‘You seemed really bothered this morning. Is everything ok?”
I stared at Johan’s Wechat message for the 23rd time, but didn’t know how to respond.
Finally I texted back ‘I’m not sure. Gimme some time to figure it out.”
Sitting at home wasn’t gonna help, so I decided to take a walk to clear my head.
What started out as a short stroll around the block, turned into a 3 hour soul-searching trek across town.
My thoughts were random and jumbled; like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle or non-linear movie that I couldn’t figure out the conclusion to.
I thought about my ex, Bob.
I thought about my last last birthday.
I thought about how Bob had went the trouble of surprising me from all the way across the world. How he researched western bakeries online and found my favourite Red velvet cake on some obscure website. How he coordinated it so they could deliver it to my door on my birthday while I was home sick and alone; when it was most needed.
I guess he liked me.
Then I remembered how a few months later when he called, how sad and disappointed he sounded.
I had forgotten his birthday.
I apologized and apologized. I said I was having a hard time at school, that it must have slipped my mind. I said I had already started to look into a gift for him(maybe that Philips shaver he wanted). I swore that I wrote it down somewhere.
I then blamed him for not having facebook. (How else was I supposed to be reminded about people’s birthdays!)
The real reason, now that I thought about it, was that it simply wasn’t on my list of priorities. I guess I didn’t care about his birthday so much. I guess I didn’t care about him so much.
I guess I just wasn’t that into him.
I read in a book (High Fidelity?), where the main character did many romantic things for the object of his affection. Other people admired his effort but he was confused because it took no effort. He said it was easy for him to do those things because he really liked her and couldn’t stop thinking of ways to wow her. It was completely out of self-interest, because he wanted to do those things.
He was into her. He couldn’t help himself.
I think when you really are into someone. You can’t stop thinking about them, and you always want to do things for them. Birthdays, holidays, even on normal days you just want to bake them cupcakes.
I don’t think I ever really felt that way about Bob. I liked him, but I COULD stop thinking about him.
I couldn’t help but realize the ironic parallel here.
Oh how the roles have switched, and now I’m in Bob’s shoes.
The funny things is, a few month after we broke up, I got a cellphone reminder that it was his birthday.
Turns out I did write the date of his birthday down. I just wrote it down it in the wrong month.
I walked and walked and somehow ended up at the Pu(river) that separated Pudong from Puxi.
At the spur of the moment, I hopped on the ferry for Puxi. It was as simple as when Joshua showed me on our date. The date where all I could think about was Johan.
I didn’t know the exactly where I was going, but somehow my usually terrible sense of direction led me to the right place.
I knocked on the door hesitantly, not sure if anyone was home.
To my surprise, the door opened.
“Kathy? What are you doing here?”