As junior year progressed, the braces came off and my fashion sense improved. I was adorned with shoulder pads on top of shoulder pads, my short hair was growing out, and my pearly whites were dazzling. I was fitted for contact lenses and surely this would be the deciding factor in reaching my new goal to actually and finally have a real, first kiss. I was now seventeen years old and un-kissed. This had to change. It became a mission of sorts for my group of friends. I was both thankful and mortified. One Friday night, at a random house party, a guy I’m going to call Spits was recruited for the job. He secured the keys to a friend’s dad’s Cadillac, walked up to me, and told me we were going for a ride to his favorite place in town. It was time.
He was a nice enough guy. Off we drove to our final destination—the rooftop of the centrally located parking garage in town. Romantic! Within seconds of parking, he hit the power seat button and I was horizontal when he flipped right on top of me. Time for my magical first kiss! It ended up being a survival session in how not to drown. It happened so fast. His open mouth slammed down onto mine and it was like a waterfall of saliva came crashing down on my face. Not what I expected, but, I was being kissed so I went with it. I don’t know if seconds, or minutes, passed, but I dared to open my eyes as we took a break and Spits hovered a good eight inches above my face. However, we were still connected by thick strands of spit pouring from all around his mouth to mine. Thankfully, we broke soon and I toweled off. (Not really, but wow, a towel would have been helpful.) He flopped back to his seat and raised mine. What a fancy car! We drove back to the party and I was so happy. I had been kissed! I wasn’t sure how much I liked it, but it was done. Spits was a good guy who rose to the challenge and provided me with a splashy experience.
The very next night, I went to a small party at a friend’s house. I was delighted to see a cutie who had just moved to our town from Iowa. I will call him Corn. Every girl I knew was interested in him. I was feeling rather confident in myself because I had now been kissed. I’m not quite sure how it happened, but Corn and I were suddenly on a couch, under a blanket, in the middle of the party. I had now kissed my second boy. Imagine my surprise when I wasn’t slathered in saliva. Corn knew what he was doing. Sorry Spits. My friends were thrilled for me and I was welcomed to the cafeteria table the following Monday to applause and cheers.
At home, I tried to connect with my mom but she was shut down. It seemed my parents were in their own lane of illness, hospital stays, and secrecy. I chose to carve my own path and pour myself into activities, friends, and keeping busy.