She was a student at the University of London. He was a successful, entrepreneur who traveled between London and Seoul. He had homes in both cities. He was an older man and he was her lover.
They met two years ago at a coffee shop over the summer break. He saw her, approached her and asked her if he could share her table. She said yes and when he took plugged in his laptop, she made conversation by asking him what he was working on. He told her and they ended up talking for two hours over coffee and sandwiches. They exchanged numbers and before she left, he asked her to have dinner with him on the Saturday evening. She accepted.
He took her to a fancy restaurant and then to his enormous and expensive loft in Canary Wharf. After they had non-alcoholic wine, he made love to her. Afterwards, he took her home and arranged to see her the following day. They saw each other everyday after their second date. No one know about their relationship. He wasn’t engaged or married. There were times when she couldn’t believe that he wanted her when he could have had any woman he wanted. Before they met, he had been dating a Japanese businesswoman. He ended their relationship the day after he met her at the coffee shop.
Last year for March break, he took her to Paris. They went to the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Palace of Versailles, The Latin Quarter – Luxembourg park, Disneyland Paris and the Eiffel Tower where they enjoyed a very expensive dinner at Le Jules Verne. It was a very unique and romantic experience. Since she was a lover of Impressionist art and was born in St. Thomas, he bought her a copy of The Louvre – March Mist painting by Camille Pissarro and framed it. She hung it over her bed.
Whenever he was in Seoul, she missed him like crazy and tried to occupy herself with other things until he got back. Whenever he returned to London, they went for dinner or to the opera or somewhere nice and then back to his place to make love. By then, she was madly in love with him but had no idea how he felt about her. She knew that he wanted her but she didn’t know if he loved her too. She hoped he did. She was afraid that he would one day tell her that it was over between them or that he would move back to Seoul permanently.
They were in his flat now. They had just finished having Korean Glass Noodle Stir Fry for dinner which he had prepared and were now relaxing on the sofa in the living-room, sipping Korean Plum tea while soft classical music played in the background. “You know, before I met you, I was seriously thinking of moving back to Seoul,” he said. “And now, I can’t see myself doing that.”
“Your moving permanently back to Seoul is one of the two things I was afraid would happen.”
“What was the other thing?”
“That you would one day tell me that it was over between us.” She lowered her eyes so that he wouldn’t see the anxiety in them.
He leaned over and put his glass of tea down before taking hers and doing the same. He took her hands in his, his gaze intent on her bent head. “You have nothing to be afraid of,” he told her huskily. “I’m not going anywhere, not back to Seoul nor out of your life. You’re stuck with me.”
She looked at him then, relief written all over her face. “I’m so happy to hear that,” she told him.
He cupped her face between his hands. “Salanghae.”
“That’s Korean for I love you.”
Her heart leapt in her chest. “I love you too.”
He lowered his head and kissed her. They were soon kissing passionately and then, he broke it off to stand. He reached down and pulled her to her feet. Taking her by the hand, he led her to the bedroom. After he closed the door, he went over to the bed and pulled down the covers. Then, he removed his clothes.
When he was naked, he faced her. She got undressed and then went over to him. He pulled her against him and his mouth sought hers. They kissed feverishly for several minutes before he pushed her down on top of the bed.
As she lay there, he kissed her all over her body, eliciting moans and then he was inside her. She clung to him as he thrust himself against her. The lovemaking was explosive and afterwards, they lay curled up in each other’s arms, trying to catch their breath.
After a while, he raised his head and looked at her. “Marry me,” he said.
She gaped at him. “Did you just ask me to marry you?”
“Yes. Will you?”
“Good.” He rolled on to his side, reached over to take up a small box which was on the bedside table. He opened it and took out the ring. “May I have your hand?” When she held it out, he slipped the ring on.
She stared at it, her eyes welling with tears. “It’s beautiful,” she said.
“Yes, like you,” he replied before he kissed her softly on her mouth. She put her arms around his neck, thinking that life couldn’t possibly get any better than this.