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Rose, I was 15-years-old

His name was Ishmael McGillicutty. (It wasn’t really. But I need to use his full name. No initials or nicknames. First name. Last name. That’s the name of my first kiss.) His hair was tomatoey red, and his eyes were asparagus green. A lovely, fresh green salad was my sweet Ishmael McGillicutty.

I could tell something was amiss when I would catch him looking at me. Which is why I didn’t ever look at him. Afraid to see what I saw when I saw him looking. And when he kissed me, he caught me by surprise. He tasted like strawberry bubblegum. His lips were very very soft and I had my hand on his waist, which was narrow and young. Though I suppose mine was, too, at the time. And when we stopped the kiss I didn’t look at him at all. I looked at his shirt - which was a pale, pale blue from too much washing and wearing. Until he lifted my chin and made me look into his eyes. And he said something to me. Something of which I have no recollection at all. Just those dusty asparagus-colored eyes is all I remember.

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