17 MarchPosted: August 24, 2011
My tiny office desk is submerged under a vast canopy of flowers. I squeeze myself into the little wedge of remaining space, and reach out for the card. Flowers from So-On. With a big ‘Sorry’ on the card. While I am still looking, he calls.
So-On: “I don’t know why I should have yelled at you. It was hardly your fault.”
Me: “It wasn’t her fault either, So-On. She’s just worried. You’ve been so unlike yourself lately.”
So-On: “She’d be worried whatever my behaviour was like. Just at the thought of a prospective daughter-in-law.”
I can’t deny that my heart plunges into the pit of my stomach at talk of daughters-in-law, but it is only for a moment. I am glad that So-On seems to be moving towards some decision himself.
So I laugh and say: “That’s a worldwide phenomenon, apparently. All mothers worry about the women their sons will marry. But she said that Uncle would let you go, sooner or later. So keep up your terrible behaviour. It’s convincing them that they are better off without you.
So-On cheers up and laughs.
So-On: “Well, one thing is for sure now. I am going to go to New York, whether my parents agree or not. If only for a short while. Just to convince Sam that I want us to be together. What do you think, Appi?”
Me: “I agree.”
So that is that. I know it’s not going to be easy watching So-On make his travel arrangements, pack his bags, and leave on a plane. It’s not going to be easy being friends long-distance. Not going over to his house, not seeing movies together, not speaking over the phone every now and then. And it’s definitely not going to be easy, knowing he is with Sam, perhaps making plans to marry her.
Yet I feel relieved that So-On is going away. I know that distance will finally make it easy for me to accept that my first love was not to be. “Closure” as they say in ‘Friends’.