There are these teenagers who walk to school together everyday at the same time as I’m leaving for work (7am). They’ve been together for at least as long as I’ve lived in my apartment (which will be 2 years this winter) and pass by my truck hand in hand every morning.
I’m in-love with their affection towards each other.
They both seem very shy, quiet. The kind of people who probably aren’t that popular in school, but don’t really care. The kind of people I would have probably hung out with in school if I were still a teenager.
The girl has long dark brown hair, that when she leaves for school with it wet almost looks black. It has the slightest wave to it, but she doesn’t seem to be the kind of girl who frets over styling it. It always lays long, semi-straight, and flat against her back and shoulders.
The boy has shaggy sandy brown hair that curls just at the nape of his neck and around his ears. He always wears a corded necklace that’s short, almost like a chocker; though I know nothing of the charm I know hangs from the front of it as it’s always hidden under his shirt.
Both of their attires are what I’d describe as grunge. She often wears fitted pants that flare at the bottom with a series of pockets lining the legs and a fitted long sleeve shirt no matter what the temperature is. The color is almost always black or at least a dark gray. He wears whatever suits the weather even if it doesn’t fit his “style” but the most common thing I see him in are camouflaged pants that are baggy on his skinny frame and a blue t-shirt that also is too large for his body. Sometimes though (on hotter days), I’ll see him in gym shorts and a similar large t-shirt.
Both of them have eyes that are almost cat like, slanted just slightly with expressions that are always deadly serious even in the wee hours of the morning. Their hands clasp together like the idea of being apart tortures them. Without each other, they seem like nothing.
Outside of what I’ve observed about them, in truth I know nothing about them. Not their names, not the sound of their voices, not even how old they are. But I wonder about these things.
I also wonder how their relationship came to be. I wonder exactly how long they’ve been together. I wonder what makes their obvious connection so strong. But for as many times as I’ve seen them, I’ve never spoken to them.
I often times want to offer them a ride, even when I run into them outside of our normal morning routines, but I have to remind myself that no matter how much I *feel* like I know them, I don’t.
One time I ran into them at the shopping market near our house. They were walking home with balloons in their hands from the dollar store while I was picking up breakfast from a local food shop in my pajamas (the girl was also in her pajamas too which surprised me as they were far more childish than I would have expected (yet still holding the black appeal)). I literally had to stop mouth from moving because the words, “You guys want a ride?” almost escaped me.
The problem is, regardless of my fascination with them, I’d seem like some old pedophile were I to ever ask them if they’d like a ride. Even on the coldest days of winter when I know a ride in a warm truck would be far more desirable to them than walking, I have to stop myself because they do not know me even though I *feel* like I know them.
I even play the possibility of giving them a ride out in my head. I hear the music I blare on the way to work souring through the truck while I drive them up the street to the high school and I feel them in the backseats nervous, wondering why the hell I’d be so generous. Me, a total stranger. I imagine them wondering about my music taste (which I imagine is close to theirs even if my outward appearance doesn’t elude to this), about my clothing (because it too doesn’t let on to the person I’d rather represent, but rather shows the person my job requires me to be), and even about my job (and specifically where I’m going this early in the morning). And then I tell them….
“I’ve watched the two of you for almost two years now and I want to know more about you. I am an aspiring writer and the two of you have inspired a pair of characters for my next novel. Would you mind if I interviewed you?”
In my mind, they think it’s cool that I’m an aspiring author and they want to know more. And are more than eager to let me question how their relationship came to be and get to know the teenager that I no longer am so that my YA novel is as accurate as possible. But in reality I know this isn’t how it would play out.
Fantasy is far more fun than reality in most cases, and something tells me that if I were to ever say, “Hey, you guys want a ride?” They’d look at me like the freak that I really am and walk faster away from me, scared of my offer.
Still, knowing all that I know, it doesn’t stifle my excitement and curiosity when I see them every morning. I literally stare at them until they are out of my sight.
Does that make me sick? I don’t know. I hope it doesn’t. Truly, my affliction with them is based on the couple they represent in a future novel and I wish to know them so I depicte them properly, but I know that would never sound right no matter which way I bring it out.
And so I’m constantly stuck wondering. Wondering about their life, and even wondering if I’ll ever have the courage to actually approach them and see if I’m just being silly with my assumptions, and if I actually know anything about them at all just based on observation alone.
Heath constantly teases me when he sees them with, “Hey, there’s your ‘friends’,” and I immediately jump up to see them in a different way than I do every morning. It’s almost pathetic in truth, but I want to know them and be able to write about them in way that’s *real*, not just what my mind wants to imagine them as.
How crazy is this? Have I truly lost myself? Am I sick for aspiring to know kid strangers just for the sake of a book?
Gah…. I wonder.
Peace – Sarah