The Dark Kiss…
The first girl I ever kissed was Martha Fay Upham in the Evergreen Cemetery on Mount Pleasant Street, in our small town of Bickford Maine. It was twilight, just turning dark at 4:30 on a cloudy November evening.
We snuggled close, more to get warm than show of affection. We stood behind a large moss covered stone replica of a huge butterfly, the symbol of the resurrection of the body.
Martha Fay was fourteen, and I was fifteen, and neither of us had ever dated; I was a slow starter; she was brought up in a strict home where dating was forbidden until she reached the age of sixteen, and then only with adult supervision.
As Inexperienced as I was in the art of kissing, I closed my eyes and puckered up, our breaths white vapor in the dim lit late afternoon shades of darkness.
In moving my lips toward her bright red cheeks, hoping to slide them into place, I missed her mouth by a couple of inches, and kissed the end of her nose, embarrassing me. Without a word, she took my head in her hands and directed my lips until they touched hers; kiss completed. It was the most thrilling thing I had ever experienced in my short fifteen years; a total ecstatic occasion.
âYuk,â she said.
Yuk, she said, yuk. I was totally mortified to think maybe I had been so unskilled in the art of smooching.
âIâm… eh … sor…ry, Martha,â I said, the heat on my face hot enough to fry an egg.
âOh, itâs not you, Bret, itâs just that… kissing is not what I expected. I thought it would send me soaring; I would take flight… you know?âI felt so inept, and went home dispirited.
âYeah, I guess.â It still sounded as if it were my fault she did not feel what I felt. I was still reeling from the touch of our two lips meeting in a rapturous caress, and the wonderful sensation I felt inside; it warmed my whole being.
Martha Fay Upham grew up, married a doctor and moved to California where she brought up four sons and a daughter. She named one of her sons, Bret; I wonder.
Me, I still live in Bickford, teach English at the high school, and never married. I guess I was… am still in love with Martha Fay. I guess she will always be my… one true love.
Every fall when the air has a chill, and I see the white vapor of my breath, it brings the fond memory of that evening back so many years ago when I kissed Martha Fay Upham under the stone butterfly in Evergreen Cemetery; she will always be my first love.