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...