High School knows no cultural bounds when it comes to having the most intensely awkward moments of your life. And those are the formative years that hurt: if you're in your mid 20s and you get turned down by someone of the opposite sex, you brush it off and find somebody else. But if you're 16, your voice just started cracking, and you find yourself in an inescapable situation that will leave you feeling rejected and humiliated for years to come, it will leave an emotional scar.
I certainly just witnessed one of those moments tonight.
Coming out of the room that my Japanese lessons were held, I noticed a high school boy and a girl silently looking out a window. They boy had his hands crossed in front of him when I first looked. I talked a bit to everyone else leaving the class, and when I looked over again, the kid made his move. His hand was holding hers, both still looking silently out the window. Go kid!, I thought.
The group that I meet up with every week hung out for a few minutes later. During that time the couple descended down the stairs and left. I myself followed suit a few minutes later and hopped on my bike to head home. Peddling down a dark street, I noticed the same couple I saw a few minutes earlier, only they weren't holding hands. In fact, they still weren't talking. It was worse than that. There they were, walking in near pitch black and dead silence, while the girl was reading a book. That's right. She was using both of her hands to hold the book close to her face and attempt to read it under the extremely dim streetlight.
This was the most awkward situation I've ever had the privilege of seeing. Not only is the girl saying "I don't want to hold your hand" because both of her hands are occupied, she's saying "don't look at me because I'm reading and don't talk to me because I'm trying to concentrate". And I've seen nerds here and there walk home and read books, but certainly not at night.
I hope at least it was an interesting book.