Every morning, I woke up in my tiny apartment in Japan and got on the same old bus to nowhere. Looking out the window, wondering what else was out there, I was merely living when our paths crossed.
I tried to ignore you at first. You didn’t seem interested in me.
“You’re different from other Japanese girls.”
“Of course I am. I’m Gaijin.”
“You…you like your bunny girl.”
“She has a boyfriend, as it turns out.”
“Awwww. Sorry for you.”
“Sure you are.”
It’s a mystery how we communicated since we did not speak the same language. You and I spent time together, talking about places we wanted to visit and things we wanted to see. We shared our awkwardness in society. You placed your fear and insecurity behind the façade of hubris. I tucked my low self-esteem under a thick blanket of self-consciousness. But, I was “me” in front of you.
Cherry blossoms fell, and your contract and visa were expiring in a few days.
“I want to meet your parents. Is that possible?”
“Meet my parents? What for?”
I told my parents that I was bringing a male friend from America.
My dad welcomed us with his samurai defiance.
“What do you want with my daughter!?”
My mom treated us with a big plate of sushi.
“More fatty tuna?”
They spoke in Japanese. You drunk more sake than you should.
“It went well,” you said.
You gave me a ring. Our relationship looked legit. Settling down was not my plan, though. I wanted to get out there and save the world.
An airplane carried you away across the ocean; we were apart for the summer. We wrote. We made long distance calls. We slept in different time zones. You had a four-month bachelor party. I played with an unknown future.
Leaves were starting to change color when the same old bus dropped me off for the last time. I then boarded a twelve-hour flight for a place I had never been. I’d have no friends, no family, but you. Holding my breath, I took a leap of faith.
Continue to a love story – middle.