July 16, 2009

...to fill the spaces

This is a true story...Hope my mom doesn't find this and reads it or I will have a lot of explaining to do...Lol!

The first time we kissed was on the 4th of July, summer of 2002. We were in my mother’s house after we spent the whole day under the sun on Philip Street. The day was done, but the heat lingered into the night.

We sat in the living room, and it was so hot our legs created little puddle on the plastic couch covering. We told each other jokes and listened to the radio – “Why Don’t We Fall In Love” by Amerie, “Dilemma” by Nelly and Kelly Rowland, and of course your favorite song at the time, “Nothin” by N.O.R.E.. These are the songs that are forever seared in my memory - the soundtrack to that summer night. We were surprisingly quiet; trying not to wake up my mother and step-father. Mom didn’t care that you were in the house as long as you left at a “reasonable time” and was conscious of the noise level. She always told me, “Vanessa, he is a nice boy, but he is just too loud!”

On the plastic couch, you pulled my face into the table lamp light and discovered two new freckles on my face – one below my left eye, and another on my nose. You named them Sookie and Moe. We raced each other’s tan lines. Your skin was warm and had turned a color that at the time reminded me of the shade of golden leaves that turned in the fall. During the hot months, I always miss the cold hold of the northside winds – I was always ready to bid summer goodbye, but not that night. That night I was grateful to the sun – thankful for the warmth.

It was almost midnight when you said you had to leave - you didn’t want to worry your grandma (you lived with her since you were a little boy and your parents were basically out of the picture). With each passing minute and attempts to cut the conversation, it was obvious neither of us wanted the night to end. It was as if we were waiting for something to ignite the perfect ending. We were waiting for something – a rush. And I felt it first. As you were rising from couch I could feel it boil in my head and then my arms. I let it build up until I finally pulled you down by the arm and kissed you (with tongue). I felt my lips tingle as every nerve in my body jolted. It didn’t feel real. Outside, people were lighting up the last of their fireworks and cherry bombs, but I didn’t hear a thing.

I laid in bed that night replaying the day in my head – getting wet in the fire hydrant, the sunburns, the kiss. I relived the entire day until I fell asleep.

Later that night I woke up to a noise against my window. I moved the fan and there you were in yesterday’s clothes, standing in the alley way. You were trying to tell me something but the neighbor’s dogs were barking so wildly that I could not hear. So I told you to meet me on my porch and I went down stairs. You told me your grandma locked the door and you didn’t have your keys with you. You said that you were walking around the neighborhood ever since you left my house. Without hesitating, I invited you to stay the night. We quietly walked upstairs to my bedroom. While passing my mother’s room I realized how much trouble I would be in by bringing a boy into my bedroom. Yes, I was 17 years old going on 18 in August, but I was also the only girl in the family - my mother and older brothers were strict and protective of me. I didn't let it worry me. We walked into my room and I locked the door so my mother couldn’t walk in before leaving to work in the morning. Before I even attempted to make a bed for you on the floor, you had already made yourself comfortable on my bed. You had the biggest smile on your face as you threw my stuffed pig, Diggie, into the air. You won it for me from the claw machine at the corner bodega a couple weeks ago. You laid back on my pillows and kicked your sneakers off at the edge of the bed. I sat next you. I didn’t think it was possible to feel so inhibited in my own room – you were the first boy to ever step foot in my space - my sanctuary. You looked at me with tired eyes. I laid next to you. You didn’t know, but every inch of my body wanted you that night. However, I was a virgin and you were a gentleman. As much as I wanted you to be the one to show me - to fill the spaces where no other has been, I knew it wasn’t the right time. We fell asleep soon after hitting the bed. You slept with one arm over me and your chest pressed against my back where I had sunburn. Still, it didn’t bother me. For some reason the pain felt good.

You left in the morning before anyone got up. We kissed for the second time and made plans to hang out later that day. I stood on the stoop as I watched you walk down the block.

You looked back at me with a smile, and turned the corner.

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