Web Site: Brad Viking Books
Boy discovers the beauty in both passion and compassion
The Girl in the Dark
It was Saturday afternoon. And the Academy theater was teeming with teenage flesh. There to flirt and explore their budding sexuality in the dark.
Darren was new to this brazen approach to meeting girls. But coaxed by one of the school Lotharios… a cool lady’s man named Stan with a golden curl of hair across his forehead… he tagged along.
Stan fancied himself a make-out artist and was a pretty slick operator for a kid in Jr. High. He would find some girl in the darkened theater and sweet-talk her into making out during the movie.
The two boys entered the darkened theater and soon found two girls sitting together. It wasn’t long before Stan had made his pitch and was in a hot and heavy session with one of them.
Darren lacked the bravado of Stan, and so he sat shyly in the dark beside the other girl. Both of them watched the movie and pretended to ignore the steamy scene going on next to them. But as the momentum and the moans began to build, Darren mustered his courage and whispered to the girl in the dark that they do the same.
To his surprise, she agreed. And so began a teen-fueled mouth-to-mouth make-out. Darren was beside himself. His experience with kissing girls could be counted on one hand of a bad woodshop teacher.
Her kisses were unbelievably warm and responsive. Like nothing he had ever known in his short carnal existence. This is what it was all about he marveled. This exchange of beautiful energy between a boy and a girl. Everything else paled by comparison. He was proud of himself. He had actually picked up a girl and was “scoring.”
Their mouths were wet against each other, their tongues like two small animals tumbling and wrestling in the dark. He felt the exquisite softness of her body against his. He drowned in the sweet scent of her hair. He surrendered to the embrace of her arms clutching him close to her. All his senses came alive.
Ignoring the movie and everything around them, they gave themselves to their passion. It was an extraordinary and wonderful experience. He had entered a cathedral of the senses and begun an awakening that would take him on the journey of a lifetime.
And then the lights came on.
The girl with Stan was normal and attractive. But in the full light Darren noticed the face of the girl he’d been kissing so passionately was flawed. Her mouth was marred by a harelip.
* * *
At that moment he began a dizzying emotional free-fall. Bursts of revulsion and embarrassment ricocheted through his senses like shrapnel. A sense of panic stabbed at his confused emotions. He didn’t know what to do. And yet woven through it all was an overwhelming sense of gratitude for what they had just shared.
He felt the smirks of those around him, and if he wished to save face he would back away from her right now with a sense of revulsion. But as he looked into the girl’s soft brown eyes… the vulnerability and shame she was experiencing… the pain she must endure every day for her “flaw”… an imploring sense of grace softened her face. It was there in her eyes… a mist of happiness thanking him for the honest passion they had just shared. And he knew at that moment he could not hurt her.
Darren leaned and kissed her with affection.
“Thank you,” he whispered.
And she understood.
* * *
When Darren emerged back into the daylight after the movie, he was teased unmercifully. His clumsy teenage gropings with a harelip… the “flawed” girl he had kissed so ardently in the dark… would be the talk of the school. He would become a joke. There would be demeaning looks and snickers and whispered jibes.
At first he felt embarrassed… humiliated in the eyes of his peers. But deep inside were the beginnings of some far more profound awakening. Something inside him didn’t seem to care. He felt different now… stronger somehow. And he could endure whatever cruel jibes his peers could dish out.
He didn’t even know the name of the Girl in the Dark. But as he lay in bed that night, he pondered their shared moment of passion. She had given him something special. An emotional honesty that he treasured. He felt honored that she had entrusted her desire with him… been so open and vulnerable. In that brief interlude in the dark she had given him a new sense of self… a new way of looking at things. And the shower of slights from his peers rolled off him like raindrops from the sleek finish of a freshly waxed Chevy.
* * *
It is said the wisdom of need bends the rules and alters our image of what is truly beautiful in life. And that day in the darkened theater… with a girl he could not see… but had shared incredible passion with… Darren’s life had changed. All the accepted standards of what was beautiful were cleansed and washed free. And in their place was a new sense of beauty. A beauty that burned with pure energy. It was the beauty that drove poets and painters and seekers of the infinite to express their vision. A beauty that rose up from the soul.
The sensations and emotions he felt there in the dark had left him dazzled. Nothing, he realized now, was quite so exciting… so sacred as that warm touching of lips and the passion it stirred. The Girl in the Dark had made him feel alive like never before.
For all Darren knew he may have been the first boy she had ever kissed. Her stigmata had made her a leper. And her hunger for touch and kisses and being held had become intense over all those years. In the dark he had not seen her condition and had no reservations. And the warmth had flowed from her. Out of gratitude she gave herself completely to him and to the moment.
* * *
As life went on Darren tasted the kisses of many other girls. And he learned that the pretty ones were not always the impassioned ones. They were like wax fruit. Their kisses were more tepid and rarely rose up from the soul the way the Girl in the Dark’s had. And he longed for that sweet juicy taste of ripened fruit.
He began to seek out the women who were less perfect… the flawed ones… the ones who had felt rejection… that had been left on the sidelines. They were the hungry ones. The authentic ones. The willing ones. The ones that waited unseen in the dark.
He sought them out because they matched his own desire now. The Girl in the Dark had spoiled him. In that darkened theater she had made him aware of a more fugitive view of life. And like some termite boring through the American grain, he now wanted to get at the very core of experience.
She had touched his soul. And he would settle for no less.
* * *
Darren didn’t hang out much with Stan after that day. But he felt forever grateful to spending that Saturday in the Academy theater. And spending those precious moments with the Girl in the Dark.
Somewhere in this world he knew there was a woman who was once a “flawed” young girl. And she had shared her kisses and the hunger of her isolation with a total stranger. She had taught him the beauty to be found in passion. She had set his heart on fire. She gave him the sustaining strength of purpose that comes from deeper wells of being. And as he thought back on that defining moment in his life, Darren hoped she would think of him from time to time.
Because he often thought of her.
* * *
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