Last spring, on the subway. Two girls – unkown age, but around 16, stood up from further back and came to the side of the car where I was standing all alone. Had my iPod plugged into my ears, but a quiet audiobook – no music. I didn’t pay attention.

“Well he does look kinda old,” said one.

“Yeah,” said the other. “Still…”

“And he is married,” said the first.

“Are you sure?” asked the other.

“Yes, trust me on this, I know this kind of thing,” assured the first.

“But that doesn’t really matter,” contradicted the second.

“So go and ask him,” said one.

“I don’t know,” said the other.

“I can come with you,” offered the first.

“I don’t know,” hesitated the other.

“Want me to ask him for you?” the first asked.

“No,” the other replied.

“Then you have to go yourself and ask him,” the first ordered.

There was a pause as the train stopped at a station. Could these girls… No, I discarded the thought. I still took the distraction of the station as an opportunity to look around me. Yes, nobody else here. I was all alone in the girls’ field of view.

“I really don’t know,” the other said.

“It’ll look really stupid if I go to him and tell him my friend here doesn’t dare ask you,” said the first.

I felt my face blush. I hope it wasn’t too obvious. My mind raced, trying to come up with a good way to refuse if this young girl actually changed her mind and gathered more courage. I made a point of looking out of the window, being obvious about not paying attention. Eventually the first girl gave up nudging her friend on. When the subway finally stopped at the next station – my destination – I fled from the train.

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