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The ‘Kissing Bandit’ for Valentine’s Day or how I learned to ‘Know Your Value’ as a young woman in High School by Jina Bacarr

February 11, 2022 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Writing tagged as , , , ,

 

As Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s ;Morning Joe’ says, ‘Know Your Value.’ She’s the founder of this fabulous empowerment community and it’s not just in the workplace. Knowing your value starts in high school, as my heroine, Riley Murphy, finds out on Valentine’s Day in my short story, VIRGIN KISS

Valentine’s Day.is Monday — a time for kissing.

But what if your first kiss was just plain awful?

Meet Riley Murphy. She’s a kissing virgin, waiting for the right guy to come along. Until she joins the Drama Club at Holywell High and has to kiss the class dweeb on stage in front of the whole school on Valentine’s Day.

 

VIRGIN KISS

Jina Bacarr

Introduction

What’s in a kiss? A kiss by any other name is—

—sweet, romantic, intimate, passionate, wet, sloppy, disgusting, probing, awful, nasty, sexy, tingly, and sometimes just plain wonderful.

But what if it’s your first kiss? And you have to pucker up in front of a live audience at your high school? What then?

Pass the Altoids, please.

The kiss-from-hell happened to me, Riley Murphy.

This is my story.

* * *

A few weeks before Valentine’s Day…

I’m the new kid at Holywell High School, a shy, skinny freshman with cinnamon-colored freckles sprinkled across my nose. Flat-chested. I’ll never be Miss Popularity with the bouncy boobs and flirty lashes.

I’m more like an olive stuck on the end of a toothpick.

Even with that dossier, I’m not a total dork. I’ve gotten pecks on the cheek and quick brushes on the lips, but I’ve yet to experience the soul-melting kisses you see in the flicks. The passionate lip-lock I’ve dreamed about, wrote about in my diary.

I’ve pined for that kiss, but it’s yet to happen to me. God knows, I’ll be in graduate school facing lifelong debt before the right pair of lips meet mine.

To overcome my shyness, my mom convinces me to try out for the Drama Club. Somehow I land the leading role in a one-act Chekhov play.Yes, Chekhov.

I play this mad, beautiful countess with passion and heart. I love it. I come alive on stage. I can do anything, be anybody, say anything, I can—

—kiss the male lead?

A gangly sophomore named Harold Brimwell with long, greasy hair and an upper lip curled in a perpetual snarl. He’s going to anoint my virgin lips with my first kiss?

Forget the Altoids. I need a stress pill.

I quit the play. They can find another dupe. Not me. I’m not going to let him use my lips for kissing practice.

Then I hear this little voice in my head telling me this is acting. Going through the motions at rehearsals and on stage don’t count on the kissing scale. I can pucker up with Harold on stage and still be a kissing virgin.

Right?

After my pep talk to myself, I sail through rehearsals, knowing my lines and ‘connecting to my character’ according to the director. He says I’m a natural, my emotions raw but real. This is amazing. Me, Riley Murphy, the kid who’s always the ‘new girl’ at school because we move around so much because of my dad’s job, found something she’s good at.

Then the trouble starts.

The director insists on method acting.We don’t rehearse the kiss. He wants a real kiss on stage, not a phony smooch.

Worse yet, we open on Valentine’s Day with a preview performance at the afternoon school assembly. Not only do I have to kiss this guy, I have to do it on the most romantic day of the year in front of the entire student body.

I dump the Altoids… along with my confidence down the toilet.

* * *

Valentine’s Day dawns rainy and cold. Perfect weather for a Russian play.

I arrive at the gym early, put on my makeup in the girls’ bathroom then, with my hands shaking, I hook up my long Victorian black lace dress borrowed from the costume department, the silk petticoats rustling around my feet. I’m way nervous, but something cool happens as I run my lines over and over, my fear slowly dissolving into a shaky confidence as I slip into my character’s skin. Humming ‘I will survive’, I check my props, my fingertips tingling as I pull on my snug dueling gloves, then twirl the dainty parasol over my head like a spinning top.

I grab the small pistol for my big dueling scene, then heave out a big breath, praying I don’t drop it and everybody laughs at me.

I save putting on my lipstick for last.

First, I gargle mint-flavored mouthwash until my lips turn green and my mouth goes numb. Next, I line my lips with Chekhovian, dark red lipstick and smack them together. Perfect. I’m ready for my lip close-up.

It’s showtime.

I’m so nervous when the lights come up, I garble my opening lines. Then I trip over my own feet and nearly crash into the backdrop. Hot tears form in my eyes, but I want this too bad to give up now. All my life, I’ve stayed in the shadows. If I fail now, I may never get the courage to try again. I ignore the smirks and catcalls and swish my long skirts around like a real countess to boost my confidence.

I can do this.

Somehow, I get my groove on and my theatre training takes over. I sail across the stage, chin up, shoulders back, my voice clear, my lines down to a T. I’m ‘in the moment’. Much to my relief, the dueling scene goes off without the pistols misfiring.

Then it’s time for…

… the kiss.

