First KissJun 12, 2002 Write an essay on this topic.
Popular Products in MusicThe Bottom Line The first kiss is not always the best kiss.
It was cold that night, sixty-seven years ago. It was cold, but not as cold as it had been. It’s funny how I can remember every thing so vividly when it was such a long time ago. It was October 25, 1935 to be exact, and it was three days before my 14th birthday.
We had left Grandma and Grandpa’s place where our family had waited out the depression. When President Roosevelt instituted the WPA, my father had got a job working on the different projects in South Dakota that required a civil engineer. My brother was in college in Vermillion, and my sister had married. So my mother and father and I moved the first time to a little town near Pierre. I was sort of lonely. I didn’t have many friends – new town –new school – not very pretty, at least not if compared to my sister who was considered to be beautiful – and she was. I made the best of it. I have always loved the outdoors, and even though I had worn make shift clamp- on ice skates, and learned on the narrow frozen Vermillion river, I had become a pretty good ice skater.
In this little town called Thrombone,(rhymes with trombone,) I saw some neat little frozen ponds where people gathered to skate. The one closest to where I lived had a bench set up near the pond, with a roaring bonfire close by. There was no place to ski, except on one big hill that smoothed out in the barn yard of a farm, but drift fences had piled the recent snow as high up as five to twenty feet in some places. After the recent blizzard that had caused the sharp drop in temperature, there was a coating of ice on the drifts. High school and a few college kids would go out and ski up and down the snow.drifts. This blizzard had come too early, and people were using up firewood and coal that they had been storing up for winter a month or so before they were ready.
This Saturday I had met some kids who were snowdrift skiing, and they seemed pretty nice. They laughed at my home made barrel stave skis, sanded and waxed, and held to my boots with wide elastic which was firmly glued to the barrel staves. Still, the kids were impressed enough to want to make their own. We ended up as friends, and they told me about the pond nearest to my house where they could go skating after dark, provided the moon was out.
My parents said it was OK (in those days it was safe for a young girl to walk at night) but Mom told me I had to be home by nine o’clock. So I whistled for Gypsy. Gypsy was a stray black and white little terrier type dog that had belonged to my brother. He had adopted me as his owner when Russ went off to college..
At the skating pond , a couple of the girls were there and they waved to me, but didn’t come over. They were both skating with partners. It looked like the ice was smooth and beautiful. I tugged off my boots, and put on my sister’s old shoe skates. They fit pretty well over heavy wool socks. Although the boots were worn and scruffy, they were a whole lot better then the old clamp-ons I had always used before. I had my brothers old sheep skin coat that he had worn some ten years earlier, and I tucked my hair under a knit hat that covered my ears. I was ready.
Oh, the ice was good. One round and it seemed almost as though I were floating. Kids were laughing and falling all around me, but I felt that I was all alone, gliding over a pool of moonlight as it reflected on the ice. I did a couple of whirls, and tried a small jump that worked beautifully. This was pure joy.
“Hi, Gingy”, a voice broke into my reverie. It was a boy – and he knew my secret nickname. I had always wanted a nickname, but my mother had never allowed it. Grandpa called me Gingy because he was the only one who dared oppose my Mom. I looked up – I was sort of short, and most of the kids were taller then me. This kid was tall. The top of my head came to the top of his shoulder. Then I gasped, and the ice suddenly got too slippery to stand on.
This kid was Jack Auster. He was the star quarterback who had been leading the school football team to the State Finals. He was the best looking boy in the school, and the most popular. He was a SENIOR. And he was talking to me. He had even called me by my secret nickname.
I stuttered. “H-hi” I said. “How did you know my nickname. Grandpa’s the only one who calls me that.”
‘I know, I heard him.. I guess he came up with your family to help you move. My cousin is the moving guy, and he hired me to help move in the furniture. I heard him talking to you. My name’s Jack Auster.”
“I – I know who you are. You play football”.
“Yep, I do. Hey, you wantta skate a couple of laps around the pond with me?”
