I wrote this micro memoir as part of a writing exercise while I was co-facilitating a memoir writing workshop at Metro Jail. I like to participate in the writing with the participants, and was surprised that this little story wanted to be told. Enjoy!
My First Kiss
My legs pressed in to the edge of the old wooden dresser. I peeled off long strips of faded white paint and collected them in the palm of my hand. A shy smile crept up on me as I looked up at my older brother’s friend, Joe, and decided his short buzz cut, matching t-shirt and short set, and Vans shoes made him look mature and absolutely dreamy. He smiled back, and lump the size of a golf ball appeared in the back of my throat. I knew our age difference would catch up to us eventually, but for now I was willing to put my heart on the line for a third grader.
“Shauna and Joe sitting in the tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g,” my brother sang in a mocking tone.
My brother’s teasing did not faze Joe. He stepped closer to me. The strips of white paint stuck to my dewy hands. When Joe’s face was in front of mine, I didn’t know what to do so I closed my eyes. And I waited. My brother stopped his teasing chant. I heard the shuffle of shoes moving across the wood floor.
I opened one eye (just enough to see what was happening around me). A grass stained navy blue t-ball uniform sat in a pile on the floor, a plaid comforter was scrunched up on the bed, and Hardy Boy mystery books were scattered across the multi-colored rag rug. Joe and his gap-toothed smile were still there. My brother hovered by the door—his hand gripped the tarnished brass handle.
I closed my eyes again, and waited. I leaned toward Joe. I felt his warm breath on my nose. His lips were rough and sweet like cotton candy as they brushed against mine. When I opened my eyes again, Joe was looking at the floor and rubbing his nose.
“I’m going to tell mom,” my brother said as he opened the door.