"Kiss Her!"

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November 21, 1997

There was a dance tonight! Word had gotten around that Lisa liked Matt, even though she was still going out with Tyler, technically. When the first slow song came on, Lisa and Matt were dancing together, and his hands weren't on her waist, they were on her hips, even though they're both dating other people.

Then everyone was like, "Oh, Zach and Emily, dance together!" He put his hands on my shoulders and I put my hands around his neck and we just kind of swayed. Finally, he tentatively placed his hands on my waist and I sucked in my stomach the whole time. It was exhausting. We kept swaying and talked a little bit, but didn't look at each other. When the song was over, he ran away.

Later, we were all standing around outside the gym. I was talking to Kaylee and she turned to Zach and I heard her whisper, "Kiss her!" Then Kaylee sat down on a bench, leaving Zach standing next to me looking pretty uncomfortable. He grabbed my shoulders, turned me to face him, leaned over, and pressed his lips against mine quickly. His lips weren't really pursed enough. They were wet. He turned to Kaylee and said, "There! Did you see?" She looked up from her Coke. "Huh?" He sighed and went into the gym. I licked the part of my lips where he had kissed me. It tasted like sour apple because he had been eating an Airhead.

Toward the end of the dance, Stephanie and I were showing off dancing and I know I looked good. Zach told me so, too. He said, "You're good."

Once we had stopped dancing, Zach said, "Emily." He bent his head down to the ground and I copied him. He laughed and covered his face with his hands and said, "God, I don't know how to ask you this." I smiled. I knew what he was going to ask me. He was going to ask me if I wanted to go to second base. I know because we had been discussing the possibility for like, a week. But Steph grabbed my arm and pulled me away, so Zach never got to ask me.

Before I knew it, the dance was over and Steph, Nathan, Zach, and I were hanging around in the hall while the chaperones cleaned up. Nathan was like, "You guys gotta kiss." And we were like, "I know." Zach said, "We can't do it right here – there are all these people around! Let's go outside."

There was a big group of our friends hanging around the door outside. There is a little corner right when you come out of the door, and that's where we stood. Zach was chewing on something, I think a sour apple Airhead. He finished chewing it, leaned forward, and kissed me. At first, both our mouths were closed, and I thought that was all it was going to be. But then his tongue slid into my mouth and I opened my mouth and our tongues kind of twisted around together. His tongue tasted like sour apple.

Another person's tongue feels incredibly weird when you touch it with your own. I don't remember where either of our hands were, but I know he did not touch my ass or either of my boobs.

It was Zach who ended the kiss by giving me a wet, pucker-up kiss on the corner of the mouth and saying, "Bye." I lost him in a group of people, but I heard him say, "I did! Ask her. Emily, didn't I?" His best friend Matt looked doubtingly toward me. I nodded. Zach grinned triumphantly.

That dance was even better than the last one, where Zach kissed me on the cheek. You see, then we were just little fifth-graders and kissing on the cheek was all we knew how to do. Or wanted to do, for that matter.

But now we're in sixth grade, and we can French kiss, maybe even go to second, and perhaps third. But not sex. Definitely not sex, not until I am at least 14. Matt has had sex. He has also fingered a tenth-grader – that's why I'm so worried about Lisa liking him.

I can't wait until the next dance, if Zach and I are still going out. I hope we will be.

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