I was eighteen and I had a massive crush. It should be said that I am incredibly awkward and awful at face-to-face conversations. It is not a skill I was born with, and could never acquire no matter how many times I practice. Intellectual sparring I can do well—but put me in front of a person and I crumble like a bougainvillea leaf on wet pavement.
And that’s how J. found me when he said he wanted to watch the Haunted Mansion.
I can no longer recall the movie, but that day is vivid to me even if it happened sixteen years ago. There I was, my stomach in knots, watching J. buy tickets. He had an aura about him the way boys who knew they’re charming are so sure of themselves, with a never-ending supply of grins designed to make my nipples pucker.
I couldn’t remember where my tongue was, or how words work. I could only say yes the way my weak knees say yes, the way my fingers curl around his hand.
So we watched a movie.
Well…we tried to.
For the past hour or so, we kissed and kissed and kissed…and kissed. It was heady, it was passionate, it was intoxicating.
He loved sucking on my neck. That was new for me, but I loved it right then and there. He would start on giving my skin little licks, and then it would turn into teeny bites, and then he would suck it softly, gently. I could feel it all the way to my toes.
I later found out that when I would run my fingers through his hair, he would let out this moan. In the dim light of the theatre, I could swear I saw his eyes turned from brown to black.
His eyes were so dark. I remember thinking, so this is desire.
That’s all we did. We kissed.
And you know what’s the beautiful thing? His hands never left my face.