He brings his forehead back to mine and our bodies reunite and fuse together like the last two pieces of a puzzle. He’s slowly rocking against me and every time he does it, his lips come closer and closer, until they brush lightly against mine. He doesn’t close the gap between our mouths, even though I absolutely need him to. Our lips are simply resting together, not kissing. Every time he moves against me, he lets out a breath that seeps into my mouth and I try to take them all in, because it feels like I need them if I want to survive this moment.
We remain in this rhythm for several minutes, neither of us wanting to be the first to initiate the kiss. It’s obvious we both want to, but it’s also obvious that I may have just met my match when it comes to stubbornness.
He holds the side of my head in place and keeps his forehead pressed against mine, but pulls his lips back far enough so he can lick them. When he lets them fall back into place, the wetness of his lips sliding against mine drags me completely under, and I doubt I’ll ever be able to come up for air.
He shifts his weight, and I don’t know what happens when he does this, but somehow it causes my head to roll back and the words, “Oh, God,” to come out of my mouth. I didn’t mean to pull away from his mouth when I tilted my head back, because I really liked it being there, but I like where I’m going even more. I wrap my arms around his back and tuck my head against his neck for some semblance of stability, because it feels like the entire earth has been shifted off its axis and Holder is the core.
I realize what’s about to happen and I begin to internally panic. Other than his shirt, we’re completely clothed, not even kissing…yet the room is beginning to spin from the affect his rhythmic movements are having on my body. If he doesn’t stop what he’s doing, I’ll fall apart and melt right here beneath him, and that would quite possibly mark the most embarrassing moment of my life. But if I ask him to stop, then he’ll stop, and that would quite possibly mark the most disappointing moment of my life.
I try to calm my breaths and minimize the sounds escaping my lips, but I’ve lost any form of self-control. It’s obvious my body is enjoying this non-kissing friction a little too much and I can’t find it in me to stop. I’ll try the next best thing. I’ll ask him to stop.
“Holder,” I say breathlessly, not really wanting him to stop, but hoping he’ll get the hint and stop anyway. I need him to stop. Like two minutes ago.
He doesn’t. He continues kissing my neck and moving his body against mine in a way that boys have done to me before, but this time it’s different. It’s so incredibly different and wonderful and it absolutely petrifies me.
“Holder.” I attempt to say his name louder, but there isn’t enough effort left in my body.
He kisses the side of my head and slows down, but he doesn’t stop. “Sky, if you’re asking me to stop, I will. But I’m hoping you’re not, because I really don’t want to stop, so please.” He pulls back and looks down into my eyes, still barely moving his body against mine. His eyes are full of ache and worry and he’s breathless when he speaks. “We won’t go any further than this, I promise. But please don’t ask me to stop where we already are. I need to watch you and I need to hear you because the fact that I know you’re actually feeling this right now is so fucking amazing. You feel incredible and this feels incredible and please. Just…please.”
He lowers his mouth to mine and gives me the softest peck imaginable. It’s enough of a preview of what his real kiss will feel like and just the thought of it makes me shudder. He stops moving against me and pushes himself up on his hands, waiting for me to decide.
The moment he separates from me, my chest grows heavy with disappointment and I almost feel like crying. Not because he stopped or because I’m torn about what to do next…but because I never imagined that two people could connect on this sort of intimate level, and that it could feel so overwhelmingly right. Like the purpose of the entire human race centers around this moment; around the two of us. Everything that’s ever happened or will happen in this world is simply just a backdrop for what’s occurring between us right now, and I don’t want it to stop. I don’t. I’m shaking my head, looking into his pleading eyes, and all I can do is whisper, “Don’t. Whatever you do, don’t stop.”
He slides his hand behind my neck and lowers his head, pressing his forehead to mine. “Thank you,” he breathes, gently easing himself onto me again, recreating the connection between us. He kisses the edges of my mouth several times, trailing close to my lips and down my chin and across my neck. The faster he breathes, the faster I breathe. The faster I breathe, the faster he plants kisses all over my neck. The faster he plants kisses all over my neck, the faster we move together—creating a tantalizing rhythm between us that, according to my pulse, isn’t going to last much longer.
I dig my heels into the bed and my nails into his back. He stops kissing my neck and looks down at me with heated eyes, watching me. He focuses on my mouth again, and as much as I want to watch him stare at me like he does, I can’t keep my eyes open. They close involuntarily as soon as the first wave of chills wash over my body like a warning shot of what’s about to come.
“Open your eyes,” he says firmly.
I would if I could, but I’m completely helpless.
That one word is all I need to hear and my eyes flick open beneath him. He’s staring down at me with such an intense need, it’s almost more intimate than if he were actually kissing me right now. As hard as it is to do in this moment, I keep my eyes locked on his as I drop my arms, clench the sheets with both fists and thank Karma for bringing this hopeless boy into my life. Because until this moment—until the first waves of pure and utter enlightenment wash over me—I had no idea that he was even missing.
