I almost didn't go. I was feeling kinda bummed and anti-social, and unstructured get-social occasions are often very stressful for me. But I elected to stick around since so many of the women's fellowship are leaving the country soon. I stuck around for fellowship, and afterward to go to supper with them.
Yesterday a new guy in Korean class had introduced me to a new pizza place. I suggested that we go there. Ann, one of the other girls, endorsed the place, particularly their garlic bread. So it was off to the pizza place we went.
Since I was the one who knew where it was, I led the way and was the first in the door. So I sat at the furthest seat, which was facing the windows at the entrance. This way I could make room for the others that were following me.
As we were enjoying our pizza, I looked up to see a Korean girl addressing me. "Excuse me," she asked. "Are you Christina?"
"Oh my God! HELEN!"
It was an old student from my old hagwan, a girl I'd tried to contact for two years to no avail. I coudlnt' get any email server to send mail to her account! And there she was, standing in front of me, in the flesh.
I got tangled up in the chairs in my rush to leap up and grab her. We stood there hugging and crying in the pizza place.
Helen had been walking past with some friends, and they'd pointed into the pizza place to say that there were a whole bunch of foreigners. Helen didn't think it could possibly be me; she was sure I was in the states. She called her mother and her mother said that it wouldn't hurt to go in and ask. If the person who looked so much like Christina wasn't Christina after all, no harm done. But if it really was Christina, did she want to miss the chance?
And how did she recognize me? I'm older, and I aged a lot living with my mom. My hair is much greyer. I got it cut. I stopped wearing my contact lenses and went back to wearing glasses. I've changed. But she spotted me.
So many choices would have prevented this reunion. Deciding to go home rather than be sociable. Deciding to eat someplace else. Deciding to sit with my back to the entrance. Helen's friends not commenting on the gaggle of waygooks. Helen convincing herself that it couldnt' be me because I was in America. But there it is. And there she was. I held her beautiful face in my hands. I heard her voice. I gave her my phone number.
She had to leave right away. I found out just now that she was on her way back to class from supper break from an academy she's going to. But we're gonna meet during supper break next weekend. I'll see her again in a week!
What's really freaky is this:
My morning glories have been ailing since I got back from China. I prayed over them this morning, just saying that it'd be a very nice gesture of affection. That part of why I ache for a mate so much is that I want those little gestures of affection, and that I'd really like one and that a miraculous healing for my sick houseplants would be nice.
Instead I got Helen. Who beats a healed houseplant any day of the week.
I'm stunned. Coincidence? I think not.