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6 Years

June 16th, 2007: After 11 months of emails and myspace (!!!) messages, HCB and I had our first date.

Halfway through our long correspondence—while I was in London and he was in California—I was shocked to realized that I was falling in love with him. I felt foolish and too young because only a silly 21-year-old would waste his time and energy like that. After all, I’d only really met the idea of him: a brilliant, sweet, nerdy grad student who would, of course, never return my feelings. Not wanting to make a fool of myself, I kept quiet about it and just enjoyed the emails we exchanged three or four times a week.

Then, late one night, it snowed in London. My fancy European friends and I were playing grownup and having a wine and cheese party when the snow started. Giddy from drink and too much conversation, we ran out to the street and had a snowball fight along the bank of the Thames. Over an hour later, spent but elated, I walked home in the snow, leaving behind a lonely trail of footprints and thinking about Christian. I wanted to tell him about my night. I wanted to talk and walk and throw snowballs. I wanted to show him my life. I wanted him there.

When I got home, I wrote his name in the snow and took a picture to send him. It was the most forward thing I’d done yet—our correspondences had thus far been above reproach—but I was drunk and pining. I sent it off and, seven months later, when I came home for good, I got a chance to meet the real HCB: a brilliant, sweet, nerdy (at times infuriating) grad student who felt about me how I felt about him.

2006, 21 years old, London, bank of the Thames, 2:10 AM

Six years and 5500 miles later, I was living in Seoul when it started to snow again. I wandered through the city taking pictures until I ended up at the bank of the Hangang, again thinking about Christian.

2012, 27 years old, Seoul, bank of the Hangang, 10:55 AM

I’d feel like a gross exhibitionist if I got too gushy in this kind of public forum, so let me just say this:

I’ve followed you to Korea because you’re my soulmate. You’re the strongest, most loving person I’ve ever met, and in all honesty, I adore you more with each new chapter. I look forward to all the years we have ahead of us.

I love you, HCB.


3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Michele O'Brien #

    Omg that’s the most romantic story of love and friendship. If we could all have what you have what a Wonderful world it would be. I’m so happy for you.

    I’ve been fortunate to have soulmates in my life as well, nothing better. Anne Lenox said it best. “Money can’t buy it baby”.

    Really happy to see a post from you, I’ve missed them. More please.

    My love and great joy for you,

    Michele O’Brien

    June 17, 2013
  2. Katie #

    I remember seeing bits of this falling-in-love process from over Christian’s shoulder. I can’t believe it’s been six years.

    June 17, 2013
    • Neither can we. Literally. For the last 6 months we’ve been telling ourselves we were approaching 7 years, “Oh my God, Christian! 7 years! I mean, 6 years is a long time, but 7? That’s a REAL milestone!” Only in writing this post did I actually do the math to figure it out.

      June 17, 2013

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