I love Hector because not only does he make me the happiest woman in the world but he also completes me.
Growing up, I didn’t draw straight lines or complete a color book without overlapping the boundaries. I am neither a mathematical person nor a person who cooks by following a recipe.
Who could have imagined a whimsical girl with a blunt and carefree approach in life would fall in love with a rising architect? A person who uses measuring tapes and complicated equations to solve problems with an approach that strictly follows laws and protocols every day?
To put it simply, who would have thought a flying bird would fall madly in love with a swimming fish?
Hector described our relationship like a magnet; not only do we have a powerful bond, we are also the force that makes the world spin around. After meeting me, he mentioned it was like perfectly combining two different pieces of a puzzle to become a greater piece.
I think in shapes and colors, and we complete a perfect yin-yang. Pure and straightforward, our love melts together like the refreshing chill sprinkling rainwater brings on a hot sunny day.
Hector, a Puerto Rican descendant, was born to a military family. I was born and raised in Taiwan and immigrated to the United States of America. This is the great country where we met; a country of multiculturalism, commonly known as the melting pot.
It was definitely not a—crush at first sight— experience. Neither is love or life a fairy tale; Oberon did not order Puck to spread a love potion on my eyes.
To be honest, my first impression of Hector wasn’t a good one. My friend Ryan said his friend “Hector” was going to join us on a night out to watch The Avengers in theaters. Everyone showed up but Hector, however. I didn’t even see him, but I already got a reason to not like him.
The first time I actually met him in person was at Adventure Crossing about a month later. After throwing my whole body and heart into a breathless state, I made a new record on the Dance Dance Revolution machine. Ryan was playing a game known as Guitarfreaks with his friend, and he introduced me to him, “Oh, hey, this is Hector.”
A man, who was about twice my size, had his eyes sharply fixed on the tiny and fast-going LED screen on the machine, and his fingers were going crazy but accurately pressing the buttons for a perfect score. He looked at me, greeted me, and shook my hand that was covered in sweat. Wearing a ragged T-shirt, shorts, dirty tennis shoes, and my hair tangled as if I just survived a hurricane, the first thing I ever said to Hector wasn’t “nice to meet you” or “Hi, how are you?” but instead “Hey, you were that guy who bailed on the movie night.”
My bold approach didn’t seem to surprise him. He laughed and apologized and said he had to catch up with blueprint deadlines at work. On the other hand, Hector said he could make it up to me and mentioned we could hang out in the future.
Not much later on, we became friends on Facebook and messaged each other. I was living in Thompson, Ga, at the time. I went to Memphis, TN, and Chicago for a vacation shortly after. We never really met each other after that one time at Adventure Crossing. The only way of communicating on Facebook became annoying and creepy since I felt that he was stalking me. I sent a direct email and went straight to the point to ask him to stop all the “likes” and “comments.” Again, Hector apologized to me and explained that he was only trying to be friendly.
My last Facebook post he commented on was a response to offer help on editing my resume. He revised my resume and returned it to me the same day. I was pleased the moment I saw the work he had done, but at the same time, I felt terribly sorry and questioned myself, “why does he continue to be so nice to me even though I am so rude to him?”
“He probably likes you,” Ryan said to me in a Skype message after I told him what happened.
“Okay, but I don’t want him to like me just because I’m the only single girl he knows.”
“Well, did you know that he’s been single for the past 7 or 8 years?” Ryan said. “He only goes after girls he likes. I mean, I’ve been friends with him for about a decade now.”
My strong aversion to men merged from my previous relationships where I was used and cheated on. Not to mention jumping into another relationship, it was hard for me to even look at a guy in the eyes with the slightest thought of possible romance.
“There was just no way,” I thought to myself.
