Friday, January 4, 2013

A difficult love story - I

For all non pretty girls out there, I want to tell you a secret: you are one lucky girl.  Sure, you won't get tons of guys chasing after you, but in the mean time.  But if you do, your  likelihood of meeting someone that is worthy of your love for life.

How do I know?  Because I am one of those ugly lucky girls.

My ex-boyfriend John, whose love for me ended about a decade ago, just came to visit me lately and this post is definitely inspired by his visit.

Different from other ex-boy or -girl friends of mine that you might come to know from this blog site, John is not replaceable.  The void that he left in my heart has never be filled.  My love for him is long lasting.  The bastard stole my heart and kept a piece of it...

... John and I used to work on the same floor in two different laboratories.  As there was one lab between our two labs, we had not really seen each other all that much.  I'd have never noticed him otherwise, if he was a heavy smoker and funny walker.  Back in those days, cigarettes enhanced personal charm to me.  His funny walk, well, a bit like Charlie Chaplin, he points the left leg to the left and right one to the right, instead of pointing straight to the front.  His side-way walking always made me wonder how a person could get anywhere.

Neither my English nor my knowledge of the Western culture at the time was proficient to allow my my building an effective network with the Americans.  John and I remained to be strangers for a few semesters.  I spent most of my week days time in the lab, alone, either learning how to perform experiments or study.   On weekends, I had to collect and wash dishes in a Chinese restaurant 20 miles away.

Naturally, my social life was mainly consisted of chatting with those hard-working Chinese at night, after the Americans had gone home to their families.  We were mostly students or postdocs who attended classes in the day and tried to make discoveries in the night.

Things started to change soon after a while tho.  Sometime at the end of first year, I had been lucky enough to receive a partial financial aid from the department.  This financial semi-independence allowed me to quit the restaurant busgirl's job and spent more time in the lab on weekends, ...

... which also means that I had more times to hunt for handsome guys.

I was once young, you know.

Then my evening life started to become fun: computer nerds from the Computer Sciences department had been called in to "fix" my computers; lab rats of the neighboring labs were called in to "show me" how to perform certain tricky experiments; few of the funny writers that I came to know via various websites were frequently communicated...

One evening, while quietly studying in the lab, I was drawn to some running steps from the hallway.  So I got out of the chair and went out to check out what was making those steps.  I was greeted by 3 cute puppies with short legs, which was accompanied by three little cuties pies - the Caucasian dolls are all having blond hair, blue eyes, pinky skin, and watery cheeks.  Then the six of them and I spent a wonderful 15 minutes together.

Kids and puppies were apparently not the only ones in the world who could understand my broken English.  I discovered that the owner of the kids and puppies, John conversed me just fine.

John came to the lab to finished up some experiments that night...

... and his image in my mind from just another white guy to a man owns three cutest children with three cutest puppies.

Then I started to go to his lab whenever I saw a chance.  I particularly like to go in when a "translator" was there.  The translator was a postdoc from Taiwan.  He acted as a perfect third wheel because not only could he translate, but also was able to fill me in with other gossips, such as how John went through the hell to win a full custody for his 3 children.  I found out that John and his wife divorced while their youngest was barely one year old, so John had to quit his PhD graduate program in Purdue University to work as a lab technician, in order to care for his children.

I don't remember since when, those computer geeks and lab rats stopped showing up in my lab.  In the same time, my computer chats with other people from all over the world had also been replaced by those "instant messages" popped out on my screen from John.

Slowly, John had become my personal handy man - not only would he help me to deal with those machines called rotovap and GC, but most surprisingly, he would help me with the homework.

As a foreign student of that time, I have never met someone with a perfect 2400 score from the GRE test.  For some reasons, I found that John had gotten that and went straight into his office to ask for evidence.  John often sat in his office, with his feet crossed to each other on the top of his desk and with his hands controlling a computer keyboard that is rested on his lap, and with his eyes staring the computer monitor from far.  He would not make much eye contact with intruders like me.  When he found out that I was rushing into his office only for some ridiculous GRE score that he had years and years ago, he laughed, "Oh, it's so long ago and I am pretty sure that I had thrown it away!"

