My concern wasn’t that we’d get caught or I’d do it wrong or that I’d freeze from an Arctic December night–

I was worried our braces would lock.

Surely that lunacy is perpetuated by parents who hope to dissuade their teens from  kiss-consummating young love, but to this day–over 30 years later–I have yet to kiss anyone by rubbing my teeth against someone else’s.

Tow-headed and fine in every sense of the word, his hair caused dirty blonds to drown in a pool of envy.  He had an impossibly matched pair of peridot for eyes; it was only fitting they were fringed in a tangle of freakishly long lashes.  Why is it always the guys who don’t need mascara?

We arranged in advance to arrive early for our Christmas choral concert.  Grasping hands for courage, in silent haste we rushed to the outside back corner of the 8th grade wing.  It was then we froze, not from the chill in the air, but from icy uncertainty…we were there for One Reason and anticipation heightened our resolve to cross the unknown. 

"Look, it’s a full moon," I said, even then esteeming romantic illumination.

His suave reply, "Girls always say stuff like that."  Hmph…how did he know THAT?  I gave him the benefit of the doubt that nerves were speaking.

We were scared we’d both turn our heads the same way–and wouldn’t that be awkward!–so we planned the direction of our tilt.  We even discussed the Very Real and Present Danger of our braces welding, probably just more stalling machinations. 

Time was running out.

I took out my gum (I cared more about fresh breath than I did about wrecking an arch wire) and he followed my queue.  We smiled nervously on the outside, but on the inside I’m sure a swarm of butterflies were threatening to escape his body just as they were mine. 

Heads in perfect tilt, both to our own right, we closed the gap between us until no space existed in between.

It was warm and wet and curious…and not quite what I expected, but not overly gross either.  In coming months I would learn a better appreciation, but I think mostly I was just glad to get it over!

Looking back, it was sweet and innocent and expectant, and though orchestrated, unrehearsed.  The memory is held tenderly as a rite of passage and speaks to another time, another place.  I wonder if Jeff told his version of the story, how closely they’d resemble one another.

For me, it was the perfect first kiss.

Thanks, once again to Scribbit, whose monthly Write Away contests often prompt me to pen thoughts that have wandered around the ol’ PENSIEVE for years!  Oh…and anyone know the origin of this post’s title? 🙂

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