I must have been out of my mind.
©2020 James Anton

May 1955.

I was ten years old, and I must have been out of my mind.

You didn’t ever, for any reason whatsoever, cross Sister Mary Helen. She was about six feet tall, with a red face incapable of smiling; she had huge hands with which she would grab a kid by the hair and drag him across the classroom for an offense as small as daydreaming. I was a fidgety kid, and she had a special dislike of me. Let me tell you the feeling was mutual.

For some reason, that morning, just as class was starting, she suddenly got up from her iron desk and rushed out the door without saying anything to us. I sat there for a moment stunned. This had never happened before. Never. She had never before left the class unattended.  No one said a thing. We knew better.  Sister could return any minute.

Suddenly, for no reason and without warning, I stood up and walked over to Joanne Powers' desk. She was very pretty. She had dark blue eyes that looked like jewels, and full lips, and she was one of the smartest girls in the class. I must have had a crush on her. In any event, all of a sudden, for no reason in particular, I kissed her. It was my very first kiss. I remember the feeling to this day. The feeling I had when my lips touched hers (which did not move). I remember the sun shining in through the tall classroom windows. The stunned look on my classmates' faces.  But she didn’t gasp. She wasn’t offended. She maintained her composure completely. When Sister Mary returned to the room, I was already back at my desk.  I made it by seconds.  JoAnne could have ratted me out but she didn’t. Imagine!

I never tried a stunt like that again. Suffice it to say I didn’t make a habit of kissing girls without warning, but I never regretted it either.

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