Chris was my schoolmate of the Japanese language school, and we were living in the same town, with a host family. Every day I met him at Chojabaju station, and went to school together. We chatted a lot on the way school, and this story is about him.
Chris is a 16 year old Singaporean boy, and he studied Japanese by himself for half a year before coming to Fukuoka to start his school lesson. In fact, he just stayed in Fukuoka for 3 weeks to attend the school lessons, and It was his first time to study overseas.
He was into remembering new kanji and always asked me the meaning of some Kanji. Everyday he studied very hard, as he dreamed of studying in Japan for his university life, and working in Japan after graduation. He said he did not like to stay in Singapore, as he had to attend the military service, plus, the city was boring.
Sometimes, we both attended the language exchange activity, organized by the school, and he fell in love with a Japanese girl who was like Saito Asuka, one of the members of Nogizaka46, at first sight.
Chris told me he wanted to win her heart, and asked my advice many many times, however, he didn’t take any action as he said he just stayed in Japan temporarily this year.
One day, I was a bit annoyed by his frequent asking and told him, “ If you do not take any action, why you ask my advice so many times ? It is pointless you get many advice but don’t try them and see whether it works or not.”
“But I only stay here for 5 weeks. It is not impossible to keep up the relationship.” He replied.
“ I think you think too much. Nothing is secure in this world. Besides, one regrets what they did not do, but they won’t regret what they have done. Do not think too much, and take action first. Be a man.” I told him.
He listened to me, and confessed the feeling to the girl next day, by line. Although I thought it was not the proper way, at least he did it.
Of course, the result was not positive. He failed. And he asked me to have a walk with him at Kayocho pond, where I walked with Aya-chan last week.
Along the way we walked, he said nothing. From his expressionless face I could tell he was shocked, and upset, and he couldn’t believe he failed, as he was an academically-gifted student, and had never had any big or small failure in his life. After walking for 20 minutes, He asked me,
“ Why I can’t win her heart ?”
“Why you are so sure she would promise you to be your girlfriend after confession? “
“ Cause I have tried my best, and I deserve it!”
“Nope, you are wrong. To make thing happen, work-hard is just one super small factor. You have to consider other things, such as timing, the way of confession, your age, your face, your height, your manner, your character…etc. “
“Why I fail to have her to be my girlfriend? ”
“The only way to know this answer is you ask her, and she told you the truth honestly. Otherwise, it is something you never know in your life.”
“ Why you told me to take action if you knew I was going to fail in the beginning ?!”
“ As experience and courage are important for life. Learn from this failure, you can be a better person in the future.”
He stopped asking me any question, stayed quiet, and strolling along the pond, with his head down.
We stood on the bridge, watched the sunset again, and later taking the same train back home. He got off at Sue-station, before the train door closed, he told me, “ Thank you, Andy-san. I believe tomorrow will be a better day.”
I said nothing. on the train, I sat for a while for rest, looking out of the window, and one phrase popped up in my mind.
” Young man, your life adventure just begins.”
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