By Amy Dollery
I STAND in front of the mirror, teeth gritted, eyes squinted, mind focused, trying to shape my fringe into the perfect hair-sprayed ridge. Inspired by Saved by the Bell’s Kelly, it had felt like the perfect choice for this momentous day, but now, in the dim light of our bathroom, and my mum’s nonstop hassling, I am not sure I can pull it off.
Just as I am gluing the last strand in place, my mum’s voice, yelling something about breakfast, pierces my concentration. My hair flops and I have to start all over again. I try to flatten the panic growing in my chest and compose myself, but it is hard. Today my hair needs to be perfect and I need to be perfect. Because today is going to be the biggest day of my life and the defining moment of my future. Today is the day I, Steph Wilcox, kiss Kyle Thompson and I cannot be distracted by cold toast.
My mum shouts again, going on about being late for work, she has clearly never been in love, and I ignore her and instead imagine actually kissing Kyle. Would it be wonderful, like Scott and Kylie’s first kiss in Neighbours, or will I do something stupid, like poor Jade Jenkins? Jade kissed Derek from the year above, we all said he was too old for her, and just at the point they were starting to snog, his lip got caught on her braces. Blood poured out everywhere, and she is now referred to as Jade the Jaws. And that is what I mean. Today is the kind of day which makes you into a legend or a loser. There is no in between and if you are a loser, well let’s just say nobody wants to be Jade ‘the Jaws’ Jenkins.
My mum has now actually climbed the stairs to bang on the bathroom door. I mean really. I give up trying to concentrate in the face of such noise and instead open the door and stomp past her, making sure I sigh loudly, just so she knows how unreasonable she is being. I head downstairs to stare at my cold toast and dream more about Kyle.
Me and Kyle have been together for exactly two weeks now, which is three days longer than his last girlfriend. In that time I have spent one lunchtime with him, two breaks and we have held hands for 15 seconds. It is definitely love. But it is not love without a challenge. Just a few days ago, we learned that Kyle’s mum and dad were moving away, possibly forever, and they were taking Kyle with them. This was big news. No one in our school had ever left before. No one goes anywhere except occasionally a day trip to Skegness.
The whole school was shocked but of course it is the biggest shock for me because I am his girlfriend. Sarah pretended to be sad too, as her and Kyle have been friends since nursery, but we all knew she was just putting it on for attention. It is me whose love is going to be cut short, me who will no longer have a boyfriend. Lucky my real friends realise that.
This of course led to endless questions about what would happen to our relationship. So yesterday when us, the girls, were sat in one circle on the field, and the boys were sat in another about five meters away, pretending to ignore us, Natalie gave a note, to John who gave it to Steve, who then passed it to Kyle, which asked what it would mean for me and him.
Kyle then told Steve to tell John to tell Natalie to tell me, that he didn’t know, which was very sad, but that he would like to kiss me before he left. Natalie nearly exploded when she told us this news. Every word of the message was immediately dissected by the whole group. Was it a full snog he was expecting, was it just a peck on the cheek. When would it take place, and where?
Natalie sent a message back to John to Steve to Kyle, and it was eventually agreed that we would meet behind the boiler house the next day at four, and although Natalie, tried to bring up the subject, nobody mentioned what type of kiss it would be. Throughout the whole conversation my heart wouldn’t stop pounding. I was going to kiss a boy.
Quickly the group went into a frenzy. What would I wear was thoroughly discussed, although we have quite a strict uniform code, so the choices were a bit limited. Then the problem of how would I make sure my breath didn’t smell, as it would have been many hours since I cleaned my teeth and lastly how would I know how to kiss? Our group weren’t the most experienced. Sarah had snogged someone once, but other than suggesting I made sure I tilted my head to make sure our noses didn’t clash, she was very scant on the details. And how did you know which way to tilt your head? It all seemed very complicated. Debbie suggested it might help to practice kissing our arms, so we all had a go at that, after checking the boys weren’t looking of course. We were very enthusiastic, and it seemed okay, but it was very hard to know if you were doing it right. Finally Toni suggested that I just watched a lot of kissing on TV that night and try and take down some tips. This seemed the most sensible suggestion so we all agreed.
In my house though, this idea proved much more difficult than you would expect. My brother was a remote control hoarder and hated anything that potentially had kissing in it, and my dad was very much a “news at six” man. I did manage through bribery to get 10 minutes of Neighbours, but no kissing took place, so instead I had to pin all my hope on Coronation Street. Unfortunately the first kiss I spotted was between Ken and Deirdre, which was not much use at all, but then finally there was a proper snog between Kevin and someone he shouldn’t have been snogging. I watched intently trying to remember every detail, until my mum dared to ask if I fancied Kevin. I went bright red and stormed off. She is so embarrassing.
I went to bed thinking I wouldn’t sleep a second, but actually it was fine, and I dreamt about McDonalds and ponies rather than Kyle. This morning though is another matter. I think the butterflies in my stomach have become seagulls, and I couldn’t eat my cold toast even if I wanted to, which I don’t as I am worried about crumbs getting stuck in my teeth. But now whether I am ready or not, my mum is ushering me into the car. This means in six hours and 45 minutes I will know my fate. In six hours and 46 minutes I will no longer be a kiss virgin and I will have made it as a women, or I will be a failure, to live out all my days as a single loser! I may even have to become a lesbian. But most importantly in six hours and 45 minutes and I will know what it is like to kiss Kyle Thomson.
©Amy Dollery 2016