A collection of kisses.

The very first time I kissed somebody, was in the middle of a park after I had walked over a bridge. I remember it well, because at the time it meant a lot to me. You’re 15-or-so, and you’ve never kissed a boy so of course you’ve romanticized the entire ordeal in your mind. I remember it was winter and nothing spoke romance like the fact that my nose would not stop running everywhere.

I was trying to play catch-up, and evidently we were both a little bit drunk. It was silent which was weird, because sky train stations are never this calm. But it was late enough that we were alone, and he moved closer while I didn’t move away. I remember thinking that I wasn’t expecting this, when he kissed me, though maybe, I should have been.

I was almost sorry, for waking you up at around 2am. But that didn’t last long. And the first time our lips touched it felt like forever had been spent waiting for something like this.

We knew what we were doing, I think. And this had begun to feel a lot like escape. But as long as we were together even just a little bit longer, it was all okay.

I remember feeling like this was what your teenage years were meant to be built on – driving people home in the middle of the night just to kiss them in a cottage and sit by the water. This was good. And just when you began to kiss me some more, I got a full-fledged nose bleed.

We might have been kidding, at first – planning out a first kiss, suggesting it happened at midnight. I mean we were laughing about it. And it wasn’t until we were standing outside that it hit me – we’re not joking anymore.

The first time we kissed you tasted like Jäger, you wore ripped jeans and your eyes were always red from allergies, but I liked to think it was just because you were a little bit sketchy. As it turns out, you weren’t sketchy at all.

When we kissed after that, you always tasted like coffee. You apologized, but I never did mind.

We threw a house party this past winter. And the four of us made the most of it. We finished the night off well, each with our own collection of kiss-stories made up of what happens in stair walls, bedrooms, living room couches, and walkways. We spent the morning eating pizza and wondering what we were doing with our lives.

I had just gotten off the Greyhound. I was stir-crazy and nervous about meeting your parents. But I hadn’t seen you in weeks that felt like months and god did it ever feel good to kiss you.

And most of all, I remember the countless moments, the times where I would lean in just a little bit closer, when my heart would beat a tiny bit faster and I’d be trying so hard not to think too, too much. And then would come the inevitable moment of hesitation, and the brief and yet unwelcome question of, “Did you eat peanuts today?”.

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