I remember the first time we kissed. We were 5 years old and you ran up to me once your sister left me in her room, you kissed me hard and fast on the mouth, then ran away as fast as you'd appeared.
The next kiss, we were room mates in our apartment. You were broken hearted because a girl in college had turned you down. Writing in your notebook, seated on the floor of the balcony you looked so sad, so vulnerable. I hugged you, ran my fingers through your soft hair and kissed you gently on your forehead.
The 3rd, it was your 19th birthday. I had taken you out to celebrate. After, we rode the elevator back to our apartment laughing and staggering out to our door. In a fit of giggles, we lay on the floor, my head resting on your arm. I rolled over, putting my face in your neck and kissed the warm spot beneath your ear. You rubbed my back and said you had class in the morning and went to bed.
The 4th kiss, I was engaged to another man. We met for drinks and you held my hand. We behaved like a new couple, affectionately touching one another and casually flirting. When it was time to go, you walked me to the cab. We hugged as we always did and your arms held me tighter; your head tilting slightly to the left to come in for a kiss. Softly, your lips touched mine and your tongue shyly slipped past my lips. I wrapped my arms around your neck, wanting to bring our bodies as close as we could. The snow swirled around us and I melted in the cold night air. I cried at home that night, not out of guilt but of wanting you.
Our 5th was the next day when we agreed to meet at your place to talk about what happened. You beckoned me to sit with you, lifting your arm offering me the warmth of your body. I curled into you, fitting into that space you made for me, securing me with your arm draped around me. Your hand caressed the skin on my arm as though it were more instinct than thought. We kissed, making out like teenagers at a party. You whispered that we could go to your room and with no hesitation I led you there. As we lay on the bed, kissing, touching, slowly peeling clothing away, the world faded away. I felt your hardness against my leg, while your hand slid between my legs. It came to a stop when you pulled away for that one moment and we realized what we were doing. “Prettying yourself up?” you asked as I redid my hair, preparing to go back to him again.
The 6th kiss was almost two years later when we ran into each other downtown. We hugged and kissed one another on the cheek as though the time between us wasn't filled with silence. I told you I had left him, and you already knew.
The 7th was exciting, nervous and interjected with giggles. You had come over with a movie not knowing a male friend had come to visit. Feeling the awkwardness of his visit, you made subtle nuances to claim me as yours but also sparing his feelings for my comfort. When he went to the bathroom, you grabbed me quickly bringing me to you, meeting with our mouths. We’d giggle with our secrecy when he returned to the room.
A week later, we kissed again. We sat apart from one another watching a movie with another friend, stealing secretive glances with the excitement palpable between us. I walked you to the door, and you pulled me through as I hugged you goodbye. You pushed me up against the wall, holding me with your kiss. Your hands sought the feel of my skin under my shirt as your mouth found my neck. I pushed you against the wall on the other side of the hallway. My hand found your erection and I fell to the floor to have it in my mouth. We had to stop when one of my neighbors started to come down the hall.
Our 9th happened a few hours later. I called you to tell you it was unfair to not follow through. You were over in minutes. I quietly led you to the darkness of my room, asking you to be quiet, not to wake my friend. Reaching up to your neck I brought your face to me to kiss you. I led you to my bed, removing our clothes as we moved. You gently brought yourself down to me, my legs spread to welcome you inside me. Your body trembled and I fell in love with your boyish nervousness. I guided you in me and for the first and last time we made love. We both came quickly and laughed nervously when done. I told you I loved you and you left.
The 10th and final kiss was years later at my wedding. You weren't invited but there you were. Your arms circled me, bringing me to you, you told me that I looked beautiful, and that my husband was a lucky man. You kissed my forehead and walked away.
We haven’t seen each other since then, though we’ve talked. I cannot love you anymore. I wasted too much time loving a boy in the evolution of our kisses, when the boy could never admit he loved me back.