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  • Hi Emma Cunningham you were my first kiss, and we were both 10 years old. It was at Fiona Henderson's birthday party in a tent you could stand up in. Billy Ocean was playing out of the ghetto blaster, it was "When the Going Gets Tough the Tough Get Going". I think you put your hand behind my neck, I guess to aim our lips together better. I can't remember what it was like, the actual touching of lips. But I remember you suddenly ran out of the tent. You might have even gasped, "I'm going to vomit!" You went into the bushes and emerged a minute later and my memory is you said, "I just vomited!" The girls flocked around you.

    I didn't know if it was the kiss or what. Maybe the party food? I don't think I was worried, because I could tell without having the words to phrase it, that you were some kind of attention seeker. And that's why you did it. You were pretending.

    We didn't know how to take you, from the moment you turned up in Grade 5. You boasted to us you'd 'had sex', when you were just 5, with your then boyfriend. We didn't know whether to believe you or not. We only vaguely understood what sex even was. But you were the one that sent Grade 5 mad with kissing fever. Our kiss was the first and from then on every party was all about it. Kissing in cupboards while those outside timed, kissing around the circle with a bottle in the middle, catch and kiss... Then, towards the end of the year, you went to another school.

    Looking back, we were all well and truly prepubescent, more driven by the thrill of playing adults and doing something taboo than actual hormones. We were all so innocent, but I suspect there was something in your past that wasn't. Something you'd seen or experienced. And so my memory of that moment is tinged with pity, for you. That smiling little girl in the class photo with short brown hair, wide eyes not quite looking at the camera.

    "Vomit". Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons -
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