“It wasn’t that long, and it certainly wasn’t the kind of kiss you see in movies these days, but it was wonderful in its own way, and all I can remember about the moment is that when our lips touched, I knew the memory would last forever.”
― Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember 

Blach Junior High. 7th Grade.

One day after school, Mike asked me if I would like to meet his friend Randy.

Randy attended a private boys school and they were friends and neighbors. He thought we might like to meet.

This stopped me in my tracks. I looked Mike in the eye, and said “alright.” I was smiling the ENTIRE way home.

Okay, home was across the street, still, I had not smiled like that since …. I am not even sure. I met Randy at the park the next weekend and for the next three weeks we met after school or at the park and talked and walked.

We had not kissed as yet. Randy asked me if I would like to go to the movies that coming weekend. I know my dad did not want me “dating” so I arranged for us to have four more people going so I could say I was going to the movies with girlfriends. A few days before the weekend when Randy came to see me after school, he gave me his bracelet and placed it on my wrist.

We were now “going steady.” This was a big deal.

This was huge for me. We walked hand in hand and it felt as if we were both nervous. That Friday night the girls came to my house, and my dad drove us all to the theater and dropped us off out front. He was going to pick us up later and we said we would call him as we wanted to go to Shaw’s ice cream shop after the movie.

Main Street and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Streets of downtown Los Altos was where everything was located for us teenagers. Mac’s Tea Room was for adults and Dotti sang there sometimes. The theater is no longer there.

Now there is a Starbucks.

As was the plan, we were not going to the movies.

The boys showed up after watching to make sure my dad had driven away and then came walking up the street.

We all paired up, hand in hand, and started walking down the street. Randy and I were both virgins to dating, discovering what falling for someone is like for the first time. We went to Shaw’s and got an ice cream and then decided to walk over to the park. The park was situated next to a creek.

There was a picnic area creek side with picnic seating and there were swings in the play area.

Randy and I headed in that direction and we both jumped on the swings and began swinging as high as we could look down on the world below us.

The others headed off in different directions.

We were zooming up and over the ground below us. It’s like a weird weightless feeling in your stomach.

We slowed down and hopped off the swings almost simultaneously. As we walked across the park to the picnic tables we were holding hands. As we approached the picnic tables, Randy put his arms around my waist and lifted me up onto the table. Then he leaned in and kissed me!

“You are a bitchen kisser,” he said. Bitchen meant cool, fantastic. I’ll never forget that day.

I remember thinking, I have a boyfriend and we both like each other. It was perfect!

How perfect does it feel to be someone’s one and only?

We’d bet our entire savings that life feels like a Disney movie right down to little magic birds singing at you. It’s called first love, baby, and it’s got you under its spell. I just felt so happy inside. After, I turned away from him because I could feel myself blushing. He just put his arms around me and smiled. Randy was really cute. I can tell you I did learn a few things about kissing from him and from other first kisses in my lifetime. First of all, stop rushing. I know you’re nervous. Just take your time. When the first one happens, its magical.

The first relationship you ever have is always exciting because it’s new, it’s exciting, and it’s a learning experience. The best thing you can take away from your first relationship (and each one after) is that you learned more about yourself.

Accept that you’re vulnerable (we all are) and that it’s all a part of this great experience we call life. I know this is all rather general. It has to be. Every relationship is different. Explore and have fun.

It was time for us all to gather and head back to the theater so my dad could be called to come and get us girls.

My hands were sweating madly, I felt like my knees were going to buckle, and my heart was thumping loudly.

It all felt so surreal.

I wanted everything to be perfect. We all go through relationships for the first time. Believe it or not, even those who’ve been in a number of relationships can tell you that they still make mistakes.

It’s part of being in a relationship. It’s a lot of loving, mixed in with a little bit of fighting.

It’s normal, it’s healthy.

And then we broke up. I broke up with Randy about two months later. I didn’t have enough experience at the time to understand why I broke up with Randy. He wasn’t possessive. He didn’t attempt to have sex with me. He was kind, polite and respectful.

He didn’t see it coming and he was hurt.

When you hurt the one you love, you are bound to hurt yourself. ~ Dore


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