My First Kiss… It was a guy that had held interest in me before that night. I had a vague inkling that what we had together was heading in that direction. I was in high school. I let him do things I had let no other guy do to me before, hug me, lay his head on my shoulder, etc, and it was sweet. He always hung around when he saw me. Then there was the one time I had worn make up to school (something I almost never did because I didn’t have the time for heavy makeuping when there was studying to do and really my self-esteem was low enough that I just didn’t care to bother cause really what was the point?), he pulled back my bangs and stared at my eyes in amazement announcing “your eyes are so green.” It never even occurred to me that a guy could find interest in me that way up to that point. Before that I had always been one of the bros. I had a lot of guys in my life that were more like brothers than friends or anything else romantic or sexual. At least there were never any guys that would give me that kind of attention.
There were flutterings of something I couldn’t name yet and that I was confused about, but we weren’t quite of the same level. I’m a pragmatic person, not someone that will lie in order to make someone else feel better unless the situation really calls for it. So I won’t lie and say that he was of my level of intellectual intelligence and that didn’t bother me, but he would do embarrassing things… in social situations. Really he just needed to apply himself more, and any guy can be coaxed into stopping things like walking up walls and walking away before a girl could explain herself. My friends weren’t entirely positive what we had could be “something” and thought him weird. But at the time I couldn’t help thinking “well this is probably the best I can do right now,” and my mom thought he was handsome, so I started hanging out with him regularly. We had been seeing movies together. And it started with hand holding and then during school he would walk me to my classes and wouldn’t go to class until the very last second, right when the bell rings, and would come find me every period he could. Then one movie night – he negotiated most if not all of our hangouts pursued me really – he leans in to kiss me. I can feel myself pull back, my eyes widen and then I couldn’t help the next moment as I leaned down until I was under his chin into his shoulder, completely red faced with shyness? embarrassment? Stunned surprise? I couldn’t name it. I couldn’t help the realization “oh my god that was my first kiss,” ringing inside my head. He forced me to look back up at him with a nudge of the shoulder and knowingly announced “that was your first kiss wasn’t it?” And I nodded trying to hide my smile. He always, always teased me endlessly.
It didn’t last. I handled it all quite poorly, for my part of it. But so did he. People had been staring at us that night and I didn’t like the negative attention we got. Looking back on it now I sort of regret how it ended, that it had ended at all. I didn’t like the reactions I got from friends at school thinking we were making some sort of big stand against convention and telling me how beautiful our babies would look (it was an adorable thought but shocking. Excuse me, babies?!), teachers, my own grandmother. You see, he was black and I am white. And my grandmother (who owned the house we lived in) disapproved of my seeing him, and told me not to come home and live somewhere else if I dated him because no granddaughter of hers was going to be allowed to live under her roof that would let a black man touch her like that. She said it while she and I were alone and I would never cause fights of that magnitude in my house between her and my mother. My parents never had any idea. I only told them this after Nanny Audrey died. And the place where we saw the movie that night, it was an area frequented by black people and they were staring at me and him together. It was a lot to deal with and I didn’t know how to bring it all up to him. I wanted us to be together but not if it was going to agitate things and I didn’t know whether or not I liked enough to prod at that sleeping dog. It’s not the 60′s but that doesn’t mean this wouldn’t cause problems. Even if his family liked me and my parents and brother liked him. So I told him that I just wasn’t interested, it was better than saying “I can’t go out with you because my grandmother would kick me out if we’re together.” I would rather he think badly of me, than hate my grandmother, a woman who tolerated black people, but hated black men when they got anywhere near me. But did I love him? I might have… if it had been given the chance it needed to, to grow. But he never asked me why. He just walked away. If he had asked why, I might have confessed it to him. My anxieties, my lack of self- esteem, my racist grandmother.
So was he my first First Love? I don’t think so… But he has the distinction of being the first person I ever kissed.
My First Love… I don’t believe I’ve ever had a first love, at least not one that’s been requited. I’ve had deep resounding friendships where I’ve felt such a deep affection for them, deeper than anything else in my life. Thinking that they weren’t a girl, or gay, this could have been something. Then there’s this guy… I wasn’t planning on meeting him. I was just planning on having a night with my friend and meeting his friends. I had needed a new group of friends to add to my friend circle. I had been alone as a kid until the 7th grade, and found myself alone again in college. I was sorely lacking of friends that weren’t connected to this abusive friend that I don’t talk to anymore. So Brian was friendly, someone I knew from high school but couldn’t hang out with until I had been free of my other friend who until then had policed my friendships. I clung and he offered to have me come over to his place to play magic. His friends played and I had played with my brother (though that hadn’t ended well). They would reteach me the game that night. I wasn’t expecting him to walk in that night. I was told all the guys that would be there were either taken or nothing interesting. Then the door opened and Brian announced that this guy was there. It was like a scene out of an 80′s movie. He came into the house and the edges of my vision fuzzed, the conversations around me muted and all I saw was him. Unfortunately he had just been broken up with and it had been a serious relationship. This is what I’ve always lacked. Timing. All the other guys I’ve liked before, either as soon as I told them it went away, or the guy I would like would end up being an asshole. They were all fleeting things. This is one of the first guys I’ve ever met where everything just clicked for me except for this one thing. He can’t seem to move passed her. Or at least, can’t seem to move passed the pain. Maybe it’s something else on his part I don’t understand. But to me that just makes him more attractive in a Gothic sense. But I’m a romantic and I love a sad tale like this even if it’s my own. This group of friends we’re always around is my family. We make a unit that just functions excellently. And quite honestly, right or wrong, I would rather stick around him and show him my constancy even if he doesn’t notice. Prove to him my constancy. If there’s a guy that can change my mind, I haven’t found him yet. And even if I did, I would probably still think about him. I’m like Fanny Price, Anne Elliot, or Jane Eyre. I’m not overly attached, just lingering and I can’t help the flutters I get when I look at him, when he laughs at my jokes, when he says the perfect thing while we’re talking. Even if he and I were friends and he could confide in me I would rather that than nothing at all. I’m not someone that finds this sort of feeling to come easily to me. Even if my feelings aren’t returned. In answer to your question, yes I’m always like this.
But then I have to ask myself, if I were in a relationship ever, would I know what the hell to do with it?
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