My First Kiss

I am a really awkward teenager. I don’t have many friends. Freshman year, I spend most of my time in the high school library. I’m a good student, but certainly not popular. I play freshman lacrosse, but don’t like any of the guys on the team. Plus, one of them caught me looking up his gym shorts during practice one afternoon. Oops.

During sophomore year, I gain a few more friends. One friend, Maura, introduces me to a ninth grader named Sarah. Sarah is at the top of her class, plays the flute in the school band, and is on varsity field hockey. After a few awkward AOL Instant Messenger conversations, I ask Sarah to be my girlfriend. She accepts. Our relationship consists of sitting in a hallway after school before her mother picks her up. I am awkward, but so is she. It works.

When the Spring Semi-Formal comes around, I get excited. The previous year, I went with a terrible girl named Alice, just as friends. We met outside the dance hall, said awkward hellos, and then darted inside, only to see each other again once the dance had ended. This year would be different; I have an actual girlfriend. On the night of the dance, my father drives me over to Sarah’s house. I say an awkward hello to her parents, pose for a few pictures, and get back in the car with Sarah by my side.

The dance is fun. The local hip hop station sends a DJ to play music for the night, so we spend the night dancing to Ja Rule and Destiny’s Child. At the end of the night, I know that I am supposed to kiss Sarah, but I have no idea how to initiate. I’m about to make my move when her father honks his horn. Our ride is here.

We get into his car — Sarah in the passenger seat, while I’m in the back alone. When we get to my house, I awkwardly say thank you to her dad, and attempt to hug Sarah from the backseat. Her dad suggests that Sarah get out of the car with me. I’m immediately alarmed. What’s about to happen? Embarrassed, Sarah gets out of the car and stand in my driveway as her father drives away. I am confused. Did they plan this? Sarah cozies up to me and leans in. Here’s my chance. We kiss.

Almost immediately, Sarah’s dad comes tearing back down my street in reverse. Sarah hops into the car and they drive away. My face is flushed. I’ve just had my first kiss, sponsored in part by girlfriend’s father.

My excitement is short-lived, though. Just a week later, Sarah sends me a message on AOL saying that she needs to focus on her schoolwork and doesn’t have time for a boyfriend any longer. I am devastated and confused. What fourteen-year-old dedicates her entire life to homework?

The next day at school, I approach Sarah by her locker. She tells me to meet her in our old hallway after school. When the bell rings, she’s there waiting for me. She apologizes, but remains firm in her decision. Furious, I think of the meanest thing I can call her: a cunt. She bursts into tears and runs outside to her mom’s waiting SUV. An hour later, I get a phone call from her father. It’s not pretty. Many expletives are used.

I never talk to Sarah again.

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