My First Kiss: Love Lessons Learnt in France

First kiss story, France

We met at sunset in the south of France. My breath stilled as he sat down on the swing next to me.

His dark, Mediterranean eyes and shy smile won me over but, with his red hair and freckled face, he didn’t look French.

“Bonsoir,” he said.

“Bonsoir,” I repeated, surprised at first then, happy and keen to practice my school girl french, I continued,

“Comment tu t’appelles?”

“David,” he replied, emphasizing and stretching out the last vowel.

“Daveeed.” I breathed, smiling back.

“Et toi?”

“Je m’appelle Annabel,” I answered, the well practiced rhyme tripping off my tongue.

We spoke more. I couldn’t say much or understand much but we understood enough. He was staying nearby with his family and I with mine. We were both happy to get away from them in the evening, content to slip away to a peaceful place where only the crickets chirped.

The playground was quiet that night but I soon had to leave before someone came looking for me.

“Tu viens demain?” he asked. (Are you coming tomorrow?)

“Demain.” I repeated. Yes, I would come back tomorrow.

We met each evening for several evenings until finally it happened, right there on the swings where we had met. Finally he leaned over and kissed me. My first kiss. So short and so sweet.

The next evening I slipped away earlier but when I arrived at the playground David wasn’t there yet.

Instead an English boy called Jonathan was hanging around. I’d seen him around before and he wasn’t shy, wasting no time in asking me if I’d be his girlfriend.

Of course I declined, proudly telling him I already had a boyfriend, looking over his shoulder hoping David would arrive soon.

Then Jonathan asked for my help. He said there was a girl he fancied and asked if I’d come behind the bushes so she’d think we were kissing. He believed that jealousy would force her into his arms.

It seemed a harmless enough plan and it would pass the time until David appeared so off we went.

Gradually the playground filled up and I saw from our hideaway that David was there. I wanted to go to him but Jonathan insisted I stay with him until the girl he was interested arrived. He even tried to kiss me. He couldn’t understand that my mind and heart were set on someone else.

At last we emerged in the twilight and I hurried over to David, smiling, so happy to see him again. But he turned and walked away from me just like that, his brown eyes cold, his hands clenched. He said nothing but I knew what he was thinking and a chill ran over me. How could he think I had really been kissing Jonathan?

“Je t’aime,” he’d said.

“Je t’aime,” I’d replied and meant it too.

How could he ever think that I would kiss another boy?

“Non, non, David!” I pleaded, but that was all I could say.

I had no french words to tell him what had happened. There was no explaining this childish folly with gestures and signs and as I watched him walk away I knew I had ruined everything.

I stole away then, back to my family and then back home to England knowing I would never see David again.

I broke his heart and my own too but I’ll always remember my first kiss. That one kiss we shared when we were ten years old.

I’ll always remember that misunderstandings can happen in any language, even between those who love each other the most.

I’ll always remember that you should never ever betray someone’s trust.

I’ll always remember that love, as warm and rosy as a Mediterranean sunset, should be cherished above everything else.


I’d LOVE your feedback on my Valentine’s Day story.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all my dear readers. I hope you are surrounded by love, light and laughter today and forever.

Do you remember your first kiss? Where were you and who was the lucky recipient?


Photo credit: Courtney Carmody

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  1. Galen Pearl February 13, 2012 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    Great story. I could feel your frustration and dismay. My first kiss was at a party. I was sitting on the couch with him. He leaned over and kissed me. I barely knew him!

    • Annabel Candy February 13, 2012 at 1:16 pm - Reply

      Hi Galen,

      Lovely to see you here again and that sounds like a lovely memory;) I wonder how old you were?

  2. Grace February 13, 2012 at 11:45 pm - Reply

    Hi Annabel, I loved your Valentine story, everything is so intense when you’re young. I remember when I was about the same age a young neighbor gave me a guinea pig (my Mum was not happy!), but he took it back because I wouldn’t ‘go out with him’ haha! Happy Valentine Day to you also, enjoy the day!

    • Annabel Candy February 14, 2012 at 8:28 am - Reply

      Hi Grace,

      Lol, that’s a classic love story:) Some people still think like that as adults…. Hope you have a LOVELy day:)

  3. Fraussie Grouet February 14, 2012 at 1:09 am - Reply

    Very embarrassed to say that I have absolutely no memory whatsoever of my first kiss. I guess I needed to go to France!

    • Annabel Candy February 14, 2012 at 8:29 am - Reply

      Hi Fraussie,

      Great to see you here. But there must be some memory… unless you haven’t had your first kiss yet?! Yes, I recommend France – they are famous for their kissing;)

  4. Leon Noone February 14, 2012 at 2:55 am - Reply

    G’Day Annabel,
    Like Fraussie, I can’t remember either. I can remember that as a teenager, girls terrified me. But I eventually got the hang of it. I have four adult children and six grandchildren!

