Sunday, July 18, 2010

Wild Ginger

i taste her on the lips of every woman i kiss, though it has been twenty years...

fire flies float lazily over the field, like stars fallen from orbit, come to play with us. the copse of trees that ring the field provide shadow that i wrap myself in, listening for their approach. we found this field a couple years ago, through the woods behind our neighborhood, and most summer nights this is where you will find all the boys in our neighborhood, playing manhunt or hide and seek.

twigs crack, sending my heart racing, as someone approaches my hiding spot from somewhere over my shoulder. too late to move, i quiet my breathing, pressing myself further into the cool dirt at the base of a thicket.

"what are you doing?"

"shhh....they'll hear you," rolling over to see whose sister is about to spoil our evening.

for a moment, i forget to breathe, not because of the stick not jutting into my side, but because her skin shines, smooth as alabaster, in the moonlight. a cough erupts from my chest, lungs aching for relief as a new sensation jumbles my insides.

"who..," my voice croaks.

"my name is amy," her's carries like a melody that fills the night.

game forgotten, we sit, our backs to the tree and talk. her family is moving to seattle and while her parents are looking for a house, she is staying with her grandmother at the house on the corner of our neighborhood. hearing our raucous laughter in the woods, she had snuck out to investigate.

our words fill the space in between us as the moon makes its way across the heavens, parting the stars in its wake, as hours slip away. the boys either forgot about me or seeing me with a girl, slipped away in disgust because we never saw them. not that i would have noticed.

she tells me about her life thus far, moving again and again with her dad's job and wonderful places i only dream of outside of my small town existence. i share my desire to escape and see the world. she talks of girlish things too, but i don't mind. what was an annoyance before, seems fascinating now. she is a new treasure that i turn round and round in my hands, exploring every facet.

too soon, the sun pokes its head above the trees at the far end of the field, casting a spray of orange and pink across the horizon. perhaps intoxicated by its brilliance or all that we shared, i feel myself lean into her. my heart beat shatters the still of the morning until our lips meet.

she tastes like honeysuckle, warmed by the sun. her hair plays across my cheeks and the ignorance of my first kiss is replaced by a new hunger. we hold onto the moment, refusing to let go, until voices calling her name, followed by the sounds of people coming, break us apart.

we separate, words clumsy and awkward, as we make promises to see each other later. she slips into the trees and an ache forms a knot in my chest, as if i knew, like the sun, the end would arrive all too soon.

the next few weeks, we are inseparable, as she slides into my life like a missing puzzle piece. we spend days at the creek and nights under the stars. even the guys accept her, when she comes to play with us at the field, though i imagine it is because she is a fierce competitor. then one day, walking down the sidewalk to her grandmother's house, i watch as a van pulls out of the drive, her face in the rear window, one hand pressed to the glass. my tennis shoes slap on the asphalt as i run, but it is too late and i watch until they turn left, heading out of my life forever.

...every relationship i have had since has been non-committal, haunted by a ghost of the summer when i was thirteen, and gave away my first kiss.

being in seattle, on business, brings all this back as i look out the window of the wild ginger, absently picking at my pad thai. the restaurant is bustling with the lunch crowd, conversations providing background buzz to my daydream memories, when she walks in the door...

Go see Amy at She Writes, for the rest of the story...

79 comments:

PattiKen said...

Whoa!!! I'm the first! Woo Hoo!

I love stories of young love, and this was especially satisfying because they come back together in the end. I so hope it works out, and they don't find themselves thinking, "What HAPPENED to you?"

Dianne said...

how the heck do you do that?
are you everyone and no one?
dang Brian
my 160 is feebly up, but you've seen it.

hey,
have a serendipitous week in a new economy....
Dianne

Maggie said...

That was awesome! Sometimes we are just left with the memory of a person we loved dearly and we are always wondering about them but sometimes they really do come back into our lives sooner or later! Amazing and scary how the world spins! Lovely story! :)

kkrige said...

Oh Brian that was heavenly and achingly sweet. I almost dare not read the rest of the story for fear of the future impinging on lost love's memories.

Eva Gallant said...

A great story, and a little bitter sweet. I read the second half and commented that I, too, had a reunion with a teenage love, in some ways similar to this. He never called because he was married.

TALON said...

The thrill of discovery, the thrill of a first kiss - so beautifully done, Brian.