I’ll never forget the expression on Harold’s face when he takes two long strides toward me. A mixture of sadistic pleasure and baddass ‘tude comes over his face, as shiny and sweaty as his palms, freaking me out. Lower lip snarling, my co-star gives me that ‘I’ve got you now’ look all fired up in his eyes, pinning me to the wall.

My teeth chatter. My mouthwash stops working.

It’s so quiet in the high school gym you can hear the director chewing on the end of his pencil.

My heart pounds so hard I can’t get my breath on when Harold pulls me into his arms, yanking me around like I’m a dollar store rag doll and then—

—he slams his mouth onto mine.

Bile rises in my throat as he pushes my lips apart and thrusts his mushy, saliva-coated gum into my mouth, making me nauseous. I swear if my dress wasn’t hooked up so tight, I would have ralphed all over him. Before I can push him off me, he shoves his tongue down my throat, way down, nearly gagging me.

I start choking.

I can’t breathe. Oh, my God, I’m going to pass out.

No, I can’t, I won’t. I’m determined not to faint. I have to get him off me. No gum-chewing, phony-macho sophomore is going to get the best of me.

I’m an actress, I tell myself, so act!

With stars circling around in my pounding head, I pull up my strength and kick him in the shin. There.

Startled, he jerks backward, but not before he bites my lower lip.

What the—

I taste coppery blood. Fresh, oozing, smearing my perfectly-applied lipstick. I’m in shock, disbelieving. It can’t get any worse.

Can it?

It can.

Dabbing my bleeding lip with my silk sleeve, I struggle in his arms, but he holds me tight, slobbering all over me, licking my face, my throat, coating my skin with stringy gum. My ears won’t stop ringing. The audience is going crazy, yelling and shouting like they’re at a basketball game and I’m the bouncing ball.

No, no, he’s not going to take advantage of me. I worked hard to get this part, learn my lines. Practiced how to walk, how to find the core of my character. Gosh darn, this is the first time in my whole life I’ve come out of my shell and done something really special.

He’s not going to ruin it for me.

I have to do something. Fast.

The pistol.

Where is it? After the mock dueling scene, I threw the prop gun down on the round table. It has to be there, but where?

I reach out behind me, my nails catching on the lace doily… I twist my head just a little… yes, I see it. I edge the gun toward me, an inch at a time. Sweat oozes down my too-tight collar and my knees buckle, but I don’t give up.

Almost got it… there. My fingers wrap around the pearl-inlayed handle. I suck in a breath then, without losing my nerve, I jam the prop into his ribs. Hard. I yank my body with such fury, I rip the black silk sleeve right out of the armpit. It slides down my shoulder, but it doesn’t stop me.

Get your hands off me, you sloppy-kissing, gum-chewer!’ I yell, ignoring the script and re-writing Chekhov. ‘Or you’re getting an “F” in drama class.’

The director gasps. Loudly. But he doesn’t refute what I said.

‘Yeah, sure,’ Harold stutters, letting me go, raising up his hands and backing away. ‘Anything you say, Riley.’

‘That’s telling him!’ a girl yells from the audience.

Amy Zanderbar. His ex-girlfriend.

She’s not the only one. All the girls stand up and start chanting, ‘Go, Riley, go!’

Wow. I hit a nerve with the females sitting in the bleachers who had their share of bad kissers.

They love it.

The audience starts clapping wildly and stomping their feet and continue chanting my name. I break the fourth wall and give them a ‘V’ for Victory high sign until the chanting dies down, then my thespian instincts kick in and I get back into character, giving Chekhov his due and ending the play as he wrote it.

I’ll always remember this night when a shy freshman girl in a borrowed Victorian dress took on a snarky sophomore and became empowered to stand up for herself in front of the whole student body.

It changed my life.

* * *

Epilogue

We performed the one-act play for the next few nights without further incident, faking the kiss each time. Harold is cool, not attempting any more way-out kissing. For me, it’s strictly acting.

I’m still a virgin in lip-land.

But I’ll never forget V-Day and my experience with the gum-toting, kissing bandit. Not a bad guy, just a rotten kisser.

And in case you’re curious, next semester I do find the right pair of lips to land that first kiss.

A hottie junior. Jack Dwayne.

When Jack takes me in his arms and lowers his face to mine, I quiver with anticipation and soon discover a kiss isn’t just a kiss, it’s…

… magic.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

——————–

PS — yes, Riley is me, a shy freshman back in the day.

And here’s a short clip of me back in high school…

—————

Music: ‘Sweeter Vermouth’ Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b…

Photos: https//www.Dreamstime.com

BONUS: The Princess and the Stilettos for VALENTINE’S DAY.

Music: ‘Fairytale Waltz’ Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b…

Photos: https//www.Dreamstime.com

—————- 

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A girl from a controversial upbringing becomes a famous perfumer during the war when she comes to Paris in 1940 to escape the Gestapo. Then how she uses perfume to do her part to win the war…

THE LOST GIRL IN PARIS is on Amazon!

US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09B1QDRVW/

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CA https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B09B1QDRVW/

Australia https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B09B1QDRVW/ 

——————–

Over 600 ratings on Amazon UK!