Ironically, after a few months, I started to miss his attention to my Facebook. I could only blame myself for this. As a result, I started to pay attention to his Facebook and actually looked through his Linkedin, Google +, and all the other social media sites he had. I thought he would never talk to me again after that detestable email. Again, to my surprise, my bold approach didn’t discourage him. He still replied to the posts I tagged him in. A pure, simple, amicable conversation started between us again. As I got to know more about him, our friendship became stronger. I invited him to my 21st birthday party.
A group of my friends and I went to my favorite restaurant, had a great meal, and then went to my apartment to play video games and fix up some drinks. That was probably the first time Hector had ever seen me dressed up with makeup on. When Hector brought me a birthday card, I screamed and jumped to embrace him. He bought me a card, featuring my favorite Marvel super hero, Captain America, with a temporary tattoo sticker in it. I was surprised and sincerely happy when he brought me that card, but at the same I knew he had done some “research” on my Facebook to figure out what I like. As the party continued to roll, I ruined my pretty makeup after I started dancing with my plush animals, and throwing them around. Hector stayed, nevertheless, and he was one of the last few guests to leave the party.
Even though we had gotten closer, we kept our communications online mostly and only hung out together with a group of friends.
There was one time I went to ice skate with another one of my friends. During skating, I saw an instructor teaching her pupils how to do a spin with one leg. The pupils were shaky but they managed to balance their weight on one leg. While they balanced their weight on a blade, their speed of force created a momentum for them to slice out a beautiful circle on the ice. I was daring, but foolish to think that I can mimic those ice skate ballerinas. Their movements were light and elegant like a slim crane hovering swiftly over the horizon. Nevertheless, my movement was reckless like a tumble weed rolling in every direction. As you could imagine, I fell down on my side while my right leg was still standing and holding my weight. I heard a crisp snapping sound like a full size truck driving over fallen twigs. My vision turned white, and all I felt was immerse pain coming from my knee.
I have been gulping down milk by the gallons since I was a little kid, and it was probably all the calcium in my body that prevented my bones from breaking. The following week, however, I limped, and I was even reluctant to drive, knowing the sharp pain I must endure if I apply just the slightest pressure to my right leg. Feeling lonely and hungry, I asked if anyone wanted to take me out to eat on Facebook.
Take a guess who responded in 5 minutes?
During his 1-hour lunch break from work, Hector offered to take me somewhere to eat. As he walked me to his car, he opened the door on the passenger side. As a natural instinct, I walked to the opposite side of the car, the driver’s side. We looked at each other and paused.
“Are you going to drive my car?” He said.
It took me a while to realize that it was not my car and I shouldn’t be on the driver’s side of the door. Furthermore, I looked to his side and came to an understanding that he was trying to open the door for me, which was why he was on the passenger side. Feeling embarrassed, I laughed and tried to push him away and told him that it wasn’t necessary to open the door for me. For my entire life, I never had a man open the door for me when I entered a vehicle. As I pushed him away, I attempted to open the door for myself. He locked the door with his remote and said, “Please let me open it. I insist.”
I have heard the two-word phrase, “I insist,” in movies and TV shows, but could never understand why it was so powerful when it comes from a man to a woman. Now that I heard it in real life, I felt a sweet little zap in my heart; perhaps I got shot by the Cupid’s arrow.
Hector later returned to my apartment in the evening after he got off work. Knowing that I was still limping in pain, he brought me “icy-hot” gel and –the best part—a gallon of milk. It was so sweet, but I felt a little embarrassed that he knew that I liked milk even though I was way over the age for it. He offered me a knee massage after I applied the gel to my skin. I laughed and refused. We both remained light-hearted and casual, but I knew deep down I was sad that he didn’t insist, and he was sad that I refused. It wasn’t long before I noticed that Hector’s sharp eyes, which I remembered being fixed on the details in the LED screen, were focusing only attentively on me.
During my journalism class in college, I had to work on a featured article on someone using AP style formatting. There was no better opportunity for this. Wanting to know more about his life and background without being too irritating about it, I decided to write a story on Hector. In order to follow the AP style format for news writing, I had to gather at least three sources. Therefore, I talked not only to him but also to his co-workers.
