The Last Person I Kissed

31 Day Writing Challenge Day 3: “The last person you kissed…”

His lips tasted like two parts perfection and one part forever. We met on a night in May, the time of year when the weather has finally stopped punishing the East Coast with blistering wind and rain, so you feel confident walking out of the house sans a jacket. It is the time of year prime for budding romances or relationship freedom, depending on your frame of mind. I hadn’t adopted either mentality when my sister informed me that she had someone she wanted me to meet, a comment that left me less expectant and more indifferent.

That night in May, I returned to open mic after a two and a half year hiatus. He sat in the crowd and watched my performance. We talked in the parking lot following the event; when I asked him what he thought of the performance and he said, without pause, “Well, I thought you were attractive,” I laughed at his straightforwardness and convenient disregard for actually commenting on my work. We exchanged surface-level details about our lives, an act that is both indispensable and cursory in nature, like a nurse taking vital signs.

Our first kiss occurred two weeks later in an empty parking lot following three hours at a fondue dinner. I was nervous and giddy, my heart fluttering in brisk beats when he stepped close to me, an invasion of my personal space that I more than welcomed. I kissed him like I was nervous, but diligently made up for it when we kissed once more.

Many kisses transpired during our short-lived romance. Cars. Beds. Restaurant parking lots. The lawn at an outdoor wine festival. The street of his Baltimore brownstone. We had the makings of a teenage love affair, gravity pulling us toward each other without regard for place, space or time. He teasingly joked that people were watching us, whispering this fact in my ear in between kisses, a piece of data that only made me want more and more.

It was 2:38 a.m. on a Wednesday when I knew things between us would not work out. We had just endured a jilted and incensed conversation. We outright disagreed on a poisonous combination of things including my outspoken nature, his sometimes patronizing commentary and his penchant for cannabis that struck me less as recreational and more as dependent because of its daily appearance. We had both freely yet unknowingly raised our red flags, alerting the other person that we had vices that maybe they could not willingly tolerate. By then, the pilot light of our teenage love affair had blown out.

I spent the weekend with him after my Wednesday morning epiphany, hoping the universe would somehow prove my intuition wrong. It didn’t. We ended things the following Monday.

Our last kiss was in the driveway of my parents’ home, ironically enough the same driveway that has bared witness to my former teenage love affairs. I was spending Father’s Day weekend there, so he dropped me off after we saw a comedy show. He told me I was beautiful and understanding, and sitting under the stars with the summer night embracing us, I knew that I could enjoy this moment even if I knew we would end. He kissed me like he meant it; he always did. Now, his lips tasted like two parts melancholy and one part heartbreak. But, they still tasted delicious.




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