I was 15 and had been dating a boy, John, for a bit, probably a couple of months. I had trouble with physical contact then, as I do now; even things like holding hands made (make . . .) me nervous, so we most definitely had not kissed.
John’s best friend was dating my best friend Shea, so we had a “double date” at her house one evening. After watching a movie (“Marley and Me”), we sent the boys home; they, 16, had ridden together. Shea and I saw them off, and we hadn’t even made it inside when the truck circled back into the driveway, and her boyfriend, in a thick southern accent, hollered out the window, “I hear someone didn’t get a kiss tonight!” Lovely. So I walked up to the truck, and Shea and her boy made their way behind the truck, out of sight, to do their own kissing.
John and I somehow managed to kiss once; “That was awkward,” I said immediately. So we tried again. “Nope, still awkward.” So we tried once more, and, finally, it was enjoyable, PTL.
I loved John through all of our high school years, the way kids love. He was good to me and to my family. He was comfortable to me, physically and emotionally. He allowed me a glimpse into what vulnerability minus anxiety feels like.
I think that, one day, I will experience the grown-up version of love.