An International Romance Story

She walked into my office, and I said, “George called. He says he will call you back.”  With that, she opened the door to my coat closet, walked in, closed the door, and didn’t want to come out!  I was teaching international university students in America. She was a pretty little American student who had spent her life overseas and had recently returned to America.  She and I had more than one language in common, and it helped us to bond and become friends, and she spent a lot of time in my office. She had long red curly hair, big brown eyes, and big full red lips.  She was very pretty.  She was not the only student who liked to hang out in my office.  There were two Korean girls, a Japanese boy, a Korean boy, and two Mexican boys who spent a lot of time in my office. If they weren’t in my office, they were in the lounge with the other international students or in class.  The Koreans seemed to have more trouble with English than any of the others, so I was spending a lot of time helping them.  The Korean girls were trying to teach me Korean, but I didn’t have time back then.  The Japanese boy liked to speak to me in Japanese and quiz me about what I knew about Japan and get advice about the American culture.  The Mexican boys were just lazy, and they admitted it.  They weren’t good at English and needed extra help because they didn’t study like they should. They were all friends, and the international students had accepted the American girl as one of them because she grew up overseas.  George was from Uganda. At first, I didn’t know the problem, but I learned.

I coaxed the little red headed girl to come out of the closet and talk to me.  She said she knew that George would call back. He had been trying to ask her out, and even though she liked him and they were friends, she didn’t want to date him.  She was at a loss and didn’t know what to do.  When he called again, he asked her to take him to the bank and help him open a bank account.  She felt compelled to help him, but didn’t want to go alone, so I suggested to her that she invite someone else to go.  She agreed to take him to the bank.  She saw the Japanese boy out the window flying his kite and decided to ask his help.  She went out and asked him to come to the bank with them and explained the problem, and he agreed.  When they came back into my office, one of the Korean girls was there, and she volunteered to go too.  When they left, they were gone the rest of the day.

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I asked the little red haired girl what happened the next time I saw her, and she said that after they went to the bank, they went out to eat and then to a movie. I asked her if it was a date, and she said she didn’t know.  I asked her who paid. She said the guys decided to split the check, so I asked her who sat by who, and she said it was all random, so it was like a double date, but no one knew who was with who.

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The next thing you know, the Japanese boy was complaining.  The Korean girl who had volunteered to go had done something that scared him to death!  She put makeup on a mile thick and put on a blouse that looked like underwear and came after him in a quiet hallway, and he got scared and ran!  Everyone was getting a crush on the wrong people.

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The next thing you know, there was a big fight in the front of the school between George from Uganda and one of the Mexican boys. I had to break it up.  They were screaming at one another!  Each was yelling that the little red haired girl was going to go home with him for Christmas, but neither one had asked her.  They were mad enough at one another they were ready to come to blows.  Everyone was standing around watching, and I broke it up before it got too far.

There were some Japanese girls who had gone out with some American boys, and they came to me wanting to ask if it was a date because dating is different in America and Japan, and they were confused.  I asked them some questions, and came up with the conclusion that they had been on a double date.  The Japanese boy happened to be listening. After the fight in front of the school, the Japanese boy pulled me aside and told me he wanted an American girlfriend and asked me what he needed to do to get one.  That was a strange conversation. I tried to tell him as delicately and conservatively as I could.  These students were driving me crazy! I was in my forties, married, and had four kids, I had completely forgotten about the uncertainty of being single and wanting to date someone.

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They were also driving the little red haired girl crazy.  She confided in me after the fight saying she really needed to do something to stop the nonsense. After the incident with the Korean girl going after the Japanese boy, he also told me he needed to do something.  The red haired girl had an idea. She knew the Japanese boy was having the same kind of problems she was having, so she pulled him aside and talked to him.  They made an agreement that they were not dating, but they would tell everyone they were dating and going steady, so everyone else would leave them alone. They were buddies and could trust one another and decided to protect one another.

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After that, the American guys were intrigued, and they were still trying to get the American girl.  The American guys knew she was in my office a lot and began dropping by. I heard one of the Mexican guys saying to the red haired girl that she didn’t want a Japanese, that she should date him, a Mexican.  He told her that Mexicans were much more romantic than the Japanese. He told her that if she would take him, he would bring her flowers and sing to her.  Others must have been hearing all this because a Chinese girl pulled the Japanese guy aside and told him that if he wasn’t careful, the American guys were going to take his American girlfriend away from him.  She knew that Japanese guys were rather stoic and that they didn’t show the girls a lot of affection.  She knew the only way you know if a Japanese guy likes you or not is if he buys you gifts and sits by you.  She told the Japanese guy that if he didn’t want the American guys to take the red haired girl away from him, he would grab her hand and walk her through the hallways, claiming her.  He listened and did something very unJapanese,  He grabbed the American girl’s hand and walked her through the hallways.  People who knew about Japanese were shocked because the Japanese guys just don’t do that.

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The Japanese guy and the little red haired American girl started just as friends trying to protect one another from all the nonsense.  However, eventually, they ended up falling in love and getting married. Now, they have good jobs and two babies. They are protecting one another for life.


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