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Spin the Bottle

By @Alex_Smith

“So, who’s going first?”

She held the water bottle in her hand until I finally raised mine to say “I can go.” I was the one who suggested it anyway, and since I had never done it before the idea of playing this party game that I saw on TV and in music videos for my favorite songs seemed fresh and exciting. What made it even more exciting was the fact that we were in a public place, with a group of people who we barely even knew.

Sitting directly across from me, though, was a boy who peaked my interest. I’d only met him that morning, and I was never one to believe in love at first sight or anything. But something about him caught my attention. Maybe it was the way his eyes would always close when he laughed, or how mysterious he seemed when we was sitting on his phone in the corner while everyone was talking to each other. I wasn’t in love, but I was definitely captivated.

When my hand grabbed the bottle, I hesitated to spin it. I stayed there for a few seconds, in that position with my wrist twisted in an awkward angle, getting ready to flick it. In my head, I was calculating how much force it would take to land perfectly on the mysterious boy. Was it even a matter of skill? Or was it completely luck? My heart was pounding so hard I thought he might hear it, even among all the other voices in the building.

I counted down in my thoughts. One… two… three! I pushed my fingers and my thumb against the bottle and pulled my hand back. The empty bottle spun around about four or fives times, until it finally landed directly across from me. A weight was lifted inside of me, and I laughed at how relieved I felt. There were about 10 other people in the circle, and even though all of them weren’t bad looking, I wasn’t nearly as interested in any of them as much as the boy.

It took me a couple of seconds to come out of my haze and let the reality sink in of what was going to happen next. I was so focused on getting the bottle to land on him that I hadn’t even thought any further ahead. Still, the two of us moved to the center of the circle so everyone could see us. I don’t think any passersby were watching, it was only us two and the circle.

The excitement of our little audience only made the anticipation worse. We hadn’t defined any rules yet. Should I just kiss him? I didn’t have to make the decision because he was already moving closer to me. His lips were soft, and I could tell he’d just put chapstick on because they tasted way too sweet. The people around us were laughing, but I could barely hear them over the pounding in my head. I thought kissing him would be awkward and difficult. I’d only had three kisses prior to this, so I wasn’t very experienced. But it came so naturally, like this was exactly what I was meant to be doing. It only took a few seconds for us to find a rhythm with each other, and after a few more went by he pulled away and both of us merged back into the circle.

People were clapping for us, which felt very fitting considering how much courage it took for me to actually go through with kissing him, much less suggest we play this game in the first place. It took a few minutes to calm down and catch my breath. Kissing him gave me so much anxiety that I felt as though I had just run a marathon. But it was over now, and someone else took the bottle to put it back in its rightful place in the center.

“Who wants to go next?”

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