“Kiss me,” your words slurred out.
“Why?” I said catching you as you shifted your weight.
“Because I’m horny. I don’t know. Just do it.” Your eyes were glossy, “kiss me,” you leaned in.
“No,” I said turning your head.
“It’s not like it’s going to mean anything.”
“That’s why I don’t want to do it.” You paused after I said that. Your body was so warm as you relaxed all your weight on to my frame, “it should mean something.”
“Why?” Your face was nesting in the slight curve of my neck.
“Because why are we going to do it if it doesn’t mean anything?”
“Because,” you began kissing my neck, “It’s fun.” Your lips were climbing towards my mouth. The warmth of your saliva touching my skin was making me dizzy.
“Stop,” the alcohol glazed your green eyes; you looked like a doll with the combination of your flushed cheeks.
“I want you.” You shattered that innocent look with a sexual gaze, “you can’t keep me at arm’s length and expect anything to change. Kiss me.”
“No,” I hated saying that. I wanted you. I wanted your body closer than it already was. I wanted our skin to mix colors. I wanted every part of my body tangled in you. I wanted to kiss you.
Disappointed, you stepped towards the door and stopped. Your hair was a mess. You were always so concerned about it. Your body began to sway side to side, you were dancing. Well, that’s at least the best I could describe it.
I wondered how you heard the music. We were upstairs in Rebecca’s house. Even with the crowd of people below I couldn’t hear a thing breach the bedroom’s door. As far as I could tell, at that moment, It was just you, me and a pile of coats cluttering the bed.
“Emma,” you said breaking the silence, “do you think I’m weird?”
“After tonight…” I stepped around the bed towards you, “I’m not sure who’s the crazy one.”
“I said ‘weird’! Not crazy,” your pitch raised in protest.
“I never knew you were so touchy on the subject.”
“I think I’m drunk.” You dropped your body on to the bed. I figured you gave up any hope of progress for the night.
“Why did you drink so much?” I knelt down beside you, trying to meet your eye-level.
“I don’t know…” That innocence returned to your face, “nervous.” You lifted your legs and curled your body on the pile of coats.
“About what?” Before I could even follow through–
“Stop being so clueless.” You placed your face in your hand as you leaned towards me with a pout.
“Lee, I’m sorry,” I wish I could’ve but I couldn’t help being confused about everything. I waited so long to have you alone like this. To spill every feeling I had into your ear but I felt… scared. I waited so long I began to doubt myself. Was this the alcohol or was this the “real” Lee?
“You’re always sorry,” you said. You seemed to have lost interest in me as you began pilfering the pockets of the nearby coats. Loose change and crumbled wrappers fell to the floor. “Someone had high hopes tonight.” You lifted a condom from one of the pockets and tossed it towards the floor.
That black and silver square stared at me, “SEX,” it was yelling. I turned to you and you seemed so unaffected about it. I kept thinking you must’ve had sex plenty of times. Were you that type of girl? What type of girl were you?
“I’m bored,” you pushed the coats from the bed and stretched your body across it. You looked like a cat. You arched your back with a stretch. Your body pushed tightly against your thin shirt. The white fabric clung to your body as the text became distorted. I was still kneeling as I watched your breasts squeeze in the fabric. That perfect arc. That sexual bend of your back… I’ve been trying forever to see it again.
“What?” You said, suspicious of my stare. You relaxed your body on the bed as you cleared the amber strains of hair from your face. “So why haven’t you asked why I was nervous yet?”
I was caught off guard. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t taking you seriously at all that night. I bit my lip as I tried to retrace our sporadic conversation. “Didn’t I ask you that already?”
“No. You just sorta zoned out. You always do that. It’s so hard to talk to you sometimes.” I felt the same. You were on your back with your knees bent, alternating kicks between your legs, careless of the skirt you were wearing.
“Oh… Well I, uh…” I was far too distracted by your thin legs moving up and down to correct you.
“Are you even listening to me?” You caught my eyes surveying your thighs. “You’re so confusing Emma,” you quickly put your legs down. I was pretty inconsistent wasn’t I? I did want you. I did want to give in. But I didn’t want it to be because we were just bored and horny.
“Why are you all the way over there?” You lifted your head to spot me still kneeling at the foot of the bed.
“I don’t know,” It’s really wasn’t that far…
“Do you even like me Emma?”
“Yeah.” I answered far too quickly.
“I… I don’t get you. You could do whatever you want with me but you’re just quiet and sitting all the way over there in the corner.” It wasn’t that far, and definitely wasn’t a corner. “Why didn’t you drink tonight?”
“I don’t like beer,” I paused as the look on your face didn’t seem satisfied with such a safe answer. “I have to drive home remember?”
“Oh. What time is it?”
“11:34,” I said glancing at the alarm clock near the bed. I figured you were just making conversation, there wasn’t much after that.
It was so quiet. I felt like this was it. I was wrong about you. I was wrong about my feelings. All of this was just too complicated. Your eyes were locked on the ceiling. Your eyelashes fluttered as you fought the weight of the alcohol in your blood. This wasn’t going to work.
