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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pinky's First Kiss

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His name was Ken. He was a hot shot in the senior volleyball team and Pinky was a skinny little unsporting type who hung around with the second rung on the social ladder at school. 
Not the nerds, but not the popular kids either.

But I knew the buff and handsome Ken fancied me because of what transpired when my friends and I were going into the library one day and Ken and his mate were standing at the top of the stairs.

“Is that the one you like?” shouted Ken’s mate, right before Ken shoved him down the stairs hissing at him to, “Shut the hell up ya stupid bastard!”

That’s how we did it back then. You got your friend to deliberately say something like that and you’d pretend to be embarrassed.

Now the ice had been romantically broken, the courting took on a more formal note. 

Before long Ken asked my friend Pip to ask me if I liked him back.

“I suppose so,” I replied, not really knowing what to say. I admired Ken’s popularity, his sporting ability… but did I want to get up close and personal? Not really.

I’d never had a boyfriend and frankly I was terrified, sixteen and never been kissed.

Two weeks later, I somehow found myself at a party sitting on a couch, lips locked with the lusty Kenster in the longest pash I’ve ever had. 

It went on for hours and I deeply resented every spiky second. The endless swirling of the tongue, the painful gravel rash developing on my chin and the sharp crick in my neck were not how I expected my first kiss to feel.

The only reason it happened at all was that I knew I was most likely the only girl in my grade who’d never been pashed; never had a boyfriend and had certainly never been on a date. 
The shame of my purity was a yoke I desperately needed to shake off.

“What’s wrong with your chin, Pinky?” asked my mother the day after the extended osculation event when she noticed the huge scab.

“I think I rubbed in too much Clearasil,” I lied with the acuity of a resourceful and deceitful teenager.

Now the trouble was, Ken was quite keen to follow up our amorous tryst and despite my diligent avoidance of him around the school on Monday, he managed to secure my phone number from my best friend.

“So do you play any sport at all, Pinky?” Ken asked me on the phone that evening. (I'd actually left the phone off the hook in anticipation of his call but my stupid sister Sam had discovered it and put it back on.)

Mum and Dad were sitting close by eavesdropping on Pinky’s inaugural flirtations with a boy. Mum was quite excited her strangely ‘uninterested in boys’ daughter had finally attracted some interest from someone... anyone.

“I go to gymnastics,” I replied, not really trying to impress him just stating a fact. “I have to do it because of my nasal asthma.”

There was a short silence on the other end.

A light bulb suddenly flashed in my adolescent brain. I knew how I was going to get out of this!

“I have nasal asthma you see and the Ear, Nose and Throat specialist thought exercise might help my condition. I sniff all the time because I can’t breathe through my nose properly and it drives people up the wall,” I continued on with my Woody Allen oration.

Mum and Dad were staring at me in disbelief; Mum miming slitting her throat with her finger and Dad shaking his head and frowning.

The rest of the telephone conversation consisted of Pinky elaborating on the various symptoms of nasal asthma and a long-winded history of her recent diagnosis.

Ken never called again and was surprisingly elusive at school as well.

Dad had a bit of a chat to me about the sort of things boys like to talk about.