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
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
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
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...
Looking for Part One? It's