I’d like to get personal for a moment. This may come across as self-indulgent, but the way I see it, it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want with it.
I’ve tried to keep the details of this between me and a few other people for a while now, but since I’m trying to make a clean start here I feel like I should put it out in the open. Some of this you may be familiar with the basics – I just realized while I was writing this that it’s been one year since I first wrote on this topic (and about half a year since the follow-up), which is also around the point where everything started to go to hell. I’ve certainly touched upon it before, but now that some time has passed I’d like to delve into the details. Bear with me.
As many of you know, I was in a relationship with a woman who went by Audrey Huang. She was unlike anyone I’ve ever been with, and I was ready to marry her. I was going through the steps to bring her over here so we could be together. It was a slow process, but I was working my way through it.
And then, one day, she was gone. There was one terse message telling me that she was strong enough without me, and that was it. I never heard from her again. One day we had a future, the next day it was vapor.
It’s funny what something like this will do to you. For the first few weeks after she cut me off, I was fine with it. I moved on with my life just like normal. But something was missing. Those people who go on about how it hurts less with time? It’s a lie. Little by little, day by day, it crept back. By the following month, I was losing sleep over it. Some days I was angry, and I’d rage at Audrey and myself and anyone else that I thought was responsible. Other days, I’d see something that reminded me of Audrey and I’d just break out into tears, sometimes for hours.
What you have to realize is that while I was unemployed, I felt terrible most days. Audrey was really the one ray of sunshine I had. She was such a sunny, positive person, and I felt infinitely better any day she contacted me, even if she had nothing in particular to say. When she stopped talking, that light went out. I never realized how much I depended on that.
It was stupid to put that much weight in her. I acknowledge this freely. Really, I don’t know if it would have worked out if I’d stayed over there longer. There were certainly things I didn’t care for – she could be clingy, and she was actually rather secretive. I don’t know if she could have or would have come back with me. Maybe it was destined to be a fling. But what haunts me is that I’ll never know. What haunts me is the image of her crying the last time I saw her, when I promised her that we’d be together again. More than anything, what haunts me is how abruptly it ended.
So I’ve spent the last two months trying to find her, and there’s not much I haven’t tried in pursuit of that goal. I reached out to her friends and family, but either they didn’t know anything or wouldn’t tell me. I started reaching out to anyone I thought might have some connection to her – people who worked for the same companies, people who came from her hometown or who were there presently (she had spoken about going back there). When that didn’t work, I went to QQ and started posting everything I knew about her in the hopes that someone I hadn’t thought of might have seen her. I dug through old pictures and emails (opening a few wounds in the process) for any information I might have missed. I paid for international calls to her number and the numbers of several people who might have known her. I searched for people with similar names, finding dozens of others and feeling my heart leap every single time. In a moment of desperation, I even sent a letter to her last workplace in the vain hopes that someone there might have something to tell me.
Every effort failed. After two months, I’ve tried everything I can imagine, save a few options that would be going much too far. She’s gone.
Except…she’s not gone. I keep close tabs on the traffic that leads here – the subscription spam has made it difficult to track my legit traffic, so I watch this thing carefully. Shortly after Audrey cut me off, I started getting views through a VPN – the kind of thing used by people in the PRC to get around government censorship. Ever since then, I’ve been receiving regular hits from that same person at least once a month, sometimes more. Now, I don’t have definitive proof that those hits are from Audrey, but no one else from that part of the world has ever taken any interest in what I write. Audrey did. I can’t help but feel that she’s been watching me this whole time (Incidentally, I hope that whomever is watching will consider contacting me, if only to clear things up).
So that’s the situation I’m in, the one I’ve been dodging around for half a year. Everyone tells me I should move on, and I agree. I have no illusions about us ever being together again, and I’m seeing other women. But the thing is, I can’t move on – at least, not entirely – until I hear from her again, even if it’s just one more time. Until then, I can’t be entirely free.
Anyway, thanks for putting up with my crap again. It’s just the kind of thing you have to deal with when you read my commentary. I’ve been taking my time with the novel due to recent life changes, but I should be back with relevant posts within the next few days.
Image courtesty of 云画流年.