Say Cheese by Steve Stucko

It was our third date so I thought we were ready for the roller rink where we could skate side by side and hold hands. It was the smartest decision I ever made. After a wobbly start and one fall on her fanny, Debbie never let go. 

Afterwards, we got in line for the photobooth while we waited for Debbie’s mother to pick us up. Inside the darkened booth she ran her hands over her hair and straightened her collar. Debbie looked so cute as she primped herself in the glowing light that I couldn’t stop myself from leaning over and kissing her on the cheek. That’s when the first flash went off. The next three flashes caught us with big, blushing smiles on our faces. 

Outside the booth we looked at the four pictures and laughed. Debbie suggested I tear the photo strip in two so we each had two pictures as a souvenir. When we looked at the two torn pieces we realized there was only one picture of the kiss. Boy, did I want that picture. Debbie said she wanted it too. I shoved my hand in my pocket and pulled out two more coins. When I tell the story to our kids I like to say, “She winked at me.” Debbie says I winked at her. 

I married Debbie forty-seven years ago. We used the old picture of us kissing as the cover of our wedding invitation. Yesterday, at her service, our kids put together a slideshow of images. All eight black and white photos from the booth were mixed with a lifetime of birthday, vacation and holiday pictures. I smile when I remember the date at the rolling rink and the darkened little room that saw we were in love even before we did. 

Published in Issue #11

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