she walked slowly, for once. because in Korea anything done slowly was a luxury. the river reflected her mood and elected to recant its incessant babbling that afternoon for a slower, more gentle trickle.
it was a windy spring day, sunny after raining all morning and the moisture and the sun made it too warm for her leather jacket, but the wind made it too cool not to be wearing a scarf.
her mind wandered back to saturday night, back to him, the man she had met and connected with. it was monday afternoon and so she she was stuck in that exquisite place of excitement at meeting someone possibly wonderful, yet anxiety at the fact that he hadn’t followed up with her yet.
she thought of him even as she tried to concentrate on the sounds surrounding her: the stream; her footsteps on the soft path. The sounds of cars and trucks whizzing by on the road above.
It almost worked, except that her mind wandered back to him and how she felt like she could love.
It was too soon to think love, but abroad the rules were different. And anyway, if she could know in an instant, if she could assess someone and immediately know that he was someone she could never love, someone who would never hold her interest, then why couldn’t she know after spending hours with one man that he possessed the credentials and the humor and the energy and the wit–and that between them there was the chemistry–of someone that she could?
Maybe he would not be her First Man,
the one into whose soul she would see. She wanted to learn how to love without feeling the need to possess–a goal that was certainly a long way off from her current nature. And yet she knew enough to want it, and wanting it would lead to pursuing it, which would lead to one day experiencing a love without ultimatums; without restraints.
She pictured his face; heard his voice telling her that there was just something about her, felt herself sleeping soundly beside him.
“I want to love you without possessing you. I want you to love me without possessing me. I want to soar together in freedom,” she said out loud.
It had been an entire Sunday and Monday and she still hadn’t heard from him, and she thought about love and “too soon” and possession. It was true, she did tend to get carried away in these things.
She sighed and continued to walk. Her apartment building was there in the distance.
Maybe my first lesson in learning to love without possession is you, she thought to the man whose name she didn’t even know. Maybe that was to be our only encounter. Maybe I am to love you, but let you go.
And then she thought about the small moments, and how they had the power to permanently change a woman’s life.