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Ji-Hye and the Station

August 5th, 2014  |  Published in FEATURE, LITERATURE & VOCAB

Photo Credit: Davide U. |

A lot of people think too much even about decisions that should be easy to make. Often this is out of fear of the unknown. And sometimes it just takes one moment to convince us to move ahead, take a chance, and understand that we’re doing the right thing.

Today I saw this National Geographic Photo of the Day and it made me think of this short piece:

Ji-Hye and the Station

Ji-Hye had been walking up and down that bus terminal since 09:00. They were going to meet at 21:30 and head to the airport to catch the next flight to Taipei.

Could she do it? Should she do it? Why did she say yes when she wasn’t sure. “I’m not sure.” So simple. But she wasn’t.

Her parents would be ok. They had her brother and his wife anyway. She would come back often. It wasn’t like she was moving to Vancouver or anything. Seoul to Taipei: two and a half hours tops.

She was an over-thinker, afraid of the unknown, of taking that leap. He made her happy: that time they were on the phone, she said she was cold, he told her to wait 10 minutes, then came by her dorm in the middle of the night, left a teddy bear wrapped in an extra blanket, went back home and sent her a text telling her to open the door. He made her laugh: that time he taped her hanbok to himself because it was way too small for him to fit into and said he was Queen Seondeok of Silla back from the dead just to make her soondooboo for her birthday. He wasn’t a bum and his family had a good business going between their respective motherlands. What was the problem? There really wasn’t one.

He sees her from the opposite side of the terminal. He quickens his pace to catch up to her so that right when she turns around to start back the other way, they can meet close up face to face. “Shock-a-zulu” is what he would say knowing full well it had little to do with the great African leader and only to do with a play on sounds.

Her initial shock passes. Their eyes meet. He kisses her on the forehead not the mouth and at that moment she tells herself to stop being dumb and just goes for it.

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