The Breaker of Bones
By: Megan MarkAnthony
Everyone’s first kiss is weird. It’s an experience you can’t be prepared for. Questions running through your mind… “Which way do I turn my head? Is my mouth supposed to be open? What does my tongue do? Does my breath spell bad?” Normally it ends and both people walk away feeling different. It normally does not end with blood, but mine did.
At 10 years old I was lucky enough to see Wicked. From that day on I knew I wanted to be an actress. Performing is where I feel safe. I love being able to share someone else story. The stage is my home. I had transferred to a new high school because of their incredible music department. I auditioned for the school musical and got the lead. As a new freshman the students were angry the leading part was given to me. Looking back, I understand the seniors outrage of not getting the role. They had been in the ensemble for three years just for their last year to have some girl come and takes their spot. But this is not an excuse to treat me as a filthy, disgusting mistress that stole their husband.
In the musical our leading man was the popular, charming, sexy, smart senior who was also the winning quarterback of the football team. In one scene our characters had to kiss… no not just kiss, full on make out. When talking to others I pretended like I had kissed many men. The truth was I had kissed no one. So, my first kiss was going to be with the hottest, most popular, prom king, quarterback in front of the whole school, that already hated me. Needless to say, I was petrified.
But I was a serious actress. “It’s just part of the job” I said in the mirror in my best Meryl Streep impression. Hoping if I said it enough times, I would start to believe it. I was told we would be rehearsing the make out scene on Thursday. And I was going to be prepared. I was going to give the most passionate stage kiss ever seen. The night before I sat all night watching videos and movies. Re-watching epic kissing scenes. The Notebook kiss in the rain, Gone with the Wind, Titanic, When Harry Met Sally, and the upside down Spider-Man kiss which was just confusing. I researched “How to kiss someone?”, “How to be a good kisser”, “How to not bite someone while kissing?”, “How to not get herpes?”. I sat all night kissing apples, singing to the shower wall, kissing the back of my hand, everything anyone on the internet said to practice with. I brushed my teeth every hour, changing out types of toothpaste just in case one didn't work.
The day had arrived. I walked down the flight of stairs to the rehearsal space. Tears streamed down my face because of how minty my breath was. Bubble gum flavored Chapstick was smeared across my lips. When I walked through the door the entire cast was there. I thought it would just be me, Mr. Perfect, and the director, but I was wrong. The kiss was at the end of the scene after I sang my song. Doing my best sexy walk, I began the song. We straddled a wooden bench, and I had to inch closer and closer to him. Every few seconds scooching forward trying not to get butt splinters. The song began to end, everyone watching in a tight half circle. I went back to my research, using what the apple taught me, thinking to myself “JUST DO IT.” I closed my eyes tightly, grabbed his shirt and thrusted my head forward.
I opened my eyes and in slow motion everyone began running toward us, just like when the cops surround a murderer. I felt something on my head, it was blood. That’s when I saw Mr. Perfect, his hands were cupped around his nose, blood ran down his face. When I had thrust my head forward my forehead collided with his nose, breaking it. I sat frozen, watching people surround us bringing tissues, helping him up, some kid calling 911, everyone yelling. Mr.(no longer) Perfect was escorted out with the entire cast following him, like the Macy’s day parade. I sat on the bench alone, looking at the puddle of blood sitting before me. I sat there for a while remembering the football team had their championship game the next day. I slowly dismounted the bench, grabbed my things, and waited outside in the dark for my mom’s light blue mini van to arrive. The next day I apologized profusely, horrified.
The football team lost the game and due to my actions, no one would speak to me. Cruel rumors were spread about me. I was shunned like an insane Amish girl, just trying to be herself. So, I ended up transferring again. But, don’t feel bad for the little girl that ate lunch in the bathroom. Today she is majoring in musical theatre pursuing her dream of being an actress and changing the world. Meeting incredible people, learning from experts, and being unapologetically herself. She gets to wake up and perform each day, pursuing her goals. The Breaker of Bones today uses her once mortifying story as stand up material. Hopefully making just one person feel a little better about their embarrassing story. Making sure they feel that they are not alone, as she did.
As children we are told these awkward experiences won’t matter in 10 years, but they do. They shape who we are today, hopefully for the better. It did for me. But, still every time I’m about to kiss someone there is a little voice in the back of my head saying “Just try not to break this one’s nose”. And knowing myself it will probably happen again.