When Lauren submitted to me, she wrote, “I’m writing to share my story with a Chinese boy, although not all fairy tales have a happy ending.”
Even though I call this series “Double Happiness,” sometimes that happiness doesn’t last forever. Lauren’s story reminded me of the joys I experience with past loves, if only for a short time. Sometimes it’s good to remember.
Thanks for sharing your memories, Lauren.
Philip and I met in September 2010 in the canteen of our residence halls in the UK. He was going to start his master’s studies and I was in an exchange program to improve my English, as I’m Spanish.
From the very beginning we had some sort of special connection because since that September we were never apart. We shared breakfast and dinner at the canteen and we tried to spend the spare time we had together. I felt really comfortable with him and he seemed to feel the same way. As we got to know each other better, Philip started to accompany me to class and then he sometimes suddenly picked me up by surprise at the end of some class. Every time we went out, he carried my books or purse with enthusiasm. Somehow my feelings started to change and I started to wonder if that friendship was leading towards deeper feelings.
One Sunday morning, we were having brunch. Brunch was our favorite time during the week because we could spend around two hours talking and eating without the stress of everyday work. But this time, he asked me to go to the movies. We went to the movies, and also to dinner at a Spanish restaurant. He decided to take me there because I had been feeling homesick. On our way back to the residence our hands weaved together.
Two weeks later, it started to snow in our city, so he called me to share that moment with me. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I was really happy. The end of December arrived and I had to go home to spend Christmas with my family, but he did come with me to see me off at the airport. However, I arrived home and I couldn’t stop thinking about him. We chatted through Skype and phoned each other during that time. When I returned, I had a present for him — a t-shirt of the Spanish football team which he loved. Days passed until one day he asked me to be his girlfriend. I accepted without hesitation.
Everything was going well. But as May approached, we both feared the day when I had to go back to Spain. We didn’t talk much about it until it was inevitable. Nevertheless, we decided to fight for our love although in our case it also meant distance. But he had to finish his dissertation and I had to finish my studies back home. We agreed to spend Christmas together and visit when we could. The same day I was leaving, he gave me a ring and said the magical words that were so difficult to express: “Wo ai ni,” I love you. I left but with a double sense of happiness and sadness — I was happy to have found him but sad to leave him.
Destiny surprised us and his behaviour towards me changed. He didn’t connect with me as much on the Internet. He didn’t answer my e-mails or phone calls. I thought something wrong must have happened but I couldn’t do anything to help him if he wouldn’t let me. Some time later I found a friend of his whom I had met twice online and we exchanged telephone numbers. A few minutes later, I received a phone call from this friend. I was told that Philip had failed his dissertation and had to go back to China in less than a month. I couldn’t stop crying. I wanted to see him so the following day I bought a ticket to visit him.
By that time, Philip had been told that I was in the city (he moved so I didn’t know where he lived and he never told me because he stopped contacting me). Nevertheless, when he heard that I travelled so long he agreed to see me. We talked about random things and we laughed as we used to do. This still remained, our magical connection was still there.
However, as things beyond our control were very hard to overcome, we decided to finish our story last Christmas. He is now in China and I’m in Spain. Fairy tales sometimes do not have a happy ending.
Lauren lives in Spain, where she is planning to study Chinese after finishing her master’s degree.
How did you meet? Why do you love him/her (or Chinese men/Western women)? How two different people “complete each other” in unexpected ways? We’re looking for a few good stories from Chinese men and Western women in love to share on Fridays. Submit your original story or a published blog post today.