6 March 2018

My First Kiss (Follow-Up) + Heartbreak

I'll be honest. This isn't the follow-up piece that I was expecting to write on the post 'My First Kiss on Valentine's Day at 19-Years-Old'. I expected to describe in more detail the sternness of Julian's body pressed against mine, his gentle caressing of my lower back and his oddly skew but quirky smile. This most definitely won't be that post.
 Last night, I went to a typical student house party. It was a grungy house that could do with a dabbing of paint here and there. Empty liquor bottles lined the kitchen countertops, demonstrating what I can only thing to be pride in the student home owner's alcoholism, obviously. The house reeked of every cheap student-bought alcohol and good ol' cannabis, on top of the 'historic' smell that came with the house. In all these regards, this was a quintessential house party. The only difference? It was Julian's house party. Just in case you're new here, Julian was my first kiss, on Valentine's day whom I haven't seen since. There's been lots of talk of a second date, but somehow that never came to fruition- which may have added to my behaviour (which you'll hear more about later).

"So, there I go, trekking up three flights of stairs which you could have mistaken for an old man's bony back."

You can call it romantic idealism, the side-effects of being a hopeless romantic or maybe just being human but I seriously thought Julian would talk to me at this party- I mean, that is what we had been doing for over four months on text (and occasionally in person). The party started at 10pm, but of course, being fashionably late meant that I arrived a little closer to 12pm. Julian was nowhere to be found. Again, blame the hopeless romantic in me, but I thought a text noting my lack of presence would have been nice, but I was met with radio silence.

After meandering through a narrow wedge between countertops in the kitchen, we ended up in the back garden. My friends and I huddled around a fire we found there. If you're picturing your typical fire then think again. It was a flame in a trolley. A literal shopping trolley.  I thought it was rather innovative really, but I won't be telling Julian that anytime soon. Anyways, whilst canoodling close to the embers in a trolley, my previous visits to the house (pre-Valentine's Day date) meant I knew where Julian's room was- and I had a pretty good idea that he was probably in it dancing along to the pop electric-pop music blaring from out of it. So, there I go, trekking up three flights of stairs which you could have mistaken for an old man's bony back. I got to the landing at the top and people toppled out of the room. I'm not claustrophobic, but it just didn't look like a space that I wanted to get into. I settled on the notion that Julian was in there somewhere and probably having a fun time. So, I trekked back down the old man's spine, chatted to a couple of friends along the way, and returned back to the warmth and comfort of the embers in a trolley which now roared and raged like an angry beast thanks to some drunk who refuelled the flame.
"The coldness of the brief exchange contrasted with the warmth of the fire between us."

It could have been one hour later, maybe two but at some point, something caught the corner of my eye and made me turn away from the warmth. It was Julian. He had managed to slip out of his 'rave cave' and into the world. At this point, it was probably nearing 3am. There he was across the fire. He saw me and with a half-smile, we both acknowledged each other's presence. The coldness of the brief exchange contrasted with the warmth of the fire between us. After a few more awkward glances, he made the trek around the one metre-wide fire and came to say what must have been "hello", although I'm not really sure what he said exactly but I'm sure that it wasn't anything more.
It was awkward. There was something off about the way our arms curled around each other's bodies. It wasn't like two weeks earlier he'd been exploring my curves with his hands firmly on my waist. His hands on me felt foreign. I should probably add that he smelt like he had been dossed in alcohol. I could tell he had spent the night kissing several bottles of various liquors. Going back to the hug: By this point, I knew that bottles weren't the only thing pursed against his lips that night. I had known that up in his room he had been making out with someone else- or that's what my sources were telling me anyway, which could partly explain my refuge by the fire. At this point, I shuffled the chair that I had separated from to hug Julian closer to the fire (and further away from him) but it wasn't close enough for the now dying flames to give me the comfort that I needed, so I opted to stand instead. The hopeless romantic in me would love to write that Julian followed and caressed me from behind. He didn't. He just took my seat.

"I made no effort to approach him either."

Once again, I turned towards what was left of the fire for warmth- and away from Julian who was now deep in conversation with a friend of his just behind me.

After 10 minutes, Julian also got up and left, making no effort whatsoever to approach me. I guess I made no effort to approach him either.

Another 10 minutes passed and the flame was alive again (thanks to a different drunken student who found the pile of firewood stashed in the back of the garden). People were now huddled around the fire, lyrics.com in hand singing away to pop ballads which made me chuckle but drowsiness overcame me and I was ready to head home.

"...Julian who was caressing another girl exactly the same way that he had endeared me a few weeks before..."

After saying the few goodbyes to the people I knew around the fire site (which was a bit more like a camp now, huddled with bodies parasitically leeching off the heat) I went to leave. Low and behold, as I enter the house, in the tiny passage with prized £5 liquor bottles lining the edges, between where I was standing and my escape from this hell-hole, was Julian who was caressing another girl exactly the same way that he had endeared me a few weeks before in the darkness of the park and under shelter from the rain. Turns out I wasn't different. But I hate that I thought I was. 

In my original post, I wrote that "[Julian's] a player-type but my gut says that there's more to him than meets the eyes." I can confirm, he most definitely is a player type- but don't be fooled. I knew it all along. I just thought I'd be different. Oh, the cliche!

"wanted him to see me. I needed him to know that I had seen him."

Anyways, with Julian standing between me and my way out and with no other alternative, I had to move forwards and disturb them and a part of me really wanted to. I didn't want them to stop making out with her because at this stage, they'd been going at it the whole night from what I'd been hearing. I wanted him to see me. I needed him to know that I had seen him. So, I tapped him on the shoulder, lightly, gently but sternly and said: "Sorry, Julian", and turned my body sidewards to manoeuvre between the two of them and the tiny passage, my body brushing against theirs head-on.  I shuffled past and turned back to see the look on his face. 

As I turned back, I saw one eye that was looking past the girl whose face was in his hands. He was looking at me. He saw me, just as I had wanted him to. I'm not sure how to describe it. I don't want to say that he was shocked because it wasn't a look of shock that I was met with, only. Well, I mean, it may have been but it was a look of shock mixed with something else- and I've spent the night trying to figure out what that 'something else' is, but to no avail.
"Also, I don't regret that he was my first kiss. I don't regret it at all."

Again, the hopeless romantic in me thought that he'd follow me out or run and shout "Steph, Steph, Steph" so I lingered a few seconds longer than necessary before exiting from the house. But nothing.

I still think Julian is a good guy. Yes, he's a player and I got caught up in his streak, but he isn't a bad person. There's something about him that makes me think there's a whole lot of goodness in there, sometimes it's just really, really deep under the surface. But, it's there. I know it.

Also, I don't regret that he was my first kiss. I don't regret it at all.

"What happens now?" you may ask. Great question! I have no idea how much of last night he remembers. But, I'm hoping it's enough.

Till next time-


  1. wow. I have no words.

    you are very mature for how you are seeming to handle this situation. and to still believe hes a good guy...that takes a lot. hats off to you.

    Im sorry for the heartbreak though. thats never easy. Love you girl. hang in there and dont let boys break you down


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