Just the other day I was reading an old online article about love confessions. I’m not going to paraphrase it here but you can read the full thing for yourself at Tofugu’s Japan’s ‘Love Confessing’ Culture. Before this happened, Director Takahiro Miki’s “Hot Road” (as sweetly framed above by Tosaka Hiroomi and Nounen Rena) had arrived in the mail, and I politely asked (Read: forced with a chopstick at his throat) my guy to watch it with me.
In the film, there is a scene where Haruyama gives Kazuki a ride home, and instead of thanking him, she glares and walks away. Feeling tickled by a challenge, he trounces after her, throws an arm over her shoulder and asks, “Wanna be my girl?” Of course, Kazuki being Kazuki shoots him the dirtiest look a girl can give to a guy as hot as Haruyama. Everything else was a bit of a nostalgic and emotional blur, but that one simple exchange remained a clear image in my head for several days afterward. The more I thought about it, the more distanced I felt from it – A total continental drift was happening within me. And yet I felt this strong yearning. It slowly and destructively dawned on me later on that this phenomenon that had me gushing in shoujo mangas was something I had never experienced firsthand nor had I ever had the courage to do it myself. (Thus the search online which lead me to Tofugu.)
The closest thing I got to a “confession” was indirectly and by a huddle of pock-faced teenage girls. When I was in 8th grade, I was chosen to be part of the camera crew that was assigned to take pictures at the school dance. You know, those gawky, dorky teenagers with a camera strapped around their necks who flash you the moment you enter the door? Yep, that was me. While my friend was showing me how to use the Polaroid, a group of girls in navy and white ascended on me and dragged me to the soccer field. I thought they were going to beat me up. I’m going to get beat up, I’m going to get beat up, I’m going to get beat up. Instead, they questioned me about some guy who’s name I never even heard of…and still can’t remember to this day. (Sorry, Mystery Guy.)
“Who?” I sputtered.
“—-” The loudest one who seemed to be the leader said. “He likes you. You guys should go out.”
“I don’t even know him…”
She pointed at a fuzzy white blob far away at the basketball court. I squinted myopically in the direction of her finger. One of the few times I wished I could have ditched my vanity and just wear those dorky bifocals.
“No, thank you… There’s someone else I like.” And that part was true at least. There was someone else I liked – An older guy from another school who painted his finger nails black and stuck safety pins into his backpack.
They all seemed slightly disappointed and the crowd dispersed.
When I think about my string of relationships afterward, no confession ever happened. My Cantonese boyfriend and I just happened to share a mutual friend, and so we naturally hung out together, naturally got to talking, and then naturally but rather awkwardly we kissed. And even then it took me five years of feeling insecure to ask him the big question: “What are we?” And even now, most of the guys who are interested text me to ask me out. Like at 2 am in the morning. Like when I can’t even remember what my name is and whether I’m actually wearing clothes or not. (That’s how tiring work can be, OK?)
Have you ever experienced this phenomenon? And if not, what would be your ideal “kokuhaku” situation?
Anyway, I’m really sorry, guys. I know there should be more today, but I’m really too tired. I was reaching out for too much, trying to finish the quality checks and making credit pages and stuff for other projects. I just can’t do it. I can’t imagine being able to do it this month. I still have 25 more hours to go of volunteer work. What the hell did I get myself into?
Please settle with this unsatisfying chapter of Sekine’s Love. At least for another week. I really need to do my thank you spiel here. This was officially uruumi’s last chapter with the team; Megan did a heck of a lot of prep work; skippyskippy pitched in with wonderful typesets; octo with her PR. And Swirly Owl, especially you, who I manhandled into cleaning the FIRST four pages of Chapter 27… because I thought it was the LAST four pages of Chapter 26. Even though your cleans won’t debut until the next chapter, you along with the rest of the crew still deserve a deep bow. Thank you guys! Download Here | READ ONLINE HERE