On Being Apart

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3000 Miles Between Us

Gee asked me, when I told her that I was going to drive her to Seattle— 3000 miles away, why would I do it? I told her, as I came to know her, I just wanted what would make her happy. That because she had her mind set on going to graduate school at Seattle University, I would help her do it, even if it was something I really didn't want. I also said I was helping her because I never wanted her to be able to say that she should have gone to Seattle and that it was because of me she never did.

I guess a lot of this has to do with my philosophy about love— as I told Gee many times, I loved her because she was Gee. It took her a while to realize that I meant exactly what I said— that I loved her because she was Gee— not for who I wanted her to be, not for who her family was, or who her friends were or for any other reason. It was the first time that she had ever run into someone who loved her unconditionally.

It took me four days to drive back to Northern Virginia. The drive back wasn't much fun, as I was fighting a cold most of the way back, and I missed Gee, who was now my fianceé, terribly. I called her every night. It was strange not having Gee around. Over the course of the past month, I had gotten very used to being with her and having her around. Once I got back, I took Michele, Gee’s little sister, out for dinner a week or so after I returned. For dinner, I had decided to take her to the Cheesecake Factory, up in the White Flint Mall— Gee had told me it was one of Michele’s favorite restaurants. I drove over to pickup Michele, who now lived a few blocks from the apartment Gee and she had previously shared. As we were driving to the restaurant, Michele said, "We don't have to go to the Cheesecake Factory, It’s a pretty long drive just for dinner." She then looked over at me and I glanced over at her, and she shook her head and said, "Oh, never mind," just realizing that she was talking to someone who had just finished driving 6,000 plus miles to move her sister to Seattle.

Getting back to work, it was hard for me to concentrate fully on my work. I was looking forward to November, since my boss, Joe, and I had already discussed my travelling to Seattle to setup our remote newsroom for the 1999 WTO Ministerial Conference. The month of October went by more slowly than I would like. Gee and I were in contact almost every day— we chatted via the internet, we IM'd each other, we e-mailed each other and we spoke on the phone. One of the things I had built for Gee, as a gift, when she moved to Seattle was a personal computer.

Gee and I had already discussed when we were going to visit each other. I was planning on going out for almost three weeks, starting around Thanksgiving, courtesy of my work. She was going to fly out for Christmas in Boston, then we would drive down to Washington, DC as I had to work New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day— as I was heading up our Y2K bug watch. We would then head down to see her family after New Year’s and stop to visit Woo on our way back.

It turned out that I would see Gee earlier than I expected. She had decided to fly out for Columbus Day. She had decided to come out to see some of the reception halls that we had been discussing for our wedding. I guess it hard for the bride-to-be to be 3,000 miles away from where the wedding is going to be when she’s trying to plan it. I was probably more involved in planning our wedding than most grooms-to-be— but I had to be, since she was so far away.

Gee decided to surprise me in January and fly out for a weekend. She didn't tell anyone else that she was going to be in Virginia as she wanted to spend the time with just me. I don't think she even told her sister Michele. In February, I arranged to fly out for President’s day weekend. We celebrated her birthday a bit late, but she didn't want to celebrate it until I got out there. I was out there for work again.

In late February, Gee called me and told me that Michele was coming out to visit her in March. She also told me the reason Michele wanted to visit in March, was to see Seattle and British Columbia while Gee was still living there. Gee then told me she was planning on moving back to Virginia and asked if it would be okay to move in with me when she came back. I was very excited and we planned the move back.