Mars & Deborah 3:
As Deborah went to the departure hall to fly out of Adelaide I knew that the next few months were going to drag on slowly and that I would miss her like crazy. I just didnt want her to go but that was the reality of the situation. When she got back...
>> Continued
 

 

 
     
 

 
 

She's From:   Korea
He's From:     Canada

After a few months of suffering from the loss of him, I sent an email to him, asking him timidly "Do you still remember me?"

The next day when I opened my mail box with anxiety, I saw one new email message from him, entitled as "Welcome back!".

     
 

He said that he knew I would come back to him since we were connected very deeply. We started to indulge in the bombards of emailing as if we were given a very limited time of doing that. We shared and shared many things. Once again it was the moment we realized we were touching our soul. Nobody could do that except him. I had to say that we said goodbye as friends and came back as something different, which we didn't try to identify in words overtly. 

One day after our reunion, he carefully suggested that we try to talk through instant message program such as Powwow which is now out of service.

 

 



   

 

 
       
 

Funny enough, I refused his idea at first, feeling that this would change our relationship completely. Though not being said in clear words to myself consciously or unconsciously, I knew that my feelings for him were more than a friendship. I was so afraid of that, because he was someone who I was not supposed to love because I am married to someone else. Anyway I was a very conservative typical Korean woman who wanted to be faithful to her husband, especially the one who loves his wife so much. 

I have to agree that something that should happen will happen eventually, no matter how hard we try to stop them from happening. Our case couldn't be an exception. Finally after a few months' delay and hesitation on my side and encouragement on his side, I agreed to accept his invitation into instant message chatting. I still remember every single moment of excitement we had while we were preparing for the first special date. We lived on opposite sides of the world, which meant we had 13 hours time difference and 14 hours under the daylight saving system. Specifically it meant my morning was his night and his night was my morning. We learned to say good morning, or good evening according to each other's time, though sometimes we forgot to calculate it. In the end we set the date for one Sunday night in my time and his Sunday morning. How could I explain the anticipation and the thrilling moment I had waiting for the date. He compared those feelings to the mission of the space explorer, checking all the systems, time and circumstances lest any failure happen in the course of our meeting. 

I don't remember how I spent the early evening, probably keeping myself so busy doing all the housework heaped during all week. As time came closer, I got so nervous and agitated, overwhelmed with emotions. I had never been that anxious in meeting someone in my real life before, and I was surprised at my feelings. Around 10 pm, seeing my kids falling asleep in their room, I went sitting in front of the computer, which of course has internet connection by this time. This machine called a computer was so meaningful to me and it was more than just a machine itself. I turned on the computer and logged into the Powwow which I installed the day before according to his guidance.

And I waited for him to send me a message because I didn't know how it worked actually. It was easier to use than I thought at first. I saw his id turn into blue and at the same time the one word "Hi" popped up on my screen. Yes, it popped up just like that of a sprout coming out of nowhere in the seemingly dead land in early spring. I wrote him back, "Hi", feeling as if he were right beside me. It was like a real face to face conversation in real life. It was totally different from one sided communication we had shared for one year. It was very difficult to hide our feelings in this instant message system even though we couldn't see each other's face. The words themselves were strong and emotionally sensitive enough to convey the person's honest feelings. 

For almost 4 hours' conversation, we seemed to lose the track of time. To my surprise, we were not running out of topics at all and we even shared a very comfortable silence like that between old friends and lovers. It was the moment of realization to me that all those emails we had exchanged almost every day for one year were something we couldn't underestimate. I don't remember most of the contents of our first chatting, except the last moment, which remains so vivid until now. He asked me gently if he could say something with my permission. I said, "Yes." After a moment of pause, he typed the simple three words to me, " I love you". Then my heart was beating so loudly and I felt like crying so overwhelmed was I with strong emotions. After a longer moment of pause, I asked this stupid question, "Is there any difference between "care about" and "love"?" At the moment, I realized how much I wanted to say " I love you" instead of " I care about you". 

I don't remember if I answered his statement by saying " I love you too" or not. But it was certain that I felt exactly the same feeling as he when he broke out the long kept words. I knew I was loving him way too long ago, though I denied the fact. I loved his soul and his heart. It was the moment of ending our long pretence of a friendship, which of course remained a good part of our relationship afterwards. I could say that day was special for us, because it reminded us of the fact we were in deeply in love with each other. 

Since then we frequently logged on and chatted through the net, but later we changed to MSN messenger. One time I printed out our chatting and was surprised at the amount, which was almost 40 pages or more. Those few months were the happiest time of our relationship. We seemed to live in a perfect world, nothing lacked and wanting except the inevitable desire for touching and feeling each other in person. We consoled ourselves saying that it was not that bad through this because we still could feel very close to each other, so much so that nobody in our real lives could replace it. Again I had to accept the power of words, which were inscribed in our mind so clearly and deeply. 

A few months back, I sent him a picture of me. It was my asking actually, to think of it. He didn't ask for it, simply because he didn't want to take a risk to be rude in asking that. He was certainly a very unusual species in this world. But at a certain point of our relationship I wanted to share more of me with him. After sending my picture, I was waiting for his reply so anxiously. He said in his e-mail that he had to hold his breath while the picture was opening slowly on the computer screen. He also said he loved what he saw very much, adding that I looked a little sad and he wanted to make me happy with his love. After that, our image in our mind became more substantial, solid, unbreakable and so vivid like real lovers. Even though he was much older than I, the age difference didn't matter to us. 

