Typically when I sit down to write I struggle to remember, however I’m at a stage in my story where the memories haven’t yet faded and I can recall details with almost perfect clarity. It helps that I also started to make notes when Megan and I started dating, I guess I’m using the word dating because we both knew there were feelings there, we never actually used the word date.
We’d been getting more flirty with every conversation lately, the compliments came easily. I remember telling her that she had a particular electric blue top that looked rather good on her, she’d made similar comments back. It was funny just how much we paid attention to each others comments. When it came to our night out in Bath we’d planned to go for drinks at our nearest (yet still a 20 minute drive away) gay bar, we were both wearing outfits that the other had previously complimented.
It was the 23rd of June 2012, I remember because it was so close to my birthday. I remember because I recently found a scrap of paper with it written on from an old notebook at work. I picked Megan up and we drove to Bath, I can’t remember what we talked about but it certainly wasn’t anything to do with what we had been texting. I had made it clear that if I ever had the chance again to kiss her, I would. There was a definite air of anticipation to the evening.
I’d arranged to meet Sophie in Bath for drinks to celebrate my birthday early, she’d be bringing a friend with her too. I had been thinking over how best to approach the expected kiss, the only thing for sure was that it would have to wait at least until we arrived in Bath. I started over-thinking it and attempted to meticulously plan making a move. We were heading to Mandalyns, which conveniently has the front door, the tiniest little porch come doorstep and then narrow double doors into the bar. I wanted to get the kiss out of my system, I was starting to feel the pressure. I planned to stop just as we were about to enter the bar and kiss Megan before we arrived.
It didn’t go to plan. We were early, the bar wasn’t even open. My brilliant plan was so easily foiled, I knew we’d be heading back there later but my immediate thought was simply ‘crap!’
We went to look for somewhere else to head for our first drink of the evening, we strolled down the high street and ended up at the Cosy Club. It was a shiny new bar in the recently redeveloped part of Bath, it really did have a cosy atmosphere and it was quite busy. We sat on the balcony outside and it was unseasonably cold, there were blankets for people to snuggle up in when outside.
Again we prattled on about anything and everything, effortlessly making small talk. Maybe even flirting a little, or a lot. After we’d both finished our first drink we knew we had killed enough time for the gay bar to be open by now. I felt my plan slip into action again, just a short walk up to the bar and we could have that moment that I had planned, the pause in the doorway when we could share our first kiss.
It had started to rain while we had been in the Cosy Club, it wasn’t pouring down, it was a light fresh summer shower. The kind of rain the brings the smell of freshly cut grass and is really quite refreshing. The rain was all the excuse Megan needed to sidle up next to me and slip her arm through mine as we walked back up the high street. The contact made me nervous, up to this point we had kept each other at a no-contact distance. Probably both knowing what would happen if we didn’t.
Megan didn’t seem nervous, but she wasn’t in any rush to reach our destination despite the rain. The butterflies didn’t really help my situation, I let Megan direct us around the cobbled streets off track, taking the side roads rather than the main road. We chatted nonsense the whole time and the rain was slowly picking up. I really don’t remember a word that Megan said to me while we were walking through Bath until we arrived at the corner in sight of Mandalyns.
I had already looked ahead to the doorway of the bar and spotted some girl smoking there taking shelter from the rain, the plan was foiled again. Just as I started to internally curse at the situation Megan surprised me by saying quite brazenly that she was disappointed that I hadn’t kissed her yet.
I literally stopped in my tracks, I let my hand slide down Megan’s arm until I was holding her hand and pulled her to a stop with me. I remember looking her in the eyes and saying ‘I guess I’ll have to do something about that…’ and I leaned in for the kiss. It was soft, tender and romantic. The way a first kiss should be, there was still so much in the balance for Megan and for me that we knew we’d be taking things slow.
That first kiss seemed to be over too soon, standing in the rain on a summers night on the streets of Bath. As we broke away neither of us said anything, we both proceeded into the bar. It was quiet enough that we were able to be served straight away. The whole time the barman attended to us my mind was raging.
My head was spinning through thoughts of ‘I can’t believe I just did that’ and wondering whether Megan regretted it or if she wanted to do it again and again just like I did. I was all too aware that I was in a much better place than she was, I had been single for just over six months, I had no ties, I was getting on great at work, life was great. Megan had Rose still a constant thorn in her side, hated her work, probably wasn’t looking to get involved with someone that lived so far away. If my head was already spinning through all that I imagined hers was too.
I remember feeling very sheepish as I looked over to Megan as we sipped our drinks, I had to ask. When I asked her if she regretted it, she locked on to my eyes with her piercing blue gaze and the biggest smile and simply said No, that was all the encouragement I needed. I flirtatiously asked ‘ So you wouldn’t mind if I did that again?’ we had our second kiss standing right there at the bar.
The bar was practically empty and this time we kissed deeper and for longer. We were both slightly breathless by the time it was over. I think we were both in disbelief, neither of us could really comprehend what was happening between us, neither of us wanted it to stop, neither of us knew what would happen next.
The rest of the night we were both pretty keyed up. It was the excitement of falling, the first kiss, what felt like our first date. There was a worry of being discovered before we were ready, Megan would need time to really break free of Rose before we could come out into the open as a couple, that’s even if we were going to end up as a couple. All the worries weren’t enough to keep our hands off each other.
As the night wore on we grew more comfortable, realising that we weren’t going to be discovered together that night. We grew more tactile, sneaking more and more kisses as the night wore on. Sophie and her friend had showed up and we were all quite sociable to begin with, but as the music got louder and the drinks started flowing Megan and I were harder to part. Even when my old friend showed up and asked who the new girl in my life was I was hard pressed to stray further than a meter away. Her pull felt magnetic.
Eventually we left the bar and the reality of the situation hit us. I’d had to drive Megan home now, home to her, Rose. They were still living in the same little mobile shed on the outskirts of our town. Rose would be waiting up for her, probably chomping at the bit to start a row. It was a real dampener on what had been an amazing night. As far as Megan was concerned her and Rose were over, Rose was finding it hard getting the message, to her it was just another of their breaks. Megan would see sense in the end, or so she thought.
I knew I wouldn’t get to give Megan a kiss goodnight at the end of our date, I couldn’t stand it. So before I’d be pulling up in the gravel car park I made a split second decision to pull in at the last lay-by on the by-pass before her turning off. I told Megan that I’d never be able to leave her without a kiss goodnight and that this would be the last chance we’d get. We stopped there in the car for a while making out like love-struck teenagers until we were both aware of her phone constantly going off, there was that nagging reminder again.
Megan silenced her phone and I pulled away to drive the last few hundred meters. Megan had spent the majority of the journey snuggled up to my side and occasionally kissing me on the cheek or on my neck. She didn’t stop until I turned off the road onto her street. I didn’t know when we’d get to see each other again.