My cellphone’s beeping sound woke me up one night. Used to receiving important messages only, I grabbed my cellphone and sleepily pressed the keys and read the message.
“Hi there! Do you want be my txtmate?”
Not knowing who the sender was, I deleted the message right away and placed the phone on my bedside table. I tried to go back to sleep. I had just closed my eyes when I heard the message tone again.
“Hi there, again! Do you want be my txtmate?” again, the message said.
“Who the hell could this be asking for a textmate at the wee hours of the night?” I asked myself.
Again, I deleted the message without bothering to reply.
I was never a ‘textmaniac’ – someone who enjoys texting anyone and everyone even in the wee hours of the night, not to mention during the day. My parents who were always abroad, forced me to own a cellphone. They told me that having one was more convenient – they could monitor me even if they’re miles away.
I wanted to turn the cellphone off. However, since my mother was fond of calling me at night just to check if I am safe at home, I decided not to.
Just as I was about to close my eyes and return to my dreamless sleep, the phone beeped again. It was from the same number! Such determination!
“Please reply to this msg and be an angel & save me from this abyss of emptiness!”
I never knew why but the message struck me. I got up and pressed the keys. I realized I was replying to the message.
“Im not an angel, and if u want somone to save u, Im not superman. Im just a simple person whom u woke up in the middle of the night! do I know u?” I typed.
Seconds later came the reply.
“Nope. U don’t know this lonely soul. Not does she know u. But I want to be your . I’m Nam Woohyun. U?”
“Just call me Liny. How did u get my no.?” I sent back.
“Hi Liny, nice to meet u. Just shuffled the last two digits of mine” he replied.
That was the first and maybe the last time I met someone over the cellphone.
We exchanged messages and learned so much about each other that night. We only said goodbye when my alarm clock rang at 5 a.m.! I had to prepare for school!
And that was also how it all started. There wouldn’t be a day without a loving and thoughtful message from him. It was only then I learned to appreciate text messages and become eager and excited everytime my phone beeped, hoping it would be him.
I never knew why, but his response would send shivers down my spine.
I couldn’t understand what I felt at that moment, but I was sure of one thing. I could not go a day without a single word from him. Even though we haven’t met personally, I became used to having him in my life. In fact by then, she already occupies a large space in my life.
I texted him back. “Dont come close if you will just pass by~ don’t touch me if ull just let me cry; dont love me if you will just leave me and won’t stay…”
I didn’t know why I sent him that message, but somehow I felt every word came from my heart. In the short span of time that we exchanged messages with each other, I knew I have reserved a place for her in my heart.
I called him once. The voice on the other end was like an angel’s. It was soft, kind and full of love. Yet, there was something in it I couldn’t define. We only talked for a few minutes. Before he hung up, he told me not to call again. According to him, it would be better if we would just text each other.
But his voice kept ringing not only in my head, but in my heart. I longed to hear it once more. I tried to call him again but he did not answer the phone. He just kept on sending messages and quotations, which I copied in a little notebook. Am I a hopeless romantic? I don’t know. All I could say was all the messages she sent me were wonderful. They came from his heart and cut through my heart.
“Though we are miles apart, you are always in my heart. I close my eyes and then u are. Even if I’ll never see you, I’ll always be around to care for u, far longer then foever…”
He sent me this message to me on one December night. By that time, we had been exchanging messages for more than a month. God knew how happy I was. He was right. Although we had not seen each other, what we felt was enough to make us both realize what was keeping us together.
I sent him another message, “Loving you secretly is a hard thing for me to do, hoping, wondering that you will feel the same way too, but I can’t read ur mind to know if u love me too. But whatever it is, I’ll still be loving u.”
“How I wish I could really tell u how much you mean to me, but Im afraid to love, scared to get hurt. I hope that u will wait for me & pray that u will not get tired of loving me.” was his reply.
And I replied again. “The reason why I met u is bcause of destiny but if destiny will suggest that I’ll live w/o you, then, I’ll not follow my destiny but my free will.”
Whenever I asked him when can we meet personally, He will always reply, “Soon… soon, love… soon.”
Not seeing each other did not lessen our love even by a bit. What I felt for her grew deeper and stronger each day. And I was sure she felt the same way too. Love messages continued to flow through our lines between our hearts, which made us think that we would see each other, face to face, heart to heart someday.
Just a few days before Christmas, he stopped sending me messages. At first I just thought she had ran out of credit on his prepaid card.
However, there was something that kept bothering me. I couldn’t understand what was it, but it made me felt nervous. I tried to call him but he wouldn’t answer. Nevertheless, I continued sending him messages.
One night, just three days before our Lord’s birthday, I suddenly heard my phone’s message tone again. At last! It was from him!
“Often in my life, we say goodbye to the we love w/o wanting too. Though that doesn’t mean that we stopped loving them or we stopped to care. Sometimes, Goodbye is a painful way to say I Love You.”
I was dumfounded. I didn’t know what to think of it. What did he mean? I texted he back searching for answers. However, I found nothing. I called him but he would not answer as usual.
