It’s been over a year. Really? Andy says to himself, She keeps trying to get me back…Ugh. Bu Yao! My life. Andy and Ucsd broke up after six years of dating, only to have her periodically ask him to take her back. Andy told her no again. Besides, he already had his hands full with his studies; he didn’t have time for a relationship. It was nice being single and all on his own for once. But, Andy reminisces, we did have some good times together. He smiles and thinks of how his time with her was a lot longer than he expected when it began all those years ago. He’s tempted to get back with her, but he remembers, she was so… needy. No, I can’t. I just… can’t.
The gentle whirr of the engine lulls Andy to sleep. He’s on a flight to Virginia, ready to eat some scrumptious Korean food and spend some time with his family. As he nods off, a familiar thought pops into his head. Jinja? Andy is annoyed. Why of all places do I have to start thinking of her here? He just wants to leave all that stuff behind and relax. The guy sitting next to him should have bought two seats. The line for the bathroom stretches five people long. Yelp needs to know about this. Maybe if I compare it to Taylor Swift again? Barf. This trip is already turning out to be stressful. Andy pushes it all out of his head, and finally, drifts off.
The plane touches down and Andy jolts awake. He sighs in relief realizing where he is. Finally, I’m in a place where I don’t need to worry. About anything, or anyone. He walks out into Arrivals and sees his mom. Home and family, that’s all he’s ever really wanted. If only, if only Ucsd… Oh my, can you not? I can’t. I shouldn’t… No. Andy arrives at his mom’s house. His dogs rush out to greet him. His home. His family. His dogs. Life is simple. Life is perfect.
The sound of laughter echoes through his house, as Andy and his mom watch Modern Family. They love it. They have daily marathon sessions, sometimes watching 10 episodes in a day. The weather is cold. Bundled up by the fireplace next to his dogs, sipping hot tea while dressed in stylish winter clothes, Andy is content. My life… is wonderful! But still, incomplete. Maybe. Maybe if she wasn’t so clingy. Maybe if she allowed me to be who I really am. Andy is conflicted. She did seem perfect at times.
Ring. Ring. Ring. Andy looks at his Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Ring. It’s Ucsd. His heart races. He is torn. Should I pick up? Ring. Ring. The call goes to voicemail. Andy can barely breathe. What if she wants me back? What if… what if she’s changed? Andy hasn’t really talked to Ucsd since the breakup. He’s been quick to turn her down all those times. But, those six years weren’t nothing. The memories still come up daily, and sometimes those bring more sunshine than the sunrise does. Andy needs some air, so he goes on a walk.
He sees the trees glowing golden red. He hears the crunch of leaves beneath his feet. He feels the cold air brush across his cheeks. I should Instagram this. Nothing beats the East Coast in autumn. He sees little kids jumping into piles of leaves. He sees couples walking their Yorkies and Terriers. The sun is setting, and the rays shine between the trees. If only it could always be like this. He loves the atmosphere. He loves how his ears are cold, but his body is all bundled up. It’s so serene. The sound of t—- RIIIINNNNGGG.
His phone rudely disturbs his thoughts. It’s Ucsd again. He picks up, his heart unsure of what it wants.
"Hi, Andy. It’s…uh…been awhile. How’s it going?"
"Uhh… pretty good. You?"
He plays it off. He’s so cool. So frickin cool.
"So, Andy. Whatcha been up to?"
"School and stuff."
"Okay, Andy. I called to tell you, things are different. I’m different. I’m a different woman. You’re a different man."
"I want you back in my life. I promise not to be so clingy. In fact, I’m only asking for 8 hours a week. I know you’re busy with school, but I think this could work out."
She’s right. There’s no reason not to go for it. No reason, except fear.
"I don’t know, Ucsd. You remember how it ended right?"
"I know, Andrew. I know. But, think it ov—"
"You know what? Screw it. Yes. Yes. And a thousand times, yes."
The sun gives its last breath and retires behind the horizon. One by one, lights flicker on as mothers call their children in for dinner. Somewhere, in another part of the world, Ucsd is thinking of him. Andy takes it all in. All is right with the world.
Andy steps off the plane. He is ready. Determined. No more second-guessing this. I’m all in. I’m all in this time, baby. He can’t wait to see her.
On their first date back together, Andy and Ucsd go on a nice sunset walk around a lake. Andy fumbles with something in his pocket and he drops his $1.69 sunglasses from Ebay on the ground. As he gets down on one knee to pick it up, he pulls a little box out of his pocket. He looks up at Ucsd, stares deeply and intently into her eyes, and takes a deep breath. This was a moment six years in the making. He wasn’t waiting any longer.
“What… What are you doing…”
“Ucsd, you’ve made me happier than I ever thought imaginable. You’ve been there for some of the biggest moments of my life, and I want you to be a part of the rest. When I see you, I see home. I see family. You are all I’ve ever wanted. Ucsd, will you make me the happiest man on earth and… be my wife?”
I do. He lets those words echo again and again in his ears. Oh, what bliss. The wedding is wonderful. An outdoor wedding at a quaint colonial cottage on a bright summer day. The church in the distance letting the bells ring in celebration. Butterflies flutter in the sky while doves drop rose petals everywhere. Beautiful. Andy and Ucsd are now one. Andy remembers the day they broke up, and vows to never let that happen again. “I love you,” Andy whispers into his new bride’s ear, “I love you so, so much.”
Ucsd decides she wanted to change her name and take on Andy’s. No longer Sixth, she is now YBC, or more accurately, Ucsd Revelle-Muir-Marshall-Roosevelt-Warren-YoungBin.
Andy puts his ear to her belly. He smiles. Life is simple. Life is perfect.
Footnote: All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblances to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.