8. “He Still Says I Love You Every Time”
I met him at a party in my front yard in college in Los Angeles when we were both 18. I thought he was cute, cocky, we flirted but I had a boyfriend. And then after that one I had another boyfriend. But this guy, he waited around, he kept in touch but not too much and when he saw an opportunity (brief period of singlehood) he took me out to a really nice sushi dinner and showed me a great time. We fell hard and spent the whole summer together, we were 20. He told me one day, “this is our life! This is the beginning of our life”. And I knew he was right.
When I called to tell my parents I told them that I had met the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with. He moved to New York at the end of the summer and a year later I followed and we lived together for two years.
We just broke up last month because it had all gone to shit. My fault mostly but we were just too young and I was too immature to treat him and myself the way we deserved. I still think he’s the love of my life and my soul mate and I don’t know how to move past it. Our relationship since we broke up and I moved out has healed a lot. I still think that we belong together, but only time will tell.
We always said it was fate that we found each other. It was fate that we are not together now, so we can grow as people. I only hope that fate brings us together again. And try not to call and text in the meantime. He still says I love you at the end of a phone call.
9. Pen Pals Become More
Flashback about 7 years ago. I was 14 years old, and a huge weeaboo. Listened to a lot of J-pop. I don’t wanna talk about it. Moving on.
I was so obsessed with shitty Japanese boybands, and was such a special snow flake with superior international musicthat I really wanted to make some Japanese penpal friends online that I could talk about this kinda stuff with without getting the weirded-out vibe that I got from my schoolmates.
So naturally, I join (www.interpals.net) and start making a bunch of penpals and online friends. A few weeks after making my account, I get a message from a Japanese boy the same age as me. Let’s call him Jun. He’s kinda weird, but hey! He’s cute and teaches me all sorts of Japanese slang, so why not! We flirt a bit on MSN, but that was pretty much as far as it went.
Around this time, my freshman year of high school, I started dating my very first ‘irl’ boyfriend. Typical 14/15 year old relationship. Lasted only a month, so I was a bit preoccupied with school and kissing on some guy to pay attention to my penpals. After we broke up, I logged back onto my MSN and deleted all the “LOL MY BF IS THE BESTEST!!LUV U BUNNY XOXOXOXO” status updates, and started messaging some of the friends I had been ignoring. Start talking to Jun, but still nothing special.
Months pass by, and Jun and I sorta message each other and flirt a bit (which resulted in my parents discovering a very embarrassing sexual MSN chat room between two 15 year old virgins. Don’t fall asleep without logging out kids.)
A year passes. Over this time, we managed to send each other TONS of snail mail (boxes full of snacks/comics/random shit.) I think I’m being cute, so I send him tons of my personalized things (monogrammed keychains, my school ID cards,my favorite fake jewelry,etc.) After that, we got kind of busy with school, and he was still kinda weird and cringey, so I ignore him mostly. We still messaged on and off though, mostly when I was bored.
Jun and I pretty much stopped talking for a while, and I was having fun just LDR-ing it up with all sorts of Japanese guys. I rarely got attention from boys at school, so I was loving it. This pretty much continued until I graduated high school. I would sometime’s think of Jun, but only of how much of a weirdo he was.
Flash forward to June 2011. I think long and hard, and make the decision that I would rather attend a real Japanese university. So before this could happen, I’d have to attend some pretty rigorous language courses in Japan. And before THAT could happen, I had to save up my own money…which meant a year and a half of working full time retail. So I started a job, along with a serious LDR with my now ex-bf. Cut to November, Jun finally makes a Facebook, and sends me a request. I hadn’t talked to him in at least a year! Of course, I accept. We catch up a bit, but again, nothing serious.
Finally, I saved up my money, bought a ticket to Japan, and lived my weeaboo 14 year old self’s dream. I went to Japan! My at the time BF let me live with him at his place to save money, so we were still technically together. However, he was older than me (by 6 years) and therefor already had a secure job. Anybody who knows anything about Japanese office hours knows how incredibly long they are. Long story short, I got lonely.
I started hanging out with all my old pen-pal friends to make up for the loneliness. The relationship sucked, but I felt a little better. About a month and a half later I get a message on Facebook.
“Hey…are you still in Tokyo? Let’s meet!
From…you guessed it…Jun. I say what the hell, why not. We agree to meet in a busy part of town. It was a mixture of good/bad. I was late by 30 minutes. We couldn’t eat at the restaurant he wanted to take me too because I wasn’t wearing socks and the restaurant required you to take off your shoes (I’m self conscious about my feet!). The karaoke bar we went to had a faulty machine. We almost missed the last train home…it was quite an awkward ‘first date’. But we did do a lot of talking, and learned a lot about each other.
The day after said date, he confessed and told me that he couldn’t believe how beautiful I was. I didn’t want to lead him on any further, so I also confessed to him that I was already seeing somebody. He wasn’t that hurt, because we met as friends. He just simply said he would still be there for me no matter what…which is quite nice to hear.
A few months later, boyfriend tells me that I need to get out of his place quick. It turns out his mother gave his little brother a free pass to move in with him and split the rent. I learn his mother is ultra conservative, and would flip out if she knew we were living together (Fun Fact: to this day I still haven’t met her, nor the brother). She had also fully paid for the down payment for the apartment (which can be expensive in Tokyo.) He pretty much forced me out, but reassured me, “This doesn’t mean we are breaking up! I still love you!”
I was in so much denial about being kicked out by my own BF, that I was putting off looking for a place to stay. One day I got the message, “Hey…we are coming back from my home town in about an hour…you need to pack your bags and leave before then.” I called Jun, who knew about the situation from the countless times I had called him crying about it. At this point, he was my emotional rock. He booked me a hotel room for the night, and we each carried my luggage high tailed it out of that apartment before the hour was up. I sobbed like a baby that night, but Jun stayed with me. “I’m not Japanese, who’s going to want to rent a room to me?” I said. Jun said don’t worry, he would skip his morning and afternoon classes, and that we would find a place together. I felt so much relief. I thanked him for everything he had done for me. And we hugged.
For a very long time.
For an even longer time.
And…you can see where this went…
So there I was, having sex with this guy…technically cheating in a way (I didn’t break up with my ex until a week later) but feeling so loved by one person who did his absolute best to keep me happy…something I could honestly say I had never felt before. The next day we found a nice cheap room, and all problems were gone.
The funny thing about our relationship is…there was never really a moment where either of us asked the other to be in a relationship. We just started going everywhere together and acting like a couple should act. It really hit me one day when he said to me that his mom told him, “I want to meet your new girlfriend so bad!”
Nowadays, we still joke around about how long ago we knew each other. I’ll say something like, “Yeah, I remember we used to webcam, and in the background there was ____.” and he will get all nostalgic about his old childhood home that he grew up in. He also teases me and says, “Who was that bunny guy? I was so jealous of that lucky bastard when we were 14!” He’s kind of corny sometimes, but I’d be a damn liar if I said that I don’t sometimes find myself amazed at how attractive he is to me. He’s a keeper. It’ll be one year in a few weeks.