Written by DeAnna Erdmann
The 12 year old me sat confidently… with an edge of defiance and love of danger. I pushed my wire framed glasses up on my nose and tucked my long fluffy hair behind my ears. I always wore it down because I felt like a warrior princess. My mind’s eye associated me with Xena, remember Lucy Lawless in leather? In retrospect I think I looked like a lost girl hiding behind feathery mouse brown hair. I was wearing a black hoodie because that was the only black article of clothing my mom would buy me. Around my neck I wore a silver chain with a gaudy silver amulet on it. I can no longer remember what the amulet had on it, only that I believed this amulet was from ages before and it somehow channeled magical powers to me. My friends all looked like regular kids, bright colors and big smiles filled the room. We were all sitting in Trisha’s living room. It is her 13th birthday party and we are just beginning a game of truth-or-dare. I watched in building excitement as we made our way around the circle, most of our friends were picking truth, but I already knew I would pick dare. I had a persona to keep up after all. Finally it was my turn, I wiggled in my seat as the infamous words were spoken.
“DeAnna, truth or dare?”
“Dare!” I practically screamed. Amanda put her finger to her lips as she thought about what to dare me to do. Amanda was great at dares, so the anticipation of this amazing feat tickled its way up my spine. Her eyes wandered the room. I got lost in my thoughts of what kind of nasty drink I would have to ingest or maybe I would have to go knock on a neighbor’s door and ask for sugar… the possibilities were endless.
“I dare you to kiss Brian.” She declared jubilantly. My stomach dropped to my toes. I felt the strange tickle that I felt when my parents drove over hills super fast to make us laugh. Instantly my armpits began to sweat. I swallowed deeply and looked over at Brian Caudill. He smiled excitedly at me as I stood up. It felt like I was moving in slow motion as I crossed the room to him. Placing one hand on either of his shoulders I bent down and pressed my lips to his for a brief second before quickly straightening. I tossed my hair over my shoulder and triumphantly walked back to my seat, imagining that I must have looked like a Greek goddess claiming the lips of her loyal human subject.
In reality, as I look back on the event, I looked more like a scared chicken who was pecking at an unknown subject. Then finding the subject to be unfruitful and barren, the chicken scampered back to its nest and hid behind its wing.
I don’t remember the feel of lips or any kind of crazy emotion. I simply remember a close up of Brian’s mouth as he smiled. His braces had white rubber bands on them, which made me think of plaque. My first kiss was an awkward chicken peck on what appeared to be a plaque infested mouth that belonged to a boy that I found annoying and chubby.