For the whole month of February, I will be posting a letter of gratitude to the people who have contributed immensely to the woman I am today. Some letters I’m thinking of sending to those I’ve written about and some I hope are never read. This will be the first time I post daily. So I am really keen on seeing how it will turn out, both for me and for those who follow this blog. I look forward to your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below. The theme for all the letters is that ‘We Are Stories’ and I will be telling mine in #29LettersOfGratitude for a whole month. If you would like to join me (PLEASE DO!!!) remember to link me in your posts.
The first time I ever kissed a boy, I was about 13. The boy was older, maybe 16. We wrote our exams together that term. Our two classes were mixed so juniors had to sit next to seniors, to avoid copying. I remember the senior that occupied the seat next to mine had taken money from me, only just a 50c but that meager amount became a conversation starter every time we saw each other. He entertained my little crush and always assured me he would pay me back ‘soon’. I’d blush, faking indignation. Then eventually on the last day of our exams, he told me to meet him after school at a secluded spot in our school grounds. I didn’t dare tell any of my friends about it.
At that moment, I don’t I realized that I was about to create a memory with A that would eventually make its way to my personal blog 14 years later.
After school he met up with me, we talked about the 50c he owed. He said he’d only give it to me if I let him kiss me. I didn’t respond but that must have given him the required consent because his boy lips were on mine soon enough. I kept my eyes on him the whole time, pretty unsure about what was happening. I didn’t know the words passion or intimacy back then but the absence of it was felt even by my younger self. I asked him to stop and instantly he did. A didn’t ask me to keep the kiss a secret but I still promised myself I would. Who would believe me anyway? What are the odds of the coolest kid in school kissing the four-eyed nerd?
A never came back to school the next term, he died by suicide.
Even though I was sad when he died but I hadn’t even thought about him during the school holidays after our kiss. Years went by and there were many more after school kisses. I know it all held no meaning for me because I don’t even remember who the other boys were.
Thankfully I later outgrew the nothingness of those empty kisses with boys before I left high school. I met my first boyfriend when I was just about to turn 23. I’m so grateful for that because by then I’d developed such a stronger sense of self. I had matured so much from the high school vagrant. As a Christian single already by then, I’d established boundaries which we both celebrated. I got to explore a side to men I hadn’t known before, feeling like an equal to him, and finding out how fun and exciting men can be. He was the first adult I ever practiced being open and opinionated with. There is so much power in knowing what you are doing and why you’re doing it. To own a moment and all its memories with pride, and to know I consciously consented.
Cover Photo By: Lutendo Malatji
Are you late bloomer? How different was your experience to mine?