"What was a big deal about it, anyways?"  He added without even move his eyes away from his computer screen.

"Are you crazy, it's a perfect score and I can't believe that you are throwing such an important grade record away!"  I was disappointed, because if I had it, I would make thousand copies to send to everyone in the world that I knew!    

Clearly John did not needed that GRE score to measure his intelligence and sadly I then realized that that there might be a huge gap between his and mine intellectual levels.

Damn, I am jealous of smart people.

So I started to knit a net to catch this smart.

The next semester came, I registered a mandatory class called Physical Chemistry.  For the readers who have not taken this course, it's about how molecules/atom/electron (micro particles) move in spaces towards multi-directions!  As I heard from former students that this class was a grade killer, which was deadly to someone like me who wished to keep a straight A record.

So I went in John's office again and expressed my anxiousness to him about the infamous P-Chem.  To my major surprised, he said, "Oh, P-Chem is really easy and I am sure that you will do just fine!"
Putting his legs back to the top of his desk, his eyes turned back to his computer screen, leaving me standing there with my nervous soul hovering on the top of my head, "You mean you would still can easily get an A in this course now?"  I asked, just to be certain about what I heard.  "Sure I can, if I would study for it."  He said, confidently.  "You mean you can still help me with it?"  I continued with a clear doubt in my expression.  He finally moved his head slightly away from the computer screen and looked at me in the eyes, "I sure believe so!"

Somehow I suspected that he said what he told me just to get me out of his office.    

Yes, I know that "Westerners assume everyone is honest until prove otherwise?" but do you know that we Chinese are exactly the opposite?  We assume everyone is dishonest until prove otherwise, repeatedly!!!!

Anyway, I have heard enough times that "Americans are bad at science and math" and could only take what he said to me for a grain of salt.      


What turned out was that he actually had not lied at all.  He indeed was still quite familiar with the materials that I learned from the P-Chem class, as I found out at the beginning weeks of taking this course.  After a while, I had gotten a hang of it and became self-proficient.  So I found myself enjoying words like "quantum chemistry, forms of energy, forces, thermodynamics, atom, entropy, equilibrium, kinetics".  I even often needed to make up problems to intrude his personal space.  In the mean time, I also sensed that he started to enjoy "helping" me.  Needless to say, I earned an A relatively easily.

In retrospect, I think it was his trust in me that had boosted my own confidence, cleared my fear, most importantly, stimulated my competitiveness, and eventually led me to excel.

Life from then on was forever different.

I am indeed a sapiosexual!

I know what you have been waiting for...

No, we had not slept together...

... until have passed another semester!

You have got to be patient with us Chinese!

Nay, I was just joking.

The true story is that I was then living with my ex-boy friend with whom I grew up.  I had to wake up to revisit our relationship after he moved away...

One night, while I was reading aimlessly online, an instant message popped out at the bottom right corner.  It was from John.  And he invited me to come to see him.  At his house!

My heart started to pump quickly.

Promptly ditched the computer, the running experiments, the research papers, the lab, the ...whatever..., I drove myself towards to "the house with a torch light on".

I was lost in the middle of the darkness.

The University Town was tiny, but I managed to get myself lost in the middle of it - in fact, it never occurred to me that there might be more than one house with a torch light on?  

Right at the moment when I was turning around intending to drive back to the lab, I noticed a guy with a cigarette in his hand standing in the front porch of the house that I drove past a millions of times, in that single night!

So IN I went...

... then I never come out.

Yes, we did it!

(I know for what you have been reading until now, ha ha!)

We finally had sex, oh, sorry, I mean we made love.

We made the best human contact that one could ever imagine.  We had done that like rabbits...

Until today, I still insist to believe that he was the one who luckily took my virginity.  I truely did not understand how I got myself pregnant before him.  If he did not get himself tied up, I believe we would have produced many little rabbits by now.

Life is complicated, indeed!

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