Love and Kisses

Tonight’s the night. We’ve planned a surprise birthday party for one of the crew. We’re about ten deep and thick as thieves. It happens when you’re mostly all neighbors and have been hanging out together for the last six or seven years.

We’re all what you would call “good kids” which is probably why all of our parents trust us with any other member of the crew. Everybody’s mom is Mom, everybody’s dad is Dad, and the doors are always open at every house. You’d get a funny look if you asked before going into the fridge or you uttered something about leaving because it’s dinner time.

Even though we’re all tight, we all have our favorite people in the crew. Mine happens to be a guy. Do I have a crush on him? Maybe. A little. Ok, yes, I do. But it’s natural, right? When you hang out with the same people, all the time, for extended periods of time, you tend to start finding yourself attracted to people you might not otherwise be attracted to, but I digress.

As is the norm, I’m riding to the party with my crush, Andy, to surprise Bob, the birthday boy. Our conversation in the car flows naturally, like it always does, and we laugh about stories we tell each other – reminiscing about silly stuff that Bob has done, as well as ones about what other crew members have done. We pull up to Bob’s place, which his folks have so thoughtfully vacated for us (it’s that trust thing), and finish one last story before we head in to see everyone.

We enter the house and get all of our greetings out of the way and wait for Bob as we were the last to arrive. We don’t wait long before Bob arrives and the laughter ensues. Gifts are exchanged, cake is eaten, and even though we’re underage, a beer or two is consumed. The jokes start flying and are sometimes harsh, but no one cries about them. Most of them are aimed at Bob since it’s his day. We all fall into a comfortable hum of conversations as the hours slip by. After a bit, I duck my head to stifle a yawn, and when I look up, Andy is staring right at me. I give him a little nod and we each start to say our goodbyes so we can head out.

We step outside into a gorgeous summer evening. We’ve finally caught a night where it isn’t chilly, it isn’t crazy humid, and there’s a half moon giving off a bit of light. As we drive home, Andy asks me if I’m tired. I say I’m not, even though I am, wanting to pick up on any opportunity I can to spend a little more time with him. He asks if I wanna hang out a while and, yeah, of course I do.

Andy drives us to the softball field where some of the crew plays and the rest of us watch. He parks the car and hops out. As I get out, I see that he’s headed towards the back of the car so I head that way as well. In those quick moments, Andy slides himself up onto the trunk of the car. I start to follow suit, but he instead directs me into a position where I can lean on the trunk but he’s behind me.

In the sweetest gesture of my young life, Andy maneuvers both himself and me so that he can hold me as we look at the moon and the stars. We talk for a while, and without warning, he turns me around and kisses me. It’s my first kiss and it’s sweet and warm and it’s from the guy I’ve been crushing on (and in puppy love with) for the longest time. When he breaks the kiss, he simply looks at me, watches me, to see if I’m ok with what has just transpired. While I’m on cloud 9 on the inside, I just smile. He smiles. And then we both end up falling into a fit of giggles.

First kiss. First love.

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