Playfully Serious

I never thought sharing secrets in the dark would mean coming out. Stephan passed me the almost empty tequila bottle.

“Okay, Rene,” he said. “Your dare is to French kiss a girl.”

“What?” I said. “Here?” I thought camping was a way of escaping the facade.

“Right here, right now,” encouraged Colton. “What’s so scary about a kiss?”

“Nothing,” I said, stalling. I nervously stared at the two other girls in the fire circle whom I could choose from. I tried not to let my eyes linger on Kayla. It’s just a dare, I thought. Don’t turn it into anything more than a dare.

I swigged the tequila, regretting my mouth tasting like booze. I stood up and moved to sit between both Kayla and Ariel, non-committedly. Ariel brushed her hair behind her ear. Kayla rested backward on her hands. They both stared at the fire, and all I could see were the reflections of sparks dancing in their eyes, the fire nymphs egging me on. Do it, they whispered. We dare you to kiss her.

“I won’t do it,” I faltered. “It’s not fair. You’re daring one of them, too.”

“Fine,” frowned Stephan. “Truth then.” He poked at the fire with a long stick, then held it up so the tip sent a spiral of smoke up into the night. My heartbeat was loud in my chest; the opportunity to express myself to Kayla missed and gliding away with the smoke.

“Who’s the most attractive one here?” Stephan grinned.

Shit. I looked around at our camping group: Colton, Kayla, Harris, Ariel, Stephan, and me. The truth might as well be the same as the dare, I quailed to myself. Stephan didn’t know that, though. And neither does Kayla. My cheeks burned, but it wasn’t from the fire’s heat. My palms sweated as the truth levitated on my lips. Kayla. Kayla with her little nose and soft blue eyes. Kayla with her edgy shoes and big t-shirts that always exposed her bra strap. Kayla, who never wore her emotions on her sleeve, almost always frowning, but was the fastest to hug you. Kayla…

I pivoted in the grass, planting a kiss on her lips. My hand went to cradle her neck, and my eyes snapped shut, so I couldn’t see whether her surprise was of disgust or delight. Silky and tender, we kissed. My tongue furtively touched her soft lips. They parted, accepting, and our tongues exchanged luscious strokes. My pulse leaped as our mouths melded. I’m kissing Kayla. I had dreamt it a million times, but there was never anyone watching. Like tumbling in sheets, our tongues caressed. The warmth emanating from inside and out, my bones were ignited by the passionate release.

Then it dawned on me. Kayla was kissing me back.

Written for Tales Community Prompt for Pride Month

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