“Two peoples’ lips together, their breath, a little bit of their soul…
A kiss is where the romance is.”
I have to agree with Meg Ryan’s character in one of my all-time favorite movies French Kiss. (If you haven’t seen it, buy or rent immediately!) Now, not all kisses are romantic, but whether in real life or in fiction it’s hard to deny that kisses are powerful things.
Admittedly, a tangible touch someone lays smack dab on your kisser is likely more exciting than reading about two people smooching in a book, though I’d argue to say a paper kiss puts an on-screen kiss to shame any day of the week for the sheer power of your imagination at work, but I digress.
We’re talking about kissing, one of my absolute favorite things to write, read, and shoot, partake in myself. Not all kisses are created equal, certainly. And a first kiss … whether the first ever, or the first with someone in particular, is irrevocably, epically significant—which is why it’s usually the most anticipated moment in a love story.
Those baited breaths, that suspended moment of longing, of doubt. The anticipation strung so tight your chest can barely contain your savage heart. And then… Wham! Lips touch, hearts collide, souls are shaken, and lives are changed. Or they’re not. But what I love about fiction is where that moment takes me. And this is where…
Forget about my first kiss. That was so far from magical it was practically tragic. Since I’m not much for shyness and I’m a die-hard romantic up to my ears in diapers and dirty laundry, let's talk about something swoon-worthy like a life-changing kiss.
If we rewind about ten years, before I married my handsome hunk of a husband and had three of his wonderfully exhausting children, you’d find me tutoring the college baseball player in statistics. This usually took place on campus or at a local coffeehouse. But while I waited for the blockhead to get a clue and ask me out on an actual date, we studied. Talked. Became friends. It was incredibly frustratingly awesome. And then one night we studied at his apartment where his rowdy roommates had us escaping to the quiet of his room whereupon we sat on his bed and actually studied statistics.
One would think this would be a convenient place to make his intentions known. But that wasn’t the man I was falling for. This was not an opportunistic moment for him. It was the foundation for a much bigger goal. So at the end of the night, when I was about ready to crawl out of my skin, he took my hand, walked me to my car, and then … asked if he could kiss me good night.
There was something spellbinding about that question. If I were writing the scene I knew I wouldn’t have had the hero ask. In my mind I'd have him be decisive and claim that kiss as if his life depended on the meeting of our lips rather than his show of superhuman restraint in making me grant him access to my pearly whites.
Funny thing about romance, it's not usually what we expect or what we've been programmed by fairy tales to think it should be. And perhaps therein lies the magic of falling. An equation can’t compute it. The variables, well, they vary. Statistics have no bearing. In other words, it’s beyond our control and the result is beautiful chaos.
In that moment, the brain and the jock were standing on the precipice. He’d taken the time to learn me before making his move, instinctively knowing I needed that moment to be something I couldn’t have written or planned or even braced myself for.
But now, I remember…
His endlessly deep voice like the rasp of a rosined bow over my nerve endings. The intensity in his moonlit brown eyes as he made himself vulnerable to me, laying his desire at my feet, surrendering his control. I was hypnotized, barely squeaking out a nod, falling like a wing-less fairy not bothering to reach for her pouch of fairy dust. I was a goner before he laid those gorgeous lips on me. My last first kiss. The cool autumn night a contrast to the cocoon of heat created with the man who was helping me write the most perfect first kissing scene I couldn’t begin to do justice with words.
It changed the course of my life in an instant. And I'm convinced we anxiously await that moment on the page because while it likely differs greatly from our own experience, and it isn’t meant to belittle or replace a perhaps less eloquent reality, what it does is transport us back to that pivotal moment in our story where we had no need for paper because we wrote the memory on our hearts. The paper kiss’s power lies in its ability to flood us with emotions and memories from those first inklings of falling. Of recognizing that shift in your heroine’s journey as if you were walking in her shoes and learning love all over again. That kiss…It’s more than tangled lips and shared breath. It’s nostalgia. That first flicker of promise, the first glimpse of happily ever after. It’s hope for the loved and the lonely alike. And sometimes all it takes is one beautiful kiss to light the way.
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Amy Leigh Simpson writes romantic mysteries with honesty and humor, sweetness and spice, and gritty reality covered by grace. When she’s not stealing moments at naptime to squeeze out a few more adventures in storyland, she’s chasing around two tow-headed miscreants (Ahem)—boys, playing dress up with one sweet princess baby, and being the very blessed wife to the coolest, most swoon-worthy man alive. Amy is a Midwestern-girl, a singer, blogger, runner, coffee-addict, and foodie. Her Sports Medicine degree is wasted patching up daily boo boo’s, but whatever is left usually finds its way onto the page with fluttering hearts, blood and guts, and scars that lead to happily ever after.
Check out her debut romantic mystery novel WHEN FALL FADES available now for $3.99!