The second kiss

    They had gone on three or four dates, so they were certainly dating and somewhere in the realm of seeing each other, but they were definitely not in a relationship. It had started with a blind date set up by mutual friends. It had been a nice, typical but pleasant first date in that cool and quiet coffee shop where you could hide in dark corners and pretend you read important poetry. They liked the same movies, hated the same actors. He liked her a lot, enough to ask for her number. She liked him a little less, but still enough to give him her real number. Even enough to allow him to give her a good night kiss. Before he could pull away, she pulled him in for a second kiss and held his tongue for a brief second before pushing him away and saying good bye. 

    The next few dates were similarly pleasant and ended with her second kiss. But with each date, he began to notice things besides her body and her laughter. She was oddly blunt, perhaps to the point of being cold.

    When he asked about her family, she said, “My mom is dead and my dad makes up for it by being insufferable.”

    Her words stung him as if he had been her father, but perhaps this was her humor. This was her strange attempt at a joke. But she made no apologies and did not laugh. Instead she asked him how he felt about the new meal plan system.

    On every date she would drop hints. Her roommate was visiting family for the weekend, she hated walking up the stairs to her dorm room alone because of the echo, she had nothing to do tomorrow morning and looked forward to staying up late without guilt. He caught each and every one of these hints, and he very much wanted to see everything underneath the stylish sweaters and leggings, but he was afraid. He wasn’t sure what sex meant for him yet. He’d already lost his virginity. He just wasn’t quite sure how to go on from there. So he always said something about homework, studying and projects. She never seemed disappointed with his excuses. Instead, she shrugged them off. He supposed that he appreciated the fact that she never pressured him and continued seeing him despite the fact that they weren’t having sex, but he was bothered by the possibility that she didn’t pressure him because she was indifferent to him. 

    On date four or five they saw a movie. Intellectual and funny without a focus on romance, just as both of them liked it, or at least said they liked it. When he walked her back to her dorm, they kissed, and again, she pulled him in for another, but this time, he couldn’t stop himself from wondering aloud, “Why do you always pull me in for a second kiss?”

    She looked at him unaffected, as if he had asked her about the weather. She answered simply: "Because I love the taste of more."

    She loved the taste of more. Of course. It made all the sense in the world. There he sat staring into the clear eyes of a woman who knew she didn’t need to explain herself. They were here because she wanted more. She wanted more time, more company, more sex, and he was there to fulfill it. 

    “Does that…make me your slam piece?”

    She snorted and laughed a little.  

    “Only if you want to be.”

    He wasn’t sure what he wanted to be or what he wanted them to be. But finally, he did know what he wanted that night.

    So he followed her up to her room and they collapsed into each other. She tasted him with indifferent moans, wondering when he’d be done. He gasped at what he thought was her insatiable sex drive, wondering if he’d last. Afterwards she allowed him to spoon her for an appropriate amount of time, but he could feel her shoulder stiffen and her legs tighten, as if her whole body wondered when he would leave.

    He tried cracking a joke.

    “Well I feel a little used.”

    “I don’t know how to respond to that.” 

    She didn’t laugh.

    And he knew he couldn’t process, wouldn’t be able to handle her bluntness, her coldness. So he mumbled some excuse about waking up early, needing to finish some project, and he stumbled into his clothes and out of her dorm.

    But the next morning he couldn’t stop himself from checking his phone, waiting for a text message that probably wouldn’t come. The day after that he couldn’t stop himself from sending a tentative, “How was your day?” A few hours later he couldn’t stop himself from feeling relieved at the reply of, “Fine. Yours?"

    And he dove in, hoping for that second kiss.


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