My First Love (2)

(2009-01-17 20:29:32) 下一个

Yesterday I wrote about my first love according to how I remember it happened. Today, I’ll share with you about my husband’s first love according to what I remember and think it happened.

We were high school classmates and I have regarded him as my most trusted friend ever since I knew him. At 17 (he was a few months older than me), we went to our respective universities located in the same city where he studied engineering and I studied medicine.

The moment I knew he was falling for me was when we finished the first semester and we met at a bus station to home. The way he looked at me intensified and, for whatever reasons, I resisted and resisted determinedly. Over the years, I went through some psychology checklists and found no apparent reasons as why I chose to do so. In a lot of ways, he was like me: bright, full of dreams and eager for new things, and had very little to offer because of our limited life experiences and culturely deprived life we all had those days. Like most young women, I was more interested in older young men who had more life experience. I could stumble and grow up with him together but then I would miss the chance to have someone lead me to a known path for adventure, while feeling somewhat protected. I also wanted someone who was different, not someone who was so like me, myself.

The word relating to love was never spoken; almost like he knew I would say no if he ever let it open. We remained to be best friends. It was an exciting era esp. to the young people in China as the country just opened its door to the west, with tons of new things pouring in: western lifestyle, concepts or values, and all kinds of art forms such as movies, books, music, etc. We were absorbing them like a sponge. We had a lot to share each time we wrote to each other or we met, and we did grow up together with the rest of my generation during that unforgettable period.

Eventually he lost me when I ran into someone else and madly fell in love with the person (see the story I wrote yesterday). What I regret most is that I didn’t learn my lesson from that experience. That experience left me feeling unworthy as a person and untrusting about the ideal such as love. I soon entered the courtship with another young man because he had been around pursuing me for years and I simply could not get rid of him with all my attempts. Again I made the decision at a spur of a second: it was when I saw that he almost shed tears seeing my sadness over the loss of my first love, -the moment I said to myself, who am I to deserve his unwavering interest in me. It was a mistake I regret for a lifetime and a decision made anyone who cared about me, including my now husband, really mad and disappointed.

Nevertheless we remained in touch as friends until finally one day I felt I lost him, a few years after he graduated and went to work in another city. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was called out from my office and saw him standing there in a waiting room. He told me that he married, just had a daughter and was doing very well at work. I saw sparks in his eyes when he spoke of his infant daughter and his work. I saw the intensity in his eyes like that once I saw directly from his eyes where we were 17 or 18. That was the moment that I knew I lost him. I quietly listened to him with smiles that afternoon. My heart was somewhat empty and sad for reasons that I couldn’t name. That was the last time I heard from him and saw him, until 15 years later...

(To tell the whole story, I later married the person I was dating at the time, had a daughter, left the country and got divorced in the end. We probably lived together for less than 2 years altogether.)

…Until 15 years later, that was when I visited China with my daughter and met my high school friends. I almost met everyone except him and no body could give me his contact information. Until during one of those endless banquets, a driver, upon hearing that I came back from abroad, said something about someone who was about to go to Canada. I followed up and said I could give some advices or practical helps if possible. My friends reluctantly told it was him who was leaving the country. I felt a bit queasy and asked them to pass to him my parents’ phone number.

It turned out that we two had received a lot of attention from our old friends those years. There were even rumours about us, like who dumped whom, and if my daughter had been his, etc. The truth was I didn’t recall we ever touched hands. Understandably these friends didn’t pass my phone number to him until the day before his departure. (He told me later that he went to bathroom and cried that day upon learning that I was back.) Then he called and came over from the neighbouring city where he lived.

I remember it was an extremely bright summer day and the street bustling with all kinds of lively and noisy vendors and traffic. I forever have this mental picture of him the moment he got of his car and appeared in my vision. Without actually seeing if and how he had changed, simply by knowing that he was there, I realized and regretted that I should have chosen him from the beginning. He would have always taken good care of me and have not allowed me to experience so much hardship as I actually went through.

He did change naturally. He grew from a slim tall boy to a confident, sophisticated and mature man, with enough life experiences to share. (ok, he is also quite humorous and handsome). He was to give up a very successful career in China for a new life and adventure in another country. At his age, I thought it was very courageous of him. That day we only had about half hour updating each other and promising to keep in touch.

In the next two years, we would sometime email each other and occasionally talk over the phone. We gingerly approached each other, trying to understand what a life we each since lived and what we were looking for in the future. He wrote to me his story about how he succeeded at a young age in the business and interesting people he met and places he went.

During the second year, he got an uncontested divorce for which he gave up all his assets but kept only the full custody for his daughter. In the third year, I got a very good job offer, unexpectedly, that required me to relocate to the city he lived. That’s how we started our new life in the new city.

During all those years I was struggling to make a living and for my health, I had never taken actions in searching for a partner, nor had I pitied myself and had any ill feelings towards men in general. It was as if I was simply waiting for a man who would be perfect for me to find me. When someone speaks the language and eats the kind of foods like those from your most memorable and comfortable childhood place, with you, you feel at home. When someone cares about you so much that he would, after a long day work or shopping with you, would cook your favourite food while letting you to rest, you know your man has arrived. It says that you can’t forget the people you once loved and, luckily, he has never given up on me.

That is our story. Neither of us regret what happened overall since we are together now which only matters. We all learned a lot from our separate paths that enriches our live together in the future. We have two perfect daughters that we wouldn’t have had otherwise. Life is good.

It is the first time I ever wrote something in my entire life, not mentioning it is about my private life. I hope you enjoyed it and may you all have a wonderful weekend!

Jan. 17, 2009
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