For the first time in my life, I felt so miserable, desperate and empty. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to lose her. I had learned to love him and I wanted to be with him forever.
The following days, I felt nothing but emptiness. It seemed that Nam Woohyun took the life out of me. I missed him so much. I missed his messages. I missed hearing my message tone that would indicate that he had sent another loving message. Nobody around me could feel the emptiness I felt.
Tut… Tut… Tut… Tut… Tut…
A day before Christmas, my cellphone beeped again. It was him!
“Meet me at d cafe, 10 am today”
I read it aloud, making sure the message was true. I jumped with joy upon hearing from him again. I got myself ready in a hurry and went to the mall. I knew it was still early, but I wanted to be there before he arrived.
I arrived at the meeting place ten minutes earlier. I was surprised to see him already there, smiling at me. He was very handsome. He had black, deep-set eyes that spoke a thousand words; small, kissable lips; a perfectly chiselled nose and long black hair. HIS eyes radiated kindness and love but there was a flicker of something in them. I thought I could detect a flicker of sadness.
“Hi, Liny,” said the angelic voice I had been dreaming of each night.
It was a voice that I had waited to hear for so long.
“Please sit down.”
“I am very pleased to meet you, Woohyun,” I said, as I took my seat and he gave me the roses.
“Thanks, Woohyun.” I give him best smile that I ever have, obviously pleased with the roses.
“You are always welcome, Love.”
“Liny, I can’t stay,” he said, sadness in his voice.
“I really must go.”
“But we just met, Woohyun. Can’t we talk a little longer?” I asked, pleadingly.
“I really can’t. I just came here to see you and thank you for the time you have shared with me. Thank you for everything, Liny. I will never forget you. You will always be here in my heart.”
He was looking at me straight in the eyes and I could really feel the sadness in his voice. I swear there was something in his voice and those lovely yet lonely eyes. He got up and smiled at me lovingly.
“Please come and visit me tomorrow morning.” he said and gave me a piece of white linen paper.
I read what was written on it and when I looked up, he was gone. The following day on Christmas, I woke up early and got ready in excitement as I thought of him.
They lived in an exclusive subdivision. Upon reaching their house, I told the guard who I was and that I was looking for Woohyun. The guard stared at me with sadness and amazement in his eyes. He told me to wait as he called the owner of the house. As I saw him going inside the house, I noticed that the house was brightly lit.
“Hi, I’m Maria, Woohyun’s mother. Please come inside, Liny.”
While we were walking towards the mansion, she explained to me why she knew me very well – Woohyun talks about me often. I hardly understood what she was saying as I was busy wondering why was she crying while talking to me.
As we approached the great hall of the house, it dawned on me that there was a wake inside. I thought maybe a relative had passed away. However, deep in my heart, I was trembling and afraid.
As we entered the hall, there were many people silently mourning while others were praying.
I asked her mother, “Where is Woohyun?”
She held my hand and silently led me to the coffin which was surrounded by flowers.
No words could explain how I felt when I gazed into the coffin and saw who was lying there. It was the same handsome guy I met yesterday…
A man came beside me and I knew he was Woohyun’s father.
“We are so glad you came, Liny. Woohyun talked about you all the time. He even asked for him phone to be buried with him. He said that through this way, you could still send he messages and you would always be with him.”
I couldn’t believe everything… My mind was in limbo.
“But how can this be? We just saw each other yesterday.”
“That can’t possibly be. He passed away three days ago. he had been suffering from a heart disease since he was a child.” said his father.
“But…” I couldn’t find the words to say.
“He told us not to bother reaching you.” her mother said, still in tears.
“He said that you will come and here you are.”
Pain and bitterness overwhelmed me. I cried silently beside him as I stared at his lovely face. I tried to memorize every line of my friend’s face, a face I knew I would never forget while I was still alive.
After going to the wake that afternoon, I went to the chapel he told me he went everyday. I sat there praying and crying to God.
I held my phone and typed, “You taught me how to care, You taught me how to be kind, You show me how to be like someone, You show me how to be love, but theres one thing you didn’t teach me & it hurts – you didn’t teach me how to let you go. I Love You.”
I sent the message and even though I knew he wouldn’t be able to hold his cellphone again, I knew in my heart he would get my message. I didn’t expect a reply but my phone beeped seconds later. I felt a shiver down my spine. The sender’s number did not appear on the screen but tears rolled down my cheeks as I read the message.
“Let go of the hand of the person you love, but don’t let go of God’s hand. For if u hold to his hand. He may be holding the person you love in the other hand to let u hold each other again.”
“I will never forget you Woohyun. I will never let you go…” I vowed to him and to myself as I left the chapel.
Woohyun brought out something about me that I never knew I had, I realized I could also be a romantic person… Even if it’s just through text messaging.
“Keep me as a frend & I will keep you in my heart. Lock it up & throw away the key so that no1 can ever take u away from me…”
One day, he sent this message to me.
I replied, ‘In life, we seldom find a true person & if u ever find one, hold on & never let go… Value that prson cause it’s a gift worth keeping & holdin on…”