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J. Williams, "A Kiss"

It was early May and her name was Lena Callaghan. My sister Tasha made me do it. She had known for a long time that I had developed an embarrassingly obvious crush on her long time friend. If I didn’t know any better, I would swear on a stack of bibles that my sister’s only goal was to completely embarrass me in front of her friends and, worst of all, the girl of my many wet dreams and pleasant fantasies. Lena and I started as friends, but before friendship, we were nothing. We weren’t even cordial to one another. We just had nothing to say to each other for whatever reason at the time.

Lena confided in my sister on my birthday in 1995 that she had in fact developed a little crush on me as well. My sister was never good at keeping a secret. She instantly ran to me and told me what Lena had said. Since I shared Lena’s feeling for me, I decided to ask her out and I picked the perfect time to do so—her birthday. She thought I was sweet, comparing my asking her out on her birthday to being proposed to on Valentines Day. I hadn’t made the connection but I didn’t care. I got her!

We were both fourteen years old and in our second year of high school. We hadn’t ever had a relationship before each other so we had no one to live up to and no one to be better than. It was beautiful. Weeks had gone by after we started to date and Lena and I had done nothing more than hold hands. That was it. My sister noticed that we were shy and afraid to give each other as much as a kiss on the cheek. She in her own way tested my manhood and I wasn’t happy.

It was offensive, it was embarrassing and I felt insulted. After several minutes of back and forth bantering, I sat down on the bed next to Lena, grabbed her shoulder and turned her to me; then I planted one on her. I threw her down on the bed, gingerly and kissed her on the lips for nearly forty-five seconds.

Lena gave me my first kiss. I’ll always remember that and I’ll always love her for that. Because of that kiss, I had confirmed what I had known for a very long time but refused to admit to myself - I was gay.

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