11. The Language of a Kiss

11. The Language of a Kiss

A Chapter by Peter Rogerson



Darren had found the funeral a hard place to be but was happy that it didn’t have a clergyman extolling the make-believe virtues of a man he had never known. Instead his father had the funeral he would have chosen, away from a church and its, to him, pompous yet meaningless promises of a re-awakening and in a pleasant garden cemetery maintained as a secular resting place for the deceased.

Afterwards he went home. There were few others returning to the home of the late Tom Bingley because his only friends were colleagues at work, and the council could only afford to send a token from the workplace to bid him farewell. Bins, after all, need emptying.

Come round here,” hissed a voice as he made his way to the garden shed where his dad had sheltered for many a wet afternoon rather than sit at home where Rona’s voice had a tendency to drone on and on, discussing next to nothing in far too many words.

Jennifer was looking over the fence that separated their gardens. She hadn’t been to the funeral, though Mrs Sagebrush had gone out of courtesy, but the girl’s head was there now, half a smile on her lips as if she wasn’t sure how he felt.

He looked back at her, and smiled himself. Not a joyous smile, not one that said that it was a good day to be alive, but one that acknowledged a friend.

Coming,” he replied, and found his way via a couple of rear garden gates to where Jennifer was standing, holding two drinking glasses.

I thought you might want this,” she said quietly, knowing that anything above half a decibel would be heard by the boy’s mother.

He took one of the glasses from her and sipped. It was beer, a good beer at that, and he liked it. His dad had often passed him a small bottle when they’d been in the shed together, but his mother probably didn’t know. Her knowledge of such things hardly entered her mind if they didn’t actually concern her.

That’s better,” he sighed, “thanks.”

How are you feeling?” she asked anxiously.

Not bad. But glad that it’s over,” he replied.

I want to show you something,” she said quietly, “come here, to the end of the garden.”

The end of their garden was quite a long way, past some bean plants with their beans ready to be harvested, to a quiet corner out of sight of both houses.

What is it?” he asked.

Only this,” she replied, and smiled before planting the biggest kiss he’d ever dreamed might exist, either in this world or the mythical heaven they droned on about in school assemblies. And it was a proper kiss, not an airy-fairy brushing of lips but a mesmerising unity that said everything he wanted to hear, and quite a lot more. And because she was kissing him he responded, and kissed her back, exploring all of her mouth in a heart-stopping moment that he wanted to go on for ever.

When they had completely separated she smiled the biggest of all smiles at him as her hair draped over one of his shoulders and then pulled away.

Wow,” she said, “where did you learn to do that?”

He didn’t have an answer to that because she was the only girl he had ever kissed, though he had once or twice and rather foolishly practised kissing own fist. But that had been nothing like this, nothing at all.

You just showed me,” he stammered.

Let’s do it again,” she suggested, and he was only too willing. For the first time in what seemed an awfully long time he forgot a dead father, he forgot funerals, he forgot everything he had ever feared about death, and kissed the beautiful girl. Suddenly he knew one thing for sure. He never wanted to kiss anyone else. Just her, just Jennifer.

Jennifer,” he stammered when they were apart again.

Shush,” she said, “I know what you’re thinking, but don’t. Don’t think of anything like forever or eternity, just think of this one moment out of all time. Tomorrow’s another day. You may meet and kiss other girls and I may meet and kiss other boys, but this one moment, this one solitary moment out of the entirety of our lives, is special. And whatever you do don’t talk about love. That’s the word that my mum uses when she talks about my dad, and what I feel at this moment is so different from that.”

I just want…” stammered Darren, “I don’t know why you want to kiss a spotty jerk like me!”

Spots fade, but hearts beat on for a long time,” she told him, “and I like you.”

And I like you, but then so do all the lads at school, no matter what they’re studying,” he told her “you’re the most beautiful girl in the world!”

And he meant it! Of course he did, because wasn’t she? And the things she chose to wear, and the accent was on she chose! They matched her perfectly, from the occasional ribbon in her hair down to her shoes and perfect feet. But most of all, the frock she was wearing at that special moment, the way it showed just the right amount of her legs, legs that he wanted to touch and worship.

There’s liking and liking,” she said with that white-toothed radiant smile of hers, “and I like you, Darren. Because you’re the nicest young man in the world. There! I’ve given my heart away, just like that!”

There was only one response he could make to that. Gently, as if he might break her if he wasn’t so gentle, he pulled her towards him, and kissed her again. A complete kiss, with no nervous frailty at its edges but a whole glorious, wonderful, positive kiss. She felt it and sensed what he meant.

What on Earth is going on here!” squawked Rona’s voice from the other side of the fence that separated her from then, “Darren, take your tongue out of that girl’s mouth! Of all the shameful things! What would your father say if he was alive?”

It was Jennifer who pulled away from him, Jennifer who looked at Darren’s mother and Jennifer who had the answer.

Why,” she said, “he would remember when he was seventeen and with you somewhere like here or on the park, maybe in a special corner only he knew, and he would say carry on, Darren, tell the truth for all you’re worth in the language of a kiss…”

© Peter Rogerson, 08.05.21


© 2021 Peter Rogerson

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Added on May 8, 2021
Last Updated on May 8, 2021
Tags: funeral, garden, kisses


Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

I am 77 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..