Scott Heydt recalls a surprise first for him when he was 12 years old.
“A few times,” she says.
“I’ll be gentle.”
“So you’ve done this before, then?”
“Yeah, but usually I’m watching my brother do it. That’s why we’re in his room.”
“You just watch? That’s kinda weird.”
“Whatever floats your boat. Hey, the beanbag chair looks comfy.”
“I better test it to be sure. Ahh! Yup, it’s comfy alright.”
“I get it. You’re going to lie there while I do all the work?”
“That’s the plan.”
“Okay, remind me again, what do I do first?”
“Just slide it in and push down slightly.”
“You know what, sometimes beforehand, it helps to blow on it a little.”
“Blow on it? Why?”
“I don’t know. It’s a trick I learned. Gets it ready.”
“How would blowing on it get it ready?”
“Trust me, it does. Only watch you don’t get your braces caught.”
“Ha, ha. Very funny. Seems like that’d be your problem if I did.”
“Okay, I blew on it. Now what?”
“Like I said, slide it in and push down slightly. Now press…no, not there…yes, there.“
“It’s red, is that good?”
So here were are. Two seventh graders, alone in my brother’s bedroom. Nintendo is the best first date at my house I can devise. We’re playing Blades of Steel. Ice hockey. So perfectly imperfect. Nothing sets the mood like fights and competition. Well done, Scott.
She’s beautiful. How her cheeks dimple slightly when she smiles. How she makes a hooded sweatshirt seem like an evening gown. How her jeans hug tight to her thighs. How she’s the first girl to even notice me let alone pursue me.
Why is she even here? What’s she doing going out with a goof like me? Can she see me in her peripheral vision as I sneak glances between button pushes? Does she know she’s my first official girlfriend? Is it sad that I’m twelve and never been kissed?
“You stink at this game,” she says.
“I know. I rarely score,” I say.
“Oh, don’t worry, you’ll score.”
And then it happens. She drops the controller, leans in, and kisses me. I fall back onto the beanbag chair. My brain shouts commands.
“Head, tilt sideways!”
“Mouth, match lip pressure!”
“Tongue, stand by!”
“Lungs, you okay under there?”
“Hands, wake up and plant yourselves on her back!”
“Ears, stay alert and report any footsteps ascending the stairs.”
“Groin! Come in groin! Do you read me? I said, do you read me?”
Soon I’m lost. Lost in the moment. Lost in her warmth. Lost in her lips. Lost.
Let’s stay lost together. Let’s stay twelve forever.
While the preceding innuendo-laden dialogue is largely fictitious, one quote is entirely factual—“Oh, don’t worry, you’ll score.” Seriously, how could a twelve year old forget that?
The setting and situation are also factual. We were seventh graders. We were sitting on beanbag chairs in my brother’s bedroom. We were playing Blades of Steel on the original Nintendo Entertainment System.
She was beautiful. She is beautiful. She saw something worthy of affection in that skinny, awkward seventh grade body. She holds a special place in my heart. She’ll always be my first love.
—Photo Brian Indrelunas/Flickr