In the four and half years I have been with K, life has been unpredictable. I have been hurt and so badly heartbroken that I felt as if someone were ripping my insides out. I have been so happy that I can’t talk because for one of the few times in my life I am at a loss of words and cannot describe the absolute bliss I am in.
And there was of course doubt. Because I learnt that the reason the highs were so high was because there were lows. Lows aren’t that bad – I could deal with them because they brought out the steel in me. But lulls, those are the worst. Because those are the times I questioned my relationship, questioned our love for each other, questioned our chance at our own happily ever after.
Since I was a teenager, I have yearned for my very own Mr Darcy. A handsome Englishman with the most dependable shoulders and twinkling green eyes, in his three-piece suit and brogues, there to sweep me off my feet. I imagined picnics in meadows were we would eat strawberries, sandwiches, and lemonade and cool off in a stream, dangling our bare legs in the sparkling water.I dreamt of witty conversations and poems so evocative they would take my breath away.
Who knew that the man I would eventually decide to marry would have no inclination whatsoever to any of the above.
At first, I was disappointed because he cleaved to none of my ideals.
When I read English poetry to him, he falls asleep. When he tries to cook instant noodles for me, he burns a brand new pot. When we go on picnics, he worries about ants attacking the food. When I want to run into the sea and feel the waves pull around my calves and the fine sand sift through my toes, he frowns from above, unwilling to get his pants wet. Witty conversation is lost on him because he is incapable of understanding subtext, unless it is pure sarcasm.
Later, I realized that I didn’t care that much because he is so much more than that.
Because as I grew older and wiser, I saw the meaning behind each and every one of his actions. He may have fallen asleep when I read him poetry, but he keeps every poem in a box and takes them out from time to time to read again, because it matters to him. Before those disastrous noodles, the closest he had come to cooking was boiling water, but he wanted to cook them for me because I was hungry and exhausted from studying. When we went on picnics, he was worried about the ants because he wanted to finish every single thing I prepared for him, even the cucumber garnish. When he was watching me run along the shore, he didn’t join me because he wanted to be able to watch me be myself. He doesn’t take to witty conversation because he is straightforward, honest, and true, and tells it like it is.
I’ve learnt that you can never impose your cookie cutter of a perfect man on someone, because he will never fill in the gaps perfectly. Where he is lacking, he will be overflowing elsewhere. You’ve got to learn to love that cookie, odd shapes and all.
I’m also glad he is not Mr Darcy, because I have learnt how important it is to marry someone who has the same goals in life as me, and the same values.
It is more important to me that when we listen to Chinese music, when the sounds of the erhu swell, when we here the poetic melody of the chinese flute, we both feel that swell of poignant emotion and the melancholy that it evokes.
It is more important to me that he understands how Chinese songs are like poems, and the power of the language to describe love, pain, heartbreak, sorrow, bliss, and everything else between in four characters.
It is more important to me that he understands how important family is to me and how I will always feel responsible for my siblings, responsible for my parents, and I will never feel like an individual but part of a greater collective that is the people who gave birth to me and the people who grew up with me.
Most of all, it is the most important to me that he is someone who is able to make me feel completely safe and secure when everything else in my life seems like it will never work out. For those few minutes I am in his arms, I feel like we could take on the world together, and win.
So who needs Mr Darcy, when I have you?
Where we go we don’t need roads,
Where we stop nobody knows,
To the stars if you really want it
Got a jetpack with your name on it
Above the clouds in the atmosphere
Just say the words and we’re out of here,
Hold my hand if you feeling scared
We flying up, up out of here
Here we go, come with me
There’s a world out there that we should see
Take my hand, close your eyes
With you right here, I’m a rocketeer,