closed and my eyes were open? Or vice versa? Should I pucker up my lips, or just let them relax? Was I supposed to breathe, or hold my breath? Was I supposed to move my face toward him, or wait until he moved toward me?

I decided to keep my eyes open until the last minute, then close them as we got close enough to kiss. I took a breath, moved forward and closed my eyes. Unfortunately, so did Jerry. He must have had his eyes shut, too.

KLUNK!!!

“Ow!” we both said in unison. My front teeth and Jerry’s front teeth had collided with the force of both of us moving forward toward the other.

“Ow, I think I chipped my tooth,” I whispered.

“I’m sorry, I couldn’t see you,” said Jerry.

“It’s okay. I’ll live.” I ran my tongue over my front tooth. There was a definite chip right in the front. It wasn’t very big, but it was there.

“How do we explain this one?”

“I don’t know.”

All of a sudden I felt like laughing. It had been too much for me: the nervousness of my first kiss, being with Jerry in the garage (in the dark, alone), my chipped tooth. I started to giggle.

Jerry started to laugh, too. Then we heard someone from the other side of the garage door yelling, “What are you guys doing? You’re taking too long!” For some reason, that was even funnier than the collision. Then they started pounding on the door.

“Okay, let’s go.” Jerry grabbed my hand as we opened the door and walked into the room. Jerry and I smiled at each other. Annie looked upset. I was in heaven.

The next day, Annie tried to get me to tell her what happened, but I just smiled. I think she was jealous of me for the very first time.

I’d like to say that it was the beginning of a boyfriend/ girlfriend relationship, but that just wasn’t the case. For some strange reason, I started feeling differently about Jerry. I now saw him as he really was: a short boy with bright blue eyes who was my friend. In the eighth grade, I fell in love with someone else.

But every once in a while, when I least expect it, I’ll run my tongue across my front teeth and feel the chip in my left front tooth. That’s when I remember Jerry—the cutest boy in the seventh grade—and my very first kiss.

Patty Hansen

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