He announced "I'm going out.." and didn't come home
until the afternoon of the following day.
It was Australia Day in 2009 as Choi waited for his taxi to take him to the airport. He was on his way to Singapore to spend Chinese New Year with his sisters in Jahor Baru. I remember it well because I was watching Gran Torino.
Choi and I had barely spoken to each other since our return from our Christmas holiday in Melbourne. It was an unusual holiday as Choi for the first time had barely spoken to me, instead he spent a lot of time in the bathroom with his phone or going for a walk alone and returning hours later. I knew there was something happening and I began to suspect he was seeing someone else.
The taxi arrived and Choi headed off. As I mentioned, in the last couple of years of our 14 year relationship Choi would spend Chinese New Year with his family alone and I would stay home. He would call me everyday to chat and laugh, but this trip I didn't hear from him at all. I wasn't sure what I'd do because I'd been unemployed for the past couple of years. So I began to make plans and started applying frantically for any job I could find in preparation of Choi's return.
When Choi returned home two weeks later our relationship seemed strained. He would work back late much longer than before until eventually when I spoke to him about anything he'd look right through me and not respond. It was as though suddenly to Choi I didn't exist. It was very painful.
Then one day as I was looking for my old resume I came across the flight information (boarding pass, copies of flight tickets) which Choi had stapled together and placed in the drawer from his recent trip to his parent's home. To my horror there wasn't one, but two and the other was an Asian name, a "Mr". I felt sick upon the realisation that Choi had taken, who I now discovered, his lover with him for Chinese New Year in Malaysia and Singapore.
What would I do? My mind was spinning and I knew I had to act quickly to get my own personal life in order as I'd put it on hold for so many years to help nurture Choi's career.
The following day as Choi showered a message suddenly appeared on his iPhone which was on the table where I was sitting. The message said "... I'm making noodles do you miss me hugz.." I couldn't take the lies any more so I snatched up the phone and waving it in Choi's face demanded to know who this message was from. His response. "it's probably a wrong number, you're just being neurotic"
For the next 3 months those last four words was his standard response to me "you're just being neurotic" He said it so often I began to believe him, even when one Saturday afternoon he announced "I'm going out.." and he didn't come home until the afternoon of the following day.
(to be continued...)