I heard that name yesterday for the first time in fourteen years. This is not to say that the name hasn't crossed my mind in that span of time, just that it hadn't been spoken aloud in my presence. She was the girl who supplied me with my first kiss. The year was 1972, Nixon was President and I was seven years old.
We’d met in the first grade and instantly disliked each other. Sitting to my right in the next row, she was the one I picked on most during rainy days and recess and vice-versa.
In second grade, Lisa sat behind me and we got to know each other pretty well. I told her jokes and she laughed. We played games and hung out together at recess. Other kids started making up rhymes about us, "Billy and Lisa sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G, first comes love, then comes..." You know how it goes.
Things began to get serious, we graduated from sitting together to actually holding hands, after that came hand-held walks around the playground. It was on one of these walks, that she kissed me. I was caught off guard, but rallied my senses enough to kiss her back. That was the first and last kiss we ever shared, as if to have done it and got it over with was the important thing, now we could move forward with our friendship. Too shy to discuss it and to chicken to try again, we remained inseparable through the end of the school year. My family moved over the summer and we never saw each other again.
Every now and then, I find my mind turning back to that brief moment in time, but no matter how hard I try, I cannot supply a face to the memory. I seem to remember it as perfect, the most beautiful in the world. Maybe that's why I can't picture her.
Maybe it's better that way.