'Twas but a kiss
It was the summer between my junior and senior year in high
school. There was a girl, Diane. She was a year older than
me, a cheerleader, a dancer, beautiful brown eyes, quick to
smile, very intelligent, and not like the other girls - more
mature it seemed. Less attitude, less image, more real.
And completely unattainable. A Goddess. Light shined upon her everywhere she walked.
Long before this, in 7th and 8th grade, I can remember looking at her with awe as she hung around with the popular crowd. Mind you, I was no dork: I was the do-nothing Senior Class Vice President. But still, I was never "in" the popular crowd. Diane wasn't really "in" the popular crowd, either. She soared above it.
In my junior year, I started playing drums with a contemporary Christian music group containing some extremely talented singers and musicians from my school. We even got on TV once, which means we were as good as a local contemporty Christian music band can be. As luck would have it, Diane was close friends with a few members of the band. To my surprise and extreme joy, she would often hang out with us.
Although Diane and I were both inherently good people, we just weren't the "Holy Roller" type. The bandmates were great fun. I loved being with them. But I really wanted more than anything to just play drums. Diane shared the same inclinations. We loved everything but the hardcore religious stuff. And so, neither of us being totally "in" the clique, she and I always ended up next to each other in some way.
Like I said, I never did much care for the group circle prayer sessions, but it gave me an excuse to hold her hand. I always felt a bit guilty. They were giving thanks for being blessed with a house over their heads and the ability to sing and spread the word through their music and Amy Grant covers. I was thanking God Almighty for being able to smell her perfume!
I noticed how she talked with me more and more. I noticed how we always ended up sitting with each other in all the social gatherings. But I never once imagined that this girl, this Goddess, this dream of dreams who I've admired and placed on a pedestal for so many years would ever consider being with me in the romantic sense.
I don't know how it happened. We decided to share a ride to band practice. While sitting outside, purposely being late because maybe we'd miss the 20-minute-long hand-holding circle prayer, we kissed.
It was a short kiss. No tongue. Just a leaned-towards-each-other kiss. And I thought, "NO WAY DID DIANE AND I JUST KISS!!!"
And we kissed again. "OH MY GAWD!!" I was screaming inside - exploding, shaking, 6.7 on the Richter Scale - but somehow, on the outside, I was able to maintain control and keep it simple.
I could feel her face, her hair. I traced her cheek and eyebrow so lightly she said it tickled. We looked into each other's eyes. On the exterior, I was gentle, affectionate. Inside, more screaming, "I AM FREAKING TOUCHING HER FACE!!!"
Just simple, gentle kissing. I can still feel her braces with my lips as I did then. I could just barely sense that she wore them. How did I ever remain calm? "MY LIPS FEEL DIANE'S BRACES!!"
Thirty feet away, a group of Christians were giving thanks to God for allowing such great friendships to develop. "HER NECK!! I AM ACTUALLY KISSING HER NECK!!" It couldn't have lasted more than 5-10 minutes since we were already late to rehearsal. But for the first time in my life I truly understood eternal bliss.
Diane - THE Diane - Goddess - five years - unattainable worship - kissed me. SHE kissed ME.
They say Jesus walked on water. That's nothing! When we finally decided to go in, I FLOATED to the doorway. I defied gravity! Who needs water to support their body? NOT ME! My feet never touched the ground. All I could feel were my tingling lips.
Had a blind man begged me for sight, he would have it! Had thousands looked at me with hunger, I would have fed them with a few fish and some loaves of bread. I was in heaven. I was in bliss. My lips were actually tingling from Diane's braces!
She started to knock on the door, but I grabbed her hand, and just held her for a bit. She leaned back into me. I could smell her hair, her perfume. My arms wrapped around her. I simply could not believe how incredibly wonderful I felt. I had to tell her. I had to prolong this moment.
So I whispered in her ear, softly so those on the other side of the door couldn't hear, "They are inside, praying, giving thanks, asking for eternal heavenly bliss. It's funny... God has answered THEIR prayers and given them to ME!"
'Twas but a kiss.
A kiss that I still enjoy even to this day.