Things are supposed to change, which is so true. Our relationship was not an exception for that. We wanted more. Actually there were lots of communication media on this internet which were available for the people with a long distance relationship like us. One of them was an eyeball site which supported video and audio, not to mention text message. We agreed to try it out for us, though there was a hesitation on my side being afraid of the effect it would bring us. He assured me saying that we were in love with each other's soul and heart, not the superficial appearance. We would lose nothing even if we tried out this. So I thought, "Why not? I need any of means to feel him more closely" .

It was like a real date indeed. We were quite speechless at the first moment when we saw each other on the screen. I was looking at him and he was looking at me. We were falling in love with each other's eyes, which told so many things about our strong feelings for each other. It was the moment when I was completely understood and loved by someone without bothering to explain my feelings. We touched and caressed each other with our words and our eyes. It was so passionate and overwhelming. We always ended up with mixed feelings between sadness and happiness when we had to say goodbye in the special date. The desire to feel each other in person seemed to increase since we saw each other on Eyeball. 

Those few months after the special date, I seemed to lose my control over my real life. I couldn't concentrate on my teaching, let alone my family. It seemed that all I could think of was him. Suddenly I felt like I was trapped in married life, while my mind was wandering somewhere else. Seriously I was thinking about going there to meet him, disguised with studying abroad. I knew I would never leave my family but at the same time I didn't give up the hope to meet him in person. I wanted to see where our meeting would lead us and what we could do with our fate. In short, I was in agony. I definitely lacked the will to leave my family, which was not for the sake of me, who wanted to spend the rest of time with him willingly. Rather I couldn't stand the feeling of guilt that would follow me forever for deserting my family who loved and trusted me so much. 

This summer changed everything. He quit the job he was not happy with and tried to look for another job to suit his ability and personality. He made up his mind to spend this summer outside to rebuild himself mentally and physically, getting away from the computer. He was a very spiritual person, who liked to meditate and contemplate outside in the nature. He was the one who could enjoy his solitude even though he was very social and communicative. The more he spent time outside, the less I could find him on line. Still I didn't doubt the fact that our connection would remain unchanged until the September 11th attack changed everything. 

On the day of September 11th, I logged on to MSN messenger, which was our main communication source, and saw him on-line. I said "Hi", and he replied "Did you see it?" He sounded like very excited and agitated. I rushed to TV and watched the attack happening right in front of me alive. It was so shocking to me, and I could guess how much he must be affected by the accident, since he lived nearby New York and he made his living for writing things around him. That attack tremendously affected him. I could say it was a kind of trauma to him. We spent that night (his morning) together sharing the feelings and consoling each other. We wished we were together especially in this moment when we needed each other badly.

The sudden realization that the disconnection could happen at any time between us strongly discouraged and disheartened us. We couldn't do anything good for each other in a real life. All we could do was just to watch each other to suffer from the pain and to give some sweet words to each other, like "I am here with you", "You are not alone", "I support you with all my heart", or "I feel so close to you though we are living on the opposite world". We had pretended to believe those words for so long time, even though we might feel from deep sides of our mind that we could never be together in real life. He didn't bother to pretend to believe that, instead he gave in to the reality. He said, "After all I am an old man. And my passion for you just died due to my age or the harsh circumstances, though my feelings for you are there unchanged." 

At first I couldn't accept what he was saying. I couldn't believe that the strong passion he had showed me just disappeared so suddenly. He tried to persuade me saying that he didn't stop loving me, rather something in him prevented him from showing the passions as a lover. In short, he ceased to love me as a lover and a woman. Ironically enough, he made that choice when he needed me badly. He wanted to let go of his own feelings, which must have exhausted his soul so much. He said in our last chatting, "you would be my wife if the world were perfect". I wanted to insist that we had lived in our perfect world and I can't leave it and go back those times before I loved him. 

I was too proud to ask him to love me the way he did. Instead I asked him to end our relationship. He didn't disagree with my suggestion, because he felt how much I had been suffering from the change in his attitude toward me. He was still sweet and kind to me but he stopped showing his passion entirely. He wanted to stay in touch with me as a "good friend", which I couldn't accept at that time. That was it. We lost our perfect world in our mind. 

What I miss the most now is our friendship. If I were given a chance to go back to any phase of our relationship, I would like to choose the time when we felt we were soul mates, talking about everything, feeling exactly the same as each other, supporting each other to grow as a better person in a real life, making each other feel special with this connection, yet not attaching to our own passion for each other. Nevertheless I won't regret what we had gone through together. He definitely has left his trace in my heart. Like we promised the last time, we will remember each other forever as a good memory, though it would take a long time to accept that with pleasure, for now it is full of pain. 

Now I am trying very hard to get over the loss of him in my life. Still I miss him so much. Yet I accept that we can't be happy in a real life together and understand why he had to choose that. By now I feel grateful for what he had done for me, all of it, including the separation itself. Good bye, my soul mate...

"Sally"

Looking for Part One? It's here.