I want the love that goes through thousand years and never gives up, the love that comes from a great friendship, the love that can go through the hard times and still bounce back because of our love, the love that can stay strong thousand of miles apart, the love that can take being universes apart and still be in love, that can take death and still love each other. I CRAVE that love.
The idea came to me four years earlier during the first season. There’s an episode [‘Mr. Willis of Ohio’] in which Zoey is out with some friends on a Friday night just being a college kid, and she tries to give her Secret Service detail the slip. When she gets home, Bartlet scolds her and explains that the nightmare scenario isn’t him being assassinated, it’s her being kidnapped. Toward the end of the fourth season, I decided that I wanted to dramatize what I’d only thought of as a hypothetical in the first season. At this point, [executive producer] Tommy [Schlamme] and I were strongly considering leaving the show, so I wanted to make the end of the fourth season special and leave a story in place for whoever was going to take over.
I was interested in the Shakespearean aspect: a king in exile. Once the president has been relieved of his duties under the 25th Amendment, I wanted an opposing leader to take his place. That’s why I needed to get rid of the vice president, as unhappy as I was to lose the actor, Tim Matheson. I wanted part of the friction to be that Bartlet grows unhappy with some of the decisions being made. And I wanted suspicion — will the staff be loyal to the president or the acting president?
I was not writing with John Goodman in mind, but we were incredibly lucky to get him. You need a strong actor, someone who takes the stage as soon as he walks in. I remember shooting his first line, ‘Just breathe regular, everyone.’ There he was, John Goodman, an actor I’ve admired my whole life ever since I saw him play Huckleberry Finn’s father in Big River on Broadway.
I would’ve written that episode whether it was my final episode or not. This was a good story, and good stories are valuable. Leaving The West Wing was really tough for me. I loved the show, I loved my job, and I love everyone I worked with…but this felt like a good episode to leave on. It was dramatic, emotional, and it harkened back to something that had been planted in the first season.
So the people in question are Elli and Zoey. Neither are their real names. Elli is my best friend since I moved to the states for School, Zoey is pretty much a ticking time bomb.
The three of us WERE all roommates (Elli and I finally moved out!) and we were all into cosplaying. Zoey did a lot of anime and manga cosplay (Elli and I were in Love Live Hell for the last couple weeks) while Elli and I did mostly video game and Movie cosplays. Our next con was AnimeNEXT and Elli and I would room together while Zoey roomed with her friends.
Zoey thought it would be a good idea to make a “Historically accurate FemKorea” cosplay from the series Hetalia a few weeks before con. Did absolutely no research, thought any asian culture would be okay to throw onto the costume, completely shut down my thoughts and ideas for it and shouted at me “well its not like YOU’RE gonna wear this!”. Which was true, but as a first generation Korean American who is seeing her culture ripped to shreds all for the sake of a convention, yeah I would say it is my business.
Zoey finally caved and had me help her, I even showed her MY hanboks (traditional Korean Dresses) to get some sort of idea on what could be done. Then about couple days before we all left for AnimeNEXT, I noticed the 3 garment bags that held my hanboks were missing. I asked my roommates and they both said no. I should have gone with my gut feeling but I was so panicked that I couldn’t think straight because those hanboks had a LOT of sentimental value to them and they were one of a kind! Elli convinced me we would look for them after the con.
Saturday of Con, we found them.
At the Hetalia shoot we saw Zoey wearing my cream and fuchsia hanbok incorrectly and disrespectfully with red dots on her cheeks and Chun Li styled hair buns and chopsticks in her hair and flapping around a Japanese style fan acting as if she was the greatest cosplayer here.
Now im furious. I pulled her aside from the shoot and demanded them back. Other Hetalia cosplayers were yelling at me to leave her alone but FUCK THEM.
I fucking had her take us to her hotel room to get the hanbok off her greasy ass and thats when I see them. Two very familiar garment bags. Zoey kept freaking out that those were hers even though the bags have my initials on them IN KOREAN. And there they were!
One Navy blue and gold hanbok with a Star and Moon motif and one Lavender and Lilac purple hanbok with a butterfly motif to it. The very same ones that went missing from my closet.
Remember how I said that the hanboks had a lot of sentimental value to them and how they were one of a kind?
