All through elementary school I struggled to fit in. My daily interactions with the world seemed mundane and often times cruel. As I watched the other girls in my class blossom into beautiful young flowers, I must admit, I felt like a skunk cabbage in comparison.
There were a few boys here and there who paid attention to me now and then, but nothing worth mentioning. Well, I guess there was this kid Matthew who sat directly behind me in my home room class who used to enjoy shooting spit balls at my head.
I remember Mr. Zoolak singling me out in front of the class for yelling at Matthew. In my mind, what he was doing was torture. Mr. Zoolak, however, had a different take on things. I did not like his point of view, nor the fact that he decided to share his opinion with my entire fourth grade class.
Mr. Zoolak was quite convinced that this game of spit balls and fury was all about childish love. At the time, I nearly threw up at the idea of it. I mean, for real? Matthew and I were somehow infatuated with each other and were showing our feelings through this immature display of simpleton behaviour?
Though I hate to admit it, Mr. Zoolak may have been onto something. Looking back on it now, I see his point. I mean, I did find Matthew kind of cute and he did ask me out years later at a time when I no longer found him cute. I turned him down flat and crushed his ego. Poor guy:-)
Over the years, things improved. Although the boys still used childish and insulting manners to express their feelings, I definitely gained more popularity as my body developed and I grew out of my awkwardness.
The biggest transformation of my youth happened when I finally entered high school. Before going forward, I am must inform you that the high school I attended was a backwoods, redneck, rock ‘em sock ‘em, borderline psychotic place to learn.
Over the years at SDHS, I would experience sexual assaults, harassment, and some intense bullying, but those are stories for a different day. This story is the one about my first “real kiss”.
The boy who stole my first kiss one stormy night on the corner of Pefferlaw Boulevard and Station Road was just an average guy. His name was Mike Garner and I honestly didn’t really like him all that much, though he definitely had his sights set on me.
He arranged to meet me and a bunch of my friends to go watch a baseball game down at the local ball field. I have never liked organised sports, but in my home town, organised sports are sacred. To avoid being seen as a total hippie chick misfit, I often tagged along and pretended to be interested in whatever God awful sport I forced myself to watch.
This ball game was no different. While everyone else was hooting and hollering, I spent my time unsuccessfully trying not to look bored. Though I must admit, something about how excited Mike got when our team won made me take note. He seemed truly invested in the success of the team. This stood out to me because very few people I knew were truly invested in anything other than the art of getting by.
There was also something about the way Mike looked at me. Of course we all know the old saying “the eyes are the window to the soul”., but his eyes were this and more. He spoke volumes without saying a single word. I liked that about him.
As we walked back to town, he conveniently found himself walking right next to me. I can still remember the feeling of butterflies fluttering in my stomach when I looked to my right and realized how close he was. Our hands brushed briefly and he found the courage to take my hand in his.
My hand was cold, but his was warm and comforting. I accepted his hand while the butterflies in my stomach continued to flutter and the speed of my heart beat increased.
I caught the eye of my best friend, who gave me a smirk. I nearly burst out laughing in response. She always had that effect on me, but I managed to keep my cool, while walking hand in hand with Mike.
Just before we reached town, the sky darkened and a huge crash of thunder startled me, as the sky lit up with bolts of lightning. I remember thinking my heart would burst from the excitement of the moment.
Moments later, I felt the first drops of rain hit my face. I looked up into the sky, welcoming the warm droplets of water. I had not yet thought of what would happen when the rain made my tight white tank top transparent. I was too focused on the feelings building in my body to think that far ahead.
As the rain began to fall, Mike turned me towards him and looked directly into my eyes. Our friends dropped out of my view and I felt a sense of anticipation in the pit of my stomach. Mike looked down briefly taking in my whole body. My eyes naturally followed his and I realized my breasts, which were bare beneath my shirt, were fully visible through my soaking wet top.
I brought my hand to my chest in a sad attempt to cover myself, but Mike pushed my hand away and continued to look me up and down. He brushed my left cheek with his hands, looked into my eyes again and said “you are truly beautiful”.
My eyes cast down in response, but he gently pulled my face towards his and forced me to look into his eyes. Without speaking so much as a word, he led me towards the red brick wall of the Station Restaurant. I turned away from him and leaned against the cold bricks and looked up at him once more.
He leaned back beside me then pulled my body onto his. I had never been so close to a young man before. The sensations rippling through my body were intense and wondrous. I remember wanting to be closer to him.
I pushed my body against his, feeling his chest brush against my cold, wet nipples. A rush of heat ripped through my body just as Mike’s lips touched mine. His kiss was soft and questioning. It was as if he was asking permission to dig deeper into this moment with me.
I accepted by placing my hands on his face and pulling him even closer to me. His lips passionately explored mine as the sensations in our bodies were unleashed. I parted my lips slightly, giving him permission to go further. His tongue entered my mouth and began caressing my lips.
The feelings running through me were so divine. I felt weak at the knees, yet powerful. We kissed for what seemed like eternity, then I pulled back, signalling that we had gone far enough.
Mike took a deep sigh, removed his jacket, and placed it over my shoulders. As we walked back towards our group of friends in silence I was filled with a sense of wonder and intrigue.