Goldfish: Entering the World of Men

My first kiss was a nerve-racking and innocent mess.

He was a close friend of mine who lived across from my grandfather’s house. We used to spend so much together as children, even though he was a year older than me. As I got older, we grew distant and I spent more of my time at my own house than my grandfather’s and he started to focus on football. It had been an inside joke between our parents that we would get married since I was three, when my mother found us in the corner of my grandfather’s basement kissing. I still don’t remember it.

It was the summer before I went into high school. My mother and siblings moved in with my grandfather, and the boy started to see me around more. I remember going outside and listening to music and enjoying the sun since my mother had forced me out of my room. He came over, and we exchanged numbers and started talking. It was always innocent conversation, but I quickly caught feelings. Since our families knew each other so well, they didn’t have any problems with me going to his house or him coming over to mine. Normally, we’d just eat Goldfish on my couch and talk or we’d watch football games and he’d try to explain them to me. On occasion, we’d play basketball in my backyard or I’d go over to his house and play Madden and give up after 5 minutes of playing.

My friends and I would always have sleepovers and dream of the boyfriends we never had but wanted. We watched so many movies and read so many books together, all while drinking bottles of Sprite and Coke and trying to build our perfect boyfriends. As we got older, instead of dreaming about our perfect boyfriends, my friends gained real ones. They’d talk about them and share photos and screenshots of messages wondering how to react. I was the late bloomer who hadn’t done anything with anyone yet, so my neighbor was the golden beacon of light.

After a month of doing the same old routine with him, I lost hope. I accepted my fate of going into high school without a kiss from a boy I liked. But then, something changed.

It started off the same, with us eating Goldfish and playing basketball. I was beating him despite the massive height difference between us, mostly because I was cheating—but nonetheless, I was winning. He chased me around my yard and we talked about school and summer and life. It all happened in flashes like in the movies. Mid-sentence, he pushed me against the wall right under my grandfather’s open window and kissed me. Afterwards, he apologized and stammered about how he’d wanted to do it for a while and then kissed me again. It was a rush. My grandfather heard us and looked out the window, but he thankfully didn’t see us. We whispered on the steps about the kiss, and held hands while I felt my heart in my throat. We exchanged secrets which made us feel even closer. Then, he gave me a kiss and left for football practice. I just stayed on my deck steps watching the clouds moving slowly.

I was finally welcomed into the world of men.  

By Nye Glover

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