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A Last First Kiss


We had been sitting next to each other – awkwardly at first, then more comfortably – for about an hour. I could feel his thigh pressed against mine. When he moved his arm, I felt his sleeve brush against my sleeve. He made bad jokes and gave me lopsided smiles while I babbled non-stop in an effort to disguise my nerves. He took a phone call and unfolded himself from the couch to pace the room, so I moved to the window to look out over the river. Even from across the room I felt like there were delicate filaments of feeling tying us together, vibrating with the low sound of his voice and the shy uncertainty woven through my every action. I absent-mindedly flicked through a stack of DVDs as he wrapped up the call, and then he crossed the room until he was standing right in front of me, toe to toe.

“So?” I said.

He smiled down at me. “So.”

My gaze slid sideways to avoid meeting his eyes.

“Are we going into town?”


I looked up then to find him looking down at me with an intensity he hadn’t had earlier. I felt it; a strange, electric thickness that hung in the air between us.

And then he dipped his head.

And then his lips met mine.

And that was my last first kiss.


I was thinking today about being single.

Not longing after it, or wondering how it would be to be single now (although the thought of Tinder makes me deeply uncomfortable), but rather thinking about how I felt when I was single. I loved being single. I enjoyed myself immensely. If ‘love is… selfless‘ then ‘being single is… never having to compromise‘, and there is an unrestricted joy in that. You can do everything for yourself, by yourself, whenever you want, however you want. Your time is your own. There are a lot of things to love about it.

Still, if I were asked what I loved most about being single, it wouldn’t be that I had more me-time, or that I never had to compromise on holiday destinations.

It would have to be the microsecond before a first kiss.

I don’t mean casual first kisses. I don’t mean spin-the-bottle kisses, or truth-or-dare kisses, or seven-minutes-in-heaven kisses. I don’t mean prearranged kisses at teen discos, or kisses that are granted through friends of friends. I mean the few first kisses with people who matter. I mean the monumental first kisses; the kisses that feel like they might change everything and turn your world right on its head.

There is a strange magic about that sliver of time. That fraction of a second before your lips meet is loaded with possibility and hope and anticipation and excitement and sometimes a tiny flicker of fear. There are infinite lifetimes contained within that split moment. It’s like pulling hard on a lever to suddenly and irreversibly switch tracks. It sets you down a course that might lead anywhere. It might take you to a beautiful place, or on a short but scenic route on the way to somewhere else, or it might lead you through a dark tunnel… or it might just send you smack into the side of a mountain before burying you in a landslide of despair.

You have no way of knowing.

If you’re anything like me, all of these barely-thoughts and almost-feelings fuse into a single burst of energy that electrifies the air. Trepidation, lust, expectation, unease, desire and apprehension slam into the thrill of the unfamiliar to create an exhilarating mixture and, in all of its innocence, I honestly think it’s the most wholesome form of intoxication.

Now, my last first kiss is behind me* and instead, in the future, I’ll be experiencing subcategories of that kiss: first kiss as a wife**; maybe first kiss as a mother***. Who knows?

Here’s what I do know:

I pulled the lever and switched tracks that day without hesitation, and I have never regretted it. That’s pretty unusual for an overthinker such as myself, who goes back and forward over the same patch of memory with the fine-toothed comb of anxiety, worrying and wondering about all the other ways things might have gone and might still go.

So while I miss first kisses of that magnitude, I don’t regret having kissed them goodbye.

(And I don’t regret that pun, either.)


*Barring some awful tragedy. Touch wood.

**Typing that felt like an out-of-body experience. The word ‘wife’ sounds bizarre when you’ve been a girlfriend for so long. I already struggle with ‘fiancee.’

***(shudder of fear)


  • sonofabeach96

    You’re so right. The first kiss is like a secret portal or something, that sucks you in and swirls your thoughts. Nothing like a first kiss. But, if you’re with the right person, every other kiss you Share will be just as electric and continue to swirl your thoughts. Familiarity does not always build contempt or complacency. 😊😊

  • bexoxo

    I’m so excited for my first kiss as a wife. I think part of it is because I don’t have this detailed recollection of my first kiss with Fella. I was in a bad place with whiskey in my system and that’s kind of where the memory stops. I’m determined to remember every little thing about my wedding, especially the kiss.

    On a side note, I had my first person refer to me as Mrs. Fella over the weekend (a waitress), and I have to say: I was not expecting it, but was thoroughly delighted. 🙂

  • Angela

    This post was beautiful and made me wish my last first kiss was more memorable, I do remember being 3 or 4 tequilas in and the height difference being an issue. So romantic. Sigh!

  • MadKatter

    This was so sweet, I loved it as always. You are so right about the first kiss and unfortunately for me (and some of the other gals it seems) my first kiss with Caterpillar was Jameson induced – I think…so there is that. Romance! We got it!

    Being in love is the most frightening, amazing and whirlwind of a time but its the best. Especially with that special one – you can tell and feel it in your writing <3

    Being single post ex-fiance was a challenge for me as we are in the world of Tinder…makes me very uncomfortable. I don’t trust most people, let alone some person on my phone screen wanting to meet up somewhere! I just can’t do it! I know others can and good for them! I also found my independence, although a struggle but it was nice to be on my own terms for a while. I did not think I would want to date someone again, but I casually dipped a toe in. It was a long process but I am happy to say, I am no longer bitter and maybe one day I will have that Mrs kiss! But until then, posts like these remind me of those sweet moments and love and how it is not all bad.

    Thanks for sharing lovely! I cannot wait to hear more!! <3

    • Quinn

      It is frightening, I feel like a lot of the time if you’ve been in a bad relationship before you spend a good while waiting for the other shoe to drop.

      And waiting…

      And waiting…

      And if you’re lucky, it doesn’t happen and you can actually start to trust in the happy. It’s hard work though when you’ve been burnt before!

  • Anthony

    You write about these moments so well. While reading, I was taken back to the important first kisses in my life–and even briefly to the unclear future one.
    Looking at my writing, I don’t think I have ever written a first kiss. I’ve written stories, paragraphs and snippets of my version of true love/soulmate finding. I’ve written flirtations and temptations, but not that powerful first kiss moment.
    Thanks Quinn.

  • N

    This so so beautiful…it’s so strange that there is no way of knowing if a first kiss is going to be your last first kiss and looking back in time and visiting that kiss once you know it was your last first kiss sounds so intense, so beautiful. 🙂

  • Neal

    Some kisses are gentle and simply social, no more than a greeting, a brush on the cheek. Some exist only as a prelude to other activities. But our first kiss had a life and a meaning of its own. I felt that it marked the beginning of something important. 🙂

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