At 18, Carrie had never kissed a boy. In fact, the thought made her insides want to come out. How did people enjoy exchanging saliva? Mouths aren’t that sexy. And yet, she always wondered what was so attractive about kissing, especially the french ones that looked like a guide to catching a nasty mouth infection. So when Gabe was finally standing next to her with his sexy half smile, she thought; Maybe it’ll be magical and I’ll finally understand what the fuss is all about.

Gabe was a fine looking mocha man. No taller than 5.8′ or so, he made up for it with impeccable style and a bad boy swagger that had all the good girls going crazy. He always kept a short stubble that helped frame his supermodel-esque face. In any given photo, you’d find him staring off camera, sporting a fresh cut and that half smile pretty boys know make the ladies swoon. He was beautiful and he knew it.

Within two weeks of Facebook friendship, Gabe confessed his undying love for Carrie and they were spending every spare second of the day on the phone together. Naturally, it was time to meet. Gabe drove the 4 hours from Pittsburgh, PA to Baltimore, MD. His first stop was Carrie’s apartment where she lived with her aunt.

I’m outside. Carrie read the text and something in her stomach shifted. Was it nerves? He’d been very clear on the phone about his intensions. “I’ll kiss you when I get there” he’d said when he’d told her his plans to visit. She’d laughed and jokingly replied; “as if you know how”. She did’t actually think he’d drive down to see her. Her aunt wasn’t home so she could have invited him in. But Carrie was no fool, she needed some neutral ground for meeting a dude for the first time. She couldn’t invite him into her space. That was way too intimate too fast. So she put on her flip-flops and walked outside to meet Gabe in the parking lot.

He was walking towards her and she towards him. It almost looked like that scene in rom-coms when the lovers run into each other’s arms. Almost, because she wasn’t all giddy inside. Everything felt awkward. When the gap between them closed, there she was, standing a few inches from the face of the man who would have the honour of being her first kiss. She braced herself after forcing out a rather inaudible “Hi”. He looked at her, smiled and pulled her to him. “Come here” he said, and before she knew what was happening, his lips descended on hers.

They were soft but this wasn’t pleasant. No sooner had their lips touched, when the tongues got involved. It wasn’t a skilled exploration. Oh no! Their teeth didn’t know what to do with each other so naturally, they kept clanking. The kiss was sloppy and unpleasant. Too much saliva, too many teeth, too much tongue, and no pleasure. Why do people do this? This is nasty!

When he finally let go of her face, she took half a step back, forced a smile and tried with every fibre of her being not to wipe the remnants of saliva cooling off on her lips. Eww. They didn’t talk about the kiss. She hoped he would let it go and he did. They chatted for while about nothing. The he said he had to go. Oh God, It’s gonna happen again! she thought. It didn’t. He hugged her, smiled, got into his car and drove away.

Carrie had never really fantasized about a magical first kiss so this rather unpleasant experience was simply that. So what if her first kiss wasn’t a leg-lifting breathless moment? She was sure she still didn’t understand what was so special about kissing. The good news: she had her whole life to find the magic that happens when two lovers’ lips meet. Maybe the frog kiss needed to be over and done with, before the fireworks could fly.

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