I had this talked with Reiko last night.

When I complained about my evening hunger and being stuck in the office with an aching head and an empty stomach, waiting for the guys to come back, she told me I should hire a male maid who is strong, entertaining, quiet, mentally normal, knows how to cook and clean and doesn’t like women, to take care for me. And she added: “Or you should come back home after this year, I will take care for you. When you are far away like this, I’m so worried.” And when I told her not to worry, I would be a good girl, she said: I will not spoil you any more. You always say you will be good but then you just do whatever you want, even the things you know are not good for you. 

I busted out laughing, because she knows me so well.

And at the same time, I realized that I always had and needed someone.

When I said goodbye to Jean after IC, she held me so tight and told me: You are strong. You don’t need anyone to take care for you. But girls are girls after all. Yesterday, after the meeting, I was lazily answering some emails when I not on purpose glanced at the clock on my laptop screen and realized it was coming to the end of October, which means that I have been here for almost 5 months. 5 months. 7 months to go.

I’m surprised about myself for still enjoying everything coming since honestly, I don’t have that “someone” here. I learned to embrace all the differences in perspectives and be more independent and responsible for myself. I urged myself to eat and sleep. I rarely skipped meals. I didn’t depend on anyone. And I think I’m doing well. I don’t ask for more.

But sometimes this sense of being totally on my own killed me. I miss that feeling of tender happiness, when you feel like there is a light in your heart just by being around someone and knowing that they are there for you to turn to, love you as much as they love themselves, regardless of your virtues and flaws.

I miss my friends.

I felt real tired of the sound when the finger tips touched the laptop keyboard, the noise when it was interrupting in the middle of a skype call, the blurry video chat.

And I wanted to just run up to one of them and give them a hug and cry my heart out. I wanted to listen to Chau scold me for not eating well. I wanted to drive to Rei’s house at late night and sit by the white dinning table, talking about random things and waiting for her to cook for me. I wanted to go out with him on one fine Saturday morning, sitting next to each other, having hot Earl Grey; he would work on something and I would read my book.  I wanted to hear him call me: “Em ơi”. I wanted to wake up in the afternoon after a mega nap, being surrounded by the scent of essential oil and the warmth of blanket;  and dinner was just ready.

– Go. I’m good here. 

– No. I’m not leaving until I see you smile. 

– Come on, I’m actually laughing. 

– No. A real smile. 

That was absolute happiness. Absolute peacefulness.


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