Monday, August 5, 2013

What happens when you're desperate to be kissed

by April Henry

As a teenager, I was always sure I was the last one to do anything.

In sixth grade, I envied girls who had training bras. I didn't smoke pot until I was in college. Same with drinking.  (Now as a parent, I think waiting to do those kinds of things is a great idea.)

But what I really, really wanted was a boyfriend. I was sure I was the only 15 year old who hadn't been kissed. Most of my friends didn't have boyfriends, but still I felt left out.

So. It was summer. My friend Sheila Schmitz (now the editor of the cool site had some kind of volunteer gig at a park where she would paint kids' faces.  She persuaded me to join her. Sheila was (and is) artistic. I was (and still am and always be) not.

I painted blobs on cheeks that I told kids were butterflies or tigers. And luckily we had no mirrors in which they could check my efforts.

And then a boy appeared. His name was Leo. And asked me to paint his cheek. We started talking and didn't stop. And at some point, he persuaded me to take a break and kissed me.  And we met the next day and kissed and kissed and kissed some more. Kissed until our lips were sore.

Leo was experienced. I was not. Leo wanted things to go further. Right away.  I didn't know what I wanted.

Leo lived on the other side of town, which meant we didn't go to the same schools.

But then I found out the truth. The horrifying truth. I was 15.  But Leo?  Leo was 12.  I was so embarrassed. I knew I had to end things soon. Certainly before school began.

So my summer love was over nearly as soon as it began.


  1. This is fantastic, April! I needed that laugh...

  2. Oh, April! I feel for 15 year old you! But I loved this story!

  3. Ha! This was great!! Wonder what Leo is doing these days. :-)