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“A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.” 
― Ingrid Bergman

We give them, we receive them, we dream of them. For some, they’re a daily routine, for others a rare delicacy. No matter how often we exchange them, every kiss, big or small, has a special meaning hidden behind it.

A kiss encompasses all the words we want to say, all the things we feel, all the thoughts we have; all transported through our lips in the form of affection.

There’s the one you received from your parents when they tucked you to bed when you were but a child. Your mom would turn off your lamp, your dad would bundle you up in your covers. They’d both take a step back and for a second stare at you, closing your eyes peacefully. Then they’d lean in and kiss your cheeks or your forehead and leave the room as quietly as possible. That kiss right there, that small gesture of affection, it meant love. It was a sign that your parents – as all parents should- care and love you. That they’re grateful to have you.

Then there’s that unexpected kiss a kid gives you at the playground. Maybe from that pretty little girl, or that cute young boy. They walk up to you and blushing madly, they peck your cheek. It meant they liked you, they wanted to be friends with you, they found you nice. And it made your tiny self swell with happiness, even though at the time you didn’t know why.

As you grew up, kissing meant more and more things. First kisses are unnervingly important. That first kiss on the lips you exchanged with your best friend, the guy you liked, the girl you found really pretty. It meant trust. It was sort of like a declaration from your part, a way to say “I trust you to be the beginning of my love life.” The kiss sealed the deal.

A kiss can mean I missed you. When you see him, after a really long time. And you run and run and run, right into his arms. And you don’t care if people stare. You can’t wait any longer, you’ve waited long enough. So you capture his lips and you kiss him. That kiss is full of promises and joy, full of love and a little bit of sadness over the time lost. 

There are the heated kisses you exchange, clothes falling off and bodies colliding. Skin against skin and lips moving feverishly always wanting more. Trailing kisses over a jaw, a collarbone, a hipbone. Whispering sweet nothings and then kissing again, just to prove your point. That kiss, it means I want you. The body is on fire and a kiss is a way to silence it, even just for mere seconds. That kiss is a promise that exciting things will follow…

There are other types of kisses too. That chaste kiss you exchange at the doorstep, before you leave for work or school. There are also the ‘take care’ kisses, given when someone’s sick which show concern. The kisses you give when somebody’s not feeling ok, to give them, at least, comfort found in the warmth of lips.

The sweet little kisses you give to your friends, a token of appreciation for their existence. Just small kisses placed on their cheeks, necks or hands. Your affection pouring over and letting them know just how important they are to you.

And then there’s my favorite type of kiss.

When a relationship is coming to an end. When things don’t work out the way you were hoping, when life takes you down different paths. Even though you tried hard, the end was still inevitable. The last goodbye hits you with all its force, brutal and overwhelming. All the moments you shared now turning into memories and the pain doubles when you know you’ve done everything you could, and yet you couldn’t avoid it. The grand finale, unfolding right before your eyes.

Sometimes it’s too much, so much that you need something to give you hope. And what better way to ignite your hope other than a kiss?

A kiss so powerful it comforts you. It’s that bitter-sweet taste of a last kiss. It’s a kiss than means all of the above. That kiss hides behind it all the sorrow, all the remorse. But it also envelopes all the good times, the happy memories, the laughter you shared. It means goodbye, take care, I want you, I’ll miss you, I’m grateful I had you in my life. It means I love you. It means I will never forget about you. It means “I hope to see you again.”

Kisses in my opinion are a powerful thing, the force that takes over when words and glances are powerless. The most magic thing about kisses is that when you truly love someone but your logic is denying it, a kiss will be the proof.

Author: Matina Tsouma

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