Crystal’s kiss

A chance encounter. A single kiss. Remembered for a lifetime.

Mark Anthony


Photo by Andrea Piacquadio:

I’d be lying if I said that the attraction was not purely physical; at least to begin with.

It was Christmas Eve 1983 and, together with around 20 of my closest male and female friends, I was in my local pub celebrating the festivities as only a group of 18-year olds can.

Most of us had been drinking in the pub for several years, even though the sale of alcohol is prohibited in the UK to those under 18. So we had consumed our drinks quietly in the hope that no-one would notice us. But, when we all turned 18, all bets were off and we were noisy and rambunctious at the best of times. Christmas just added some unneeded but welcome incentive.

Buying a round of drinks for 20-odd people is not easy and it takes time. So while I did my best to recount my order to the barman, I was looking around. And there she stood. A tiny, petite and quietly attractive young woman, seemingly standing all alone. (I use the term young woman advisedly — She was definitely not fresh out of school like myself and my rowdy friends; but she was also not yet a woman).

I told the barman to get her whatever she was drinking and raised my glass to her when she received the bottle of beer she had chosen.

Now, as I said, I did not buy her an introductory beer in the hope of forging a lifetime of friendship. But when she came over and introduced herself as Crystal, she made it very clear that she was married — happily so — thereby dashing my hopes of some unexpected festive intimacy.

We continued talking for the remainder of the evening; in fact, I barely noticed that virtually all of my friends had left.

I waited with her when she called a taxi and I waited with her for that taxi to arrive.

And that’s when it happened. I opened the taxi door for her and she stepped towards me. She raised her head to kiss me goodbye. It was a kiss like no other that I had ever experienced.

There was no gaping mouths and probing tongues. Instead, her lips parted just enough to trap my lower lip between hers. And, as she did so, she crooked the index finger on her right hand and placed it gently under my chin.



Mark Anthony

Mark is a journalist, author, podcaster and daily live-streamer specialising in the field of demolition and construction.