He was a businessman who met and fell in love with a university student. Not one to waste any time, he invited her to have dinner with him. She accepted, flattered by his interest in her. They had dinner practically every night. And afterwards, he took her back to his his hotel suite. He made frequent trips to New York just to be with her.
It wasn’t long before he fell madly in love with her and wanted to marry her but he couldn’t because he was already married and Jee refused to give him a divorce. She claimed it was because she loved him but he felt that she was doing it out of spite. How could woman want to stay married to a man who didn’t love her? Theirs had been an arranged marriage. Fortunately, they didn’t have any children.
Life in San Jose had become unbearable for him. When he was there all he could think about was being with Kecia in New York. She made him happy. She made him forget about his troubles and unhappy marriage. She didn’t know that he was married. He was afraid that she would end their relationship if she knew. He couldn’t bear the thought of losing her. He had to get a divorce. He couldn’t continue like this any longer. Jee was beginning to question his frequent business trips to New York. Once she had even suggested that she accompany him but he managed to discourage her.
If she found out about his affair, she would tell him to end it and he couldn’t do that. He couldn’t live without Kecia. He had to do something about his situation or go mad.
That evening after dinner, he said, “Jee, I want a divorce.”
“We’ve been through this before, Seong. The answer is no.”
“Why won’t you give me a divorce?”
“I’ve told you. I won’t give you one because I love you.”
He sighed, his eyes frustrated as he looked at her. “And I’ve told you, Jee, that I don’t love you.”
“You did once and you will again.”
“I never loved you, Jee.”
“If that’s true, why did you marry me then?”
“It’s what our parents wanted.”
“I thought it was what we both wanted. I married you because I loved you and for no other reason. I have been in love with you since I was fifteen. I thought you felt the same way.”
“I liked you, yes, but not in a romantic way. It’s no use, Jee. I can’t feel about you the way you want me to.”
“Is there someone else, Seong? Is that why you want a divorce?”
He didn’t answer.
“There is, isn’t there? Is that why you’re always gallivanting off to New York?”
“If you won’t give me the divorce, I will simply move out or better yet, move to New York.”
“You can’t do that.”
“Oh, yes, I can. I will not stay in this flat another minute. I’m going upstairs to pack and then I’m leaving.” He turned away.
She ran over to him and caught him by the arm. “You can’t walk out of our marriage, Seong. I won’t let you.”
“You can’t stop me.”
“You’ll be sorry.”
“I’m already sorry.” He shook off her hand and walked out of the room. He quickly packed a suitcase and twenty minutes later, he was walking down the passageway, heading for the front door.
“I won’t divorce you so that you could marry her,” Jee told him as he reached the foyer.
He didn’t answer. Instead, he opened the door and let himself out. He closed it quietly behind him.
In the silence that followed, Jee stood there, numb. She couldn’t believe that he had walked out on her–on their marriage.
After he checked into a hotel, Seong called a trusted friend and told him what had happened between Jee and him. “Is it possible for me to get a divorce even if she doesn’t want one?” he asked.
“Yes. You’ve obviously made up your mind that you want the divorce and even though Jee thinks that she can prevent it, the truth of the matter is, that if one person wants a divorce, it can happen. What you need is a great lawyer and I know just the man for the job. I’ll get in touch with him in the morning and have him contact you.”
“You’re welcome. And you’re welcome to stay with Jane and me.”
“Thanks, Frank. Perhaps, I may take you up on your offer. Goodnight.”
He hung up the phone. Took a shower. He hoped this lawyer would be able to help him. He desperately wanted to be free of Jee so that he could marry Kecia.