Both my late grandparents made a living by sewing hanboks for both men and women. They were also the ones who raised me since I was a baby. They MADE the three hanboks for me as gifts: the Butterfly one was a High School Graduation Gift, the Stars and Moon one was a farewell gift, and the Cream and Fuchsia one was for my up and coming Coming of Age gift (I’m currently 19). It really hit me hard to see the dresses go missing because they passed away about 4 months ago but I couldn’t be there because of school.
She stole my possessions just to play dress up for a day and did it so poorly that I’m 100% sure my grandparents are rolling in their graves! Pretty damn sure they’re STILL rolling in their graves!
At this point I go off on her! Spit is flying, She’s crying as if she’s the victim, You could hear me scream down the fucking hall, her roommates are trying to make it seem as if it was my fault, etc etc. She ONLY gave them back after I threatened to call the cops and have her charged with theft. and that really freaked her out because I guess she “Can’t go back to jail”. So for the rest of the con, I was hobbled up in our bathroom TRYING to clean the makeup, grease, sweat, general filth off my hanboks. What a way to spend a convention weekend!
Part I It’s been fourteen days since I’ve last written to you. I’m very sorry for that. I’ve actually been really busy lately. I’m on vacation visiting my dear friend Marie. She’s the one that sends me letters in the mail. It’s been lovely staying with her. She’s made me feel at home: making me dinner, buying me gifts, and letting me do all the things I want to do. Lately we’ve been watching a lot of tv shows and movies and reading and writing. It’s a good feeling to be doing things you don’t usually do. It feels productive to me.
I won’t tell you where I am, but I will tell you that I’m still in Texas. I’m a lot more north than usual so it’s very strange to be in a town that has sixty-seven degree weather at the moment. I’m really not used to it at all. I just checked the weather back home - it’s eighty-nine degrees and cloudy. I bet it’s really humid too. I wasn’t expecting it to be so cool here, so I didn’t pack any long sleeve clothing. It’s a wonderful feeling though, to be somewhere different and to not be in ninety degree weather for once. I like being a little cold. I’d rather be shivering than sweating my ass off.
I’ve been here for almost a week now. A part of me doesn’t want to go home, because for once I’m really happy. But the other part of me knows that I can’t be here for long.
I left my problems at home. I feel so stress free, not having to worry about them. Like the fact that my ex-boyfriend is going to Finland. Like the fact that he hasn’t paid our car; I took it away from him and now I have to get it repossessed; It’s going to ruin my credit, but it has to be done; I want to cut all ties with him. Like the fact that I don’t have to worry about work and seeing my case manager. Like the fact that I don’t have to do so many things for my parents. The only problems that traveled with me was my financial ones. I’m running out of money and this trip probably made that worse.
I left the people who don’t care about me at home. Like Voldemort and other people that I thought I could call my friend. Like my friend Diana - She told my ex-boyfriend about Taylor after he and I went to Applebee’s with Josh and Sabrina one day. She was our waitress. She honestly had no right to do that and I don’t understand why she had to keep tabs on me for him. I found this out because one day, when my ex and I were fighting about the car, he had the audacity to bring up Taylor.
He texted me, “Hey. Be careful with your new boy. He’s been around the block. Just because we have animosity between us doesn’t mean I want you to get hurt. Don’t let your guard down. I had class with his twin. And if you think I’m doing this to mess with you, then you obviously don’t know me at all. All I’ve ever done for you is look out for you. Have a nice life.”
This made me so upset. Diana had obviously told him about Taylor because she is the only person that still talks to my ex. It’s so sad that little does she not know that he did nothing but talk shit about her when she didn’t say goodbye to him before she left back to California. Now that she’s back, I thought she and I could be friends again; not after this stunt. My ex can have her and continue being a fake friend.
I wanted to tell him so many things that he didn’t want to hear. I was so upset and hurt and in so much pain. Why does he have to keep up with me? I don’t want him to keep up with me. It’s pathetic. I don’t give a shit about him anymore. Why can’t he just not care about me just the same as I don’t. Instead, he decides to stir the shit pot of emotions that I have locked up inside that want to come out. I just want him to leave me alone. If he wants me to be happy, then he shouldn’t have left when I needed him the most, as a friend.
I just left… Everything. Even the people I do love and that love me back. Like my parents, Josh, Jenna, Angel, and Aaron. That’s the only part of me that does want to go home. I want to go home to my family and my good friends. I miss them very much. They are my light. And I know I can go to them for anything. They keep me strong. I don’t know what I would do without them.
