Kiss Me

A seventh grader at a sock hop at Marina Junior High, Mark was moving hesitantly through the gym—new at the school after having just moved into the neighborhood. Suddenly the prettiest girl in his class ran up and kissed him on the lips.

Laughing, Pamela Rackerby dashed away, glancing back with a smile.

Stunned, Mark watched her move through the crowd and disappear. He didn’t know what to do—follow her, call out. No girl had ever kissed him before.

Then another, Belle Chapelle, stepped from behind him and kissed him on the mouth.

Around him, boys and girls grinned—a few laughed aloud.

Everywhere in the gym he went, girls continued to press forward, kissing him then darting away. He was more pleased than puzzled by what was happening.

Finally, he had to use the restroom. When he turned away from the urinal, he saw himself reflected in the lines of facing mirrors.

His mouth was smeared with lipstick. Peering closer, he saw something written on his back.

He pulled off the sheet of paper.
 Slapped on his back, the bold red words read “KISS ME.”

Mark threw the paper into the trash and went back into the gymnasium—where the students and teachers alike were linked in the Bunny Hop that snaked around the room.

From one song to the next, he waited and waited—but there were no more kisses.