A Teenage Catastrophe

Romantic couple kissing on rocks at seaside.
Romantic couple kissing on rocks at seaside.

This is a teen-written article from our friends at Teenink.com.

By Allie F., Stafford, VA

"This is going to be it," I thought as the sweat stains from my armpits graciously shouted my anticipation to the world. With each push of the bike pedals, I could feel the excitement mounting, electrifying the air between his holy body and mine. The gravel crunched under our tires, the crickets were just beginning to chirp, and we were laughing and in love. It was my favorite time of day, right before the sun dips behind the trees and the world is doused in gold. Everything was perfect.

We rode down to the water, racing over the dry, bumpy grass. A bench stood nearby, admiring the best view of the point. As we sat down and observed the peacefulness that comes at dusk on the water, our breathing slowed but our hearts beat faster. Holding hands as the sunset turned to pink and orange sorbet, I couldn’t stop smiling. In 10th grade, you think you’re in love with the first boy who tells you you’re beautiful.

Everything was exactly as I had always imagined -- until the mosquitoes came. Mosquitoes have always had an affinity for me, but this time it was just ridiculous; soon my legs were covered in red welts. I should have suggested we leave, pedaling my itchy legs back to his house to take a bath in Benadryl. Instead, I foolishly trooped on toward impending doom.

After listening to my protests about West Nile virus, he pedaled over to the beach area and I followed. As we parked our bikes, we noticed an older lady walking two labs up the beach. Even though all three were adorable, I despised them on the spot. How was my evening to go as planned if we had an observer hanging around? Nonetheless, we decided to live the cliché and take a romantic walk on the beach.

I remember the sand being cool on the top but delightfully warm a few inches down. I remember the water gently lapping the shore and seaweed lying on the sand. I remember fireflies dotting the nearby bushes and the lonely lifeguard stand watching the empty beach, a sentinel even in the increasing darkness. I remember constantly scratching my legs and looking over my shoulder until the lady disappeared. But what I don’t remember is how we ended up sitting on the beach, bathed in awkward silence.

This is going to be it, I thought for the second time that night. Eagerly, I inched closer to him and waited. Nothing. The only sound for a good three minutes was his heavy breathing -- he was obviously as nervous as I was.

Finally, I said, “Let’s just get this over with.” And with that, I leaned in for the kill.

Stopping inches from my sweaty face, he admitted, “I don’t really know what I’m doing.”

“You think I do?”

In movies, time stops right before two lovers kiss; a gentle hand caresses a soft cheek. In reality, that never happens. Rather, right before our lips met in the catastrophic collision of the century, I thought, "This is going to suck."

Teeth banged, spit drooled everywhere. All my built-up anticipation left my body the moment I felt his unrelenting tongue moving like a living alien in my mouth. After about five minutes of this, my lips and my heart felt like a deflated balloon.

We rode back in near silence. In between the suppressing stillness and the bugs hitting my face, I realized that romance had died for me. Everything I had imagined about love was a fraud built up from movies and books. That night had the potential to be the loveliest of my life, but instead it was one of my most terrifying and embarrassing moments.

Since that time long ago, my current boyfriend of six months has showed me the true meaning of romantic love. I realize now that romance is nothing that can be plotted and set. Romance is not the idolized, picture-perfect love scenes from teen movies but rather the little, thoughtful moments that capture your heart.



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