Part II This city I’m in - it reminds me of home. There isn’t much to do and there’s a lot of other cities next to this one. So, if we decide to take a trip to some other town, it takes about twenty minutes.
Like I said, there isn’t much to do, but we are making the most out of my time here. For example, just the other day, she and I decided to take a drive to a neighboring city to walk around the mall there. I bought myself a Dragonball Z statue of Teen Gohan from GameStop. It was an early birthday gift to myself - it’s a few weeks away. I also bought myself a a face serum from Sephora. We were at the mall for over an hour.
When we were done window shopping, we rode to Best Buy so I could buy a new screen protector for my phone. I was lucky enough to find the last one there.
Then, we went to Staples so Marie could buy some blue ink for her new pen. That’s also when I bought my first calligraphy pen. When she saw it, she said I had to buy it because I’m a “writer” now. Am I? So I bought it.
Afterwards, we walked to a Barnes and Noble that was nearby. That’s when I bought my first journal. Marie said I should get it so I could write down all my thoughts. So, I did.
Later, on our way back home, we stopped at a Panera Bread. I had never been there before and Marie really wanted me to try it. I wanted to try something new, so I thought - why not?
She parked the car and turned to me. “Do you want to take down your book so we can read when we’re done eating?”
“Yeah, sure. That sounds like a good idea,” I said, smiled, and continued. “Hey. I can take my journal too. Maybe I can write about what we’ve been doing today.”
“Oh my gosh. Yes. You should!”
With excitement, I grabbed my newly purchased journal and a book called The Reason by Lacey Sturm and walked into Panera Bread. I’ve had the book for a good eight months now. I haven’t bothered finishing it because I get so lazy. I do hope to finish it soon.
I walked in with Marie and was a little confused with the set-up. They had kiosks on the side so people could order their food themselves.
“Do you want to use these so we can look at the whole menu?” Marie asked and pointed at the high-tech looking kiosks.
“Yeah. I know I’m probably going to take a long time deciding anyway.” That comment ended up being very true. I didn’t know what I wanted to eat. I also didn’t want to try something too risky. But I also didn’t want to try something safe. I was so indecisive. There was so many options.
After about five minutes of thoroughly navigating the menu on this ten inch screen, I figured out what I wanted to eat. I decided on a turkey and ham sandwich with a few vegetables and a cup of chicken noodle soup on the side. I also ordered a papaya green tea that turned out to be very delicious.
Marie and I sat down by the window secluded from other people. In fact, we were alone for a good twenty minutes in the section we chose to sit at until some lady and her daughter decided to dine-in a few tables away. It didn’t take long for our food to come out. Within ten minutes, an employee brought out our meals. The sandwich waiting to be eaten by me looked so delicious and the soup was still steaming hot. I took my first bite of my panini - God, I was right. Delicious! The soup was just as good.
Marie got a turkey bacon club on a croissant bread with a broccoli and cheese soup. I didn’t try her sandwich but I did try her soup. It was sadly better than mine. I knew I should’ve gotten that one instead when I was being so indecisive at the kiosk. Didn’t matter; I enjoyed my meal nevertheless.
When we finished our meals, Marie started reading a book called A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller and I started writing in my journal. I wrote about our day, which I have already mentioned to you earlier. Then I started to read the book that has been on chapter six for the past eight months. I only read one chapter while I was there. I would’ve read more, but we had to leave if we wanted to take a walk at the park before sunset. So, I closed my book, took my journal with my first entry in it, and left with my best friend back to her apartment. I guess I should start calling it home. For now…
Part III I will admit that it feels a little strange to be so far away from home. I haven’t traveled alone (without family or a boyfriend) in about six years. The farthest I’ve driven alone was San Antonio when I wanted to visit my lesbian friend Renee.
Irregardless of the fact that this city reminds me of home, it definitely doesn’t feel like it - I’m surprised I haven’t had an anxiety attack. As I said earlier… I miss my parents. I miss my dog Zoey. And I miss my friends - especially Josh.
I felt really bad that I left the day before his birthday. So, to make it up to him, (before I left) I bought him a cute birthday card and wrote him a note. I also wrote him a two page letter and sent him some money. I left it in my mailbox and thankfully it was delivered to him the next day. He was really happy and surprised to get something like that from me. He only read the card on his birthday. Josh said that he was scared to read the letter because he thought it said something bad, like that I was moving away for good and wasn’t going back. Thankfully, I don’t intend on that. I do want to go back home, eventually.
