NBK in Michigan: THE THRILLING CONCLUSION (Part 2)!
Now that everyone’s all caught up, let’s get to the good stuff.
If you’ve never been to a college party, well, I’m sure you’ve seen movies. It’s all frantic dancing and red cups and loud music with a bass you can feel on your face. My New Year's plans had been to watch the ball drop with my parents and force my dog to spend time with me. My plans had not been to get hit with a ping-pong ball and then to chuck said ping-pong ball back with a battle cry the likes of which the world has never seen, but life’s funny like that.
As is the way of college parties, I found myself making conversation with a rotation of people whose names I was never going to remember. There was Dude with Freckles, Girl Who Really Likes Harry Potter, and Ridiculously Tall Guy. There was also Jack. I remembered his name because he was extremely cute, and my brain has a way of prioritizing information like that. He smiled at me and said, "You guys are friends of Tara’s, right?" to which I think I said something freakishly witty, like, "Yes, that’s correct," because I was just relieved my primary identifier wasn’t something more along the lines of, "You’re the girl who was sitting in the corner and spilled all over the couch, aren’t you?"
Jack re-introduced me to Ridiculously Tall Guy, who looked over at me, nodded, and said, "I think we’ve already met, actually."
"Yeah," I said. Someone else was talking to Jack, and he turned to hear them better, leaving a conversational vacuum in his wake as Ridiculously Tall Guy and I stared at each other. Figuring I’d rather not be halfway through this conversation when the matter came up again, I blurted out, "I’m sorry, I don’t remember your name."
He laughed. "I thought so. It’s Matthew."
He told me he was a classical studies major, so I asked if he could speak Greek or Latin. He made a face and said, "Uh," in a way that I instantly understood.
"Yeah," I said. "Theoretically, I speak French. La bougie."
"What does that mean?"
I glanced sideways, but Jack had melted away somewhere into the amoebic blob of dancing. I shrugged at Matthew and said, "I can't remember. But it sounded good, right?"
There was talk of hash browns, which is how we both wound up trying to navigate a veritable mosh pit in the kitchen. Matthew gestured vaguely at the fridge and said, "I brought a pie. No one seems to want it."
"You brought a pie?"
"Yeah," he said. "I guess hash browns trump pie, though. Actually, I’m not even bitter. Hash browns are infinitely better."
"What kind of pie?" I asked, unable to let it go.
He said it was chocolate, and then, raising an eyebrow, he asked, "Do you, uh, do you want it?"
"Do I want the pie?" I said incredulously, like he’d asked if I wanted a puppy or a million dollars, and then I said, "Damn skippy I do," before I could think better of it.
"Did you just say ‘damn skippy’?" he asked, sounding amused, and I said yes, and he laughed. And then we maneuvered out of the kitchen. And then somewhere in there we discovered we both play the same character in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and he said, "I’ve never met another person that plays Link," and I said, "I’m so glad we found each other," and if that wasn’t an opening, Sparklers, I don’t know what is. I mean, I might not know much about this stuff, but it certainly felt like an opening, and suddenly I knew he was going to kiss me before he did. It might have been the general anything-can-happen atmosphere, or it might have been the promise of pie, or it might have been the subtle flirty undercurrent of the conversation, or it might have been the way he asked outright if he could. Anyway, before I had gotten my head around the idea that we were in a room full of people (I forgot about them for a minute) and the fact that he was so much taller than me (I’d been wondering if that would be an obstacle), he was leaning forward and, well, suddenly we were kissing. What started out as a kiss rapidly blossomed into a full-on make-out session, and I was no longer "NBK." I was "Been Kissed." Technically "Still in the Process of Kissing." It was extensive.
So how was it? Honestly, it was about what I expected. Not sensational. Not entirely unappealing. Just two people making out in the middle of a party, coming off some talk of video games and pie. I forgot about every slight anxiety that had been ruminating in the depths of my kissless brain—all the "What do you do with your hands?" and "When should you close your eyes?" and something about tongues. I kind of just went on autopilot, and the general consensus in my brain was, "So this is kissing. I’ve heard lore."
Afterward, he said he’d like to see me again, if possible, but I made sure he knew that I didn’t go to this school, didn’t live in this city, and would likely not be coming back anytime soon, which he seemed to accept. As I was going off to find my friends later, I caught Jack’s eye across the room, and he waved at me. Well, I thought, this was relatively successful.
But the night wasn’t over yet.
WHHHHAAAATTTT?! SO MANY THINGS JUST HAPPENED! ELODIE GOT HER FIRST KISS! AND IT TURNED INTO A FIRST MAKEOUT! AND THERE WAS PIE!!! AND FLIRTING! AND THERE'S STILL MORE TO COME! AHHHHHHH ARE YOU FREAKING OUT AS MUCH AS WE ARE?!?