"You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly."-Sam Keen

Beagle's hands are toying with the collar of your shirt as he kisses you. This feeling of his lips on yours is one that is so unfamiliar, so foreign to you. For a moment, the sensation does not allow you any spare room for thoughts. You're not even sure if you remember how to breathe. This is your first kiss, something that has been both glorified and understated. This, you realize, is the stuff of fairytales and teenage lore. It is the sun, the moon, the ocean, an erupting volcano.

A funny thought strikes you. He is supposed to be tutoring you, helping you learn, and in a way he is doing what he is supposed to. He is letting you experience one of many firsts, teaching you what kisses feel like and you are thankful for that. You weren't sure if you'd live to see this day; from the time you were born, the clock was ticking. Your lungs swell, not with air but with anger at this disease that is slowly stealing your life away.

You wonder if you'll have any other firsts, you wonder about a lot of things and your mind is everywhere because he is everywhere, the kiss is everywhere and everything. You can't focus. Thoughts flit through your mind like butterflies, one after the other, a meaningless blur. In the sudden tumult, you open your eyes because if you close them you are quickly overwhelmed, and you can finally see him clearly. It's like the kiss he so graciously gave you has simultaneously given you a new set of eyes.

You no longer see Beagle as someone unreachable, that cafeteria worker who is older than you and off-limits. You no longer see this man, who is suddenly becoming a boy because he is blushing as you hold his face in your hands, as Dwight Kimborough, the silent shadow who, on campus, exists to fill a place in the line of staff members that watch over you every weekday. Instead, you see him as a godsend, a wonder, someone who is here to teach you things you had never known before this evening. He is Beagle, he is with you and in this moment that is what matters to you.

"Kiss me again," you plead, and he does. It's a soft touch of his lips on yours, like the first little peck was, but it still feels better than anything else you've ever known. Shocks pass between your eager lips, darting between his mouth and yours to create a pleasant sting. Soon you break apart, out of breath, Beagle sitting there with concern etched into his face while you sway dizzily in place from the lack of oxygen.

"You okay?" he asks kindly in that slow drawl you love so much. "Was that too much for you?"

Shaking your head proves a difficult task when you still feel like you're close to passing out. "No, it was great. Better than great, it was amazing."

His goofy smile makes your heart soar all over again. "I'm glad." Both of you can hear a voice in the distance. You realize it's your mother, telling you that it's time to end the study session.

Beagle sighs regretfully before standing up and tightening the strap of his bag. "I'll be back tomorrow night."

You know that tomorrow is Sunday, so you believe him. And you're not sure what is ahead of you, you can't see what is in your future, but you know whatever you may face is better than what you are leaving behind. After tonight's events, you have become an entirely new person.

It feels wonderful. Suddenly, you think that if this is what heaven feels like, dying might not be so bad after all.