"Watch that Bottle Spin and watch it closely," they say, sitting in the awkward anticipation of a possibly romantic, mortifying, or hilarious moment about to happen. Ah, I remember my first Spin-the-Bottle. I was going on twelve years old, already wanting to be fifteen or sixteen, and attending the birthday party where everyone in class was invited by my friend, Faith.
A little plastic pop bottle sat in the middle of the floor in a group of about eleven kids or so. How easily it turned around as we watched, yet how quickly it would come to a stop on the polyester woven carpet! We were all young and antsy, hands filled with sweat and breath held as each spin came around.
As the bottle slowed, the tension rose, shoulders tightened, and a whoop or holler might have broken out as it stopped on some poor - or who knows, maybe lucky, soul. Kissing games weren't something many of us had tried yet: we lived in a quiet, rural town in Tennessee where kids just didn't get exposed to the world at as early of an age as they do nowadays.
To our relief, the general consensus in the group was that a kiss on the cheek, instead of the lips, was an acceptable option. Many opted out for this, but it was still terribly nerve-wracking to wonder which classmate you were about to have to kiss, or be kissed by, and see their face again at school on Monday. As usual, I was being my aloof self observing everyone else in my spot in the circle, hoping that I wouldn't have to participate.
There was one boy at the party that I thought was cute, even though he was so much more of a talker with the kids in class than I could ever be.
His name was Brandon. He had nice skin that even at that age, I noticed was of a clear quality and color that I liked. He also had pretty dark hair and eyes, and even with braces, I thought he was still really cute. Well, Brandon's turn came around. Of course, I sat in my quite little spot, which had been safe up to that point, waiting for him to just land on someone else.
But, No. The bottle spun... and spun... until finally, it landed on... me. With a shock like a lightning bolt through my chest, I realized that Brandon was supposed to kiss me! Out of my own insecurity, I'd invented somehow in my head that he must have chosen to do a kiss on the cheek because he would never like me. But who knows? Maybe he was just as apprehensive throughout the game as I was and could not fathom kissing anyone on the lips.
As he moved across the circle, some whoops broke out. The butterflies in my stomach began to beat their little wings as loud and forcefully as my heart did. I had never given or been given any kind of kiss from a boy before that point. He was soon right in front of me. The electric anxiety rushed out as he leaned over and touched my cheek with his lips.
I thought his skin felt so soft on my face. Yet, as soon as he was there, it was over, and he slid back into his spot, cross-legged. Afterwards, the tension in the room didn't last much longer for me or anyone else: the game ended after only a few more turns, the crowd broke up, and some of us went to play outside. It was all a bit much for us young ones. Still, I will always remember my first kiss shared with a boy during an innocent little spin-the-bottle game.