THE EDIBLE K I S S

The school rebel, Joseph, and I met outside the principal’s offi ce. I was 16, thrown out of class for reading a magazine, and he was 17 and anti-science. The friendship grew and so did a one-sided crush mine until the second day of summer camp in Plettâ I sprained my ankle, relied on crutches and decided to stay in my tent that evening. And then he showed up with a supper tray (chocolate mousse). With a smiley face drawn on my bandaged ankle, my heart raced as he sat down next to me.

I expressed my disappointment at not being able to walk and he said he’d carry me. And then he kissed me â on the forehead. My heart sank and with it my hope of him being mine. With his arms wrapped around me, we laughed about the irony of running to the beach and falling, and how it would be a fresh approach next time we were summoned to Principal Jackson’s offi ce. â˜Close your eyes,’ he said. And then he kissed me his lips fi rmly pressed against mine. So unexpected, riveting and delectable, I could taste the remnants of the chocolate mousse on his lips.

â˜So happy you were thrown out of class,’ he said, as I breathed a sigh of relief, hoping that the kiss was magical for him too. â˜You taste like chocolate mousse,’ I said and he kissed me again. True to his word, he carried me in his arms long after my ankle healed and kissed me when I least expected it. And he took my breath away every time our lips met. A year later, he matriculated and relocated to the US. The chocolate mousse kiss remained our thing, though, and the thought of it (chocolate mousse) makes me smile even today.

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