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My First Kiss

My First Kiss

Holz Elementary: First in Line
Waiting for Bobby

Five years old and in the first grade. I love painting, playing in the woods, building forts, climbing trees, swimming, and walking to school. My exciting adventures from 1524 Bedford Road to Holz Elementary in Charleston, West Virginia, are often perilous. I ignore the rule to walk with my sisters - preferring to evade them. I leave extra early to have ample time to frolic in the woods, still arriving before anybody else and somehow clean. What a miracle - no mud!

Giant fallen trees lay across the ravine, and rushing water is far below. I keep this as my private, mysterious, and secluded world. I gallop from one side to the other and back - knowing when to wrap up my fun and meander on to meet Bobby. I have much more time to explore on my way home. Our family dinner is not until 6:30 pm. 

I am always the first in line, waiting for the principal to open the chained, locked doors allowing us to enter. Bobby, my first crush, arrives soon after me. We talk and laugh, and one freezing day he blurts out, "I like your dark curly hair," and gives me a quick peck on the lips - my very first kiss!

At recess, I see him playing on the merry-go-round with Ann. She is cute with blond ponytails and big pale pink ribbons. What? He kisses her, too - innocence busted! 

After school, I return to my world in the woods - forgetting about Bobby, Ann, and the kisses. I daydream about the upcoming contest: Queen of the Playground.

Once home, I hear my elder twin sisters, Carolyn and Marilyn, giggling in their bedroom. I listen as they whisper about Trippy winning the King role, and neither he nor the other boys want a sixth-grade girl to be the Queen. We vote the next day. I close my eyes and imagine the gold crown placed naturally and comfortably on my head - it's beautiful!

I arrive extra early the following day - many people do. Everybody is excited to vote, and I ignite my five-year-old charm. To know me today, nobody could imagine this Debby Kay Levine ever existed. She is even a dim memory for me: bubbly personality, carefree prance, and engaging with all the students. Since the fifth and sixth-grade boys root for me, the other students follow their enthusiasm, and I win! 

I receive three prizes: 

  • A gold crown
  • A plaster statue of a Queen
  • And best of all - a kiss from The King

Trippy: my new secret crush, and I quickly say, bye-bye Bobby. 

The next day? I remain gleeful as I gallop on top of the fallen trees resting high above the treacherous water far below. I may be Queen of the Playground, but my hidden dreamland off Connell Road is all mine. My fantasies are alive and free - filled with fun, laughter, and creativity.

  • Post author
    Debra Levine

Comments on this post (4)

  • Oct 19, 2020

    Lovely writing…One day your Prince will come…

    — London boy

  • Oct 17, 2020

    I really look forward to your stories, Debra. And this one is so special. What a great memory! And beautifully told.

    — Muffy Lutzin

  • Oct 14, 2020


    Love your uninhibited flair and sense of wonder (as well as wander). Darling story from roads and places of our roots. Keep up your glorious writing and thank you for sharing with us. Made me smile. All best to you.

    — Valerie Hunt

  • Oct 14, 2020

    I love this Debra. You made me smile. I don’t remember this contest and now I know you really were wandering off into the woods by yourself. Mother would not have liked that. Sending angel hugs your way. I still remember those curls of yours.

    — Marilyn

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