“Saviour” - Annelise Noronha
It didn’t have to be him
Could’ve been anybody
It didn’t have to begin
To dismantle me.
The first time they kiss, they are both seven years old. They’ve known each other since they were five and a tale as old as time guaranteed that they hated one another on sight – Sam, because she was prissy and had bows in her hair and Del because he was rough and seemed to occupy a permanent seat in the corner of the class, the seat reserved for those who misbehaved – but the animosity eventually gave way to a fragile friendship hidden away behind the closed doors of the Lisbon home when Sam’s mom constantly brought him over to apologize to Delilah for whatever bad deed of the week he is guilty of. The Lisbons invite Sheryl in and Sam and Del are left to play and both come to find they don’t mind it half as much as they had thought they might.
Now his visits are no longer made under the guise of having to apologize to Delilah for calling her stupid or pulling her hair; now they are regular compatriots, sharing sandwiches at lunch and trailing after one another during recess.
On this particular playdate at the Lisbon household, the topic of discussion – kissing – is started by something they’ve seen on television and now they’re both curious.
“I wonder why they do it – mush their mouths together and move their heads and stuff,” Del muses, driving the black car, almost an exact replica of her father’s 1976 Cutlass Supreme tucked away in the garage, over a landscape she and Sam have crafted with Legos, creating a town and peopling it with her dolls and his action figures.