As a couple, even before we started really dating, we had a thing for contests with each other. Silly things: like who got to the classroom first (usually him), who got a better grade on the homework, who could go the longest without falling asleep (usually me)… and as the days passed we collected prices. What kind of prices? Well, honestly who knows? Just the satisfaction of winning.
So, the days went by and we continued to flirt and fall for each other. We would cuddle and hold hands and talk about everything under the stars: movies and books, weird conspiracy theories and weird facts, songs and TV shows and our families and friends… We would find any excuse to meet up on campus – free time and staying late and between classes running to his side of campus for water. Until finally, he asked me out on a date. Or rather, I sort of asked myself out? It’s a long story.
The thing is, even after that first date – even when we’d come so close we still hadn’t kissed. Our first sort-of kiss happened on the Tuesday two weeks after our first (and, really, only “official”) date (before he asked me to be his girlfriend). We had stayed in school after class because it was a friend’s birthday and we were going to eat pizza on campus with her, to celebrate. Or really, we wanted an excuse to spend more time with each other. So there we were, talking amongst ourselves and with our friends until he had to leave. When it came time to say goodbye, I stood on my tiptoes, leaned into him, and went to kiss his cheek. My kiss landed on the corner of his mouth, though, and we both froze.
I pulled away first to see him staring at me wide-eyed, his arms half up as if to pull me more to him. I muttered something like “Drive safe,” and he just blinked at me for what seemed like forever. Then he pulled me in a for a hug, an extremely long one, and finally pulled away with a smile and kiss on the cheek (for real, this time).
We left it like that. Next time I saw him, we didn’t mention the almost kiss or the hug or the awkwardness.
It stayed like that until Friday, September 28th – my brother’s birthday (and our anniversary). Earlier that week I had invited him to the party, and he had said yes, picked me up from school, and braved meeting my parents. After eating and awkward dad-questions, we sat down on the couch to watch a movie that we never really saw. As soon as I pressed play, I cuddled into him and he started rubbing my back and playing with my hair as if he’d done it a thousand times before. We talked and joked and I apologised for my dad’s questions. He laughed and played with my hair and told me not to worry. Eventually, the topic drifted to our contests and to prices.
“You know,” I said, feigning absolute casualness, “you still haven’t given me my prize.”
“Oh, so you decided what you want.” He answered. His smile contagious, his fingers still playing with my hair, but much slower all of a sudden. “What is it?”
And he made a show out of it, going through letters, guessing random things. “It’s not a unicorn, I guess,” he joked, and I shook my head slightly. My heart was beating so loud and so fast that I was surprised he couldn’t hear it. “Is it a kiss?” he asked finally. He sounded nervous, almost as nervous as I was when I gave him a nod.
And so he leaned in, and really kissed me. His lips playing over mine, his tongue, teasing, asking for entrance. His hands on my head. It felt so right, so amazing. I was instantly addicted to it, to him. He tasted like honey and the ice cream we’d just eaten. And he was warm and his hands were tangled in my hair, pulling me to him – softly, almost tenderly – but firmly. I could feel his smile against my lips. I’m sure he could feel mine against his own.
The movie played on in the background and we kissed.