Too Soon to Be Adults
A boy and a girl were coming towards me. Wrapped in each other’s arms, they whispered, giggled and walked passed me. It was July 1st. I’d just gotten off the bus that took me very close to the children’s home. The bus stop was beside a long wooden fence. After passing through the gate I arrived on a forest trail that led me to the wood cabins.
I saw the couple at least another ten times that day, holding each other closely. Every time, I’d watch them as if it were my first time witnessing a teenage couple in love. I’m almost twice their age, supposedly wiser and more experienced, yet find myself feeling like an alien who knows nothing of this. They’ve been through a lot more, thrown into adult life without any preparation. Forced to live within a “proper” system because their past life has been deemed an error.
Young people living at a children’s home are often misunderstood, confused, lost and lonely. That’s why simple touch seemed so unexpected yet beautiful and real. The more time I spent there, the more I noticed the importance of physical touch to residents. Hugs with each other, the staff and even me once I became a regular visitor. They may be living “properly” or “improperly”, but they’re united by touch. Touch soothes and heals.