First Kiss

Avery started writing Jack Frost fanfiction at 12 years old and knew that she wanted to be a writer. At 13 she started publishing her fanfiction and eventually an original story on amateur writer and ... [+]

Image of Long Story Short Award - 2022
Image of Short Fiction
I'd bolted out the door faster than I could say goodbye. The soup pot in my grocery sack clanked as I skipped across the street, just like I had a few nights ago. Apparently one of her friends had seen me skipping home after spending the evening with Anna and told her about it. She'd asked me about it and I did not want to say that I had, but I also didn't want to lie, so I'd simply blushed.
The feeling of Anna's soft lips on mine still buzzed in my head, stunting my senses. A sensation I'd imagined a hundred times, but never experienced until tonight.
Anna had told me, with a little bit of shame and her cheek pressed against my chest, "It makes me sad when you don't introduce me as your girlfriend." I'd told her just a week before that I wanted to get my grades up before I made anything official. But hearing the sadness in her voice now, I realized that I wanted her more than I wanted to wait.
"Who said we have to wait until my grades are better for you to be my girlfriend?" I chuckled nervously, feeling silly.
"You did," she said, still not looking up at me.
As I was getting ready to leave, she took one more stab at being brave. I'd told her not to be afraid to ask for things she didn't even necessarily need, even just wanted.
"Is it ok if I tell my roommates I have a boyfriend now?" She asked, slipping her arms around my waist hesitantly. I put one shaking hand on her arm to try and steady it. My other hand held the bag with my soup pot in a tight fist.
"Only if I can tell my roommates I have a girlfriend now," I said, surprised the phrase came out in one piece. She smiled and pulled me into a hug.
"Deal." She pulled her face back and brushed her nose against mine. My breath came out ragged and my heart pounded inside my chest. My mind raced, trying to think of something smooth to say so I could go in and kiss her. Her face scrunched a little in confusion.
"Why are you shaking?" she asked. I panicked.
"The pot is heavy." Idiot. You can't kiss her after saying that. By the look on her face, she clearly didn't believe me anyway. She was waiting for me to ask, to say something. She knew what I wanted. I knew what I wanted, but for some reason, I couldn't spit it out.
"I'm usually more articulate," I whispered.
"Do you want to kiss me, James?" A small flood of relief washed my anxious insides.
"May I?" It took everything in me not to let my voice crack.
"Yes, you may." She smiled and giggled. Something cool, you gotta say something cool.
I shook my head, "Okay okay, you gotta ask me, you gotta ask me if I'm going to skip home tonight." She cocked an eyebrow.
"Are you going to skip home tonight?" I took a deep breath.
"No, I'm going to fly." In one motion, I slipped my arm around her waist, sucked in a breath, and firmly pressed my lips to hers.
And then my heart stopped.
And then my breath stopped.
And then time stopped.

I know it's cliche, but I think that perhaps cliches exist for a reason.

I knew I was not going to sleep anytime soon. Is this what recreational drugs were like? I set my bag and pot down on a table outside the laundromat in my apartment complex. It was almost two in the morning, and the late October night air was probably biting, but I could not feel it through the fire blazing across my skin. I didn't know exactly what it was I was feeling. But I did know that someone, everyone needed to know. Too many thoughts pressed against the front of my skull. They needed to get out somehow. I pulled out my phone and opened the notes app. Absent-mindedly, my feet started to float, one after the other, down the road. I furiously typed the entirety of my eventful evening.
I had suggested that we make dinner together and offered some ideas of things to make. She said she'd been craving food from home and not college food. She said her mom had the most amazing tomato soup and grilled cheese meal that was a favorite of her family's. How had she known that tomato soup and grilled cheese was my favorite meal? I didn't think I'd ever told her that. She asked me to get the stuff for the soup and she'd get the stuff for the grilled cheese. I walked the mile to and back from Walmart with all of the ingredients. When I walked into her apartment, she was on facetime with her mom, who was explaining how to make the supposedly amazing dish. Anna was insecure about the fact that she couldn't cook very well but was desperate to impress me. I wouldn't have cared if it had been the worst meal in the world, I loved watching her make it. She was so focused and wanted so much to get the recipe perfect. It was amazing and warm and indeed felt like home. Just like her.
I'd offered to do the dishes while she set up a movie. She played music while she worked and I couldn't help but look back over my shoulder as she sang and danced around the living room. I'd even joined her at one point. I was taking a beginning level ballroom class and knowing she was an intermediate level Latin dancer, I'd taken her into my very best closed dance position. She laughed and spun when I raised my arm. She said it was called the ‘princess theory' that every girl would spin if you took her hand and raised it above her head.
We watched one of her favorite movies, which I didn't mind. It was cute and romantic, just the way she liked it. I liked watching her face more than I liked watching the movie. She was so beautiful and she didn't even know it. Then came the conversation. Then came the kiss. Now I was walking up University Parkway, with no particular destination in mind. All I knew was the next time I looked up, the temple was in full view, glowing white against the black backdrop of night. I looked back down at the now full page of a journal entry I'd written. I'd do some edits and send it to my family as soon as I got home. A text flashed across my screen. It was from Anna.
"Goodnight, my love." My heart warmed despite the breath that I could now see fog in front of me. Seeing the temple now accompanied by the feeling in my heart, I couldn't help but feel like I was in some sort of lovestruck dream. The night of my first kiss, with the most beautiful girl I could've imagined, who was now officially my girlfriend. I reached my numb fingers up and pinched my arm. I couldn't feel it, but that's probably because I couldn't feel anything. I sighed wistfully and turned to walk back down the hill.
I had had plenty of opportunities to date and a few girls who'd actually wanted to be in a relationship with me, but none of them had felt right. But something about Anna was so reassuring. There were no games with her. She did not hide the fact that she was into me, so I didn't feel the need to hide that I was into her.
October, Friday, October 22nd, would be a most significant date for the rest of my life. The beginnings of a headache began to beat lazily in my head, a message for the need for sleep. The buzz was starting to die off, but also I knew it would not really go away, knowing that Anna was my girlfriend, and I could now kiss her whenever I wanted and I could get back the same heavenly feeling.
After walking with only the company of the night sounds, the occasional passing car or wind rustling through a tree, I finally made it back into my apartment complex. I suddenly remembered the pot I'd left on the table outside of the laundromat. As I approached, however, I noticed that the bag was gone, and my pot, with which Anna and I had made the most memorable dinner, was nowhere to be seen.
4