Rebel 60 Non Fiction

I kissed a girl once.

And no, for the record, I’m not a lesbian, or bisexual, or experimenting, or anything of the sort- just completely heterosexual. It was fall, it was high school.

We were at some all-county art event. The staff told us we were having lunch outside. There was a slight breeze in the air. It smelled like someone was burning firewood nearby. I sat next to that girl. We met online and just so happened to go to the same high school. We were friends. She was tall and skinny- super skinny. She had recently dyed her dark brown hair strawberry-blonde and cut it into just above her shoulders. Her skin was pale and her cheeks were rosy. She always wore this black XL men’s jacket, even though it barely fit her.

We were eating lunch and generally having a good time- laughing with the new people we’d just met, telling jokes, sharing anecdotes, et cetera. I remember dropping something on the ground. I don’t remember what it was since that was seven years ago, but it’s not really important. When I looked down, that’s when I saw it: her pain, her suffering, her sadness. It was all there, displayed as red slashes and scars on her right wrist. I felt my stomach flip and my heart sank. I self-consciously pulled my own sleeves down.

I reached over and touched them and she whipped her head around and looked at me. Her smile had faded. My hand was still holding her wrist. I pulled my own sleeve up slightly so she could see my own, then I yanked it back down and held her wrist again. I’m here for you, I mouthed to her. Her eyes started watering. I lifted her arm up and kissed her scars gently.

I let go of her arm and she pulled the large sleeves of her jacket back over her hands. We hugged, having had an entire conversation without saying anything out loud. I pulled away from her and held her at arms length, then just smiled at her. She smiled back. We’re closer friends now, we’re both better now.

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