Just yesterday, two days after his birthday, he finally read the letter. He thought it was really sweet and it made him smile a lot. His girlfriend wanted to read it too, but he didn’t let her. She just read the card, and when she did she said to him, “Dude, I think Alex is in love with you.” He laughed and said that we are only friends.
I am in love with him… But, I know I can never be with him. I’m just grateful to have him in my life as a wonderful friend than not at all. I care about him too much and I don’t know what I would do without him. He’s always been there for me when I needed him. I couldn’t ask for anyone better. He makes me so happy, and he doesn’t even have to try.
I didn’t think the card was enough. On my way over here, I stayed in San Antonio for a night because I didn’t want to drive straight here on the same day. While I was there, I stopped at a few stores at North Star Mall. I went to this novelty shop called Think Geek. I found a lot of Rick and Morty stuff that I got for his birthday. I don’t plan on sending them to him, because I want to see his face when I give them to him. I also bought him an animated movie called Princess Mononoke and had it sent to his house. He just got it today. He was so surprised.
He texted me. “Oh my god Alex! How many things did you buy me?”
I replied. “Why?”
“I got the movie. Thank you Alex. Oh my god.” He was obviously speechless.
“Aww. Do you like it? Did it make you smile? It got there quick! I just ordered it on Sunday!”
“Yes. Of course! I love this movie.”
“I got you a lot more things. But I won’t send them to you. I want to see you open them.”
“Oh my god. You’re insane.”
“You love me.”
“I do,” he confirmed.
That made my heart clench. He’s so cute. I missed him so much that I had to ask him if he could FaceTime me. We didn’t talk until late in the night because he was busy playing a raid on Destiny all day. So to kill time, I started watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I with Marie. In the middle of the movie he finally called me on FaceTime. I paused the movie, walked to the blow up mattress that was behind me, and answered him.
The phone took a while to connect us. After a moment of looking at a black screen, I saw his face for the first time in a few days. I know it seems pathetic of me to say that I missed it because I just saw him last week, but I can’t help but want to always see him. He was shirtless and I could see that he got a haircut. It looked nice and clean.
“Hey Josh,” I said with a big smile.
“Hey Alex,” he replied and mirrored my smile. His smile is so crooked and his teeth matched it just the same. He doesn’t like his smile, but that’s what I love the most about him. Then it’s his eyes. He looks tired all the time, but somehow I’m attracted to that.
“Your hair looks good! I like it.”
“Oh. Thanks. The girl that was cutting my hair messed up the back. She was annoying me”
I couldn’t help but giggle. “What? Why do you say that?”
“Because. She wouldn’t shut up. She just kept on talking and talking. She wouldn’t shut up!” He repeated. “I literally just wanted to tell her, ‘Bitch. Shut up and just cut my fucking hair.’”
I bursted out laughing! Josh was on speaker so Marie heard what he said too. She was laughing just as hard as me. I couldn’t catch my breath. Then when I was just about to, I’d turn to Marie to catch her still laughing! This, of course, made me laugh even more…
“Why are you laughing?” Josh asked. He laughed and then continued, “If Marie is telling you things about me then you need to tell me. What did she say? Why are you laughing?” He repeated.
I took another moment to catch my breath and gather my thoughts. “She didn’t say anything. We’re just laughing at what you said! It was so funny!” My stomach started to hurt from all the shrieking giggles. It was the good kind of hurt though.
“Alright. I guess Alex,” he said as he gave me that compelling stare of his.
The rest of the conversation was mostly about his day and mine. Like what I’ve been doing lately while I’ve been away. I told him that I’ve been writing a lot - physical letters. I told him about my adventure to the neighboring city. I told him how I’ve been feeling. And how Marie and I have been doing a lot of cute things together.
He told me his girls weren’t there which was odd because it was a Monday. Usually, they are back by Sundays from the mom. He also mentioned that he got written up at work because someone decided to show up two hours late to cover his shift. The managers knew he wasn’t going in and this girl, the one that took over his shift, knew what time he had to work and decides to show up late. Then he’s the one that gets written up? I don’t see how that was fair.
A few minutes later, the conversation started to die out. We had nothing left to talk about. Coincidentally, he got a phone call from his girlfriend. “Hey. Sabrina is calling me. I have to go.” Josh said in a rush.
“Alright Josh. I’m glad we were able to talk tonight.”
