And if it hadn’t been for that one commercial, you probably would’ve forgotten it.
Have you seen the “First Kiss” Hershey’s Kisses commercial? You know the one with “Eric” mentioning all the positive aspects about the kiss while “Lisa” shares the negative aspects about it? Yeah, that one. The first time I saw that commercial I thought to myself, “What is this business? I hope they’re not an actual couple.” But then I thought, “Hmm, when was my last kiss?”
I mention my last kiss because I clearly remember my first one. I was thirteen, in my last year of junior high, and gearing myself up for high school in just a few months. My boyfriend was a tall, heavy, beautiful black young man, who was originally from Florida and played football for our school.
He would go on to be scouted for a high school other than the one I was expected to attend and make quite the name for himself.
We dated for three years. He got a head-start on cheating on young women well before his late teens and our breakup was disastrous. His mother adored me and I loved her. I hated that her son and I ended the way we did. But we grew to respect each other enough to be cordial as we got older.
He even asked me out again, which was quickly shut down before he could mumble any other words. I had my fill, and I wanted no more of him.
But our first kiss, although hurried and done in a sneaky way, was also extremely memorable. His lips were full and had just the right amount of moisture. There wasn’t a lot of tongue — just enough to be coaxed into a soft lulling — eyes temporarily closed, heart racing.
We pulled away from each other and smiled. Then we held hands. We were official.
I am certain that for as long as I live, I will remember that kiss. It taught me many things about love and lust and being lost all at the same time.
Have you thought about the last time you kissed someone? If you did, where did it lead you? Hopefully, you didn’t scramble down the rabbit hole as I did.
My last kiss . . . When had it occurred and with whom was it? This was my struggle topic. But the more I saw that commercial, the more my memory bank deposited blips of its happening into my view. I believe I blocked it out because he is married now — happily married.
For some odd reason, I have it in my spirit that I am not supposed to think about things that brought me joy if the person with whom that joy had been shared is married to someone else.
Is it wrong? Does it mean I lack respect for what he has gained? Am I allowed to reminisce and not fall for those memories once again? Can I?
One thing I loved most about our relationship was kissing and his hugs. He gave “come-to-me-bear-hugs” and I would lose myself in his embrace. He would also do the forehead kiss, then lift my face to his — my lips to his, and I would melt for him.
We didn’t last. We couldn’t last. But we remain friends.
When he sent me the invite to his wedding (to view it online, because, you know, a global pandemic), I was excited. I pondered about what to get the soon-to-be-married couple. I decided on matching aprons, a book about lasting love, and his and her “married to” bracelets. I beamed looking at the photo of the two of them and nodded my approval.
He deserved this — to be happy — to find his match. I tell anyone willing to listen that we had a great thing. It just wasn’t the right thing. Our schedules never meshed. He worked odd hours, and I had a job that required a lot of me and my time.
It was only fitting for him to reconnect with someone from his high school days, fall in love with her once again, propose, and the rest is history. His being happy makes me happy.
But his was the last kiss I had — the last real kiss. My ex after him never drummed up enough sensual intensity within me to move us from dating to intimacy. I just couldn’t connect with him in that way, and eventually, we called it quits. It was well overdue.
But that commercial . . . That damn commercial. If they did not produce it, would I still have that last kiss memory buried deep inside my mind? And now that it has returned, what am I to do with it?
I think one day soon, I will hoist it back to the lone corners of my mind only to be conjured up once again when “the last kiss” is up for discussion.
It has a home. Maybe it will end up there again for safekeeping.
Originally published in Age of Empathy via Medium.