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Amanda Green, "My First Kiss (And Maybe His, Too)"

When I was maybe five, this boy my mom babysat knocked teeth with me while we played house. Some people might call that a kiss, but I didn't think it counted.

What did count was that 10 years after a boy in Batman underpants tried to kiss me, Justin actually did. He attended a rival high school where we'd met at a weekend performing arts tournament. He'd competed in One-Act Play and Extemporaneous Speaking; I was the reigning Lincoln-Douglas Debate district champion and a mediocre Poetry entrant.

Between competitions, Justin delivered his smooth line: "I've been wanting to ask you something all day – do you have a phone?"

I sarcastically responded, "Me? A phone? What on Earth is that?!" I was hard on the guy. The truth is, I had classmates who didn't have a home phone. I lived in rural Texas in a town with a weeklong school holiday in honor of the livestock show.

Justin was the first boy who'd shown any romantic interest in me. He also happened to be very cute in that all-American strip mall kind of way. In case you're wondering, he was as good at acting as I was at poetry. The entire school was abuzz when I brought my handsome stranger to the home baseball game for the sole purpose of showing him off. He pretended not to notice.

Justin's school beat mine at the game that night, but I didn't care. After ice cream cones at Dairy Queen, we sat in his pick-up truck in the parking lot of an insurance agency. The Top 40 radio station we loved spat out ditty after ditty. Justin looked into my eyes in a terrifying way, as if he were imitating something on his mom's soaps.

I knew he was going to kiss me, and I didn't know how to kiss back. I also knew I would never admit the latter. We held hands for a bit and he leaned in for a peck during "Uninvited" by Alanis Morissette.

I thought the song was an ironic touch. I concentrated on it as Justin's tongue wiggled past my lips and teeth, bumping my gums and I think, even my uvula, as we kissed for the first time. It was dreadful, and now I suspect it was his first, too. At least, that would be a good excuse.

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