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Elizabeth McKenna, New York

The bottle was spun countless times. Each time it stopped, I braced myself, preparing for that awkward moment. I always breathed a sigh of relief when I was not picked because no one listened to the "no tongue" policy and they were frenching left and right. Finally, the bottle pointed in my direction.

David Ram was the lucky guy. In that moment, I began to see him as the disgusting kid he really was. Everything about him was a muted tan colored, from his shellackedhair to his shoes. The air felt hot as we crawled across the concrete space that divided us. Pebbles and dust dug into my hands and knees. I focused on that rather than on his sweaty face coming closer and closer to mine. I could smell his cologne that was put on with hands too anxious for the "spin the bottle" part of the evening. It was mildly spicy and musky with just a hint of jerk. I think the scent might have been "Charlie," the cheap brand sold at Longs' drug store. I wanted to barf once I smelled it.

The thought of his tongue shoving its way into the back of my throat made me gag more than his cologne did. I was dizzy with the entire unpleasant sensory overload.

He closed his eyes as he pushed forward. I was shocked to see that he did not seem repelled in any way. In fact, he seemed eager as hell. I would never have guessed that the shy, nervous kid who couldn’t bring himself to talk in class would be that perverted as to want to kiss a girl.

In the moments before we were supposed to kiss, I resolved to not let it happen and jerked my head around when he was close enough that I could feel his breath on my neck. Even the slightly moist smack on the side of my face felt wrong and awful.

I heard a girl say, "It's not that big of a deal. It’s just a kiss."

How was it not a big deal? He was nasty.

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