Without waiting for an answer, he grabbed my hand, and we were skating around the pond in unison. After the first lap, Jack kept upping the pace, and by the time we had made five rounds, we were flying and kids were keeping out of our way.
“Having fun?” Jack asked as we braked for a stop.
“More fun then I ever had in my life”, I blurted, well aware that I should have been more poised about it.
“Yeah? Well, I’m having fun too. Want to try something different?”
“Sure, why not?”
“OK. Can you whirl.?”
“Sure can”, I said, and demonstrated a fast twirl.”
“Good. Can you skate backwards?”
“I don’t know. I’ll try” I moved out and skated backwards half way around the pond, and then back to Jack. It was easy.
“Yep, you really are a skater. Let’s dance. Do you know the song called Josephine?”
“I know the tune, but I don’t think I know the words.”
“I can’t remember the words, either. But I can hum the tune. Are you ready?
“I am ready, “ and Jack put his arm around my waist in the dancer’s position. He hummed, and we were off. We ice danced up a storm that night. We ran on the skates, he would fling me out, and I would whirl. Sometimes we went forward, and sometimes we went backward, always following Jack’s lead, and always in time to the tune Jack was humming.
As we were finishing the song, we were both surprised that the other skaters had formed a ring around us, and were clapping and whistling. Jack grinned. He really had a nice smile. He strutted forward, and gave them an elegant bow. Then he pulled me forward, and I bobbed, smiling like a contented cat.
We started another easy lap around the pond, when suddenly Jack let go of my hand, and stumbled. He landed on his back side, and I laughed out loud.
Jack didn’t move for a moment, then put his head in his hands, and suddenly toppled over.
Ohmygosh, he’s hurt, and I’m standing here laughing. I dropped to my knees, “Are you all right? Where are you hurting.? Did you break something? I’m sorry I laughed. I’ll get you some help.” I was stuttering again in my concern.
His hand snaked out, and he grabbed the front of my jacket. It happened so fast that I landed on top of him without realizing how I had got there.
“Laugh at me, will you”, he teased. Then he pulled the old knit hat off my head. Pulling me down, he gave me a quick little kiss on my cold nose. We both sat up, laughing.
“You are a s-stinker”, I gasped. “I really thought you were hurt.”
“And you are pretty”, he said. “Kind of cute pretty, but pretty nevertheless.”
“No I’m not”, I said. “I know that. But my sister is really pretty. She is beautiful. You should see her.”
“I don’t want to see her. I’m looking at you. You should never hide that hair of yours. It is so soft, and light, and beautiful” He pulled the knit cap back on my head, leaving my long hair streaming. As we got to our feet, he said “You look good in the moonlight.” As we started the lap skate around the ring, Jack started to sing softly “Moonlight becomes you”, glide, turn, “It goes with your hair,” a backward turn, “You certainly know” a skip, “the right thing to wear” He must have forgotten the rest of the words because from that point on he hummed the melody, and we slowly danced around the edge of the frozen pond. It was heaven – and I was mesmerized by the music, the pond, and the moon shining through the giant pine trees .
We were both surprised when the owner of the pond came out with a big red bull horn and announced, “It is now ten minutes before nine o’clock. Get your gear, and start for home. The fire gets doused at nine, and I want all of you cleared out by that time.”
“Ohmigosh, I told my Mom I would be home by nine. I think my dog has already gone”. I skated for the bench where I had left my boots. Jack knelt down, and unlaced my skates and pulled them off my feet. I shoved my feet into my boots, and Jack pulled off his skates and put on his boots too.
“Don’t worry about the pup leaving”, he said. “I’ll walk you home.”
“Thanks, Jack, that is, if it isn’t out of your way”.
“It’s not,” he said, and we started the walk home.
We didn’t talk much. He asked me if I liked the town, and I told him it was OK. He asked what it was like where I lived before and I said it was OK. Then I looked up at him. “Jack – In three days it’s my birthday. Would you like to come over for some birthday cake?”
