The days of Hibiscus & Rose
As children, we’re eager to grow up fast. We anticipate that life as an adolescent or adult will bring a multitude of high-class career opportunities which will allow us to own whatever we please whenever we desire it. At such times of immaturity we assume that life events will come and go so effortlessly and are guaranteed to take place; oblivious to obstacles which can unexpectedly be thrown our way. Don’t blame their angelic minds. It’s much more comforting to pretend that life’s path will be a simple one. Ignorance is bliss.
May had become inclined to using social media as a way of seeking validity; convincing herself that her self-esteem and self-worth could be positively heightened through the purpose of helping others out politeness or purely as a deed of friendship. Perhaps making online friendships with people from all corners of the world could pass the time of reality, a reality where her popularity was beginning to diminish. She abandoned her hobbies that involved literature and creativity to work her way toward getting an average practical job as a Teaching Assistant. Mainly due to her age, May’s capabilities in her work life were underestimated, making her feel more important to strangers through social networking rather in the ‘real world’.
She had adopted a habit of using a photo sharing social networking site right up until the moment of unbearable tiredness. Nightly, she’d scroll through hundreds of photos of people’s lives that seemed much more intriguing than her own.
On one particular December night, not long before Christmas, she came across a grainy yellow tinted photo of a person laying in bed with both of their arms crossed over their face. At first it wasn’t identifiable whether the person in the photo owned the profile of not. Out of curiosity May, proceeded to explore the contents of the mysterious stranger’s photo account. They had mainly posted photos sourced from the internet: some sort of drawings had been used symbolically along with metaphorical captions. Not all of the photos had English captions, some in Korean, French and Japanese. From the captions that she could read, May instantly felt a connection with the stranger. Nothing like this had happened before. She wanted to know more specifically who this person was. Where was he from?
There was only a few photographs of the person who could possibly be the owner, the writer of the words she could emotionally relate to. Undeniably he was very handsome. He had thick black hair, brown almond-shaped eyes, and a blemish free pale looking complexion. He didn’t wear a smile, his written words spoke his emotion for him. His appearance wasn’t what drew her to him, it was the way he expressed his thoughts and feelings; a physical representation of him merely gave her a visual imprint in her mind of whom she could put a name too.
She hesitated to press the option which would allow her to continue to view the stranger’s profile each time he posted a new monologue; expecting that he wouldn’t take an interest in her as she did for him. May’s finger hovered over the ‘follow’ button, it took a few moments of self encouragement before he finger finally pressed it. She was assured that she would just view his scriptures in his shadow: unknown or forgotten.
As the sun broke through the gap between the magenta curtains May, woke up to a weekend of rest. It was around 8:30am, her first thought of the day was the urge to grasp her phone once again. Slipping her right arm out from underneath the warmth of the duvet, she blindly fumbled for her phone which was half slid beneath the bed stand. The phone illuminated with notifications from her favourite social networking app; to her surprise some messages had been left from the seemingly artistic man named Jun. His messages were simple sentences which he had probably repeated many times beforehand to others, yet despite this awareness her head replayed the compliments enabling her to produce a smile. A little too easily she lost all self-respect, playing into his hands like a flower leaning toward the sunlight.
Over the course of the next couple of days, May and Jun sent messages back and forth for hours at a time. Nearer the end of December, the messages became less frequent. They wished each other a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, but nothing much more.
The days of the new year, began to fly by; they were a little exhausting to May as she had been concentrating on her work life and trying to keep in contact with some college friends. For the most part, she was unaware of Jun’s daily life; only being notified of his passion for jazz piano and all things creative and that he had had a few unsuccessful relationships that year. From time to time they would again chat via texting: texting sessions which would last almost all day long. Although their contact wasn’t regular, a kind of trustworthy friendship was starting to bloom, resulting in May thinking more often about Jun.
Another new year came around, by then the two were comfortable enough to confined in one another of the ups and down that they were experiencing in their lives: eventually progressing to a somewhat flirtatious ‘friendship’. No matter of the distance between England and South Korea, the two would soon embark on a new chapter of their relationship.