We were twelve. He was born on the same day as me, at the same hospital, delivered by the same doctor. When we finally met, I was the anxious new girl in his eighth grade homeroom.
He was shorter than me, a lot shorter, like all the boys back then, and neither one of us was cool. Apparently I was a little less cool than him, because we’d been meeting at a neighborhood park for a while, and he wanted to keep it a secret.
We were at a school dance, and it was the last song — a saxophone-laden ballad by George Michael. We’d been hugging at the end of every slow song, so I was confused when he pushed me back a little and then leaned toward me.
His kiss landed on my cheek, on the soft skin just below my eye and above my cheekbone. He barely touched me, and half my face lit up.
Walking out to the car where my mom was waiting, I could feel that spot glowing. Mom took me to the McDonald’s drive-thru for soft-serve butterscotch sundaes with crushed peanuts on top. I was uncharacteristically silent, every bit of me distilled into that one point where his lips had brushed me. Lovely.