Jack hesitated. My heart did a little nervous jump. Was I being too bold.?
I remembered one of my Mothers clichés – “Bold girls and fat hens – both will come to some bad end” and “Boys don’t like girls who chase them – they think they are easy” – Had I been bold? It seemed ages before he answered me. “Gosh, Gingy, I don’t know. That makes it on Tuesday, and we have a game Wednesday night. I don’t know – tell you what – I’ll call you.”
We were almost to the block where I lived, when Jack suddenly pulled me back. “Isn’t that your house with the porch light on?” he asked. “And isn’t that your Dad sitting on the front steps?”
Oh my gosh, how embarrassing. “Yes,” I said. “I’m afraid it is. I’m sorry.”
“Don’t worry about it, kid. He hasn’t seen us yet, so let’s just step back here for a minute.” He pulled me back behind a tall hedge in front of somebody’s house. Then he slipped his arms around me inside of my sheepskin jacket.
His fingertips lightly brushed my budding breast, although I was sure that was unintentional. Then he tipped my head up – and (sigh) he was kissing me. What was I supposed to do now? In the movies the girls always put their arms around the man’s neck, so that is what I did, as he hugged me so close I could feel the muscles in his chest. I felt his tongue brush over my teeth, and it felt good. I pursed my lips a little and tried to kiss him back, but suddenly his tongue was in my mouth. Ugh – I started to gag. I pulled away, afraid I would gag or maybe spit up on him. “Jack,” I said – my voice and hands shaking. “We’ve gotta go. My Mom - My Dad – if they find out – we gotta go.” Jack said, “Hey it’s all right, little Ginger Moonlight. We’ll go.” He brushed an escaped lock of hair back , and gave me a quick gentle closed mouth kiss on the lips. “Let’s go”, he said.
When we got home, Dad was firm.
“Virginia,” he announced. “Your mother and I expected you home a half hour ago. Gypsy has been home a good twenty minutes . Your Mother is worrying herself sick.”
“Sorry, Daddy. We were having so much fun, I didn’t know what time it was. This is my friend who volunteered to walk me home when I couldn’t find Gypsy.”
Jack stepped forward, arm stretched out to shake. “I’m Jack Auster, Sir. I’m afraid I made your daughter late. She is a wonderful skater, and the time passed without me realizing it.”
“It’s all right, son,” said my father, shaking Jack’s hand. “I would like to ask you in for some hot chocolate, but my wife is not feeling well.”
“Think nothing of it, Sir. I have to be getting home myself. My folks are like you – they worry when I am not home when they think I should be.” He turned to me. “I will call you, Virginia”. He said, and he was gone, heading down the street with long, quick strides.
Virginia? Not Gingy” Was it because my father was waiting for me like I was eight years old?
“Now don’t rile your mother tonight, Virginia.” Said my father. “You know how nervous she is.”
“I know”, I said. “Tonight, tomorrow, and every day and every night. Don’t worry, Dad. I’ll go straight upstairs to bed.”
I did, too. I was too happy to deal with my mother’s menopause tantrums. I knew – with a certainty – that I was in love, and nothing was going to spoil it.
I irritated my mother the next day, Sunday. I wouldn’t go to church, and I barely nibbled at the Sunday roast. I wouldn’t get out of sight and reach of the telephone. Why was he waiting so long to call?
That night there was another snow storm, and the schools were closed on Monday. Again, I waited. I did what chores my mother gave me quickly and half- heartedly – listening constantly for that ring. Maybe he was snowed in somewhere and couldn’t get to the phone.