“Me too Alex. I love you. I’ll talk to you later.”
“Love you too. Bye-bye.”
I hung up my phone with a smile. It wouldn’t go away. I almost forgot I was with Marie. She was quietly watching videos on Instagram on her phone. I got off from the air mattress and walked up to the empty chair by the bar. I looked at Marie, gave her a smile, and she gave me one right back. She didn’t say anything - she didn’t have to.
I hovered my hand over the computer to press play as I asked her, “Are you ready?”
“Yas queen,” she said.
We both laughed. I pushed play and we continued to watch the magical world of Harry Potter until the night ended…
Part IV I don’t know when I’ll be back home. When I leave here, I plan on going to visit my friends in Austin. My good friend that would like to be referred to as Fisto Roboto said I could stay at his place for a few days. I asked him last week if I could go visit him and stay at his apartment. He never replied, but the next day he sent me a Snap of him in a cap and gown. It was graduation day for him.
I sent him a message on Snapchat. “Oh my god. You look so freaking cute! Congrats! I hope you have a wonderful day.”
He replied. “Thank you so much! I hope you have a great day too!”
I thought it was really strange that he sent me a photo on Snapchat, but not reply to my text the day before. Was he ignoring me? Did he not want me visiting him? I didn’t bother asking him again because I didn’t want to be annoying.
To my surprise, a few days later, I noticed that my text never went through to him while I was at Panera Bread with Marie. That’s when I saw that my iMessage didn’t go through and my send button turned green.
I decided to send him a message on Snapchat again.
“Hey! Is your phone not working? Or do you not have an iPhone anymore?”
“No iPhone,” he responded.
I felt a little relieved. “Oh. No wonder. I texted you last week! I wanted to ask you something!”
“What is it?”
“I’m not sure if I should ask. I don’t want to be annoying.”
“Don’t be afraid to ask me something silly boy. Just say it.”
I got a little nervous as I typed out the words. “Well. I texted you because I wanted to know what you’re doing the weekend of June 2nd.”
“Hmm. I don’t have any plans. What’s up?”
“I was hoping I could stay over for a few days if you weren’t busy. You can tell me no!”
“Haha. Yeah of course! You know you’re always welcomed here. On June 2nd, I’m free after 5:00pm. Now that I’m done with school I have a lot of free time.”
“Oh my gosh. Okay! That’s awesome! We can go to the arcade and go drink!”
“That sounds like a lot of fun.”
“Yes it does. Let me know if anything changes!” I was already getting so excited to see him. Given our history, I’m expecting something to happen with him, but sadly, he has a girlfriend.
“Alright. I will!” The conversation ended there.
Today, we continued that conversation. I texted him. “Fisto Roboto.”
“I just wanted to tell you that I hope you have a great day today!” I like to send cute messages like that when I’m thinking about someone a lot.
“I hope you have a great day too!”
“Alex. When are you planning on staying?” Oh no. Something must have come up. Why would he be asking me otherwise? Ugh. I knew it was too good to be true.
“June 2nd! Why?? I can go a little before or after? My schedule is really flexible.”
“June 3rd and 4th: Campfire and wedding proposal to attend.” I knew it. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to stay.
“Oh! Alright. Should I go a few days before then? Maybe the 31st of May?”
“I’m saying you’re invited too, if you’d like to go. Haha.”
I dropped my jaw. I was in utter shock. I couldn’t believe he was inviting me! Why isn’t his girlfriend going? I thought.
“Oh! Okay! That sounds so fun! I’ll go!”
He never replied after that. I’m honestly really curious now to know if he’s still with his girlfriend or not. I’m anticipating so much to happen if he and I decide to go drinking and he somehow accidentally gets drunk. I also wonder where I will sleep when I stay with him. I wonder if he’ll let me sleep on the same bed as him… I don’t want to sleep on the pull out sofa-bed in his living room. I like him a lot and think he’s so cute. I know I won’t let the opportunity go pass by if it decides to be offered to me. And by “it” I mean his body. It’s getting me excited just thinking about it. I want to be with him already. I guess I’ll have to wait and see what happens when the time comes.
For now, I will continue to be stress-free. For now, I will continue to have a good time with my best friend. For now, I will continue to keep writing about my life. All these things are too calming for me to give them up. I need to take advantage of this moment, because I know when I get back home, all the problems that I left behind will still be there. Waiting for me… Waiting to tear me apart again.