It was the winter of 98, hence signifying my presence in the US for almost a year. Many of my peers and friends either went back to Malaysia for the Christmas break, or took vacations to some other parts of the US. I didn't go, cause not only was I not invited, but even if I was invited, I could not have afforded it. Yea, it goes to show that I wasn't really popular then. And yet, I could not have cared less about it. That's cause I was slowly developing my 'relationship' with Angeline. We did not start out dating, but rather, as most people during the internet boom, we chatted alot online. Using ICQ, we converse about almost everything. I learned so much about her then. I learned that she was an avid X-files fan. And she was not just into the show, but into every aspect of the show. She took notice of everything; from the producers, to the music directors, and to the smallest casts and it was Angeline that taught me about spoilers. I've never knew of such things before, where u could read about certain episodes before they came out. I also learned about her acute affections for cats. And here's the strangest thing, its not the feline animal that's she really interested in, its in the attitude of the cat that she's most fascinated about, and to some extent, begin to develop it on her own personality. At the same time, she also begin to learn alot about me, about my past would-be relationships that never worked out, my faith, and my passion for things that makes the eyes of geeks open wide, and yet, i would deny being called a geek.
It was during that winter too, that me, Angeline and Zoe also became good friends. We would have meals together, and made attempts to travel in the nearby vicinity using a car that belonged to Angeline's housemate, who was coincidentally on vacation during that time (good for us).
However, another thing that I learned during that winter was that Angeline was actually still attached to somebody. And while I was begining to feel an attraction for her, Angeline was still trying to figure out her own position in her then current relationship. The situation was strange for me, and for her too. You see, Angeline had been involved with this guy for quite some time now. He graduated during that winter and left for home. However, when he left, they didn't quite plan out their direction in the relationship, and Angeline in one way or another took it as a break-up, or some what like a hopeless situation. But Angeline still in a way pledge her allegiance to him.
Let me now fast forward a few months. By now, it was early of 1999, and Angeline and me had sort of like begin to have a relationship that was of more than just friends. But I recalled sometime during the end of January or early of February that year, that while visiting Angeline in her home, a delivery of roses came for her. And it was from her boyfriend. And it was not me, as I was not officially anybody's boyfriend yet. She received it in shock, as she did not expect it, and also find it strange as she recalled him as a person who was very careful with money. I was abit confused at that point of time, still trying to understand my position in her life. But I chose to be silent about it, and allowed time to make the decision for me.
About a month after the flowers, Angeline received news that her boyfriend would be returning to the US as he had managed to find a job in Omaha, an hours drive from Lincoln. At this time, she was being more frantic than me. She didn't really know what to do now, as his coming back would change everything for her, and for me. I recalled myself taking a very passive role, and for me then, it was like just 'cae sara sara.. whatever will be will be'. That's cause I don't really know what to do. I didn't even know what to think.
However, a week before the boyfriend came back, I gathered all my courage, and asked Angeline to meet me at Wendy's restaurant. We ordered some food and after me beating around some bushes, I tried to pop the question. It was difficult for me then, but when the bush was flat and I could not run around it anymore, I asked her "Do you want to take this relationship to the next level?" I asked her because I wanted to know who I was to her, and also because her boyfriend was returning, and I wanted to know if there was any chance that she would leave him for me. And strangely, before she answered me, I recalled vividly hearing Mr Big singing over the radio, the song "To Be With You", where the chorus of the song went:
"I'm the one who wants to be with you,
Deep inside I know, you feel it too.
Waiting on the line of green and blue,
Just to be the next to be with you."
Angeline then said "No." I asked her to reconfirm her answer, and again she shook her head and said "No." Dissapointed, we left Wendy's and went our separate ways. My walk home from Wendy's that day had to be the longest one. So many thing went on in my head. I had so many 'why' questions but with no answers. I was sad and depressed. But being me at that point of time, I've thought myself as being out of Angeline's league anyway. I've never had a girlfriend before her, and for some reason, I guess I was already expecting to be rejected.
Angeline's graduation in Spring of '99 had to be the weirdest experience I ever had. Not only did the boyfriend returned, but Angeline's parents also came for her graduation. Angeline's parents then was more concerned of her boyfriend's faith, and took several attempts to tell him of the gospel. While Angeline was frantic of the whole situation, I basically just took a position of an observer. At that point of time, I've already accepted my situation, which was me not being able to be with her. Her boyfriend at that point of time was only trying to understand Angeline's position in all these.
Then, I recalled during one of those nights, I was driving alone with Angeline after her sending her parents to their hotel. I tried talking to her about her situation in all this. She was confused with everything that was going on. Her parents didn't agree with her present relationship. She on her part still felt obligated to him because he was her first love, and vice versa. She did not want to hurt him, but she was also fearful of the realities of the future then. Her faith was also on the line, as he was not a Christian, and she was. I then told her this "You should really consider what your parents have said, and that you should not compromise your faith in this. Choosing to leave him doesn't mean you have to be with me." She responded in silence, faithfully as what a cat would do. I've said what I needed to say that night.
A few days later, Angeline said that she wanted to talk with me. From her expression, I'm guessing that it was something important...
to be continued...