A thousand years can pass and I will still remember that evening like a dream, when I was on the pioneers’ camp territory in Kojori1 and unexpectedly kissed one very beautiful girl, under a very kind tree, on the lips.
That kiss was unexpected not only for her, but for me, because I was only twelve years old and back then, boys of that age were completely undeveloped looking. Girls, on the contrary, in comparison with us, turned into women much earlier. That girl was also taller than me. I remember how I stood on tiptoe and suddenly kissed her on the lips. I thought something horrible would have happened as a response, but she didn’t say anything. Furthermore, it seemed to me as if she also liked what happened, but I wasn’t brave enough to dare and kiss her once more.
It was a pioneers’ camp, which looked like hundreds and thousands of other camps on the Soviet Union territory and the Soviet government had camps not only for the dissidents and criminals, but also for the pioneers.
Children whose parents, for one reason or another, were unable to spend the summer with their kids, were mostly the ones sent to that camp. That’s exactly how I got to be at the Kojori pioneer’s camp that summer. Although, the difference between Kojori camp and other Soviet camps was that there were a few astonishingly beautiful trees on the Kojori camp territory, among which was my kindest pine tree.
There was no other tree in the world which was kinder and tastier than that one. It produced such amazing smell that I always wanted to sit under that tree (any time of the day) and whenever I was not playing football, I was sitting there, thinking about the girl I kissed on the lips under that tree.
Her parents took the girl home the very next day, not because of that kiss, of course (it stayed between us). Though, this coincidence affected my already not steady and not fully developed psyche and while playing football I broke the cafeteria building window (by accident) and then fought with a boy who tripped me and almost broke my hand. Even though I’ve never been a fighter, the camp administration wrongfully decided that I, a small humanist in love, was a danger to the peacefulness and well-being of other pioneers. I was expelled for the camp so quickly that I wasn’t even able to say goodbye to my favorite pine tree and my astonished father, the whole way to Tbilisi, to home, kept asking me what I had done and why.
I was so young back then, that I couldn’t have associated me being expelled from Kojori to tasting some unknown fruit or the taste of the first kiss and I kept looking for that girl for a long, long time, and in vain.
And then, when I couldn’t find her anywhere (probably because of my youth), the only plan I came up with was returning to that camp (next year) and as soon as the school year ended, I asked my father to send me to Kojori in summer. He was very surprised, but still hadn’t asked me any questions. I explained the reason myself and when I told my father that a chess tournament was held in that camp that summer, he smiled.
It is true, that a year later I went to that Kojori camp again, but that girl was, of course, nowhere to be found there, just like that tree, under which I kissed the girl on her lips – that pine tree was cut down completely.
I couldn’t have been bothered with chess anymore…
Kojori1 - a small town in Georgia