I had a girlfriend and she was the love of my life.
An Exchange Student
She was a Japanese exchange student and I was a year younger than her studying at the same university. From the first moment I saw her, I grabbed her hand and lead her down the hallway of her dorm and one week later she was mine. Of course the back story was that she had a Japanese boyfriend and I stole her from, but number 1, I didn't know she had one, 2. I didn't bother to ask, and 3. I didn't care actually.
Not because I was an asshole, for all of 1,2 and 3, but that from the first time I met her, to the last day we were together, it was like I was in this bubble, that I have never fallen for a girl that much before or afterwards - or never let myself fall for such a girl like that.
After 2 years of dating, at the retarded age of 20 I wanted to marry her. I planned to go to Japan after graduation and make my life there with her, of course she thought I was crazy, of course when I mentioned to this to my very conservative mother, she decided to kill my girlfriend if she had to chance to prevent such a thing, but only I thought it was something right.
But, it was not to be, she was still young, she didn't love me the same way, and she wanted to still explore the world- such was world then of the 90's where women were empowered by professional corporate jobs where they could do whatever they wanted and forget about youthful love- rather there was still Paris, New York, calling. But me, I was still stuck finishing my last year of university and so she left, saying to me, that it was for the best and that she still loved me, but that we were both too young and that was that.
In the last 2 years of my studies, where I basically I got wasted 6 days a week and prided myself on my ability to study drunk after clubbing, I was a changed man. A manwhore of a whore and I never looked back, well ... not true at all.
She the one?
Frankly speaking, I had a sheltered life, conservative parents, played rugby, high school president, sang in the choir, when to church, jr. bible school teacher since the start of high school. I was always just waiting for the girl for me, horny yes of course I was, but I just thought, there is someone really there for me and she was she.
She had already lived on her own inTokyo with her older sister, already did a couple of years of college in Japan, came from a very wealthy family and had impeccable taste in everything that was cultured from art, music to architecture and me, other than knowing a lot of hymn and how to play rugby, I don't think I ever considered what a fashion magazine was other than for guys not like me. The term 'metrosexual' wasn't even invented back then and now even that term has come and gone. But she taught me what it was to be Japanese, not in a love lovey way, but in a deep cultural way because she wasn't a Japanese trying to be a westerner, but for her, this was her own private adventure through what she wanted to experience.
And I say, she was so beautiful; but I can't say she was pretty, when you look at Japanese women, you get this geisha type or idol type of beauty, but she wasn't that, she was more on the yoko ono type - I know you think, wtf, but it's hard to explain.
Of course she was attractive (much more so that Yoko- sorry Yoko you are gorgeous to me), but everything she did, everything she showed me, without teaching me, but just being herself, it changed me, and what I gave to her in exchange was just my everything. - which didn't seem to be so much. But I was sincere, I was honest, and I was so hurt that I took everything I learned from her and twisted, adjusted it, used it to become a monster.
A sophisticated monster
There was a point when I became a manwhore, I dressed to the nines, I had a style that wasn't bound by just what was around, and I had this ability to see what really could create a reaction- I learned visually what it took to make an impact, or, culturally what it took to make a statement. Especially now it's hard to explain, in that, she forever changed me, I was Annie Hall (you'll all need to one day watch that movie if you haven't by Woody Allen to get this point), but made into a cold blooded heartless robot of passion, that my passion was into simply really not giving a shit about anyone or anything - except to regret nothing and not to live by any foolish expectations of a one love.
I kissed her because I wanted to
And then she came back, for a moment, we met in another city three years later, I had graduated, she was visiting with her friends, I had cleaned up, but I still hurt for her, but I had moved on, kinda- do you ever move on from that kind of experience completely? I met her for 3 days, we went clubbing - she came with 2 of her friends from Japan, I think they were perplexed that I seemed... good, why had me and their friend broken up- and I she looked at me for the 3 days, with just eyes that said, that whatever was there, was forgotten, and we were just friends.
So I left her there at the hotel and said good-bye, but I kissed her on her lips and surprised her, and just told her, 'I always loved you. bye!' and I walked away.
She tells me in a letter, 1 year later, that she stood there and watched me walk away, that I never turned around and at that moment she knew how much she had lost and that she knew that she loved me and that she was sorry, and if I loved her like the way that she knew I did, then I would reply back and take her love. But if I didn't she'd accept it and move on but that she was waiting for me...
But this is 1998, and there is no return address or phone number on the letter, only her pictures inside and she has forgotten to write the return address or any contact details. I have no idea where to look, her family isn't from Tokyo, but, I don't have really any place to start, thinking back, I could have started with the prefecture where the letter was sent from, but my mother, ever being weary of Japanese girls has found and thrown out the letter than I had had placed on my desk. At the time, we just started used email, just 5 years before and hotmail comes out just 3 years before then, I don't have her's, she never used, and I never asked, she was that kind of person who still wrote letters and I'm heartbroken like I'm part of some shitty korean drama and back then those korean dramas were really shitty. And now it's 2000 and I'm in Korea, back and forth, until 2 years later I stay in Korea permanently, and now the only address she knows doesn't exist anymore as my parents sell the home to move as my brothers and I all live abroad...
You know I'm still working hard
And every year, when I'm tired, when I'm bored, I type her name into altavisa, yahoo, friendster, google, then facebook. I visit Japan, I ask a friend too try to find her name, my friends laugh and say, it's not possible to find her, but I never press it, it's my moment of 'before sunrise' and I never get to 'before sunset', there is no book, there is no 9 year between movies, rather it's a solid 16 year run and today, just right now, I'm on facebook just because a friend messaged me to reply back on facebook, I get a message saying happy birthday from an old grade school friend of mine, in fact, one of my only close friends who happens to be a girl, which even surprises myself, and she says, 'man, aren't we old now' as her birthday is 5 days before mine, and I write back to her, 'baby, you'll always be the nutty pretty nutty girl of 16 always in my mind' and then I press return, and as I'm about to click to close the window, my cursor goes to the search box and I type in her name.
And I see her.
I know her.
I click to see her face, and I see her.
I scroll down to see when she joined, November 2013.
And she is still beautiful and I scroll down her posts and see her family, her kids and all the same things I would expect from her, beautiful things, and I read her posts, translated by bing, and the translation sucks, but I know what it means, I can hear her voice saying it in her softly accented English.
I wonder, if I should say hello, it's been so long, I feel though, no time has passed at all, when I see her picture. I want to say, wow, it took you long enough to join facebook, or say, it's been a while, or say nothing and leave her, I look through her posts, I can put together when she was married when she got kids and again it strikes me, at year away from 40, this love, this 20 plus moment, is a couple of decades past, but I write,
You look wonderful, I became a sumo. ^^
and press send.