I wheeled out my luggage as I was told to wait by the aisle. Coming to see Jeju was one of my much-anticipated highlights
“Annyeong!”, Jeju shouted when she saw me. Spotting a simple Halla-san dress, she was also wearing a Ulleungdo hat together with her Manjanggul bracelet. She got off her car and helped me to load my luggage into the back of the trunk.
*Quick, come it! It's cold hahha", she gestured in, hurrying me into the car. I popped the boot down after loading my luggage and hopped right in.
“Annyeong Jeju!”, I replied as I arched my back and dropped myself onto the seat. It's been a long morning since I'd been awake at 5.
"Hi", she said while facing me as she closed the door of her driver seat. I could see her dimples and her adorable teddy bear earrings dangling off her ears. Jeju’s got those pearly blue eyes like the ocean. It is almost hypnotic to watch as I was staring at her eyes for the first time.
“Hello, again. You”, I said and smile.
"Okay lets go! I'll bring you to my place now. Do you have anything that you need to get before going over?", she smiled and asked.
"Nope, all good", I shook my head.
We chatted over the 30 minutes long drive, the streets are almost citylike as the traffic could get really hectic and busy as well. Jeju said that it won't be as congested once we got out of the city area.
Jeju has a heartwarming and amazing place that I couldn't even believe. It felt like my dream home, it felt like those enormous bungalows that they use for filming reality TV. I loved the touch of the sleeky wood finish on the floor, and how the pale pastel walls bring about the sense of coziness and feeling of home. I moved my luggage into my room and we hung out for a while before we head out. It was sleeting for abit, and and I unpacked while she put on some music as I saw her sliding around the house in her socks towards the window before peering outside.
"Hmmm, lets go out soon, I think it'll stop snowing in awhile", she said without turning her head.
"Okay, let me go unpack and pack my day bag and I'll be good to go"
"I don't know if you are lucky or not lucky, but it hardly snows like this", She said and laugh as she was wearing her windbreaker as we prepared to leave.
I don’t know if it is the twist of faith or a bad stroke of luck. The 2 weather for the 2 days was extremely bad. The emergency signal went on my phone afew times, and it was almost difficult to head outdoor. So... we kinda just stayed in for quite a while. She’ll take me out whenever the sun’s out or when the weather is clear. We went to chase waterfalls, professed our love and regrets across the horizon at the cliffs, and my favorite was probably the eventful barbecue dinner where she made me her signature black pork.
We decided to end our last day together early and stay in while doing movie marathons and talk. That’s just it. Maybe it’s the snow, maybe it’s her cozy warm yellow light, but that night, it seems like my heart has melted a little, despite the cold. We watched the remake of one of our favorite movies, and yes! Like me, Jeju loves coming of age movies with a touch of romance. Like me, she likes romanticizing her love. And like me... Jeju is a hopeless romantic.
“Do you believe in the parallel universe?”, she asked while her eyes are still glued to the TV.
“I think I do... well sometimes I do”, I said while laughing awkwardly. “How about you?”, I asked her back.
“You know, we all have the right... uhm...lost love”, she said, moving on from everything, while sounding abit unsure.
The movie ended, and we talked for abit more. While in between cigarettes, she shared with me stories of her life, her unrequited loves, the toxic relationships, her abusive ex, and the list goes on.
“Well, there are some I miss... but I won’t have any regrets!”, she said with a weak smile. "I figured sometimes we have to hurt to learn, and that’s okay. Now I'm much stronger already!", she said while flexing her biceps!
"We are jaded... aren't we?", I asked while looking out at the night skies. The snow started dropping onto our hair and faces, as if nature's watering her flowerchild.
"Life's like snow! Grab it before it melts and you miss it!", Jeju said while looking up, holding out her hands, as if trying to grasp the snow. She chuckled for abit and I laughed too.
It felt as though I could smell the snow, the gentle cold air blew across the balcony as if patting us goodnight. We looked out at the pile of snow that is collecting by the road as we let our thoughts drift across the dark of the night. Sometimes the thought of a parallel universe keeps us hopeful, but sometimes we wish that we are in that said Universe.
Jeju’s nice enough to send me to my airport the next day. I actually am terrified and anxious as my voyage would come to an end, this time it is way faster than I thought.
“So, you’ll see Seoul next huh!”, she smiled, this time Jeju’s wearing an oversized woven wool pullover which hid her hands when she puts them down.
“Uh.. and last”, I sighed. It is indeed.
“Isn’t she... kinda like the first that you met?”, she said while nudging me!
“Well, yeah. Which kinda makes it alittle awkward because we haven’t been in touch. Until recently”, I blushed, while moving about, alittle anxious. “You know... that weird feeling before-“
“I am sure everything will work out. Have alittle faith okay”, she tipped toe abit, as if she absorbed my fidgetiness since she's also being jumpy now.
“So you haven’t tell me if you believe in parallel universe”, I asked again not even subtly baiting her.
“Well... You never know if you are in one! Somewhere out there, huh...”, she smiled and looked at me, then glanced up at the skies.
"Tsk, so you do huh!", I smiled feeling alittle better that I am not the only hopeless romantic here.
"Smile more! and say hi to Seoul for me okay!", she said while pushing me through the door of the airport.
"Okay okay! I'll go now!", I stumbled and turned back clumsily.
"Come again soon okay!", she winked.
"I will, before you know it, Jeju", I smiled and wave, before pulling my luggage towards the check in area.
Jeju left me with a tinge of nostalgia, perhaps because of the movies that we watched, and also perhaps because she is...indeed a romantic as well. Sometimes, love is what keeps us going, and love is also what may stop us from growing. I decided to leave it as that, as I waited for my flight to Seoul. And just like that, I'm at the last leg of my travel...