Boy this was cute...I remember these feelings.....:)
A First Kiss
"It's made of gold so it should bend easily," I said to her as I bit down on the ring trying to fit it to her finger. I watched the westerns where cowboys bit down on coins to make sure they were gold and figured I could easily adjust the size of the ring.
After a few moments, I gave up, "I guess I won't get it to fit perfectly." I handed her the ring with the sides slightly mangled. She slid her finger into the ring and looked at me with a sparkling smile. She stroked my initials in the ring as if they were diamonds. Not sure what to do next, I just looked at her. Her soft blue eyes welled with excitement, as she blinked away tears. Her hair, a bit windblown, framed her face so beautifully, I wanted to touch it, but instead burrowed my hands deep in my pockets.
Before either of us could say anything we heard, "Mary, it's time for dinner." Her father called, not angrily, but loud enough to echo.
"I better go," she whispered. "I'll put the ring on a chain and wear it all the time." With a slight tip of her head, she spun around and ran towards the house. Just before reaching the porch, she spun about and waved to me.
I waved back and hopped on my bike. I climbed the steep hill faster than I ever did before. I cleared the crest and let the bike run down the long hill to my house. I didn't ride my bike, I flew home on some new found wings. I walked into my grandmother's grinning from ear to ear. I went straight to my room and lay on my bed, my head still spinning.
With my best friend, Marc, out of town for two more days, I didn't have anyone to tell about going steady. Going steady: just the words made me feel somehow older, more grown up. Of course going steady when you were too young to date didn't mean a whole lot, but it still felt good. Now that summer vacation started, maybe we could go on a date. Next year she would go to seventh grade, while I went to eighth. We would go to the same school next year.
I thought of calling Mark, my second best friend. Older than Marc and I, he already had a girlfriend, and would not be all that excited about me going steady. Or I could call Mike, my third best friend. Mike would ask what base I got to with her now that I gave her a ring. What base? I had not even held her hand.
The phone suddenly ran. My grandmother shouted: "Mike, it's for you." (Okay, I know what you are thinking: Marc and Mark and Mike and Mike, are we seeing double. Sure enough, it got confusing when all of us got together).
"Hello," I answered, wishing I could pull off a cooler way to answer the phone, the way Mike always did.
"Hey, hey, I hear you are going steady," Mark said almost laughing. "Just in time, I'm setting up a party next weekend. It'll be great; we will have it in my basement. My parents promise to stay upstairs."
"All right, loud music and pool, what records do you want me to bring?"
"Mike, you didn't hear me: my parents will be upstairs. Who will have time for pool, all we will need is a bottle."
"Spin the bottle you dumbhead. We're gonna play spin the bottle. Look, bring all your records, I got to call around and invite everyone. Talk to you later." Before I could answer he hung up.
Going steady one week, and kissing her the next, my head spun again. I hardly could sleep, but I jumped out of bed when the alarm went off. One my paper route I walked through her yard to deliver the paper to the Newman's at the bottom of the hill. She wouldn't be awake that early, but I could write our initials as I walked through the dewy grass. J M T plus M A L.
During the week the plans for the party mounted. Marc made it back and all four of us worked out every detail. Mary planned to come to the party Mark said, so I was inspired. Afraid to call her on the phone, Mary and I didn't talk a lot during the week. Our first big "date" would be at Mark's party.
I wrote our initials in her yard every day that week, sadly, the sun burned the dew off the ground before she woke up, so she didn't see the initials. The day of the party I wrote the initials in cursive, neater than I could do by hand. Looking at her house, I thought I saw some movement at her window. I watched for her, but I saw no further movement. I finished the route convinced she had at least seen the writing on the lawn. I would ask her at the party.
The hours finally rolled off the clock and I arrived at the party. I got there about thirty minutes early to help Mark set things up. Not really much to set up, we had a large bottle hidden beneath the couch in his basement. That was the extent of the set up. Mark's mom let the guests in, leading them to the curving stairs into the basement. She called me when Mary arrived so I could let her in. I guess Mark set that up with his mom.
She stood at the door and I stood at the door, both speechless. Her hair curled like I had never seen it before, and she had on a dress. I tried to remember if I had ever seen her in a dress before. If I had, it was nothing like this one. Lace around the sleeves and neck, it curved so I could see a hint of collarbone at each side. Curving over the collarbone a chain sparkled in the light. The ring dangled from the chain. She was so beautiful.
"Well, don't just stand there, come on in. Mike, take Mary down to the party." Mark's mom then placed Mary's hand in mine, so I could lead her. Speechless, I opened the door and led her downstairs.
We slowly walked down the stairs and stepped out onto the linoleum floor. The music played and everyone milled around, eating an occasional snack. I quickly got some punch for Mary, trying not to let her see how much I shook. For the next few minutes the party nervously rolled along with some whispered conversation and a lot of nervous munching. That is until Mike arrived.
"Hey, it's a funeral here. Mark, where's the bottle, lets get things going, let's SPIN that bottle!"
"Shhh ... I don't want my parents hear us spinning the bottle. Damn Mike, why don't you advertise?"
"Hell, I just had to wake everybody up. Now everyone get in a circle." Fortunately the party worked out pretty much "fifty fifty", so there were plenty of kissers and kissees.
While the bottle spun, I watched Mary nervously toying with the chain and ring. At we took turns, we all shared nervous kisses and some giggling. My first spin pointed to Wendy. I made a face and quickly pecked at her lips. I looked at Mary and shrugged my shoulders. She smiled shyly. On her turn the bottle pointed to Marc. At least glad it wasn't Mike, I watched Marc kiss her lightly as he winked at me. That bought him a punch in the shoulder.
As the game wore on, Mary and I waited and waited for our chance, for our first kiss. For some reason the bottle spinning gods frowned down on us, for each time we spun the bottle it pointed sadly to someone else. The game started and stopped a number of times as Mark's mom or dad would wander downstairs to get something out of the refrigerator or freezer. Each time we quickly hid the bottle and banged a few balls on the pool table.
The evening continued until finally, on my turn, Marc simply reached in and pointed the bottle at Mary. Everyone applauded as it sunk in on me what I was expected to do. Licking my lips, I leaned forward, tilting my head slightly and touched my lips to hers. I paused there a moment, not really knowing what else to do and then sat back down.
I looked into Mary's eyes and she seemed to share my confusion. The kiss seemed fun, but now that we had suddenly finished I felt a bit let down. The excitement of possibility had made me almost dizzy and the strange butterflies in my stomach had vanished and I wondered what all the fuss was about. She seemed to wonder the same thing as we both remained silent and the party buzzed around us.