After the project, I learned about Hector’s upbringing and his future ambitions in the architectural field. He has been a standing man who contributes his work selflessly to his society for many years. On the other hand, I also learned his style of life. Compassion and professionalism, but also with a sense of a child-like curiosity, Hector pursues a passionate appetite for new things and has been fully responsible and mature towards his actions and decisions. Hector is a humanitarian at heart, one of his colleagues said. He brought me an impression that he will be a dependable man of the house— a good father and a good husband. My woman’s intuition directed me towards him.
Not to mention, with his logical way of thinking, he also helped me to proofread and sharpen my unrefined writing. Hector brought me to another world of knowledge that I could not reach by myself. I was the freshly painted canvas, and he was my mat and frame. I was the jade in the rough, and he was the gem cutter. The sense of completion came into my life the moment I realized it was no longer cupid’s arrow but a genuine love that I was feeling in my life.
I decided to give him a kiss, but I wanted to surprise him. He had asked me for a kiss, but I denied him earlier. I decided to give him one when he least expected it on that casual Friday night. As usual, we went to Adventure Crossing, he was playing his Guitarfreaks, and I was playing on the Dance Dance Revolution machine. Casually I walked up to him and said, “Hector, I want to ask you a question.”
I beckoned to him to come near me so that I could draw close to his ears as if I wanted to speak to him over the loud environment. He had to lean forward, and I had to stand on my tiptoes in order to look at each other face to face. I waited until I was able to gaze directly into his eyes, and as he stood there, I snuck in a sneak attack kiss on his cheek. I obviously caught him off guard. But I could see the cheek-to-cheek smile he had. Mission accomplished. I disappeared into the night, leaving him before he could come back from overwhelming joy to reality.
“If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right.”
A few weeks, he asked me to be his girlfriend. Nevertheless, I was honest with him that I wasn’t ready yet after my last breakup. But then he said he was more than ready to call me his girlfriend and to start using terms of endearment. And more importantly, he said he was willing to wait for me to overcome my daunting memories from the past, which he did.
Instead of hanging out with a big group, we started to go on one-on-one dates, and our choice of activities shifted from arcade night at Adventure Crossing to an evening play at the theater. I learned about his passion for his career as an intern architect and learned to appreciate architecture, a beautiful art form with detailed and precise measurement. Patience has never been a word in my way of life. But I found myself attracted to his patience, a virtue, which was also demonstrated professionally by his stack over stacks of blueprints. Hector also unveils his faith and positive attitude through his interaction with church affiliations. Not only was he a humble servant of God, but Hector was also attentive to his family.
I have been living without my family for a while after immigrating to this country. I’ve never had a moment when I had to make a decision with family influence; however, at the same time, I was always alone in my decisions, lacking support, advice, and guidance. There have been times when I look down on the restraints that Hector had due to his family, but there are also times when I admire this love coming from being a part of a family. Furthermore, constantly and repeatedly, I can repeat this imagine of Hector as a man of the family—a loving husband and a father, to put it simply.
But just how I recognized him, Hector has continued to be a talkative person and video game enthusiast. He was open to my friend and embraced friendships with my side of the friends. Even though his role has been a grown man in society, Hector remained a boyish side in his way of life, making jokes and funny faces. Sooner or later, I loved him much more than I realized. When he said I love you, as he looked in my eyes, his words lit up my world of distrust and lonesome.
If I were to leave him, I would regret it until the day I die because I never felt more complete in my life. I recognize our souls have love within that makes them stronger.
There were bitter times when we disagreed and argued and times where distance separated us. Love life isn’t just filled with joy; it’s also filled with emotions, including anger and sadness. That is also why I feel complete. My love for him isn’t like a fairy tale, but that gives me comfort that our love is real.