The Resistance Girl is a KINDLE MONTHLY DEAL IN THE UK FOR FEBRUARY!

Juliana discovers her grandmamma was a famous French film star in Occupied Paris & her shocking secret…

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The ‘Kissing Bandit’ High School extravaganza for Valentine’s Day by Jina Bacarr

February 11, 2021 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Writing tagged as , , , ,

Valentine’s Day is Sunday — a time for kissing.

But what if your first kiss was just plain awful?

Meet Riley Murphy. She’s a kissing virgin, waiting for the right guy to come along. Until she joins the Drama Club at Holywell High and has to kiss the class dweeb on stage in front of the whole school on Valentine’s Day.

Virgin Kiss is a short story I wrote that I’m serializing in 1-minute segments.

I’m inserting my video intro here and my audio story Parts 1-9 for V-Day!

Virgin Kiss Instagram 1-minute posts (text on audio is included in IG comments). I hope you enjoy my time travel trip back to high school!

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Valentine’s Day is for my Instagram short story “Virgin Kiss” by Jina Bacarr

February 11, 2019 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Writing tagged as , , , ,

Valentine’s Day is Thursday — a time for romance, chocolate and . . . kissing.

But what if your first kiss was just plain awful?

Meet Riley Murphy. She’s a kissing virgin, waiting for the right guy to come along. Until she joins the Drama Club at Holywell High and has to kiss the class dweeb on stage in front of the whole school on Valentine’s Day.

Virgin Kiss is a short story I wrote that I’m serializing in 1-minute segments.

I’m inserting my video intro here and Parts 1-5 of my story (which will be completed on Valentine’s Day). Check back for the entire story as I update this post every day including V-Day!

Virgin Kiss Instagram 1-minute posts (text on audio is included in IG comments). I hope you enjoy my time travel trip back to high school!

Just added Part 6:

Part 7 of Virgin Kiss (you can read the text from the audio on Instagram in the comments section)

Part 8 of Virgin Kiss

Part 9 Virgin Kiss

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A Dashing Valentine

January 26, 2018 by in category Things That Make Me Go Mmmrrh . . . by Geralyn Corcillo tagged as , , , , , , ,

Things that make me go mmmrrh ... | Geralyn Corcillo | A Slice of Orange

As Valentine’s Day approaches, will you be looking for something achingly romantic to read? Throughout my life, I’ve read so many romantic stories, and some have stayed with me … probably because I have re-read them so many times! But probably the most romantic book, the one that fueled so many of my romantic dreams as I was growing up, is … drumroll, please … The Scarlett Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy. I read it when I was in 6th grade. I can still remember going to our school’s library, checking it out, and sitting down to read as much of it as I could before English class was over and I had to go to social studies. My house was pretty noisy as a kid, so I remember heading out to the old swing set in the back yard and sitting on the teeter totter to read through to the exciting and swoon-worthy finish.

I had recently seen the 1982 TV movie starring Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour, and it swept me away – so in the days of no Netflix, Amazon, or even VCRs, I got the book so I could keep re-living the tale. Since then, I have re-watched the Anthony Andrews version a number of times. I have also seen the 1934 version with Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon and the 1999 version with Richard E. Grant and Elizabeth McGovern. I have even seen the stage musical. But the book features moments of heart-fluttering romance and dashing derring-do not included in any of the dramatizations I’ve seen.

This season of love is a perfect time to re-visit the old classic or read it for the very first time (I am so jealous of you if you get to enjoy this one for the very first time!) Or watch any of the film versions – the Andrews/Seymour version is, by far, my favorite. And in this version, a young Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey, plays the King of England.  The Scarlett Pimpernel is available in libraries and readily available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle format. Enjoy!

 

Things That Make Me Go Mmmrrh ... It's a Wonderful Life |Geralyn Corcillo | A Slice of Orange

Geralyn Corcillo loves getting reviews that say “I will re-read this…” or “I know I will read this again and again…” because then she knows that she has provided a bit of magic for a reader – the kind of magic she has been getting from books her whole life! Chat with Geralyn on her Facebook page by commenting on her many posts – she will comment back – she loves to connect with readers!

 

 

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“The Princess and the Stilettos” Video Love Poem

February 11, 2014 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Valentine’s Day is almost here…chocolate and flowers and romance. What girl could ask for more?

This Valentine’s I decided to do something totally different…I wanted to tell a story in pictures and rhyme. With the way books are published now as e-books and I’ve heard that books with soundtracks etc. are in the works, I wanted to experiment on my own.

So I bought a bunch of photos from www.Dreamstime.com and then found the perfect music from Kevin MacLeod www.incompetech.com and put it all together with my voiceover and a poem I wrote about a little girl who wanted to be a princess…

So here you are: the story of The Princess and the Stilettos…and how she found her prince told as a  Valentine’s Day video poem.


The Princess and the Stilettos for Valentine’s Day from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Best,
Jina

https://twitter.com/JinaBacarr

http://www.pinterest.com.jbacarr  

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