You can't just make up your mind
to love somebody, like you choose clothes in a department store to suit
your taste. It indicates that you happen to love someone who is not your
type or is not eligible for your unreserved love. Thus a lot of pain
follows you ever since you set eyes on the wrong person. I have to say
that loving and losing someone is better than not meeting him or her at
all. So basically I hope that you understand that I am writing my story
with a sense of gratitude and grace, not with remorse or regret at all.
The reason I write this is that I want to remember every detail about
our love in my mind before it's too late and I could barely keep any
memory except that I loved him as time goes by.
Do you believe in the role of timing in loving someone? I think it is
one of the most important parts of a successful love. When I came across
his first letter, I was feeling empty and lonely in the deep part of my
heart, partly because my situation had changed since my husband moved to
another city. My husband is a really nice man of great ability,
personality and sincerity. His love for me seems to be unchanged through
all those years or at least he has tried to make me believe that in many
ways. My instinct says that he still loves me as a woman. So the absence
of his place which had filled me with his caring and loving left me so
empty and desolate as if all of a sudden I were told to live alone in a
desert, which was a perfect word for describing my state of mind at that
time. Anyway I was emotionally shattered and unstable when I received my
cyberlove's first letter in March, 2000.
He said: "Hello, Sally" in his first sentence, introducing himself as a
technical writer who was very interested in Korean culture and wanted to
know more about Korea ever since he visited that winter, January, 2000.
When he came back to Canada, he decided to carry an English newspaper
published in Korea with him for the intention of keeping in touch with
people here. Was it a coincidence or fate? I don't know. But for the
first and last time, I put my personal ad in the bulletin board of the
very newspaper which he brought with him to Canada. He might look
through the possible candidates for his correspondent and I was one of
them. I don't know how many people he tried to contact with and how many
people actually responded to his letter. I could finally open his letter
after one month later when he actually sent his email to me in January,
when I had no means of checking my emails since I was at home for the
winter vacation without internet connection. Then it was not until the
early of March before I finally got to open his email at work, now that
the new semester began (we start a new semester in March here).
The feeling that I got after reading his email was that he was a good,
sincere, and very serious man who wanted to know more of our country,
not like one of many other email friends who only showed a personal
interest about me. In most of the cases in which only personal interests
were involved the connection wouldn't last for a long time.
later, the time came when we were running out of topics. So that was the
way I lost many email friends. And frankly it was always me who lost an
interest first. But he was different from the first moment. He didn't
ask me any personal questions, such as how old I was, if I was married
or not or what I looked like. We were not avoiding the topic
intentionally, rather we didn't have to ask those because there were so
many other things we could share with. It seemed we had no limit to talk
with each other about anything and everything. At the beginning of our
friendship, I almost regarded him as my teacher both in English and
life. I learned many things from him. And he said that he was glad to
give me the help and also said that he was learning many things from me.
Ironically enough, this difference of language and culture made us feel
closer and more interested in each other, because even the things we
take for granted among the people with the same culture would interest
and attract us very deeply, very pleasantly and very surprisingly.
Several months passed. We were still connected to each other on a deep
level. We seemed to have a strong psychic connection. I don't remember
who was first to call each other "a soul mate". Yet we began to feel
that we were soul mates, in the definition of the word, someone who you
have a close relationship with because you share the same emotions and
interests. I just could understand what he was saying because it was
coming right from my head. Even though we didn't show our personal
feelings at all, we could remain a best friend and a soul mate to each
other. I felt it was a blessing given to me. I thought it would be a
lifetime relationship until we die eventually in this world. That much I
was so certain of our deep friendship.
Not so suddenly but rather naturally he invited me to take a long drive
along the Northern part of Canada, which of course was an imaginary trip
in our mind through words. I said yes. The next day he sent me a long
email titled as "Our trip to Muskoka" which had a very special meaning
for us. Still now I have an illusion as if I had been there myself in a
real life. The memory of the trip was so vivid and special that I would
never ever erase that out of my mind. Do you believe in the power of
words, or letters? I do believe in it. They are just ingrained in your
memory and stayed there for a long time. I printed the email out and
read it over and over again until I finally memorized every image in it.
Closing my eyes, I could visualize our trip in my mind, which was a
Then something was going on in my mind while we were still in a car on
our trip. Yet we hadn't reached our destination, Muskoka. I was looking
at the boat which would take us to our cottage. But I couldn't get into
the boat with him. I began to feel uncomfortable with the trip. I was
not saying that I didn't like it, rather I was afraid of my strong
feelings toward him. I couldn't describe how I was feeling toward him.
It was mixture of guilt and desire, guilt for my husband and desire for
him. My heart was wandering between them, trying to figure out the best
I could do with this.
Again back to the timing, I felt that the timing for us was good and bad
at the same time, good because I met him anyway, bad because I met him
too late. We found out we were both married, seemingly happily married,
to another person when we began to feel something special for each other
after one year of emailing had passed. We both deliberately had kept the
feelings only in our heart which we suspect might be close to a feeling
of love. A very strong love. I remember his closing of most of his
emails with this, "I care about you, Sally" That was it. It was the
greetings we could give each other safely. On the surface of my mind,
there was no such notion that I might love him as a man, a real man. He
and I were such good spiritual friends that the feeling of love couldn't
find its place. In short, we were afraid of losing our solid and deep
friendship, though we were feeling something going on in our hearts.
Yet I didn't allow myself to say that I love him not even in my mind.
After a few weeks hesitation, I finally sent him a very long email in
which for the first time I wrote about my personal life, that is: " I am
a married woman, mother of two boys and I am responsible for my family
and thus I can't continue to keep in touch with you because I am
confused with my feelings toward you. For the sake of myself, I want to
leave you." Things like that, I explained in the email. He was a perfect
gentleman. He said he would respect my feelings and never push me to
continue this relationship against my will. He was that kind of man who
would never try to keep me from going on my way. It was sad to say good
bye to him, but I thought it was the best for me. And I naively thought
this would be the end of our relationship.
How could I explain the sheer emptiness I felt ever since I said good
bye to him? Out of habit I used to check my mail box every morning as
soon as I came to work, anticipating something from him. I wished he had
changed his mind and he would send me an e-mail again, telling me that
he wanted me to come back. But not a line from him ever since. No new
e-mail message for me. Soon I had to realize the obvious fact that he
would never resume the mailing unless I asked him to do that first. It
clearly shows another facet of his personality: He is a man of strong
will and word. Once he says it, he acts upon that.
In the mean time I had tried so hard to forget him in my everyday life,
starting from erasing his email address in my mail box. The thing was
that it was totally useless. Every effort with which I tried to forget
him would only make me realize how much I missed him and his emails.
People around me started to ask me if I was ill or something. My face
showed the very signs of a person who had a serious disease, physical or
mental. I lost my words in real life along with my smile which was a
trademark of me. I lost my enthusiasm in teaching, for which I was so
ashamed of myself, still now. Furthermore I was not a good mother and a
good wife. I lost myself completely ever since I lost my connection with
him. It was exactly the opposite result from that I expected when I said
good bye to him. It was so obvious that losing him would not be helpful
for me to live a happy life in a real world. I needed him badly. I
needed to talk to him.
>> Continued in