    If you haven’t already done so, give yourself a Valentine’s Day treat. Go and see the most recent Woody Allen movie, “Midnight in Paris.” It’s a
    treat for romantics of all ages.

    Happy Valentine’s Day

    • Annabel Candy February 14, 2012 at 8:30 am - Reply

      G’Day Leon,

      Oh, I see Fraussie is not alone. Maybe I wouldn’t remember mine if not for the “traumatic” aftermath.

      Thanks for the film recommendation, I will see it:)

  5. Tina February 14, 2012 at 3:50 am - Reply

    So bittersweet…this brought back all those memories of the emotional intensity of being 10 years old and in love. I’m quite taken aback.

    My first love was Jason. Our parents were friends and we spent MANY hours of (largely unsupervised) time together making up games and adventuring throughout the house and the woods. I don’t remember the first time he kissed me, but I remember once when I was too about 10 years old I asked him, “if I fell off a cliff, what would you do?”

    He replied, “I’d jump off and fall faster so I could catch you.”

    The reality of his words didn’t matter, I felt loved.

    I lost touch with Jason after our parents ended their friendship when I was 12, and only saw him once from afar when I was 16. I could’ve called out to him, but I didn’t. He died in a car crash when we were 19. I still wish I had called out.

    • Annabel Candy February 14, 2012 at 8:32 am - Reply

      Hi Tina,

      Thanks for the lovely feedback:) Oh that is such a beautiful and sad story too. Sending big hugs and thank you for the reminder that we most regret the things we don’t do.

  6. Cate February 14, 2012 at 4:22 am - Reply

    Ah, yes, I remember it well… he was a lovely young man, but it was never to be. His family moved to Kent, and mine to Australia. The lengths some parents will go to… :)

  7. Lana February 14, 2012 at 8:12 am - Reply

    How funny, my first kiss was also with a French boy, Marcel, who visited Yugoslavia with his junior basketball team:) I was fourteen, he was seventeen, and we really could not communicate, as he did not speak Serbian or English, and I did not speak French. But it was as romantic as it could have been and I still smile when I think of that April night:)
    Thanks for sharing your story and reminding me of my first kiss!

    • Annabel Candy February 14, 2012 at 8:34 am - Reply

      Hi Lana,

      Thank you for sharing your story too. Maybe the best romances are those where you have no language in common?!

  8. Kelly Exeter February 14, 2012 at 8:17 am - Reply

    Beautiful story Annabel!! How wonderful to have your first kiss in France you lucky duck!

  9. Leonie Orton February 14, 2012 at 9:48 am - Reply

    Loved this post Annabel. :) What a tragic tale of love lost! My first kiss was from a boy with red hair and freckles too! His name was Angus. He was my first love. We were five. He lived on the farm down the road and I was very impressed by his pocket knife. He kissed me while we were swinging on his front gate… With a snotty nose!!

    • Annabel Candy February 14, 2012 at 10:15 am - Reply

      Hi Leonie,

      Unbelievable! Those red-headed boys;) Lol, and another lovely reminder – always blow your nose before you kiss someone?!

  10. J.D. Meier February 14, 2012 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    The storyteller in you is alive and thriving, and how perfect for Valentine’s.

    So bittersweet … and I think so much of life is like that. I like how you focus on the sweet.

    • Annabel Candy February 14, 2012 at 7:58 pm - Reply

      Hi J.D,

      Ah yes, we have to keep our focus on the sweet spots:)

  11. Sonia Marsh/Gutsy Living February 14, 2012 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    I was surprised you were ten. I thought you were going to say sixteen. Loved it, and the jealousy thing is very French, although Jonathan was English.

    • Annabel Candy February 14, 2012 at 8:00 pm - Reply

      Hi Sonia,

      Yes, very young, very innocent. Just one quick peck. Yes, that French passion and jealousy was in evidence! I hadn’t thought of that until you mentioned it:)

  12. Enjoyed your story! My first kiss was from a Frenchman with longish floppy hair, and dark brown bedroom eyes and only one hand. We were in Germany. Sadly it was only a kiss on the cheek, but he was so gorgeous!

  13. Forgot to add: Never saw him again after that but years later, I received an invitation to his wedding ;) Somehow I was still in his address book!

    • Annabel Candy February 14, 2012 at 8:00 pm - Reply

      Hi Miss F,

      Sounds like an interesting story! One hand?! I guess you didn’t make it to the wedding….

