July 26, 2016

July 26th


This is kind of an embarrassing story but one I want to tell. 

A few days ago when I was cleaning and decluttering every nook and cranny of our house, I stumbled across a small old notebook. You know, the ones you find at the fancy stationary section at Barnes & Noble. With a hard cover and a picture of the Eiffel Tower or a magical heavenly forest. Well, this one was of NYC. And it wasn't from Barnes & Nobel but from a Korean shop. But I digress.

The point is - I immediately knew what it was. 

You see, a long long long time ago when Yangkyu and I were still maybe kinda "something" but not the official kind of "something," he asked me, "Jane, what kind of gift do you like?" 

Back then, I loved handmade gifts {I still do, but now I love getting flowers as gifts}.

I thought, anything a guy would make and give to a girl was worth more than any expensive bag or perfume. But apparently I was in the minority. Let me digress one more time.

One time a good guy friend asked me what he should get his girlfriend on their 100th day anniversary and I said "Make her something! She would love it!" And together we went to pick out this swam origami that gets completed only after folding and putting together 1000.. let me say that again, 1000 pieces of really small origami paper (mostly white, which can be blinding after awhile). He actually bought two, you know, to represent a pair. He had many a sleepless nights and the help of a couple of friends to finish it. Only, he only got to finish one swan and not two. But still, I thought, "Who wouldn't be touched by this gesture?"

A lot. 

A lot of girls wouldn't be touched by this gesture, I would learn.

Needless to say, they broke up afterwards. I felt so terrible! After some time passed, it became a joke and people said that they broke up because he never finished the second swan to complete a pair. 

Anyway, the point is - I loved handmade things. And so I told Yangkyu, "Oh it would be really touching to receive a notebook filled with a year's worth of letters." 

This was when Yangkyu and I were still living in different cities. 

6 months after this conversation we reunited back in NYC. And he gave me a notebook.

Inside was 6 months (with a lot of days skipped) worth of handwritten letters. I remember feeling so touched and shocked as I had forgotten about our conversation. 

Well, the other day I found this notebook again in our bookshelf and I decided to take a break from cleaning and decluttering and read it again. 

I laughed. I cried. I bawled. 

The title of his entries, the way he signed off, the things he wrote got me so emotional. He was so young then! We were so young!

He wrote about his day, our future dates - the casual ones, the glamorous ones - and how he would save up money so we can go and see different things together. He wrote about my facial expressions, my mannerisms, little details about me that get lost in the day to day happenings. He remembered them. And wrote them down.

And then I started to feel terrible.  For all the times I snapped, got angry and talked in a mean way. We look so happy and giddy in our pictures, but there are definitely moments when I snap. Too often sometimes. 

In one of the entries, Yangkyu writes about July 26th and asks if I remember what that date is. 

He said, "It is the day when we both found out we liked each other."

Do you have chicken skin yet? Like is this stuff giving you heebie jeebies? 

If you could just bear with me for just a bit longer. It's almost over. 

Because today is July 26th.

And exactly 11 years ago today, Yangky and I said "Hey! I kinda like you!" 

I forgot about this day {you know, too many dates to remember - birthdays and anniversaries}, but starting from today, I shall remember July 26th forever and ever.

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