Tuesday was my birthday. I looked for Jack in the halls that day. I looked everywhere, but I didn’t see him . Maybe he was sick. Maybe when he fell Saturday he had really hurt himself. I was in love – and I was worried. Where was he? After school, my Mother claimed she had a headache, so I fixed supper. I also baked myself a cake. Dad secretly slipped a five dollar bill in my hand. “Mom and I are going to Pierre tomorrow”, he said. “And we’ll get your birthday present then. Meantime, the five dollars should hold you. And happy birthday, Virginia”
I slapped frosting on the cake I had taken out of the oven before it cooled. It was a little lop sided, but it was a cake. Then I hurried to clean up the kitchen before Jack came. I knew he would come. He said he would let me know, and he didn’t – so that meant he was coming. I was in love. I could hardly wait to see him. At 8:30 I called the phone company to find out why the phone was broken. It wasn’t. They tested it and it worked perfectly.
At 9:00 Mom, Dad and I had a small piece of birthday cake, and Mom even wished me a happy birthday which should have made me feel better, but didn’t.
At school after first period, I finally saw Jack. He was standing with a couple of football buddies, and three of the cheeer leaders. He noticed me staring at him, and gave me a casual wave. Then he turned back to his friends. I saw him put his arm around the lovely brunette, and whisper something in her ear. She reached up and gave him a kiss on the lips like it was something she did all the time.
I turned as quickly as I could, and went into the girl’s lavatory. Fortunately the first stall was empty. I sat on the toilet seat, and the tears spilled out – and before I knew it I was sobbing. I bit my lower lip trying to be quiet, but those sobs came out with a loud ripping sound like they were being torn out of brown paper.
The second period bell rang, but I didn’t move. I kept crying. Somebody knocked on the stall door and wanted to know if I was all right, and more loud sobs came out in answer. I don’t know just how long I sat there crying. I knew that if I didn’t stop soon, I would probably pass out.
Someone came into the girl’s room, and there was a sharp knocking on the door of my stall.
“Virginia, This is Mrs. Miller, your guidance counselor. I know you are in there, and I want you to come out now. One of your friends told me that you were in here, and in trouble. You have to come out and talk to me.”
I didn’t answer because I was trying hard to keep back the sobs. Someone entered the room, and I heard Mrs. Miller tell her to use the girl’s room at the end of the hall because this one was closed for a little while.
She knocked again, and I knew I had to come out. I stood up on shaking legs, and opened the door. Mrs. Miller was standing there with a few paper towels that she had soaked in cold water. She handed a couple of them to me, and I held them against my flushed cheeks, and then my swollen eyes. My lower lip was bleeding where I had bitten it in an effort to still the sobs, and my nose was red and running,
I glimpsed my face in the bathroom mirror, and almost started crying again.
"I want to help you, Virginia”, said Mrs. Miller. “Do you want to tell me what’s wrong?”
“I – uh – I have cramps”, I said. “I would like to go home.”
“Cramps? And they are that painful? Hmm. Well, I will call your parents.”
“No, don’t do that. My parents aren’t home. But I have a key, and I'll be all right. I stay home alone a lot.”
Mrs. Miller looked hard at me. She made a decision. “All right, I am going to write you a pass to go home. But I want you to promise you will come in to see me for a private chat. Will you do that?”
“All right,” I said, but I knew I wouldn’t. I wasn’t going to share my broken heart with her or anyone else if I could help it.
At home, Gypsy greeted me with tail wagging so hard that it wagged the whole back half of his short body. When he sensed that something was wrong, he quit wagging, and gave me a doggy kiss on my hand with his cool wet tongue. His love almost started me crying again, but I held it back. Instead I bent down, and hugged Gypsy. I scratched him behind his ears, and finally went into the kitchen and got him a doggy treat.
I decided to go to my room and lie down for awhile, for I felt exhausted.. Broken hearts can rob you of night time sleeping, and make you tired during the day. My monthly menses had started, and this time I was sure the dripping blood was the result of my breaking heart.
I went upstairs, and my mind kept reliving that glorious evening on the frozen pond. I knew my tears had ended, and I would never again cry over a boy. I accepted whatever fate had in store for me. I knew then why Jack hadn’t called. I knew it was because he never really intended to call. And I knew positively that he never would call.. He never would. He never would. Sweet Jesus, I knew then that he never would...
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