I begin to shudder beneath him and he never once breaks our stare. I can no longer keep my eyes open no matter how hard I try, so I let them fall shut. I feel his lips slide delicately back to mine, but he still doesn’t kiss me. Our mouths are stubbornly resting together as he holds his rhythm, allowing the last of my moans and a rush of my breaths and maybe even part of my heart to slip out of me and into him. I slowly and blissfully slide back down to earth and he eventually holds still, allowing me to recover from an experience that he somehow made not at all embarrassing for me.
When I’m completely spent and emotionally drained and my whole body is shaking, he continues to kiss my neck and shoulders and everywhere else in the vicinity of the one place I want kissed the most—my mouth.
But he would obviously rather hold his resolve than give in to his stubbornness, because he pulls his lips from my shoulder and brings his face closer to mine, but still refuses to make the connection. He reaches up and runs his hand along my hairline, smoothing away a stray strand from my forehead.
“You’re incredible,” he whispers, looking only at my eyes this time and not at all at my mouth. His words make up for his stubbornness and I can’t help but smile back. He collapses to the bed beside me, still panting, while he makes a cognizant effort to contain the desire that I know is still coursing through him.
I close my eyes and listen to the silence that builds between us as our gasps for breath subside into soft, gentle rhythms. It’s quiet and calm and quite possibly the most peaceful moment my mind has ever experienced.
Holder moves his hand closer to me on the bed between us and he wraps his pinky around mine as if he doesn’t have the strength to hold my entire hand. But it’s nice, because we’ve held hands before, but never pinkies…and I realize that this is another first we passed. And realizing this doesn’t disappoint me, because I know that firsts don’t matter with him. He could kiss me for the first time, or the twentieth time, or the millionth time and I wouldn’t care if it was a first or not, because I’m pretty sure we just broke the record for the best first kiss in the history of first kisses—without even kissing.
After a long stretch of perfect silence, he takes a deep breath, then sits up on the bed and looks down at me. “I have to go. I can’t be on this bed with you for another second.”
I tilt my head toward his and look at him dejectedly as he stands up and pulls his shirt back on. He grins at me when he sees me pouting, then he bends forward until his face is hovering over mine, dangerously close. “When I said you weren’t getting kissed tonight, I meant it. But dammit, Sky. I had no idea how fucking difficult you would make it.” He slips his hand behind my neck and I gasp quietly, willing my heart to remain within the walls of my chest. He kisses my cheek and I can feel his hesitation when he reluctantly pulls away.
He walks backward toward the window, watching me the whole time. Before he slips outside, he pulls his phone out and runs his fingers swiftly over the screen for a few seconds, then slips it back into his pocket. He smiles at me, then climbs out the window and pulls it shut behind him.
I somehow find the strength to jump up and run to the kitchen. I grab my phone and, sure enough, there’s a missed text from him. It’s only one word, though.
I smile, because it was. It absolutely was.
Wednesday, June 23rd, 1999 3:55 p.m.
I keep my head buried in my arms. I don’t want him to see me crying again. I know he won’t laugh at me—neither of them would ever laugh at me. But I really don’t even know why I’m crying and I wish it would just stop but it won’t and I can’t and I hate it, hate it, hate it.
He sits down in the sidewalk next to me and she sits down on the other side of me. I still don’t look up and I’m still sad, but I don’t want them to leave because it feels nice with them here.
“This might make you feel better,” she says. “I made us both one at school today.” She doesn’t ask me to look up so I don’t, but I can feel her put something on my knee.
I don’t move. I don’t like getting presents and I don’t want her to see me look at it.
I keep my head down and keep crying and wish that I knew what was wrong with me. Something’s wrong with me or I wouldn’t feel like this every time it happens. Because it’s supposed to happen. That’s what Daddy tells me, anyway. It’s supposed to happen and I have to stop crying because it makes him so, so sad when I cry.
They sit by me for a long, long time but I don’t know how long because I don’t know if hours are longer than minutes. He leans over and whispers in my ear. “Don’t forget what I told you. Remember what you need to do when you’re sad?”
I nod into my arm, but I don’t look up at him. I have been doing what he said I should do when I get sad, but sometimes I’m still sad, anyway.
They stay for a few more hours or minutes, but then she stands up. I wish they would stay for one more minute or two more hours. They never ask me what’s wrong and that’s why I like them so much and wish they would stay.
I lift my elbow and peek out from underneath it and see her feet walking away from me. I grab her present off my knee and run it through my fingers. She made me a bracelet. It’s stretchy and purple and has half of a heart on it. I slide it on my wrist and smile, even though I’m still crying. I lift up my head and he’s still here, looking at me. He looks sad and I feel bad because I feel like I’m making him sad.