An old friend (2): You again?

…Continued from yesterday

I’ve always considered myself a rather naive guy when it comes to women. I am forever infatuated with them. Up until the 9th or 10th grade, I would be convinced I was in love if a cute girl gave me the time of day. Of course, I could not fall for every girl, and the more women I met, the more I realized how many different kind of women there were. Good, bad, indifferent. Still, I cannot deny that I often found myself easily infatuated with women.

Take PW. I met her in Intermediate Japanese class my first quarter at UCLA. Now I had met a number of young ladies during my band days in high school. Being a band member always attracted a pool of girls and I got to know many of them–not necessarily in the Biblical sense. But I had never met a girl like PW. She was a “half”, as they say in Japanese: Half white, half Japanese. And I think she was the cutest girl I had ever met up until that moment. It was one thing to have her in the same class, but to have her talk to me from time to time. Were you able to understand the whole passage? Did you get this sentence? Did she just ask me a question? Man, I now had a tangible reason to study and be prepared for class.

Of course, I was the new guy in class, and she had friends with whom she was far more familiar, and anything she had to say to me was limited to polite and generic conversation. But this changed in the Fall quarter, when I found her not only in Advanced Japanese, but also a Japanese literature course on the I-novelist Mushakoji Saneatsu. When I saw her on campus, I made sure to chat with her about class–Do you like the new teacher, Akatsuka sensei? What do you think of Mushakoji? When I think about it now, my conversation probably bored her to death. But she was a nice girl who was willing to talk to a dork.

Anyway, we would bump into each other at the University Research Library in North campus, sometimes at night after seven or eight. We had coffee a couple of times and I would offer her a ride to her car when it was dark. One night, after we had studied near each other at URL, I got up the nerve to ask her if she wanted to get some dinner. Her first reaction was positive, but as we walked toward my car, she asked me if she could bring a friend. Of course, I said. How could I refuse? She called her friend from a pay phone and we went to a restaurant they go to periodically, a place called Sushi King on Wilshire in Santa Monica.

I was infatuated with PW. Indeed, she mesmerized me. On our way there, I’m sure we had a nice convesation, but I don’t remember a thing. My thoughts were on having dinner with PW and wondering who this friend was. But as we walked into the sushi bar, my infatuation was in danger of fading… quickly. PW called out: Hey, there’s TY. Hi! You know Onigiriman, right?

It was the second time TY–Mr. Native Speaker from Advanced Japanese–made his presence felt, rudely and unwelcomed.

To be continued…

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