It has always been said that the sun rose every morning just to meet her.
I can still remember the last time I felt the heat of the sun.
Though my world is grey and shades of blue, it wasn’t always. Framed in my mind like a photograph, sunlight beamed in brightly through the window behind her. Her silhouette is the only thing I see.
From just the outline of her face you could tell how beautiful she was. The way she spoke confirmed it. Confident but not shrill. Soft to your ears, yet loud enough that you heard every word.
I was lucky enough to meet Han Cheonsa when she was still in law school. We were nothing alike. I was brash and cocky, taking every opportunity I could to assert myself. She was intelligent in a way where she never had to say so. You just knew. It was impressive how she could twist a professor’s argument to suit her own, and then apologize for doing so.
We met under unexciting pretenses. Partners in a group research paper. Our conflicting styles and ideas led to contention, which became conciliation, which became respect. Reluctant class meetings became casual conversations over coffee, which became boozy rendezvous.
We fell in love.
“You’re my most favorite person Lee Donghae, so I trust you.” she told me while I was away from her, which made me choke from my third glass of champagne. Knowing I’m not the only one who is in love.
After law school Cheonsa ran for public office, and I supported her. Our arrangement worked nicely, I was the sly tactician and she was the assuring figure that you could trust. I watched her climb the ranks.
I watched her garner local attention and dominate town hall meetings. I wrote her talking points and coached her through responses when she made it to the talk shows. First on local channels, then finally on the national circuit.
“Speak softly and carry a big stick.” said Teddy Roosevelt.
She spoke softly, and I carried the big stick. I became a big-time corporate lawyer for some of the largest corporations in the country. I was the one who financed her campaign and encouraged her to run for President. The country didn’t know what had hit it. She was a political force.
She made political pundits and Senators alike look like fools. Soon her face was everywhere. Television shows, advertisements, posters. Yet I still have trouble remembering what she looked like.
All I see is her beautiful silhouette.
Her Presidential career started off as promised. The first woman to be President of South Korea, was the first Mother of South Korea and I was the First Gentleman since The First Lady crown doesn’t up to much on my head.
We never had children but she cared over her constituents like they were her very own. The country flourished at first, the economy ran at full tilt and society became surprisingly altruistic. The fallout came at the beginning of her second term.
Four years of South Korean prosperity had resulted in many enemies abroad. When tensions arose she turned to me for guidance. At this point I had been relegated to a superficial position on her staff.
Rarely making any decisions, but at her side to consult her should she need it. I told her that every Mother needed to be vicious when her brood was threatened.
The radiation affected everyone, and eventually we all had to move underground to escape it. My memory was the first thing to go, then my sight. Even as I dictate this to my computer, I can still feel my eyelids fighting to accustom to the darkness.
It has been 345 days since I’ve seen the sun.
And it has been 345 days since I’ve seen my love.
It has always been said that the sun rose every morning just to meet her. We didn’t realize that it was true until she was gone.
Han Cheonsa was gone.
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