We'd been set up when a friend of mine told a friend of Richard's that I liked him. Of course, this information was passed on, post haste. So, risking life and limb, Richard ran across the road to ask if it was true, and if so, would I like to go on a date?.
I was thirteen, and shy, and serious. He was sixteen, and I thought he was the most gorgeous thing I'd ever seen in my life. He was very tall, very slim and lithe, his hair was honey-coloured, his eyes were blue and he had a lovely, laughing face.
I nodded, mutely at first, then managed to force out the words "Yes, I'd like that."
We arranged to meet, the following evening, at the local park.
We sat there, on a spring evening, sitting on a bench, and talking in the twighlight. Our legs brushed against each other from time to time as we shifted a little, and as the sun set, he took my hand and held it, gently. His hand was warm, I remember, and the touch was soft as he just let my fingers rest there, circled by his.
We kept talking as it grew dark. It got colder, and when I shivered he put his arm around me, and shared his coat, cuddling me against his chest.
The town clock struck nine. Time for me to go. My parents were meeting me at the entance to the park at nine-fifteen.
We walked slowly to the meeting place, hand in hand.
He started to bend down (I mentioned he was very tall), then stopped. With a grin, he put his hands on my waist, and lifted me onto the first step outside the police station, so I was looking him straight in the face. Then he slipped his arms round me, so his hands rested in the small of my back, and pulled me towards him.
I placed my hands lightly on his shoulders and our lips touched, lightly.
There was no awkwardness, no bumping of noses. Our mouths opened, just a little, and there it was, my first proper kiss. Not overly long, not incredibly passionate, but very sweet and perfect
As we moved apart, he brought his hand up, stroked my cheek, and said "Thank you".
I've loved kissing ever since.