Luisa Doraz said...

Young love is so innocent and soooo much a blessing. I am also happy that you had a fun ending. :)

Susan Deborah said...

Bliss, when we find love and more bliss when we are successful in the first kiss. Memories are always welcome as they enable us to go back to a part of ourselves which is no longer existent!

Have a splendid week, Brian
Susan

Eternally Distracted said...

Argh, I am filled with memories of my first kiss now... mind you, Facebook allows me the knowledge that I never need to revisit!!

Looking forward to part 2, glad you have another writing collaboration too :0)

signed...bkm said...

Great story, and I have a memory that haunts me too, a bit older, but it was a dance and a song, in Chicago, never say him again, but every time I hear the song...I think of him and what may have been...nice read....bkm

Magpie said...

Such an awesome beginning. How many times has that certain someone crossed my mind? Too many to count. Glad its just a memory.

Bernie said...

Reminds me of my first kiss, I didn't like it......so didn't chase after it at all.....now a few kisses later I kept it beside me for 27 year......great story Brian, we all have one just never wrote about it......:-) Hugs

The Urban Cowboy said...

A first kiss, first love, first heart break...only to come full circle later in life. How sweet is that, well done Brian.

adeeyoyo said...

Aah, those wonderful memories of discovery! You tell them so well, Brian, as if it were yesterday.

She Writes said...

Brian,

What a pleasure to write this with you!

xxamy

Zuzana said...

This was so deliciously sweet, full of young and romantic innocence...
I guess we all have memories of that first kiss, although few can describe them so well.
I am not sure if this is facts or fiction, but I will now go and read the rest of the story.;)
Have a great Monday Brian,
xoxo

Tabor said...

Nice analogy with the puzzle piece fitting. It captured me totally and I saw these two on their first romantic journey. Great story.

Hilary said...

Aww sweet young summer love.

Daniel said...

Ahh the first kiss and the memories and feeling wrapped around that moment ...

natalee said...

so sweet..... loved that!!!

Birdie said...

great story! I did enjoy both parts of the story :-) what is it about our brain that makes us never forget that first kiss and the chills ...
I did like that she didn't finished the 'happily ever after' ... makes it so much more real ... great reading for hot summer days :-) have a beautiful day Brian

Tony Single said...

Brian, it was an absolute pleasure to read this. I love it! (Perhaps also because ginger's one of my favourite foods...)

Vicki Lane said...

Wonderful sensory ride!

Becky said...

This was soooo great Brian.I so enjoyed it.I love fireflies and I could feel the heat of summer through this story.Love the feelings your thoughts invoke.

Any new books coming out soon;) LOL.

Happy week to you and your family!

evalinn said...

Nice one, and what a great idea to pass a story on!

Wild Rose said...

Young love is always the best and is never forgotten. I love the lines and the words you used here they give some great imagery, i could see you and her in my mind. Beautiful story, superb writing as always and i wish you a great week ahead Brian.

Wild Rose~

Pat said...

Nothing can compare to that first love! Your way with words is so unbelievable! You draw the reader in like they have a first row seat to a play!

Now on to the second half!

Cheryl said...

I got me one of those too.

Valerie said...

No, you never forget the first. Mine came back but it didn't work out, we'd both changed. No regrets but the memory of the first kiss lingers .... even now.

slommler said...

What a beautiful memory!! Haunting love stories are the best! I loved both tales...beautiful!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Brian Miller said...

i think we all do cheryl...this one was fiction...and a new challenge to write romantic fiction and with someone else...i have a lot of un writing with others...know it does not always go over well with the audience...surprising many people disappear on those days...lol. oh well. glad you enjoyed it.

Mona said...

My first kiss was so horribly yucky that I wince to think about it!

:D

darsden said...

Absolutely Wonderful :-)

glnroz said...

Bravo,, unique approach,,, very enjoyable...

AmyLK said...

Lovely story! You certainly have a wonderful way with putting words together.

Nancy said...

Terrific writing. Beautiful imagery. Brought back memories of summer love...

The Empress said...

whoohoo! This HAS to be continued...what a hook.

Steven Anthony said...

i love stories of love....that first line caught me and pulled me in.....beautiful.

steviewren said...

Nice story! I felt like I was right there with the both of you in the blush of youth.

Six Feet Under Blog said...

You make things sound so romantic. Im off to read the rest.

tulpen said...

