(Excerpt. To be entered in a local " narrative short " contest.)
The night of our first kiss was nothing short of cosmic. Truly. The kind of feeling you can only hope for, and at the same time, tell yourself isn't real, as you watch all the clark gable and cary grant "swept up in you" Notting hill kind of moments.
We drove out of town, talking the entire way. Partly because I wanted to fill any silence that might become awkward and spoil the momentum we were slowly building, and mostly because the conversations I had with him were better than any other one's Id ever had. God, I realize now how young I was -- how full of idealism and dreams. I wanted to stop talking alltogether, unless it was to him. To save up all of my words an ideas for him, for us.
He pulled the car over, into the quaint parking spaces of a park. "Let's walk" he said, unbuckling his seatbelt and getting out of the car. I willed my knees to stop knocking , though this seemed impossible.
One of the many things that played in my head, in the weeks after, and even now, is the act of taking his arm. It seems so simple, but it was crossing a barrier. IF we touched before it was just touching, but now it was something more. It was myself folding into a fold of him. My young romantic self took note of everything.
We walked in the lightly sprinkling mist, across a cement path that cut through some grass. It occured to me for but a moment to worry about being seen and by who, but this was outside of my world, a different place. My heart was racing too loud to let my voice of reason get a word in edge wise.
He steered me towards a park bench. It was cold out, moist, and chilling. To be honest, I was freezing. My teeth were chattering and he was looking at his hands. The same ones I stared at whenever I had a chance.
We had a few moments of conversation. I remember we talked about movies, and jokes. He reccomended a song. I laughed a few dozen times too many. And then it got quiet.
" I don't want to scare you. I don't want to be some creepy person who hurts you or makes you feel like you owe me something. That isn't what these feelings are."
The breath before my reply was the deepest one I've ever inhaled. Every word, needed to fall carefully. It was now I needed my strength of word choice, and now when my mind was failing me. If being well worded my superpower, his proximity was kryptonite. But I carried through.
"I know what I'm getitng into. I can't ignore how I feel, and I'm not afraid of you."
"Ok then" he said, like it was the simplest answer in the world. His arm slid up around my shoulder and he pulled me in.
I vividly remember, every single detail about those next ten seconds. The way his head turned, and the way , but a few seconds before, the mist had turned into those drops that come in warning of a pending rainfall. He tasted like stride gum, coffee, and everythign Id ever dreamt of. I giggled, in a knee jerk reaction, and pulled back just a bit. I apologized, and he slipped his tongue into my mouth. He had was on my face, soft and at the same time, the kind of worn that comes from working to create something beautiful. I wanted to kiss him until I ran out of oxygen. Until I forgot everything I'd learned up until that moment. It sounds cliche and probably anti feminist, but I was restructured that moment in the park twenty minutes outside of town. on an old bench in the almost rain.
Who I was didn't miraculously change, rather, she burst into something she'd always wanted to be. Not because of him, but because of who I'd let myself become, because of the fear I'd thrown aside, and the choice I'd made to love with everything I had, at the risk of everything I had, for as long as I had.