My first kiss was a bit usual. As a teenager, I loved drama (the kind on stage, not the kind that happened with a bunch of mean girls whispering at their lockers) and when I was 15 I was in a play where my character kissed a guy. I wasn’t allowed to date until I was 16, so kissing wasn’t a familiar activity for me.
Granted, I had thought about kissing. Well, worried about it actually. Because according to the massive amounts of romance novels I had read, the first kiss was really important. Apparently you were supposed to feel all sorts of mystical fire-like sensations that left you dizzy and incoherent.
Plus, I had heard all sorts of horrible tales about people who were bad kissers and the social damage this produced. The problem was, I had no way of knowing whether I was a bad kisser or not. It’s not really the sort of thing you can practice beforehand.
What exactly was a person supposed to do with their lips the whole time? No one had ever told me this vital information.
I don’t remember why I took the part of the girl who kissed a guy in the school play. Perhaps I didn’t thoroughly read the script. Perhaps I thought that the drama coach wouldn’t actually have me kiss a guy—just like drama coaches don’t actually make characters kill other characters in the production.
But no, the teacher wanted a real kiss. And that meant we had to practice the kiss. There is probably no more awkward way to have a first kiss than to have it in a lit auditorium in front of your peers while a teacher yells out stage direction.
That said, I offer my public apologies to Blake Limburg who was a very nice guy and much more adept at kissing than I was. I don’t think I was ever able to look him in the eyes again.
Thankfully, fiction isn’t real life, so my characters have much better first kiss experiences. Here’s Cassidy’s first kiss in my new ebook, Blue Eyes and Other Teenage Hazards.
(SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want to know which guy Cassidy kisses until you read the book, don’t read this scene.)
Josh was still studying me. “You’re not mad at Elise for going after Bob, are you?”
“No. He’s just a friend.”
“Oh.” Josh nodded, considering this. “Is there anyone you like more than a friend?”
My gaze went to Josh’s. Why was he asking? Was he just making small talk or did he have a personal interest in the subject? He was looking at me intently, his blue eyes locked on mine.
I shrugged. “There might be.”
“Anyone I know?”
“Maybe. You know a lot of people.”
Josh put his arm on the back of his seat, his fingers nearly brushing against my shoulder. “What’s he like, this guy?”
Normally I wouldn’t have admitted to anything, but I was tired of all my moments with Josh being ordinary, safe. This was one I was going to seize. “He’s the usual sort of guy that girls get crushes on. Smart. Funny. Really responsible.”
“That’s the usual sort? Why don’t I have girls swarming me?”
“He’s also tall, dark, and handsome,” I added, “Plus he’s got these gorgeous eyes—all deep blue and mystical.” I looked away from him then. I couldn’t keep looking at the eyes I’d just described.
Josh leaned a little closer to me. “A rich guy with a sports car?”
Josh nodded, his gaze still intense. “Would I approve of you with this guy?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “Would you?” I let my gaze slide to his then, just long enough to see him smile. I wasn’t going to say more. I wasn’t about to admit to everything when he hadn’t admitted to anything yet.
“I think I might approve of this guy.” Josh kept smiling. His voice was soft now, as lulling as the heater. “You said Bob didn’t kiss you. Have you ever been kissed?”
“Sure, if you count the time in the fourth grade when Jonny Miller cornered me in the coat closet.”
“No, I’m talking about a real kiss.” Josh moved even closer to me. “You’ll always remember your first real kiss.”
I thought about asking him if he remembered his first real kiss, but on second thought, I didn’t want to hear about any of his past kisses. “You’re probably right,” I said.
“If I was to kiss you now, I’d go down in your personal hall of fame. The opportunity is irresistible.”
And then he kissed me, and it was a real kiss. He pulled me closer. His lips were soft against mine, a question—one that I wanted to answer. In essay form.