my mother always makes it a point to mention how little she thought of my father when she first met him.
they had met through a mutual friend and according to my mother, he was “head over heels” for her and she didn’t give him a second thought.
the story goes that when my father found out she didn’t like him, he went on a sobbing and drinking binge.
however, before he left for America, he called her and asked if they could meet. she said yes. when they met, my father told her that he was going to America. this caught her offguard.
mostly because this had nothing to do with her.
"so what?" she asked.
"i’m going to write you," my father said.
and with that, he was off to Guam, then Texas, Los Angeles, with a stop in Chicago, and finally settled in Virginia.
all the while, he wrote her.
apparently, he wrote well because she wrote back.
my mother said she was approaching the “age of marriage” and my father was in America, so he did what any love drunkard would do. he arranged for her to meet his mother in Korea.
when my grandmother met her hopeful daughter-in-law, she was sold. it was the smartest thing my father had ever done. naturally, he proposed.
"i’m coming to Korea in May. that’s when we’re getting married."
and so the date was set.
and nearly 30 years passed until i heard my mother tell me how she felt about my father.
"i don’t love your father. when you and your sister get married, i’m moving to Korea. i can’t live with him."
they just had a fight. i was checking on my mother. she was lying down in my sister’s room watching a show on her tablet.
i went downstairs and told my father to apologize.
he refused, so i left. i got in my car and drove.
i was angry my mother didn’t love my father, angry he didn’t love her enough to apologize, angry i was a product of such a loveless union.
i was driving and along with my tears, i had rubbed out my right eye contact. my vision became lopsided, the blurriness in one eye affecting the other, so i was forced to turn around against my will and go back home.
i quickly went upstairs, passed by my mother and went to the bathroom. i ripped open a new lens and put it in.
as i was rushing away, my mother saw my face and asked if i had been crying. i ran down and went out the door. i got in my car again and drove away quietly, staring at the road, each eye unaffected by the other.