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Jane Wan

January 1998

TRUE IDENTITY

Jane Wan, 24, is a student in Singapore. She can be reached at wjane@rocketmail.com

This article is dedicated to a special woman who has changed my life and helped me to discover my sexual orientation. Although I know my true sexual identity now, she is no longer with me to share the love I have for her. While writing it, I cannot help but feel that she is around, holding the pen with me and writing the thoughts that we share together. I still cry over the loss till today. This is written especially for her to tell her that the Love I have for her, shines on her always, like the bright star in the sky.

Getting into a relationship with her is certainly an experience I will never forget in this lifetime of mine. Moving into her world allowed me to explore the various types of feelings and more importantly to discover my true sexual identity.

Her world is characterized by a great amount of sensitivity, inquisitive nature and suspicion. Its peripherals are also encompassed by a lack of security, confidence, fear and other positive feelings that are so essential in making an individual complete.

Although the relationship with her was not long, it allowed me to view her world, to share her world and finally to be in her world.

She is 21 years of age. She is not in any sense an epitome of drop-dead beauty. But what is so attractive about her is that she is real -- very real whether on phone or in person. This unique personality trait attracts me to her quickly like a magnet -- I must say I would fall in love with her if I have full knowledge of my own sexual orientation then.

Long outings with her seem good -- it is a perfect picture when her character unfolds itself. Assimilating into her world seems a little difficult at first for me as I became nervous and shy. But she made it so simple for me that in no time, I am attuned with her and feeling totally at ease.

She is extremely affectionate -- she held my hand throughout our dates, she hugged me ( possibly to death). Under such situation, I can feel that I am loved again but this time, it is a woman loving me. Till today, I like that feeling very much.

I am not embarrassed by the fact that she is showering me with lots of bear hugs and such. In fact I feel very very flattered and with it came mixed feelings inside my head. Despite this, I like every loving feeling she gives me and I crave for it to last forever; possibly to limitless boundaries.

She is very feminine in her own special way despite her tomboyish outlook. I must say she carries her own unique brand of femininity -- the real femininity that I define as the essence of being a woman. She is, in some sense, a `carbon-copy' of me when I was her age. Strong-headed, short hair, tanned skin, sporty outlook, language fluency...she got them all! But above all, she's got a good head on her shoulders and I adore smart women!!! To me, she is perfect.

Caring nature and sensitivity are the foremost things I see in her personality. She knew that I was going through a hard week and she never hesitated to put her arms around me and hugged me for a long time even though many pairs of eyes were staring at us then. But then, it did not disturb me because I was drowned in my own sea of problems and she, engrossed in sending me a hug that I needed so badly....And well, I can love her for just this little kind act. I guess there will be times when even a smile from her could save my life...

Being with her makes you feel that you are well taken care of -- she holds your hand whenever you go, she follows you everywhere, she makes sure you take every little step on the road with care, she carries your business bag knowing that you are exhausted after a day out. She is everything.

But well, good things do come to an end. Like I mentioned earlier on, I don't mind being hugged or holding hands. But I started to feel awkward when she started to kiss me. Although I responded, I kept breaking eye contact from her when our lips met and that irritated her to a great extent. I was confronted for not assimilating into her world; for rejecting her as an individual; for caring so much about how people will think and above all, of being ashamed for kissing a woman. All her thoughts about me were untrue. I just needed time to figure out who I REALLY AM. At that point of time, I questioned myself: Am I really ashamed of her for kissing me because she is a woman? Or, am I just too shy to look at her when she is doing just that? Or ...am I still searching for my true sexual orientation then? The answer is as clear as crystal now. But it is too late for me to do anything.

The world that we built together finally broke apart when I confronted her for that matter. She got very shocked and scared after seeing my reaction (this is the first time she saw another side of me). I saw that in her eyes and the tremble in her voice. In a way, I regretted for being so obnoxious but at the same time I realized something: the supposedly `butched' is now being `butched' by a lesbian with a stronger personality... and ironically the latter came in the form of me. The tension created between us then reminded me of two heavyweight boxers fighting it out in the ring or the clash of the titans.

I actually did regret my action because it proved to be a fatal end for my relationship with her and it disallowed me to confirm my own sexual orientation on stronger grounds with stronger claims. In a way, I see that as a sense of great loss for me because I could have lost one true friend in my life too. I do not see myself as losing a great lover. Rather, I see myself losing someone I was about to know and love (possibly) for the rest of my life.

