Lips or Slug?

By Daniella Canseco, age 17, Saint Mary’s Hall, San Antonio

Holly Wales

When I was younger, I romanticized the thought of my first kiss. I thought it would be the most extravagant thing I would experience with the most handsome boy ever. I wanted the whole shebang: a Zac Efron look-a-like, roses, candles. When I did have my first kiss, was it like this? Nope. My first kiss was in a church parking lot after a musty dinner at the local food court. Just like everyone else, I remember the experience vividly, even though I try to forget.

The first red flag with this guy should’ve been the fact that when my mother Googled him, a picture of my last failed attempt at a relationship came up. They knew each other. Why didn’t I bail that very moment? Well, I was so desperate for even a hue of male validation that I put my blinders on for all red flags. I even ignored the fact that he had shirtless mirror pictures on his Instagram. How I cringe.

In my blue Mazda with the sticker “Let me see your kitties” on the back, I drove into the desolate Mission City Church parking lot, not knowing what fate awaited me. For about 30 minutes this guy showed me his entire music library, which consisted of subpar rap songs that his ex-girlfriend had introduced him to, and his entire camera roll, which was all pictures of him shirtless in front of a mirror, except for two, which were, surprisingly, shirtless pictures of him not in front of a mirror. So unpredictable!

A heavy rain started and, with each drop of water smacking my car, a loud slap would reverberate inside and inhibit our ability to hear one another. This unfortunate turn of events resulted in a conversation where the question “WHAT?” was said every other statement. We made small talk by screaming (well, him just screaming about himself at me) for about 10 minutes until the atmosphere in the car thickened with anticipation.

“Have you ever been kissed before?” he asked, breaking the silence.



Taken aback by this overwhelming question, I felt heat rush to my face as my body tinged with panic: Will he think I’m weird if I say no? Should I lie? I shouldn’t have eaten that Greek salad with onions.

“It’s OK if you haven’t.”

I pulled out my metaphorical white flag of surrender and admitted to my lack of achievement of this milestone. Suddenly, I saw his body lean over the dashboard that separated us; his hand reached for my cheek and, just like that, he started kissing me. The fumes of hot onion breath were shared between us as his wet lips slid against mine like a slug. This went on for a good three seconds, which really felt like a good three years, until I pushed him away, overwhelmed by the discomfort I had just experienced. My hand lunged for my cup of water as I attempted to wash down the dissatisfaction of something I had yearned for for years.

“Oh, are you OK?” he questioned, as I violently gulped down my water.


“ARE!? YOU!? OK!?”


I drove him back to his house, the only sounds the ending of the once violent storm and his ex-girlfriend’s rap music playlist. The awkward end-of-date goodbye ensued, and I drove back home in silence rethinking what happened, my lofty expectations deflated. Most of life’s presumptions will not be close to reality, but that’s just how things work.