There are moments I wish I could get back and there are other moments I wish I could finally have. I wish I could get back the moment I became excited for a new school year. Every September 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and sometimes 5th, there was a special feeling I would have in the core of my stomach. An itch to start again and make that year the best I’d ever had. Since I started college (when I was still a senior in high school), the anticipation of having a fresh beginning has left me. I don’t think I’ll ever get it back. Same goes for the moment I held a boy’s hand for the first time, the moments I took first place in a horse competition, and the moment I could I actually play a C and G chord on the guitar and make it sound not so bad/pretty darn good. Those moments have come and gone–I can’t have them ever again.

And so I yearn for new ones… Moments I haven’t had but know I will “one day.” Like graduating from college with a bachelor’s degree. Getting married. Having a baby. Or even as simple as a “real” kiss from a guy–the kind I could never see coming.

Okay… Allow me to clarify. I claim to have never been kissed. However, this technically isn’t true. Set aside family members, immediate and distant–obviously, I’ve kissed them and they have kissed me in the traditional family fashion and therefore do not count in the “kissing” tally. So when I speak of kissing, you know that I’m talking about boys in the romantic sense.

In the ninth grade, I was “going with” a boy named Kris. We were 15 years old and neither of us had any clue what we were doing. One day, we were at the mall shopping for coats. The day had started warmly, so I dressed light in a T-shirt and shorts. However, a short while after we arrived to the mall, storm clouds gathered outside and heavy rain, gusts of wind, and lightning followed. Despite the sudden weather change, Kris suddenly became urgent, took me by the hand, and rushed me outside. I didn’t know what he was doing, but I went with him thinking it would only be a short while.

Outside, Kris took me to a somewhat secluded place along the wall, just in front of the parking lot. There was no covered area and there wasn’t much of an overhang from the roof. With his back pressed against the wall, he held me out in front of him and just looked aimlessly about himself for a long time… In the meantime, I was getting more and more drenched. My teeth even started to chatter.

“What are we doing?” I finally asked him.

“Waiting,” he said.

“What for?”

“I want to kiss you,” he said emotionless.

I looked at him blankly. There were thousands of thoughts running through my head, but I can only name the important ones. Like, Why now? And Just do it! And I’m freezing! Kiss me already! But most of all, I wish he hadn’t told me he wanted to kiss me. I wish he had simply gone in for the kill.

Finally I answered, “Okay… So are you going to?”

“I don’t know…”

I remember feeling raindrops run down my forehead, fall from my eyebrows onto my nose, down my cheeks, gradually making there way down my neck and basically wetting me down from head-to-toe. I was becoming very aggravated.

“You brought me out here, Kris. There’s no one around. You can do whatever you want.”

“I know,” he paused. He wouldn’t look at me. He was taller than me and looked over my head. He was so serious and so tense and the last thing I wanted was to kiss him right then. But of course, I didn’t want to make him feel bad. So I just kept waiting…

He looked at me after a long while and said, “I’m going to count to three.”

“What?”

“I’ll count to three and then I’ll kiss you.”

It was the worst thing I had ever heard and I could hardly believe he would even suggest it. So I stared up at him, hiding my disgust, but still anticipating one heck of a kiss despite the lacking romantic element.

“One… Two…” he waited, “…Three.”

It was awkward and I hated how immaturely he was performing this very important act. But I made the best of it and as he leaned in, I parted my mouth ever-so-slightly, tilted my head the correct side, and touched my lips to his. All I remember doing wrong was forgetting to close my eyes. However, even if I had, it would not have made up for the fact that kissing him was worse than kissing a rock. Or a flat piece of plywood. There was absolutely nothing behind it. He didn’t kiss me because he liked me. He only wanted to kiss me so to “get it over with.” He didn’t care how or when it happened. He just wanted it done.

Despite how I tried to get him to loosen up, it never got better. And I told him I wanted to be friends about two weeks later.

Maybe you consider it the “real” thing. The fact that his lips touched mine may be enough qualifaction under your standards as to what a kiss ought to be. You are entitled to your opinion.

There’s a kiss like Kris and then there’s something completely different… That moment when you can think of nothing else in the world you’d rather have. The kind that comes when nothing else can be said. A kiss that seals the moment after a setting sun. It happens slowly, with purpose, with meaning, romantically, and unforgettable… Whereas Kris has been a memory lost amidst a thousand other unimportant stages in my life.

Despite how often we chicks talk about “the first kiss” and how overplayed it really, really is… Let’s face it. And let’s be honest. We cannot deny how much we look forward to it and how often we think about it.

And guys? A word of advice. Whether you’ve kissed a girl or not, most girls enjoy being caught of guard. So in the future, don’t count to three prior to that intended lip-lock or let the girl know you’re about to kiss her. Otherwise, you completely strip away the element of surprise, which nearly every girl so desperately desires…

Don’t be a ditz and kiss like Kris.

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