My eyes adored you…
Franki Valli is on the turn-table. A 45 record is playing at an adolescent party. Kids no older than twelve, thirteen are in attendance. It’s a typical Friday night get-together after school.
Kids in the corner drink soda, girls are giggling and gossiping about the boys in the room. Boys are on the sofa looking over sports magazines.
Later, a group of mixed boys and girls are playing a game of Spin the Bottle. With the bottle in the middle, a blond boy spins it around. It stops spinning and points to a nervous girl and a burst of laughter fills the room.
The nervous girl is Celia, just twelve. Chubby around the middle, she’s stuffed into bell-bottom jeans. With braces and busy eyebrows, she wears her hair straight with a crooked part.
“OK, OK, it’s Celia,” a blond boy announces.
“Stop laughing everyone!” A curly head girl yells.
The group now hushes. Jimmy Fitzwater, the blond boy, spins the bottle around again. It stops on Mario.
Mario, also just twelve, wears a KISS T-shirt and corduroys. His hair is 70’s long underneath a baseball cap.
Celia and Mario sit next to one another, it’s a comfortable friendship.
“OK, OK, you two together are gross. Wanna spin again?” Jimmy asked them.
Paige, the curly head girl reacts in protest, “That’s not fair! They can’t have seconds!”
“Yeah, but they live across the street from each other. That’s just gross,” Jimmy counters.
“Yeah, we’re practically brother and sister,” Celia now chimes in. Celia turns to Mario, a stupid braced-face grin on her face.
An even foolish grin on his. “Yeah…I ate dinner at her house two days ago!”
The circle all laugh.
Mario stands up and pulls at Celia’s hair, “Com’on Celia, let’s go. We won’t hear the end of it if we don’t.”
Celia shrugs her shoulders and stands up pushing his body towards the closet.
Moments later, Celia and Mario are now in the closed area. Uncomfortable within the tight cramped space, Mario points a flashlight upwards. He switches the light in his face and illuminates an eerie look. “Luke,” he says in a lowered voice, “I am your father.”
“Shut up,” Celia quips, slapping him on his shoulder.
“OK smarty pants. What do we do now?” Mario asks of her, “I’m NOT kissing you.” He remarks, shinning the light in her face.
Celia bats it away. “I know—I know, we’ll just stay in here long enough until everyone thinks we’re kissing.”
Mario now holds the flashlight to his mouth, speaking into it like a microphone. “I’ve got an idea, let’s make some funny noises. I’ll go first. Mmmmmmm…..”
He holds the flashlight to Celia’s mouth and they exchange turns talking into it.
Just then the door flings open. A group of kids all stand shocked to find the two make-believing.
“Hey!” Jimmy yells out, “What gives? You’re supposed to be kissing!”
Celia and Mario bump into each other as they get out.
“Mario, you idiot,” she expresses, pushing him back some more.
“Celia, you moron,” he calls her, pushing her away.
Celia walks back to the circle. “We can’t kiss, it’s just gross.”
“OK,” Paige gives in, “Well the rules are if you don’t kiss each other, then you have to kiss each guy here. Remember your reputation Celia.”
Celia takes a quick glance at all the other boys. Jimmy, no. Boy with glasses, no. Pimple face, no. Freckle face, no. Well, Mario it is! Celia smirks at Mario and puckers up her lips.
Mario notes her goofy look and switches his mind. “I’ll take a dare! A double dare!”
“Yeah, I dare you to kiss Celia,” Paige laughs while all the others laugh along with her.
“Come on over here and give me your lips!” Celia demands now, grabbing his T-shirt and a handful of Gene Simmons.
“No! No way,” Mario lets go, running away halfheartedly. Celia pulls him back and close to her. Tight lipped, she lands a peck right on his lips. Four eyes wide open. It was fast and to the point.
“OK, who’s next?” Celia asks looking around at all the others.
“Let’s get on with the game,” Mario agrees, “I want to see Jimmy kiss Paige!”