  14. Brenda February 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    My first boyfriend was 14 and happened to blossom early. In sixth grade his voice deepened and he looked more manly than any other. I noticed him then but even later in 8th grade he was still ahead of the other boys. The summer after 8th grade he would ride his bike over to my house and we would hang out on the front steps. We did go to a movie once and a took a tour of the county museum once, but we didn’t really date. He let me barrow his leather jacket to wear, just like they did in the 1950’s only this was the 1970’s. That was about the extent of our relationship…….but one day when he was either preparing to mount his bike or was already sitting on it, he leaned over and kissed me. I was in shock. I walked like a zombie into my house and at down on the sofa looking off into space. This happened a few more times over a four month period. I actually felt uncomfortable with the whole thing and ended it all in a tacky way…………I stopped answering the door when he came over. Years later when I got married to my high school sweetheart, he worked in the tuxedo shop where we rented the tuxedos for our wedding. How ironic!

    • Annabel Candy February 14, 2012 at 8:05 pm - Reply

      Hi Brenda, that is ironic. Even now it would be hard to end a relationship the right way by telling someone you’re not interested. Maybe David was over me anyway and this was the perfect out;)

  15. Brenda February 14, 2012 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    I also would like to share my sweetest Valentine story even though it has nothing to do with my first kiss. In my high school the debate team did a fund raiser on Valentine’s Day. Anyone in the school could buy a carnation for any other student for $1 and that included attaching a note. Those flowers would be delivered to the first period class of every student on Valentine’s Day. If I remember right, most people pinned the flowers on. Some people may buy them for friends or whoever they wanted for whatever reason. Some people may end up with many flowers and some people ended up with none. My high school sweetheart (future husband) was on the debate team but he had graduated the year before. So a friend of mine and I decided to buy each other a flower so that we would at least get something on Valentine’s Day so we wouldn’t look like total losers. When the flowers were delivered I had a big surprise…….. there was a flower there from my boyfriend with a lovely note attached. He had gone to the high school ahead of time and ordered the flower from one of his past teachers. I was thrilled. That was the best Valentine’s surprise I could ever receive. I pretty sure I still have the note that was attached to the flower tucked away somewhere.

    • Annabel Candy February 14, 2012 at 8:07 pm - Reply

      Hi again Brenda,

      Thank you for adding two more little love stories:) I don’t have a Valentine’s story so enjoyed reading yours! So gorgeous, I guess you knew he was the right man for you. Are you still married? That’s phenomenal:)

      • Brenda February 17, 2012 at 2:35 am

        On the first date I thought “I could marry this guy” but then laughed at myself since I was 16 at the time. Since we were young when we met we were together for almost 5 years before getting married. And yes we are married and our 30th anniversary is this summer. (three kids-son age almost 23, daughter age 20, and daughter age 15)

      • Brenda February 17, 2012 at 2:47 am

        I just remembered that the first time I noticed my husband it was at a read through of a play that he was going to be in. He played a French character and so therefore was speaking with a French accent which definitely got my attention. So we both had our French experiences with boys…….just in a different way. Ha! What is it about the French language that makes as swoon?

  16. Pat February 16, 2012 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    Oh la la les Frenchmen! No greater kissers in the world. And don’t I know it. Back in 1980 as a young niave American, un francais stole a kiss on the Champs Elysees and we are now living (mostly) happily ever after in Switzerland.

  17. barbara February 17, 2012 at 5:38 am - Reply

    Love this! I have to share it on the Blogstress Network fb page. You may win the LOVE poster for this charming little story my friend!

  18. Chris February 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    What a beautiful and sad story. I can honestly say my own first kiss was nowhere near as romantic or heart-breaking.

    Truth or dare. Too much tongue. Haha

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  20. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures February 23, 2012 at 7:37 am - Reply

    I loved this story! You write beautifully :)

  21. alex March 10, 2012 at 6:05 am - Reply

    i also like traveling

  22. Kerri Sackville December 2, 2013 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    Oh my goodness! That’s a beautiful story! And so poignant!

    • Annabel Candy December 2, 2013 at 12:58 pm - Reply

      Thanks Kerri, loved your first kiss story too! They are all beautiful really, even if first kisses can be a bit slimey…

  23. Rhianna December 2, 2013 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    Oh gosh! I am speechless. What a sad story. Though if you learnt from it all I guess it wasn’t in vain.

    • Annabel Candy December 2, 2013 at 9:18 pm - Reply

      Hi Rihanna,

      I had a lot to learn about relationships then and I still do :) but I’m still committed to them so that’s a good thing!

  24. Jo @ BabbleOn City blog December 3, 2013 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    What a beautiful story.
    Such a big lesson to learn at such a young age too.

    • Annabel Candy December 3, 2013 at 3:41 pm - Reply

      Hi Jo,

      Thank you for commenting on mg first kiss. Yes a hard lesson but it’s probable better to learn that one at a young age!

  25. Sam Stone @ A Life on Venus December 3, 2013 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    Oh no :( Such an unfortunate story. I wanted you to end up happily ever after with David.

    • Annabel Candy December 3, 2013 at 9:29 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sam! It’s ok – I ended up happily ever after with second else in the end :)

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