There weren’t a lot of people at the party when she arrived. She can’t remember who she went with, or how she got there, and is not sure whose party it was. She does remember the boy.
The features of his face are fixed in her memory, like old songs; the ones you can’t repeat the words of until you hear the music, then the words flow. A shadow of facial hair barely present softens the solid curvature of his jaw line, and the sardonic smile that reaches the eyes. Slothful eyes, seductive, framed by ridiculously long lashes
Mutinous dark curls wrap around his head. The top half of one arm is holding up the wall, both hands tucked in the pockets of his jeans. There is enough hanging out to tell her those hands are large. Every line of his body seems to flow into the next part. The rest of the room seems beige behind the colour of him.
He stands slightly apart from a small group. She knows his name; two girls trying to include him in their conversation repeat it like a mantra.
She sees his eyes are watching her, but keeps her attention on the girlfriend she’s talking to. She must have blinked, because he is standing in front of her, so close she can taste the smell of him in the back of her throat. Those eyes hold her reflection in them.
“Hey,” he says. She looks at his lips, they’re smooth, they’re smiling at her. At some point, she regains vocal ability and its connection to her brain. She learns he’s two years older, and goes to a Catholic school nearby. A good Catholic boy, what every girl needs.
More people begin to crowd into the small rooms, they start to move into bedrooms and onto the balcony. It is getting smoky. No-one worries about lung cancer. Cool people smoke, she is afraid to try; afraid she’d cough and look foolish.
The rest of the night, is spent in the ritual of mating. It is the first time a boy pursues her. Physically, mentally, it’s intoxicating. They spend the rest of the night together. If she goes to get something to drink, he is there to fill her glass.
A trip to the loo finds him standing in the hall when she comes out. Terrified he heard what she was doing in there, she did her best to pee quietly, going slowly and sitting as far forward as she could get on the loo, trying to stop it directly hitting the water.
When they finally find themselves alone on the balcony, he is holding her hand. She thinks that’s how he managed to get her there. She wonders why this dark God is out here with her.
There had only ever been one boyfriend. He’d been a few inches shorter, and the one kiss they’d snuck had been in his parent’s carport. With little more experience than her, it took a few minutes to get their noses placed right. When they had that sorted and their lips had touched, his Mum was spotted, watching through the kitchen window. Not a great success.
She knows he’s going to kiss her. Slightly naïve, but not stupid, she knows this kiss is not going to be like the last one, this boy-man has experience. She crosses her legs to stop them shaking. She wants him to kiss her, just to shut her up, stop her from talking nonsense. But…she feels…fear. What if she misses? Makes a fool of herself. Maybe her breath smells. Will he use his tongue?
She need not have worried. He knows what he is doing. Slowly, very slowly he pulls her in. One hand holds her body; the other nestles one side of her head. His palm draws her into the curve of it. Eyes closed, she feels his cheek slide down hers until his lips rest against her neck. His breath comes in warm circles against her skin, his lips barely disturbing the tiny hairs there.
Turning her head against the roughness of his skin, the softness of his lips moves in the direction of hers. Gently, like a dragonfly’s wings he lands. Once, twice, repeatedly touching and moving away, he kisses her. Then his lips come down on hers.
Technically this was not her first kiss. Yet, she always remembers it so. Even when she forgets his name.