Her intuitive feelings are strong -- she is a great observer but she is on the other end of the spectrum when she is faced with difficult situations. That will always be a bad feeling for me because it reveals to me her inability to cope with pressures in life and the only solution in her head is to turn tails and run for a safe place to be in.

But otherwise, she is nice -- she praises you for almost everything ranging from you sense of dressing to the platinum frost color nail polish you've got on. She adores you like crazy. She loves you with intensity. Her easy and naïve nature reminds me of a child smiling after being given a candy. I love that cute nature in her -- easily pleased but definitely fallible without a doubt.

The break-up was very ugly -- she sent me email instead of telling me personally. She regards herself as a dream and fantasy for me and that seems to tell me that she is actually living in one herself. She slams down the phone when she is no longer interested. But I took all these in stride knowing and understanding that it is a natural reaction and that is partially my fault too. I do not bear hard feelings towards her and the way she treated me...I understand because all human beings will react in a similar manner and it is not just exclusive to lesbians. But well, my strong-headed personality did not deter me from being the winner in this relationship. I actually re-confirmed this `virtual gold medal' by sending her an email only to scare her further. But I guess even if I do not do so, both of us know just too well who the real winner is at the end of the day.

The perfect lover that she has in mind all along is now reduced to someone she is totally apprehensive and skeptical of. It is like a mirror being smashed into pieces and both of us just stood there frozen knowing that nothing could be done to get it back to its original form. It seems that I am now holding authority in her world and that scares her. Despite her age and her level of maturity, she has got this `child' inside her and that `child' is probably crying because it has misjudged me very badly. But someday, somehow, somewhere, this child will grow with maturity, with age and with more life experiences. I have actually assimilated into her world initially feeling nervous and ended up conquering it.

Although I am no longer in her world, I still crave to see her again. I miss her. I miss her everyday. Despite being the winner, I still regretted for what I have done till today. I felt sorry for treating her badly and actually sent her a virtual card to let her know my true feelings. At the same time, I told her that I am prepared to let her go for the one and only reason -- I Love Her. Although my feelings are not explicitly shown, I am confident that she knows how I feel given the smart capacity in her.

Surprisingly I received a card from her the very same day. Although the card was signed off as `Your Fantasy', it nevertheless is a picture of a heart and attached to it, is the message `Let Love Be Free'. It brightened me up a little for the day because it told me that she did think of me after-all and that she made an effort to get back to me. More importantly, that told me that her fear for me has lessened somehow -- that certainly meant a lot to me. Although we do not express openly our feelings for each other, we know each other inside out and round about -- above all, we know that we love each other dearly, very dearly....

I remembered counting the days or even the seconds of the day before her departure date. I wanted to call to inquire for more flight details but I was just too afraid to.

Although I was not at the airport to see her off, I know just too well what could possibly happen. I visualized myself giving her one last hug and refusing to let go; and raining tears uncontrollably like a mad woman as she walked into the departure gates. I could not bear those thoughts especially the thought that I am going to lose her forever. So, in order not to make life difficult for us both, I decided to think of her all day. I remembered the day when I sat alone thinking of every moment as THAT MOMENT.

If unhappy things do not occur between us and if she is not leaving the country because she is not happy with the life here, I am sure she is a part of my life and I am part of her world. My silly mistakes only serve to make her more determined and confident that her choice of leaving everything behind is no doubt the route to ultimate happiness for her.

I can feel that she is lonely. She seems to be someone who is always alone, doing things alone and most of all being alone. How do I know that? That is because sometimes I feel the same way too. This is certainly something we share very much in common.

It is not a matter of whether one is a lesbian, a straight or a bisexual. Rather, this is an issue concerning simple human needs. Human beings need a sense of touch somehow. We share the same philosophy that human touch is so important yet our closed ones fail to see how important and essential they can be. It can make an individual more confident for all you know.

She certainly craves for all these human touches especially hugs from me. That was her last request when I was with her. The words `Can I be hugged?' still rings in my ear clearly everyday. She need not say much, silence speaks a thousand words -- I know and can sense that she has fallen in love with me and I, to a certain extent, love her. All I ever needed is just time to get things right and to come to terms with my own sexual identity.

