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First kiss

One never knows in this age of cyberspace who may be reading any article on any given day. In this case the names have been changed to protect the guilty. Although, as I come to think of it, what could be more innocent than that first kiss.

I’m sure we can all remember the day and circumstances surrounding our first venture into the exciting world of romance. Some of us are more precocious than others, and for some unknown reason more heartily attracted to the opposite sex from a young age.

Maybe it’s because my 16-year-old sister kicked my much younger self out of her room when she had friends over. They danced to the 45s on her record prayer and giggled about boys as I tried to peep through the keyhole. I figured if something was so exciting I needed to find out more about it.

Thankfully, the television in the ‘60s wasn’t filled with sexual innuendoes and downright erotic material the way it is now. But for an inquiring mind the lack of relevant material made me even more inquisitive.

My quest for knowledge took me down the winding path of discovery. I thought it was time for my very first kiss. The only problem was I didn’t have a willing victim. Victim? Recipient? Co-conspirator?

Eureka! A light bulb moment in my musings illuminated a possibility. On the short walk home from school I was often accompanied by a fellow classmate whose house was also on my country road.

“Hmmm…I wonder if Don would be interested in a kiss. Nothing too mushy, just a brief exploration of the as yet unchartered territory.”

A plan began to immerge in my 6-year-old brain. “I think there should be a little something leading up to the kiss. Sometimes older boys walk home with their girlfriends and carry their books, I think. Maybe that should be the first step. Somehow I need to get Don to carry my books.”

My smile became a little warmer where Don was concerned, and I started making sure I waited for him in the afternoons instead of just taking off. Over time we began to wait for each other and sometimes stopped to catch a frog in a puddle by the side of the road on our way home. Occasionally, an interesting rock would catch my eye, and I would pick it up to try to make it skip in the lake behind my house.

One day I remembered the reason I had started walking home with Don in the first place. Along the way I had veered off course and decided it was time to take decisive action.

“Today is the day,” I thought upon awakening to a bright sunshiny spring morning. Throughout recess and lunch when I had time to let my mind wander a secret smile played on my lips — the very same lips that would soon have kissed a boy!

Don must have thought I had sprained my arm or something when I thrust my books into his arms on our walk home from school, but he didn’t say anything. As we rounded the bend in the country road we were almost to his house and this was D-day. The sun glistened on his freckled check, and I leaned over and kissed it. I’m not really sure what I was expecting, but his horrified expression was not quite it. Don ran like a rabbit evading a hunter with a loaded gun and took my books with him!

It was a while before I kissed a boy again.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at lilsisjan@yahoo.com.