It was a cold Friday night during my 8th grade year. My school’s team had just played some other school in basketball. I do not remember the opponent. I do not remember the final score but I do remember several important things about that night and they have nothing to do with basketball.
That was the night that Carla let me kiss her and that kiss changed the course of our lives.
I remember it was very dark as we walked from the gym to her sister’s car.
I remember it was very cold and we were wearing large, bulky winter coats.
I remember holding Carla’s hands through thick gloves as we stood by the car.
I remember turning to kiss her.Reaching my arms up to embrace her.
I closed my eyes in preparation for the delicate touch of her lips to mine. Carla, much more experienced than I, also lifted her arms. All four arms met in mid air. I lowered mine and she countered. We clashed again. This went on for what felt like hours. We must have looked like a couple bears fighting in the dark. Finally, one of us stopped moving and allowed the other to advance unhindered.
My eyes were still closed. My lips were in full pucker mode and I pulled her close.
I do not remember Carla being so tall; however, this is the only explanation for the fact that my kiss did not fall delicately on her lips. Instead, it landed squarely on her chin. I was mortified but not shaken. Novice that I was, I realized I had two options:
1. Abort, Retreat, and Re-Attempt the maneuver.
2. Full Steam Ahead.
Of course, I chose option #2. I left my lips pressed against her chin and determined I would find her mouth. I pushed to the left and found her cheek. She responded with her own shifting, sending me back south. I twisted right. She slid sideways. Our lips met finally, and we enjoyed the wet, sloppy kiss we had worked so hard to obtain.
After a short time we parted. Carla wiped the spit off her face and said goodnight.
Carla broke up with me the following Monday morning. I was devastated but not surprised. Looking back on the moment, I have to think but for my lack of direction, Carla and I would this day be happily married with a six-figure salary, 2.5 children, a dog, and a summer home in the Hamptons. And she wouldn’t have ended up weighing 400 lbs, with no teeth, a tattoo on her upper hip that says “Killer”, and in a women’s correctional facility for Murder One.
Life is funny that way.