Despite being a incoming sophomore in high school (and a Lutheran school at that) I think I’ve kissed a surprising amount of people. Twelve, as a matter of fact. Seven of which didn’t mean anything, two (ish) that brought on major considerations to my sexuality, one that probably damaged me emotionally in some subtle way, one that made me wish for more, and one that confuses me every time we so much as look at each other.
My first kiss doesn’t count. At least, I’d like to think it doesn’t, since it was brought on by Truth or Dare on the back of my eighth grade bus, four days into my final middle school year. His name was Kevin, and he was gayer than the Fourth of July. I remember being exalted that another person’s lips had touched my own, running home from my bus stop and squealing to my mom about how I had just lost my lip virginity. She had smiled consolingly at me and hugged me, asking when her baby got so grown up.
There were lots of kisses from Truth or Dare then. I kissed Curtis and Trenton, who I later hooked up with my friends because they weren’t my type.
February, and thus nearing the end of my eighth grade year, I went to my friend Julia’s birthday party. She was turning fifteen, and thus felt the need to invite a bunch of boys as well as her girl friends. Two of which she had crushes on. After the “lamer” people had left, we went out back, onto Julia’s trampoline and began to play spin the bottle. I had to kiss Kevin again, then another boy who we called Omolo because his last name was strange. Omolo wasn’t a good kisser by any means, getting more of my chin than anything. Julia kissed him too, and felt immediately disappointed.
That wasn’t the end of the night however, as I spun the bottle and it landed on the skater-hipster boy that had sat quietly in the corner for the whole night. He had a beanie on, which even then I knew would be my downfall, and his dyed-black hair fell into gorgeous blue eyes as he eyed me from across the circle. Everyone coo’ed as I crawled over to him, shrugging my shoulders like kissing this Adonis wasn’t going to be the death of me. Our kiss was brief, but I could feel my face flaming as I pulled away. My lips tingled in the dark, and I pressed my fingers to them as if I could call his back to mine. Leo (I asked his name after, it seemed only polite) snuggled up to me the rest of the night, and we kissed five more times. One more on the trampoline, the swings, in a tiny kiddy-playhouse thing, between two cars, and once on the doorstep when he left. He was my first kiss, and my first “make-out”. Despite my father yelling at me after for missing curfew, I couldn’t stop smiling, and I went to sleep with a dopey expression on my face.
It wasn’t until 6 months later that I met him again, discovered he was dating four other girls, and was my best friend’s ex-cousin (a divorce had severed them). I still kissed him 3 more times, but felt secretly guilty after each one. That night I cried myself to sleep imagining the “what-could-have-been”s.
Eventually I went to another friend’s house for an all-girl sleepover. Her name was Libbie and she was gorgeous, as were the other girls that came with us. The night started off innocently enough, but somehow we all ended up kissing one another in the dead of night, trying to hush our giggles and cut-off moans so LIbbie’s parent’s wouldn’t wake up. I had three hickeys by the next day that I had to cover up with makeup. It didn’t take long after to figure out I wasn’t entirely straight.
I waited a long time until my next kiss, but it was not in vain. I briefly dated a boy named Joe, who I picked up at a skating rink singing “Call Me Maybe” like an idiot. He called me; we “dated” for a month, seeing each other only on weekend at the skating rink. We got to talking about kissing, and he asked me if I had kissed anyone yet. I informed him I had, but lied about the actual number, telling him that only 2 boys had had the honor of my lips on theirs. Being the cheesy sod he was, he asked, “Care to make it one more?” before pressing his lips to mine. His kisses were sloppy and unsatisfying, leaving me wishing for Leo, who I hadn’t thought about in months. We kissed practically every weekend, his technique slowly getting better with time. Slowly, we stopped talking, stopped seeing each other, he lied to me about his age, and even with his kisses I still didn’t feel that spark that I had with Leo, so I dumped him via text two days after his birthday. Call me cruel, but I’m a chicken.
There was a drama camp that I’d been enrolled in for a long time, something fun on the weekends that made me smile and improved my theatrical skills. I kissed another boy there, and then went on to crush his hopes when I told him I felt nothing but platonic emotions for him. I didn’t feel that bad, I still don’t.
I stage kissed a girl in her thirties. She was gorgeous, and she had a husband and kids, and it was more of a peck than anything, for show to demonstrate technique. We’re still friends.
Then there was Shiloh. Well, there is Shiloh. It started at the beginning of rehearsals for Grease (favorite musical by the way) when he started flirting with me. I brushed it off, as he flirted with everyone, but then he asked for my number, and I felt truly honored. We began texting, cute little flirty things with lots of winky faces and xoxo’s. After the second day he asked, “Are we really doing this?” I wasn’t sure what he meant, and he suggested on-the-down-low-friends-with-benefits, so his mom wouldn’t find out. I considered it for all of ten minutes before agreeing. So we kiss, we grind, we touch each other through clothing whenever we get a quiet moment alone. He’s started calling me princess, babe, rose, things I never thought I’d like to be called now warm my heart, blush like an idiot, and smile stupid goofy smiles. He holds my hand, we kiss without it leading to anything else. But we’re not dating. No matter how many people ask me if we are, we’re not. We’re not. At least, I don’t think we are.