The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024


The Non-Kiss

Peter energetically walked down the deserted hall of his dormitory whistling Franco Micalizzi’s “Amusement.” He had just gotten back from a night out with Liz.

When he reached his door, he stopped whistling and inhaled deeply to calm himself. He expected Teddy, his roommate, to be asleep, so he slowly inserted his key into the keyhole and opened the door as quietly as possible.

To his surprise, however, every light in the room was on, and Teddy was not there, but Walter was.

“What are you doing here?” asked Peter, looking at his cell phone. “It’s 2:24 in the morning.”

“What d’ya mean?” said Walter. “With you and Liz preoccupied, I’ve got no one else to hang out with.”

“But you’re in my room,” said Peter. “How’d you even get in here?”

“Teddy let me in before he went over to his frat house – they were having some sort of shindig,” replied Walter. “But enough of why I’m here. How was your evening?”

“It was good,” said Peter.

“How was the movie?”

“Oh, it was brilliant,” exclaimed Peter. “You’ve got to go see it.”

“With who?”

“I don’t know, Walter. Get some more friends.”

“But I like you guys. I thought you liked me too.”

Peter looked at Walter quizzically.

“I’m joking,” said Walter. “Not that I don’t like you guys, but I can survive without you. Anyway, give me some details. Why are you getting back so late?”

“That’s just how it went. Nothing happened,” said Peter. “We hung out at her place for a while before going to the movies, the 9:30 was sold out so we went to the 10:20, and then Café Brazil.”

“And that’s it?” asked Walter.

“Then I walked her back and came back here.”

“You didn’t even kiss her?”


“Ah, come on. Not even a little peck?”

Peter shook his head. “It just didn’t feel right. The timing was off.”

“Are you kidding me?!” exclaimed Walter. “It was the perfect time. You just got scared.”

“I’ll admit I was a little nervous walking up to the door, but I would have gone through with it. I just think I needed to give it a little more time.”

“Please,” said Walter.

“Whatever,” said Peter, as he started undressing. “I’m going to bed.”

Peter flipped off the lights and climbed into bed.

“Fine,” said Walter. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Walter walked out of Peter’s room and into the empty hallway. As the door slammed closed, he pulled out his phone and called Liz.

“Hello?” said Liz, picking up her phone from her nightstand as she was climbing into bed.

“Hey, Liz, it’s Walter. I was just calling to ask how your date with Peter went.”

“Are you with him right now?” she asked.

“No. He kicked me out without giving me much information. That’s why I called you . . . and because I missed you of course.”

“Ha. Ha . . . well, what’d he tell you?”

“No, no, I’m not playing that game,” stated Walter. “You tell me what you thought about it, mainly the end, when he walked you back.”

“Are you in his room right now?” asked Liz.

“No, I told you, he kicked me out,” said Walter. “All right, well, let me start it off: he told me that he didn’t kiss you when he dropped you off. I thought that was a bit strange. What about you?”

“Well, I was expecting him to, but I don’t know. He’ll probably come around pretty soon though. He was probably just a little nervous. What did he say about it?”

“So you’re a little perturbed about the lack of a kiss?”

“I wouldn’t say perturbed: That has such strong connotations. Maybe I’d say unsettled.”

“All right,” said Walter. “Just checking.”

“What reason did he give you for not kissing me?”

“I’m sorry, I can’t tell you,” said Walter.

“Come on, don’t do that, Walter,” said Liz. “You’ve got to give me something.”

“I don’t gotta do anything.”

“I know you’re gonna tell Peter,” she said. “It’d only be fair to tell me.”

“Fair’s got nothing to do with it,” said Walter. “It’s bros before hos.”

“Walter!” exclaimed Liz. “That wasn’t very nice.”

“Ha. Ha . . . well, it’s the truth. But don’t worry, what I tell him is only what he needs to hear,” said Walter. “So what’re you up to tomorrow?”

“I’m going out with some girlfriends of mine: dinner, maybe a movie.”

“Oh, that should be fun. It sounds like what you did tonight,” said Walter. “You’ll probably even have just as good a chance to get kissed.”

“What is it with guys and lesbians?” asked Liz.

“Whoa, whoa, I didn’t say lesbians – not that there’s anything wrong with that, at least in blue states – I was implying that one of your friends would give you a nice, friendly, sexy kiss,” claimed Walter. “But I think it’s because guys like women. And you can never have too much of a good thing. And of course our ingrained hubris allows us to believe that we can work our way into the middle of those two women.”

“Ah, well that would explain a lot,” replied Liz. “All right, I’m going to bed. I’ll talk to you later.”

“All right, Liz, take care.”

“You too, Walter, bye.”


The next night, as Walter and Peter sat on Peter’s futon watching college football, Walter returned to the topic of the non-kiss.

“So have you talked to Liz today?” asked Walter.

“Just for a bit but she had to run off to dinner with her friends,” replied Peter.

“Did she bring up the kiss? Or lack of a kiss as it were?” said Walter.

“Nope. She probably didn’t think it was that big of a deal. In fact, she probably felt about the same as I did.”

“That’s funny. ‘Cuz I called her last night, and she seemed to be a little unsure of why you didn’t kiss her,” said Walter. “In fact, she seemed to have some doubt about how interested you were.”

Peter sat up and broke his gaze away from the TV and looked directly at Walter: “Really?”

“Yeah, man, I think you really made a mistake by not kissing her,” said Walter. “I mean if you had, you’d be feeling much better right now: sure of yourself, confident.”

Peter looked down, weighing Walter’s words for a moment. Then, he stood up and collected his belongings: wallet, keys, phone, etc.

“I’ll be back,” he said.

“Where are you going?” asked Walter.

Peter flew out of the door without answering. But Walter did not need an answer. He knew exactly where Peter was headed, and he smiled.

On the other side of campus, Liz had just returned from dinner with her friends. She had opted out of the movie, though, having seen it the previous night with Peter. Suddenly, her phone rang. Thinking that it was one of her friends she picked it up without looking at the caller identification.

“Hey, Liz, where are you?” asked Peter.

“Um, I just got back to my room. Peter?”

“Yeah, I need to see you, can I come over?”

“Uh, sure,” said Liz. “Right now?”


“All right. Give me a call when you get here, and I’ll come down.”

“I’m already here,” said Peter.

“Oh, um . . . all right, I’ll be down in a minute,” said Liz.

She hung up her phone, took a glance in the mirror and made her way to the front door where Peter was waiting for her. As she opened the door, wondering what Peter so urgently needed to tell her, he turned to face her with a look that sent a warm, tingling sensation throughout Liz’s body.

Without saying a word, he walked directly over to her and kissed her with tremendous passion, making sure she could not doubt his commitment.

“I’m sorry I left any doubt,” said Peter.

Liz smiled, beaming brightly back at him.

“I knew you’d come through,” she said.

Peter smiled and moved in for another kiss. Walter was right: He felt much better.

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