My first kiss was in the woods around age 13... there the similarities to your story end. Will be heading over to read the rest.

christine said...

Such sweet love when it is your first. I loved the description of the fireflies... quite beautiful.

Christine

Claudia said...

This is beautiful - such perceptive writing - awakens memories of the first kiss and all the emotions accompanied by it...

william said...

brilliant, brought back happy memories to me, but then your writing always does , bravo sir :)

Mama Zen said...

Oh, wow, Brian.

JStar said...

Love your stories Brian :)

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

You brought back memories of my first kiss. Revealing and yet painful at the age of 14.

I'm off to read the second part.

blueviolet said...

My first kiss was revolting, but my first love...I have fond memories of him too.

Systematic Weasel said...

Wonderfully written! Thanks for sharing!

-Weasel

gayle said...

Oh first love!! I love this story so!!!

Teresa O said...

I'm so glad I took Amy's advice and read your beginning to the story first. Talk about creating a palpable scene...I felt like I was right there.

Beautiful story from your beginning to Amy's ending.

drybottomgirl said...

very good! Now I'm off to see Amy for "the rest of the story"....

buffalodick said...

First love, first kiss, first good-bye....

Who Is Afraid of Alfred Hitchcock? said...

Hi! Brian-
Nice piece-pertaining to "young love"...I don't know how come this song that I recently, discovered on youtube comes to my mind after reading your piece.
Kiss Me by Sixpence

Thanks, for sharing...I'am on my way to She Writes...
DeeDee ;-D

otin said...

That was poetically wonderful!!! Some of your best.

artswebshow said...

wow. this is a fantastic piece of writing

Me said...

Oh so lovely. *sigh*.

PS - an award for you at my blog...
:)

-C

Luisa Doraz said...

Enjoyable and heart warming for me. :) Through the eyes of the young. :)

secret agent woman said...

That's a lovely story. And yet it immediately spun me into the horrifying thought that someone might kiss me and yet be thinking of someone else. I would hate that.

Caty said...

I love how your descriptions and imagery makes me feel like I'm watching your story on tv. such vivid writing-this was terrific...

Ed Pilolla said...

fun imagery. great mood. off to read at amy's.

sage said...

wow, you beautifully capture the moments of young love... nicely done.

ladyfi said...

Oh, how exciting / you're writing with Amy! Oh, the thrill and tingle of a first kiss...

musingbymoonlight.com said...

First love. You've captured it well, my friend. Nicely written . . . Good job!

laurenmichelleotheim said...

I LOVED THIS! Haha, I was hooked beginning through end (She Writes as well). This was so artfully crafted and well written. Thank you!

Candie Bracci said...

Awesome job,well done!

sheila said...

This could be one of those made for tv movies...and I haven't even read the rest yet at Amy's!

Tina said...

Beautifully told. You described his emotions and feelings so well. I really enjoy the vividness of your writing. It's descriptive, but tightly so. I get annoyed with overly wrought descriptions that drag on and distract from the story, but never here.

lakeviewer said...

Lovely! This coming of age story has us by our hair.

moondustwriter said...

So sweet Bri - the young love thing can never be written too often and yours is over the top great.

Titanium said...

I can almost hear Deanna Carter singing, "Strawberry Wine". This is delicate, beautiful, haunting...

Help! Mama Remote... said...

The protection of a Grand dad is so amazing. All i can envision is holding my grand dads rough strong hands. :-)

sweetmango said...

ohhh i love this, I was right there in the reality of it!! thank you ..off to read the other half!
xxm

Syd said...

I'm glad that they found a way to be back in each other's lives. Lots of innocence in the first kiss. And most don't turn out to be as significant over a life time.

Joanna Jenkins said...

You two totally rocked this one! Loved every word.
jj

tracyhsays.com said...

I started here and was drawn totally in...proceeded to your friend's page to continue...Wow, what a read this was. It's wonderful...the ending just killed me...and I still LOVED it.

Tracy H

Liza said...

"the copse of trees that ring the field"

"she tastes like honeysuckle, warmed by the sun."

I really enjoyed this Brian, and it brought back my own memories, although I don't remember my first kiss tasting like warm Honeysuckle.
More like dirt and bubble-gum!

Mmm said...

That is a lovely set up for Amy to have followed. Love it.

Marla said...

Love it!! Seriously love it!!!