It had been three full years since the last family reunion. Our whole extended family tended to get together every three our four years for a reunion centered usually on a wedding or anniversary.
This year was special because instead of having a reunion at a family member's house as we usually did, various parts of the family put some money together and rented a cabin up in the Vermont hills. There would be more than thirty of us there in four generations.
Now for the longest time I was afraid to admit this but since we're all over I can let it out: I have a second cousin named Jane whom I had a crush on for a number of years. (My father's mother's brother's daughter's daughter, sort that one out) Now a cousin crush might seem discusting, but if you laid eyes on her you would understand in an instant. After all, she is only a second cousin and therefore only barely related. She had a beautiful slender body and medium blond hair, though strong from her days of running and hiking throughout the wilderness of Vermont.
I first had a crush on her ten years ago when I was 13 and she was 11. We met for the first time at one of the previous family reunions, this time for the 50th anniversary of a beloved great aunt who is sadly no longer living. Seeing that their family lived in Vermont and ours in New Jersey, it was not all that far to visit a couple times a year for the next several years. Through all those summers of hiking, playing sports, video games, watching movies, and most magical of all big family slumber parties, I had to keep the feelings to myself.
But it was about four years ago that I was finally able to forget about this crush. I got a normal, non-related girlfriend and that went on for about three years, and I thought that was that.
Indeed, when I first got out of the car and greated my family members, I didn't feel any stab of romantic feeling. Granted, Jane's beauty was greater than ever now at the more mature age of 21. I also noticed the presence of an engagement ring on her finger.
"It's good to see you, how have you been?" Jane asked.
"Not bad," I said. We exchanged small talk for a few minutes before Jim, Jane's 19-year-old brother, came up to us.
"Hey, me and some of our cousins from Arizona are going up to the lake. Want to come?" Jim asked.
"No thanks, I think I'll stay here a bit." Jane said. Part of me wanted to stay back with her, but I knew it would look bad if I didn't join the guys up at the lake.
"Sure, I'll come." I said. I followed Jim to his pickup truck where three of my cousins from yet another branch of the family tree were waiting. They raged in ages from late teens to early twenties.
We drove up to the "lake", which was more like a pond, but still looked like a great place to go swimming. There were already a few people there, mostly younger kids. But as we got out of the truck and made our way to the water, I was stopped in my tracks.
I felt like I was looking back in time at Jane durring the height of my crush for her. But the girl in front of me was not Jane, it was her sixteen-year-old sister Kelly.
It had been three years since I'd seen Kelly, and in that time she had really grown out. She was a couple inches taller than her sister, and her blonde hair had a little wave to it that her sister's lacked. Her bikinni showed of her now-womanly body esquisetly, and I found myself at a loss for words.
"Hey Greg, how have you been?" Kelly asked.
"I, uh, good," I stumbled.
"Hey, get in the water, it's warm!" Jim called from the lake.
We swam for a while, Jim and I and the other older cousins giving piggy-back rides to our younger cousins in the lake. But the whole time I could not take my eyes off Kelley, who was playing with the younger female cousins. It was so strange to think that just a few years ago she was one of those younger cousins, now she is a young woman.
A few minutes later I was resting on a rock by myself, and to my great suprise, Kelly came swimming up beside me.
"Hi," I said. "Enjoying the water?"
"Yeah." Kelly said. "It really reminds me of being a little kid."
"It sure does." I said.
"It seems like those kids were babies just a few years ago." Kelly said. "Now they're probably already playing truth or dare."
"I remember that." I said.
"Of course you do." Kelly said. "You and your brother used to play with my siblings, and you used to tell me I was too young to play with you!"
"You're old enough now," I said, stating the obvious.
"Hey, you want to play?" Kelly asked.
"What? Are you serious?" I asked, though could not help but feel a tingle of excitement.
"Yes!" Kelly said. "Let's do it! Truth or dare."
"You can't be--okay, fine, truth. No...dare." I said.
"Okay. I dare you to kiss me." Kelly said. My heart practically stopped.
"What?" I asked, looking around to see if anyone was near us. Fortuanitely we were around a bend in the lake and no one was in site.
"Really, kiss me." Kelly said. "I've always wanted to kiss someone I admired."
"Admired? Me?" I asked.
"Yes, you." She said. "I've dated a few of the boys at my crummy school, but I always wanted to kiss someone a little older, someone with experiance. I've always known you as a good guy."
"Well--okay." I said, trying not to let it be known how excited I was starting to feel.
We moved together around the rock and are lips locked in a kiss. Far from being the young kisser I thought Kelly would be, she kissed with a passion and skill that I would have never dreamed to have expected.
After the kiss ended, Kelly only smiled at me. "Wow." I said. "That was--"
Suddenly, I started to feel a tingling sensation in the tip of my tounge. It travelled into the rest of my body and everything started going swimmy. My last image before falling unconcious was Kelly looking down on me smiling.