My sweetest kiss to date was when I had about 16 years old. It was with this old-time crush that I had. A Russian guy almost as tall as the railing of the doors, and skinny as a lizard. With a rock & roll style, black hair up to his shoulders, and a natural wide back — definitely no work-outs for this lizard.
We met at a music festival back when I was 14 years old (I know, I was an early riser). He was a couple of years older than me, and way cooler than many of the guys I knew of his age.
This Russian guy I will call Vladimir (because, what’s more Russian than that?), happened to be camping with his friends next to where we placed our tent. Some of the members of his group knew one of my friends, so the two groups joined, taking turns to watch out for the backpacks.
In one of the rotations, we found each other talking. He started making up stories about constellations, zodiac signs, horoscopes, and all that pseudo-crap I have never really cared for. He explained everything with a witty sense of humor that I couldn’t help but laugh. His confidence stroke me, and I immediately liked this energy.
During those tumultuous times of my life, I ended up dating two of his friends. I wasn’t exactly a picker and all about having new experiences. And also, in my defense, it seemed like he knew the entire town.
. . .
Keeping in touch in Medieval times
I come from a country where the internet was pretty much inaccessible until very recently. The way people used to get any type of information was from person to person. You would go to your friend’s house with a hard drive and exchange whatever you had that your friend was interested in, and the same thing on your side.
After the festival, we started seeing each other from time to time to exchange the latest movies or series. He was easy to be around, always in a good spirit, not afraid to laugh at himself, and hilarious when making jokes about you. A truly gifted storyteller and connector. The kind that would light up every party (no wonder why he had so many friends).
I genuinely enjoyed spending time with him, and eventually we became good friends.
. . .
The cousin in town
I didn’t know it back then, and deep down maybe I didn’t even want to see it, but I was hooked on him.
It was my cousin the one who pointed it out to me one day. She noticed that I wouldn’t shut up talking about how cool this Vladimir was, so she called it out.
I was shocked.
Why would she say that? The more I started to think about it, the more sense it made. I didn’t just “liked” him. I had a crush on Vladimir. What a surprise.
I didn’t want to act on it because of the two friends that I had previously snacked. He was very well aware of them and made sure to reminded me of it by cracking jokes about how much of a heart-breaker I was from time to time.
I had grown to appreciate him and value our friendship, so I didn’t want it to look like he was just another fish to fry. I could have done nothing about it, but then again that’s not my style.
So I just decided that I had to be more smooth with my moves.
. . .
The very well though-out (and completely reasonable) plan
Because when you are a teenager you have all the time in the world (and you are usually a bit more fun), I developed this very well-thought-out plan with my best friend:
She would call Vladimir having me on the third line without him knowing (your best use of a 3 way-call), and then she would get him talking about his crushes.
Now, I recognize that this plan would have never work with most of the world’s population, as people usually don’t open up to strangers — we don’t even talk to them.
But this was Vladimir, the connector. A guy so down to earth that I knew we would mind sharing his life with a complete stranger… so we took the chance.
. . .
When she called him I was on the other side of the line already. She introduced herself, made up a silly story about how she got his number, and then got him talking.
She was smart. At some point she started telling him about this guy she was dating, asking him for advice on how to deal with it. He offered his piece of advice. Then she proceeded to ask him if he was dating someone at the moment, or had his eye on someone.
Being the popular guy he was, I thought he would say that he was dating at least 3 gals, but his answer shocked me.
. . .
The mega oh-my-lord confession
He said he wasn’t dating anyone, nor had anyone in his eyesight.
After my friend insisted with a “Really? There is not even one person that you are interested in at the time?” He reconsidered it and said, “Well, actually there is this girl…”.
My heart started racing so far from the other side of the phone.
“She is really cool, she comes here from time to time and we are really good friends, but I kinda like her”.
“Oh, really? Tell me more about this girl!”.
And then he said that he didn’t want to think too much about it because she had been with two of his friends already (ouch, but worth it). Also, he didn’t think that she was interested. And then, somewhere during his narration of events, he mentioned my name.
