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Strawberry Wine and the $500 Kiss

The party was loud so he asked me to hang out with him outside. It started raining after only a few minutes so we walked to his car and sat inside. From the passenger’s seat I stared at the outline of his profile as he stared straight ahead.  We liked each other but sat in silence listening to the the rain fall on the roof and windshield.

With the engine off he turned the radio on. Country music streamed while he reached under his seat for a bottle of Strawberry Hill Boone’s Farm wine (if that’s what it’s called). He opened the cap and passed it to me, still in its brown paper bag.

I hadn’t had wine before and wanted to be cool so lifted the bottle clumsily to my mouth, chipping my front tooth. I tasted blood on my tongue after running it across the break. He wasn’t looking and wanting to be classy I hid the dental dilemma and continued on to take a second drink.  It tasted like a mixture of sprite, berry kool-aid and vomit.

I passed the bottle back to him with a shy smile unaware of the cosmetic damage that would leave me self-conscious for the next five years, until I could afford to repair it.

I was seventeen and we sealed the evening with a kiss. It was my first kiss and I officially became his girl, chipped tooth and all.

The nostalgia of first love…


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