Wednesday, July 16, 2008

our story

This story is not unlike many stories that run along this same vein. Improbable encounters, impossible obstacles to overcome, heroic deeds, all these have a place in this story.  However, perhaps the best place to start a story like this is at the beginning.

A long time ago, a young boy with a reckless childhood named Christian, experienced an even more reckless adolescence.  As he grew older, he discovered that dating had become superficial and shallow, and perhaps if it was fated that superficial and shallow was to be his destiny then this was no destiny at all. 

At the same time, a beautiful young girl named Naomi had grown into a beautiful young woman, and all around her noticed this wondrous transformation.  Her life was a happy one as far as anyone could tell.  She received plenty of attention, except that she didn’t like too much attention.  Instead, she would pick flowers (as flowers like to be picked and appreciated) and take long walks down by the lake where she grew up.  And although, she craved travel, adventure, creativity and discovery, her present situation offered her too many experiences full of idiocy, vanity, disrespect and inconsideration.

Now often in stories of this nature, Christian and Naomi start far apart from each other.  While usually an ocean of dreariness, mendacity or despair separate these types of characters from reaching each other, in this story, it was an ocean literally, the kind made of water—and lots of it.  (Well there was the language barrier, but this is a fairy tale of sorts, so, for now, forgive this very English rendition of these events.)

Decades before these unfortunate events, a man had the crazy idea that all the computers in the whole world should be connected.  No one knows who this man is, but this network of interconnected computers still exists today, known widely as the World Wide Web.

People have been using this “Inter-Web” for all sorts of stuff, like inventing web pages, electronic mail, and iTunes.  There are even people whose jobs on the Internet are to create new meanings for words we already know like ‘virus’ and ‘spam’. 

Now, this sad tale of superficiality, idiocy, disrespect, shallowness, and inconsideration spanned more than a decade, and Naomi and Christian weren’t so young anymore.  In fact, they started feeling less enthusiastic about meeting anyone new, interesting, and exciting.  Date after date, they were forced to laugh at jokes that weren’t funny, to leave for the restroom just to escape boring, one-way conversations, or just to stay at home and grow older as any signs of hope continued to disappear.

In this state of hopeless affairs each of them created an account on LDS linkup just to relieve pressure coming from other friends in their exact situation.  “The online thing is designed to create a false sense of accomplishment—that you are really being active about improving your situation even though you’re really not,” thought Christian. In fact on the other side of the ocean, Naomi gave herself a time limit, one month, before she was to withdraw from the whole online endeavor. 

Luckily it was during this month of exposure, Christian saw a picture Naomi had posted on her page. 

Although he had noticed her beauty, it wasn’t just the picture of her that caught his attention.  Instead, she had posted a picture of herself holding her niece, Aurora.  The caption read something like this:  ‘My niece, Aurora.  The cutest in all the world!’

Well, this was quite a bold declaration, especially since Christian was visiting his brother and sister in-law and had just received his own picture of his niece, Gabby.  Such a claim had to be rebutted immediately. 

Posting an image of Gabby on his page, he sent a message to Naomi stating that although Aurora was cute and playful, her cuteness did not surpass the cuteness of his own niece, Gabby.  This exchange over the “Inter-Web” ignited a conversation that never really quite ended.

At the time, however, the hope that they would ever meet each other, was quite out of the question. There is this thing; it’s called the Atlantic Ocean.  To people stuck on either side of it, it can be rather daunting.  In fact, it can be rather intimidating.  Hopelessness soon invaded and with no other alternatives, they started seeing other people.

Days turned into weeks.  Weeks turned into months.  Christian and Naomi started to write less and less as they started to see other people more and more.  Soon, both of them drifted into other relationships.  However, what each of them found was only the same familiar tune that they had experienced during the previous years.  But writing each other never really ceased completely.

Perhaps it was chance, or good timing, or just a subtle inspiration, but one Christmas Eve, after some time of having not written, Christian decided to write one more time, wishing Naomi a Happy Christmas.  After a quick response from her, suddenly yet quietly, this ocean started to shrink.  The written conversations we’re dramatic, or even really eventful.  Instead, they were honest and trusting.  Each letter was a response to the previous one.  Soon, without even recognizing it, the two of them were building a relationship.  They were sharing with each other through the only means they could. 

As with most writing exchanges, they all lead up the same logical end: “Should we meet in person?”  I mean, it was decided a few months after the increase in frequency of letters occurred that the two of them would meet, most definitely.  In a stunning and bold move, it was Naomi who first risked crossing the ocean.  And it was a good thing she did.  Christian is a bit slower at picking up cues of this sort.

Her arrival in the States marked the beginning of a time these two would remember as the best time of their lives.  After a couple of hours of getting used to each other being there in the flesh, they kissed and everything after that was all-downhill.  They fell in love quickly (perhaps they were already in love?).  In-between trips to the beach and spending days in the sun, marriage was a quick conversation.  As a matter of fact, neither of them can remember when they actually discussed it. 

Naomi introduced Christian to friends with whom she had kept in touch around the same area where Christian lived.  Christian did the same.  These days were spent in the warm sun, at the beach, in parks, walking around reservoirs, and in movie theaters. 

As they spent this time together, smiling quietly, they realized everything had changed.  Hand in hand, feeling loved and relaxed, these two enjoyed each other’s company so much that they started to forget the many years of disappointment and despair.

Christian and Naomi will be married on November 1st, and another adventure will begin.  And the ocean that had separated them for so long, will never stand between them again.

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