I stood and took a deep breath. I headed towards the door in slow and quiet steps. I prayed that you wouldn’t notice, “God, just let her sleep and forget about all this.”
“Can you take me home?”
“Lee… I don’t know. Maybe it’s better that you just sleep things off here.”
“I won’t try anything,” I wasn’t worried about that… “Please,” there it was again. That soft innocent look. You didn’t break it. You just stared at me with that look as if you were begging for more time.
“Hurry up and find your coat.”
The room was so quiet that we never heard the rain that poured outside. The raindrops bounced off the roof of my car; the road was dark and distorted by the rain. You were quiet in the passenger seat. I figured you would be sleeping but your posture was straight and your eyes locked on the road. You kept your promise though, you didn’t try anything. Nor did you say anything.
There was a gentle hum as the radio played quietly in the old car. The volume dial was busted years ago. The sound was so low that the song could’ve been anything. Though the quick beat reminded me of Bowie’s “Modern Love”. “I wished they still played Bowie on the radio,” I thought.
You were still quiet. Your face was lit with the reds and greens from the dashboard console. “Just like a Christmas tree,” I thought. I must’ve laugh to myself as you turned to me with a concerned look.
“Having fun?” Your voice was slightly muffled by the rain. I couldn’t tell if you were annoyed or just being sarcastic. I stayed quiet out of fear of misreading your tone. “I bet you talk to yourself a lot. You always seem off in some adventure in your head. Must be fun. My parents said I never had an imagination.” You paused, “Lee,” you said in a voice I could only guess was mocking your father’s, “You’re all business! You should do more girly things! No boy is going to like a girl who can’t have fun” You returned to your normal voice, “Guess he doesn’t have to worry about the boy thing anything more.”
I think I laughed pretty hard at that point as you grinned proudly at me. “Do your parents know?” I asked.
“No. Hell, sometimes I wonder if I really know.” That wasn’t the answer I was hoping to hear. I sunk back in my thoughts. “Don’t…” You started with a worried look, “Don’t go back hiding in your thoughts. I can’t go with you when you do that. I hate it. I hate when you get quiet because I know your deciphering every little thing. You feel so far away when you do that.”
I couldn’t help it. I started thinking about those words and your behavior all night. It was so easy to criticize you while I hid in my head. I didn’t have to risk anything that way.
“Emma, You’re doing it again.”
“I’m kinda hopeless aren’t I?
“Maybe,” You smiled.
It was quiet and I could hear you giggle as I was drowning in my thoughts again. “So what were you nervous about at Rebecca’s?” I said trying to keep the conversation going.
“You still haven’t figured that out? What are you thinking about all the time then?” Afraid that I would think of a reason you hurried your answer, “You.”
“Yes. How can you think so much and be so stupid Emma?”
“I only think about dirty things.” My response caught you by surprised. I could tell in your face, there was a moment when you thought it was a serious comment.
“I wouldn’t actually doubt that. Girls like you are horribly sexually repressed.”
“That’s why we cling to easy girls like you.” Maybe it was better that I didn’t speak. I regretted those words. But–
“I bet you think very terrible things about me. I’m sure tonight didn’t help either.” You seemed rather at ease with my rude comment.
“I’m just confused that’s all,” I said trying to keep my eyes away from yours.
“I don’t know.”
“Just say me already.”
“Maybe it’s not you.”
“It is,” You were quicker than before. I figured you sobered up some during the drive.
“What do you want me to say?”
“Say what you’re thinking.” I hated it when people said that. I’m a bitch and I just whine all day in my head. If I thought people wanted to hear it I would say it. I must’ve became quiet again since you said, “I think I’m seriously going to have to cut you open just to have a conversation with you.”
“Lee why is it so important that we say anything?” I stopped as the rain forced my attention to the turn in the road, “does it matter?”
“How can you say that?”
“Say that I won’t want to waste time on small talk? It’s stupid.”
“So your idea of a relationship is just sitting in a car saying nothing?”
“This isn’t a relationship.” What was I thinking saying that? I could see your body shut down with those words.
It was quiet, again. I tried guessing the song on the radio but the rain had completely drowned out the volume. 12:21am. The ride home was taking forever. Your face was turned away facing the window. Your amber hair lost its color in the dash’s lights. Still, you were so beautiful. Was that the only reason I wanted you? Was I really that shallow? And then it happened. The red lights began flashing in the rain. That annoying chime as the black and white barriers came slowly down. Of all the times… A train.
I heard you sigh. That trip, that night, it just wouldn’t end. I was close to just driving on to the tracks and letting God do his magic. But we just sat there, quiet, in this old Chrysler as the rapid downpour and train fought for audio supremacy. Your face turned to watch the train, it was so grim. Your lips parted as you silently counted the rail cars. I tried to mimic you in hopes that it would speed time. “1… 2… 3… 5?” I couldn’t keep up.
