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My First Love

“Are you prude?”

This immature, awkward, and offensive question was unfortunately the line I gave before I got my first kiss. Coming from a 7th grade boy who had never heard the word prude until about an hour ago, and didn’t really know what it meant, this might have seemed cute. My girlfriend who stood about an inch or two taller than me leaned over and planted one right on my lips. It was in the B quad of Valley View Jr High School during our 5-minute break between classes. I turned around and strutted to my next class while the Bee Gees hit song Stayin Alive played in my head. ” We’ll you can tell by the way I use my walk I’m a woman’s man no time to talk . . .”

Later that afternoon was a full on make out session on my parents couch. Hands on the waist? Maybe one in her hair? Do I open my eyes? Hers are closed. I’ll keep’em closed. Do we keep doing this tongue going around in circles thing? Should I mix it up a bit? How do people get hickies anyways? Do they just sit there and suck on someone’s neck for long time? That sounds kinda cool. Is she getting bored? She tastes like cherries. I’ve never really enjoyed the flavor but I fuckin love it now. God I can’t wait to tell everyone about this!

I had my friend Michelle Wernli to thank for this milestone in my life. About 3 weeks before this she had given me a little card in our History class.
What? Michelle’s 13th birthday
When? April 5th 7p.m – 10 p.m.
Where? 1493 Nelda Ct

It was a pre-made card with blank lines for the host of the event to fill in the information. She wrote it all in a purple glitter pen and big bubbly 12 year-old girl writing. I did a quick pole that day to see who was going before I confirmed my attendance. I didn’t know her outside of class and I was worried I might be the only guy/ boy there.

I arrived fashionably late at 7:30 with a wrapped present under my arm and a card in my hand. It was a typical Jr high 1997 birthday party. Balloons covered the ground and streamers were taped to the ceiling with clear scotch tape. There was a long table with bowls of chips, pretzels, and an untouched vegetable platter. To the right of the table was a cooler filled with Pepsi, Coca Cola, Mountain dew, and Dr Pepper. I remember being impressed with the name brands. Most parties the parents went with the Vons Select colas to save money. In the corner was a stereo system that had large speakers and could hold up to 3 compact discs at a time. It also had two cassette players that had mixed tapes in them. In the middle of all this was a big empty carpeted space, which looked to be intended for dancing. People were gathered on the sides next to the walls. No one stepped out on the dance floor area and if they did they would walk hastily across with a very purposeful manner. As if they were on an important mission to grab another soda from across the room and they couldn’t be distracted by anything like music or dancing. The night was young however and this soon changed.

I met all of Michelle’s friends for the first time that night. Ella Millar, the girl mentioned at the beginning of this story was one of them. I had never seen her before and was quite surprised to find we went to the same school. All the girls gave me a nickname that night which stuck for maybe a few weeks. “The Dancer”. Not because I had sweet moves but simply because I was the only guy who actually did dance. This may not seem like a big deal now, but at that crucial stage in life where you’re just starting to socialize with the opposite sex, stepping out on the dance floor is a considerable risk. I asked Michelle to put on KBIG’s 104.3 Disco Saturday Night. I went in the middle of the room and did my best Travolta impersonation. It broke the tension and led for a very fun night. We danced goofily to disco music, then Michelle put on the song “What if God was One of Us” and I had my first slow dance with Ella.

So anyways that’s how I met her, lets get back to us making out. Or as I should say scamming which is what we called it at the time. I’m not really sure if that term was junior high thing, a 1997 thing, or a southern California thing. And it was always unclear to me what exactly scamming was. I thought it meant you got a little boob action but other people told me it was just kissing. Well anyways we’re making out and if she had boobs I would have definitely gone for them. There’s a talking dinosaur on the television singing about simple mathematic equations. That’s right baby I put Barney on. This was part of my game. Watch something really obnoxious and crappy so you have nothing else to do but make out. We watched a lot of Barney that spring. I sure do love that show.

When you’re in junior high and you’ve gotten to first base with your girlfriend you want everyone to know about it. There’s kind of a one-up mentality between the couples. We would hold hands and walk between classes. We’d kiss goodbye literally every time we parted. About to start 2nd period, small make out sesh, just finished 2nd period, small make out sesh, just finished the last class of the day, huge make-out sesh. It was without a doubt the most affectionate relationship I’ve ever been in. And if you add up all the hours we spent kissing it would probably be a higher number than I have with any other girl.

This went on for about a year spanning my 7th and 8th grade careers. I broke up with her over the summer because I wanted to play the field, literally. But we reunited at the beginning of 8th grade. Eventually I started to get cocky. This was my first girlfriend and she was smokin hot. I started assuming I could get other girls that were equally hot if not hotter. Clearly I was delusional. Things started to get bad and we grew distant. The notes we wrote to each other in class went from 3 a day to 1 a week. Until finally, after finishing my 5th period English class she gave me THE NOTE. I could tell what it was by the way she handed it to me. My stomach began to turn as I unfolded the piece of notebook paper with my name on it. I read it out loud with my friend Ryan listening. I scoffed at the idea of her breaking up with me. “Thank god!” I said, pretending to be relieved. I saved, and still have every note she ever wrote me with the exception of this one. I crumpled it up after reading it and threw it in the trash as a gesture of indifference. I gave Ryan one of those smiles people make when they are trying to prevent themselves from crying. We walked to our 6th period class and I never talked to her again.

here is a picture of us dancing at Michelle’s party the night we met.


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