my attempt at something other than first person narrative. bear with me.

She sat on her haunches, her tiny legs folded beneath her, feet splayed against the grainy wood floor.

She had instigated this.

This was her doing.

“I know how to French kiss,” she had said. “Wanna try?”

So there they were. Boy and girl. On hands and knees, hidden behind the couch.

“Okay. Stick your tongue out,” she commanded.

He obeyed, enthralled by her assuredness. He slipped his tongue out, an action not unusual for a four-year-old boy, but somewhat peculiar given the circumstances.

And she met him. Halfway. She leaned forward on her small fingers and pressed the very tip of her tongue to his. Just for a second. It was all very fast.

That’s how it happened, her first kiss. And a French kiss at that. She had heard stories—stories of its power and pull—and had decided to try.

She pulled her tongue away. And leaving it out, shifted her weight allowing her bottom to rest neatly on her heels. She considered the feel. Bumpy? The taste. Much like the cherry-red lolli-pop she had recently consumed.

She pondered all this sandwiched between the couch and the wood paneled wall. Across from a boy. The boy. The boy who had just given her her first kiss.

And it was there hidden behind the couch, still perched on her heels that she noticed something above. Above and to the right. Throught the window. He must have noticed it too, her partner-in-crime, for his face was awash in terror.

They had three older brothers between the pair of them. Three brothers from which the kiss was meant to be hidden. Three brothers who now peered down at them from outside the window.

Ah, of course, the window. Security, foiled! The couch provided only limited protection when the window was taken into consideration. Had they considered the window? Of course they had. Hadn’t they?

The three older brothers transformed at lightning speed (superman himself would have been done for) into the most potent of all villains: the tattle tale.

She and her partner were lead by the hand to the outside patio. To the parents. She didn’t hear what was said. Instead she studied the plush, plastic patio furniture. It was yellow—yellow as only the late eighties could produce. 

She got the gist of it. No kissing. Okay.

But when she returned to school some weeks after the summer hiatus she quickly became the envoy, the purveyor, the disciple of this new way of kissing, spreading her knowledge to boys and girls alike. The playground was her classroom. And educate she did, giving the gift of knowledge as only her tongue could teach it.

photo by Chris Craemer