The train was there for a reason, “You know why I drank so much tonight?”
“You were nervous.” I thought to myself.
“It’s so hard for me. I don’t know what I’m feeling and it’s twisting me up in knots and you’re the only person that can understand but you won’t even talk to me. So I beat myself up, do whatever I can to just get you to look at me. You won’t even sit beside me half the time. You don’t have anything to lose, so why are you the one being so secretive? Why do you get to hide away?” Your breath was fogging up the windshield.
“It’s not that simple. Things aren’t–”
“No. You just didn’t even give this a chance. I’m sorry Emma. I’m not perfect. I am a mess. I’m sorry that you can’t just walk in my life and not expect to change.”
“Lee you don’t even know how you really feel. You can’t expect me to open myself up if you’re not even honest with yourself.”
“Emma! I’m here. I’m the one fighting for this! I’m the one getting hurt!”
“So you’re the victim now? Oh sorry that you decided to play make-believe lesbian and it didn’t work out!”
“What’s wrong with you?”
“I’m not going to be some experiment because you’re bored.”
“Is that what you think?”
“Who cares Lee?”
You were right. God, you were so right that night. Everything was true and I was just trying to deny it because I was afraid. But you were honest. That was how you felt. And you were willing to risk it. I didn’t have that courage. And that damn train. That damn fucking train…
You opened the door and left the car. I felt relieved at first. It was over. But I saw your frame walking away in the mirror. You were so thin in that dark rainy night. Your hair… Why the hell did I keep thinking about your hair? So many stupid things in my head, “What the fuck am I doing?” I put the car in park and exited out the driver’s side.
“Leave me alone Emma!”
“You can’t walk home from here. It’s way too late and–”
“‘Who cares’ right? I’ll be fine, just go! I’m sick of you treating me like crap!” Your pace picked up as you continued to walk away. Maybe it was the lingering alcohol, or was it rage? Either way you lost your balance and fell to the wet pavement. You looked so fragile as your thin body crashed into the ground.
I ran over to help you, to my surprise you were fine. Soaked, but otherwise okay. You were always tougher than I gave you credit for. I knelt beside you as you sat up. That face. That angry, wet, embarrassed and frumpy face; you stared at me and I think for the first time in that night I actually looked at “you”.
“I care.” I brushed your messy hair behind your ear. A few stubborn strains hung just over your eye. Your lip was quivering. I knew you wanted to cry. I knew I was so stupid. I knew we both waited months just to finally have each others’ company. “Don’t cry Lee.”
“You’re a jerk Emma,” It was hard to tell whether it was rain or tears drifting down your cheeks. “I really hate you right now. And it’s not fair because I know tomorrow I’m going to like you again and…” You couldn’t finish that sentence.
“Lee. Just because I’ve been gay longer than you doesn’t mean I’m any good at it. I’m a terrible lesbian.” I was able to force a smile out of you with that.
“I’m sure about you. So please don’t doubt me. I really want to be with you Emma.” You were shivering in the rain. Your skin seem to glow in the tail lights of the car. That girl. That girl in that moment was the most beautiful thing in the world.
“Lee…” I felt so bare siting with you in the rain, “I do care about you. So much. And I just can’t say the right thing sometimes and I’m really emotionally retarded. I’m stubborn, callous, bitchy and pretty much all around a shitty person. And every time I see you smile I keep thinking there has to be a catch. There has to be a reason why this amazing girl would even acknowledge me, let alone, want to be with me. I’m just so scared of you…” I had to stop. We both couldn’t cry.
“Am I really that scary?” Your voice returned to its playful tone. You ran your hand across my face and through my hair. I loved the way you touched me. Even the slightest graze felt divine from you. “Look at me.”
I lifted my eyes to meet yours. Was that how you always felt, so naked and out in the open? Your green eyes were so bright after your tears. It felt forever. It was forever. Then you said, “Kiss me”.
I leaned in, but I stopped. I was still scared of changing, of making this real, of accepting responsibility for my feelings. “Emma,” you pressed your face against mine. Your wet skin… Our lips were so close, “Kiss me.” I closed my eyes. I could feel your breath warming my skin. We kissed.
At some point that train finally ended. It was so quiet as our mouths parted, if you would’ve listened, just a little closer, you would’ve heard my heart exploding in my chest.
“I’m still here Emma,” I couldn’t say anything. I wanted to jump and cheer. I wanted freak out. You kissed me again. “Emma. Every time you go dancing alone in your head, how about I’ll fish you out with a kiss?”
I stood as I helped you up from the pavement. We were both blobs of wet clothes from the rain. You wouldn’t let go of my hand as you rested your head on my shoulder. We walked back towards the car, and finally, I drove you home.
So that’s it Lee. That’s the story of our first kiss. Messy and confusing as it was, it was ours. So please, remember whenever I’m “dancing” in my head it’s always to this memory. Even if I’m gone, I’m always siting right next to you in the rain. I’ll always be.