It was probably the longest drive I ever experienced going to the bay area. Perhaps the mixed emotions had a lot to do with it – excitement, anxiety, nervousness, giddiness combined with a whole lot of anticipation. But after seven long hours, we finally made it. It was already very late and Stephen was still waiting for me to get there. When he texted me that he was already outside my aunt’s door, I was quite tensed, after all, it was the first time we would be seeing each other after we became a couple. I was worried about sparks since we had always gotten along so well over the phone. I was scared to be a dead star for him. We would always say, we were each other’s counterpart since we could read each other’s minds and finish each other’s sentences off. He was smiling when I opened the door but I could tell he was nervous. He probably was more nervous because aside from me, he would be meeting my parents, my son, my aunt and uncle for the first time. I gave him a quick hug and at that moment, I knew that it was worth the drive.
And so my weekend went and these were my favorite moments:
1. Our first embrace – we saw each other after a mere 2 hours of sleep and when he saw me at the parking lot and wrapped his big arms around me, I just felt safe and warm…
2. Our first kiss – I jumped when he was about to stoop down to cup my face with his hands that he actually jumped too. I laughed nervously and he looked worried, almost hurt but I told him, I was just nervous. Then he gave me the softest kiss ever…
3. My LeeMinHo-moments – I sat down to change from wearing sandals to boots and he took my gray boots from my hand and then knelt down so he could put them on my feet. The next day, we were at the supermarket, and my laces got untied, he again knelt down to tie them for me.
4. My Korean Drama moment – I was tired walking and he carried me on his back while waking down the streets of downtown San Francisco. I felt like one of the girls in my favorite K-dramas and he was my oppa. Before that, he just carried me in his arms in Powell station to show how light I was.
5. Sleepyheads – we had a super long Saturday and by night came, I was just dozing off while waiting for my family to come back from my uncle’s house. He let me sleep on his arm. Maybe he thought I was already fast asleep but I was in a half-awake, half-dreaming state and though my body was just dead tired, my thoughts were still conscious. I felt his breath on my ear and then he said, “I love you, El. I’m in love with you…”
6. Lunch – On Sunday, we went to the supermarket together. Stephen was cooking for my family and it felt good to do the grocery together. Then I loved seeing him in the kitchen, doing what he loved and joking with my family. The sweetest thing was he baked a separate salmon for me without shrimps and mushroom because I was allergic and I didn’t like the latter. I told him it was okay but he didn’t want me to get sick. When lunch was ready, he took my plate and told me he wanted to serve me. When we were alone after that, he said he was so happy to have cooked for my family and that he had always wanted to serve my food.
7. Pizza – We had a good time eating and just laughing with each other over bacon and pineapple pizza.
We spent a few more hours before my family and I had to leave for Salinas. Those were time well-spent. It made me sad to know that being away from each other would be harder, now that we knew and experienced how it was to be together. When I left, he asked me if everything was as I had hoped they would be and I said, “yes.” I asked him the same question back and he answered, “better…”