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“A vivid memory of your skin under the sunlight,
With your blonde hair,
Matching the sun’s glare,
I appreciate the way you gently disappeared out of my sight.
After all, I “thank you” for having met you in my life.”
You know how the story ends and yet you read it to the end. You know what happens in the movie and still you wanted to watch it once more to experience the energy, feelings, empathy and joy all over again – all the things you hold so dear in your life. This is the story of a relationship that ended, one that I still hold dear in my own life. It is a story that I cannot stop reading in my own mind.
It all started on the day when the weather was perfect. The work ambience was quiet. I walked into my office as usual, with the feeling that it was going be the same old work environment. I still couldn’t forget the vivid beauty of that scene, with the bright sunlight coming through our transparent glass window, grazing her face while she was intently looking at the computer screen.
I instantly thought, “She’s new here.” She took a quiet glance as I was walking. I couldn’t believe what I saw. If I could have just asked her, “Would you hold that for a second?” my phone camera would have definitely snapped the moment. But I didn’t ask and she didn’t hold. We proceeded towards our chores.
The whole day I couldn’t get her out of my head, I kept thinking about where she’s from, what she’s doing here, or if she has a boyfriend. As crazy as it sounded, I chided myself, “It’s just a glance, what’s the big deal?” I tried to stop thinking about her. Never did I ever ask myself, “Dude, you’re crazy.” instead I kept asking, “What makes her attracted to me?” The thought replayed in my mind multiple times until I was satisfied with my answer. At the end of the day, I felt pretty confident that it was this: “It’s her manners. It’s the way she carries herself.” On the one hand, I told myself, “You’re crazy.” On the other hand, I thought, “Well, it’s free for fantasizing, you don’t have to pay.”
The next day we both bumped into each other at the corridor. She is about 5’8’’ tall. I could still remember she was holding her winter jacket in her arms, with her neatly combed hair. I wanted to smile at her. But I didn’t. We both just stared at each other and I said to myself, “You’re an idiot.”
As the days, weeks and months passed by, I found myself struggling with my emotions. We both just stared at each other, but didn’t even smile. I didn’t know what was holding me back. I guess she also didn’t know what was holding her back then. I then thought, “If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.”
It just so happened on that day. She caught a cold and I couldn’t hold myself back any longer. In an effort to be a good co-worker, I asked if she needed any help with the meds. She said fine and we talked for a while. We exchanged numbers. Needless to say, the night of that same day, I asked for her address by text, drove to her apartment and we chatted for a moment after I dropped off the cold meds.
She was new in our office for a year on training from Europe, which is where her home country is. I’m a Chinese Singaporean here in the US. She sometimes learned Mandarin from me.
We became an office tryst. Nobody knew what was going on between us. I liked the fact that secrecy added fire to our sex. One time we were in the elevator standing close. We’re staring at each other for minutes. Then the coworker came in, and we just automatically looked away from each other. We stifled our laughs. She also seemed to like that we were enjoying ourselves instead of going public in the work environment. We joked, we laughed. We shared our moments. Ups and downs meant a lot to both of us. Downs were usually when both of us were trying to figure out our mutual sentiments. Ups were usually when we both enjoyed each other’s presence.
Every time after I finished my workout, she greeted me by text. Every time before she left the office, I texted her to if she wanted to have something to eat with me. Sometimes we went out of town for dinners together. Usually the meals she ordered ended up being in my plate and the meals I ordered ended up in her plates. I still remember the time when I asked if she wanted to have some drinks. She said, “I only eat water during my meals.” I laughed. She asked why. I took up a glass full of water, and guzzled it down my throat. She still didn’t get it. I told her, “That’s how you eat water.” She was mad. I laughed. We both went back to our apartment and enjoyed our lust.
I knew that she’d be leaving any time soon. A part of me wanted to figure out a way to work this out. A part of me also knew that those would just be the moments that lasted in our memories. One day I took her to a nearby waterfall at night. She asked me why. We kissed, sitting in our car, listening to the sounds of the water from the falls, I told her I liked her. If things worked out, I had planned to pop the question later. She blushed. She smiled. What she said to me was something I couldn’t deny. “Thank you.”
I was speechless. I was frustrated. I sank in my emotional devastation. I couldn’t believe my ears that I heard her say “thank you”? She smiled at me again and told me, “Yes because you said you like me.” I drove back. Silence reigned in our car. We stopped talking for several weeks. We intentionally avoided each other at work. My brain kept telling me, “You’re an idiot.” My consciousness kept replying to me “Thank you” for weeks. Those were the days I thought my whole world was upside down. I was not into anything, anything at all. I knew that I was playing with fire — the fire that was burning the brightest before it was going to fizzle.
The day before she left for Europe, she asked me if I could spend the night in her apartment. I told myself, “You’re an idiot, you’re being used. YOU ARE BEING USED!!!” I told her that I would rather stay alone, knowing that she was leaving for good. She told me that she was going to “eat water” if I wasn’t coming. It was a joke that only the two of us understood, a joke about sex. I drove down to her apartment and helped her pack. After the packing, she whispered in my ears the sweetest words I was longing to hear: “Silly, you know that I love you too.”
I knew that the things that you want and things that you must have in life are different. We knew from the beginning that we would have ended up apart. But the temptation was so strong. It could have been more wrong if she had said, “I love you too.” We would be so obsessed with our fantasy instead of being yanked back to our reality. Now that I think about it, I am really thankful for what she did.
That was two years ago, while I was 27, and she was 25. She took all of my feelings away; childhood fantasy, adulthood reality, and such. I’m not sure I can ever find another woman to love.
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