We only get one first kiss.

Mine was inadvertent. Sort of.

It was seventh grade. The object of my affection was a black-haired, golden-skinned beauty named Stacie Shrine. She was a petit girl with a smile like a Close Up toothpaste commercial. We’d been friends since sixth grade when we both entered middle school. Everyone knew we liked each other, but we never took it anywhere. We were twelve. We were ok with being ‘just friends.’

With end-of-year tests out of the way, our last week of school was filled with fun and games and even a movie day when we sat around eating popcorn and watching old movies shown via reel-to-reel projectors. On the last day of school we had a field day. It was a typical field day with egg toss, tug-of-war, dodgeball, and one other game called the Lifesaver relay.

The idea of the Lifesaver relay was simple. Pass the candy along a line of kids via a toothpick gripped in their teeth. There were three teams of ten kids lined up boy-girl-boy-girl. I was the last kid in my line. Stacie was in front of me. By the time our team’s Lifesaver had reached her, it had been replaced with a new one a few times for it falling on the ground. It was now cherry. Stacie turned and smiled. But it wasn’t just her normal, glorious toothpaste commercial smile–her eyes were smiling too. And something in them told me that our cherry Lifesaver wasn’t going to fall.

She tilted her head to the side and leaned in. Our toothpicks aligned perfectly. And just as the candy slid from her toothpick onto mine, our lips met. And symbols crashed.

The teacher immediately signaled a clean delivery, and our team burst into cheer. Though I couldn’t take my eyes from Stacie’s.

“Oops,” she said with a sly smile. Then she turned and joined the other kids celebrating.

It was the best first kiss, and last day, ever.


Jim Mitchem

Night of the Hunter
The Pact

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.

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