My friend abruptly stopped him and repeated my name instantly, like in case I was falling asleep or something — how could have I?
Her interruption was so random and weird that she had to make up a story about this girl she knew from her neighborhood that had the same name.
She described someone that was nothing like me, of course. Once it was clear that it wasn’t the same person, they kept going with the conversation.
I was in owe. I was jumping on the other side of the line, pressing the speaker of the phone with a piece of cloth as hard I could, so they wouldn’t hear my nerdy laugh.
I couldn’t even believe that so much joy could be trapped inside my chest.
Best moment ever.
The call ended about 15 minutes after that. My friend encouraged him to take action if he really liked “this girl”.
“You won’t know if she is interested otherwise. And don’t think that much about your friends, you told me that they are not so close to you anyway”.
He thanked her for the advice, and you could tell in his voice how happy he was. He said he would give it a try. She said she would follow up with him about it. And them they hanged up.
. . .
After that huge lifesaver that my friend just throw at me, I texted him two days later. Serendipity! He must have thought.
I told him I was nearby and asked if he was home so I could stop by with my cousin (she was from the countryside and spending that summer with me, so we were going everywhere together — that’s how she peaked on my already well-developed obsession).
He said he was just hanging out with his best friend playing video games (those good old times), and we were welcome to come.
At his place, we were talking and making jokes as usual. Everything was the same… until just when I was about to leave. Then he started to act kinda weird. I couldn’t tell what it was, though. Innocent me.
He asked me if he could show me something before I left. I said sure, hiding my excitement. Then he took me to the living room (mom wasn’t home) and for some reason hush his friend and my cousin out of the house, asking them to wait outside. They could have perfectly stayed at his bedroom, but hey, who am I to judge his erratic behavior.
Then he carefully (and nervously) placed me against the wall, and asked me if I could close my eyes. I know I should have seen it coming, especially after the phone call, but somehow I couldn’t wrap my head around it.
Then I felt it.
. . .
The magic started
He cautiously approached to kiss me. I felt his lips over my lips with my eyes still closed. And, contrary to what you must be thinking, it really did take me by surprise.
My first reaction was to back off. Although there was not that much space to back off since I was against the wall, the gesture was enough. He immediately stopped.
In that split of a second, I also felt a rush of dopamine injected into my brain as I understood what was happening. I quickly pulled him back, and very, very slowly, we proceeded to have that sweetest kiss I was telling you about.
Now, this was only part of what made the moment so sweet.
Once we were done with all the romance, we agreed on a club to meet up later that week, and then I left.
As my cousin and I were going down the stairs I started giggling with emotion, telling her what just happened. She quietly made me the hand gesture to shut up as she pointed upstairs.
I made silence and we were able to hear from half a floor below the jumps of his 6’5″ ass hitting the floor. His friend was jumping too.
You could hear some noises coming out of the apartment — they sounded very similar to my nervous giggling.
I have so much to thank to her for catching that moment and pointed it out. To me, it felt like the epitome of feeling in love and being reciprocated.
. . .
Despite all the joy I get from memories like this, I also have to admit I find them quite bittersweet.
I know I won’t be that innocent again.
Next time someone asks me to close my eyes, I will know what to expect — and most likely I won’t do it, since there will be a little voice screaming “cheeesy” inside my head, or “creeepy”, which is even worse.
I guess that’s the price we all pay for gaining experience and living things out.
There is nothing I can do to go back to the point where I was before that kiss. You probably can’t either, whatever that moment is for you.
What we all can do, though, is learn to appreciate the sweetest moments we are experiencing right now. They may be less, they may be harder to find, but I bet you have some.
So look into your future self, ten, twenty years from now, and spot what is going on in your life that you will remember as the innocence of your 20s, 40s, 60s… This way you will be able to savor and treasure them even more.
That’s the best advice I can give to myself to fight against nostalgia from things that are long behind my reach, back in time.
This post was previously published on Hello, Love and is republished here with permission from the author.
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