Although she has left my life, I still think of her everyday. Sometimes I wonder what she is doing, whether she is thinking or missing me too. In a way, I know in my heart that I have fallen in love with her after all -- I love the soft nature of her. At the same time, I sympathize with her for what she is lacking and her past bad experiences with other people. They were so bad to the extent that they left permanent marks in her life. I feel sad and sorry because I was one of those marks too. This, coupled with other factors, caused her to look for alternatives elsewhere hopefully with the right people. But at the same time, she fails to understand that although she may have left for somewhere else, she has left a part of her with me and taken a part of me with her. That hurts me a lot. I do not think she will ever realize that.

Whenever I walked past shopping malls we used to frequent and the pavements we used to take when she walked me home, my thoughts were always with her -- times when she held my hand and led me through the crowd. I still `stubbornly' choose to sit at the same table we sat together at the café even though it is empty at times when I am there. I still remember our favorite diamond ring in the showcase we saw on our outing -- it is now resting proudly on my finger with both of our names engraved on it. And I wear that with a lot of pride everyday. The ring serves as a reminder of us. Occasionally, I will remove it and look at our names on it. It makes me cry less whenever I look at it. It seems to be telling me that she is by my side all along and has never left me. Above all, it tells me that we have happy memories together and that they are here to stay in my mind always.

Though I feel sad and broken hearted whenever I think of her I still like being reminded of her and feeling her presence everyday in my life. Never did I know that one touch of love from her is a love that will last for a lifetime for me. She may be gone but I have yet to get used to the idea that she went away. I do not think that I ever will.....

She told me that her life is always full of drama but little did she know that she had left me stranded here alone and feeling unwanted with a traumatic experience. Unknown to her, she became a permanent mark in my life too. I was alone again after she left. There was a lot of bitterness in my voice. I feel like crying all the time. In fact, I rain tears everyday not caring whether I am alone or among people. I had a very bad and a hard fall again in personal relationships. I think this is the hardest fall simply because I know that true love is within my grasp and it comes from the one and only HER. I may or may not recover from it. Even if I do, she will be the ONLY good reason for it. But that does not really bother me (at least for now) because I know that I once have her in my heart and in my life. If she ever stopped to be ME for a moment during my 24th birthday and Christmas, then she would know how much she is loved and missed. I missed seeing her, talking to her and hearing her voice.

I consulted a lot of people after everything was over. Majority claim that I have yet to step foot into the lesbian world and their culture. Some dismissed it as a passing phase and that relationship in that world is not secured and definite. Some even go the extent of saying that I am a mere observer of my lover's behavior and that this experience is an eye opener for me and there is nothing more I can read into.

Although I appreciate the diverse opinions, they are all wrong! Although it could be a passing phase, it is well proven that some people remain gays throughout their lives. This is therefore dependent very much on the individual. It is true that relationships are insecure and indefinite but I strongly feel that it applies to all kinds of relationships and not just gay relationships. Lastly, I love her too much to treat her as a subject in any of my research works (I will surely kick myself if I ever do that!). So far, the only thing I will kick myself for is that the card that I bought for her during our outing failed to reach her. Instead, it is locked away safely in my bag because I am just too shy to let her have it and dread the reaction she is going to give me.

The bottom-line is that I know clearly that my sexual orientation has changed its course and she is a catalyst for this change. It is a turning point in my life. My feelings for her have grown and gone intense after she left. I am perfectly capable to feel what she has felt for me earlier on. I am now perfectly aware why her hugs are tighter and her kisses deeper and more passionate as we grow closer. They meant a world to me now...they always will.

If God ever gives us a chance to meet and be together again, I would surely want to make it right. I would want to share the ups and weather the downs in life with her. A friend once asked me what my birthday and Xmas wish was. Without hesitation, I whispered just her name. However it seems to me now, to be a wish that even Santa Claus will find it hard to fulfill this Xmas or even future Xmas to come.

I love her for a lot of things -- I love her brand of femininity. I love the balance she struggles for self-definition in today's world. I love the way she strikes a perfect harmony between muscularity and femininity with total ease. I love her particular brand of magic she generates right in front of my eyes. But above all, I am proud of her sexual orientation and grateful...very grateful to her for helping me out of my closet and discover mine. I will miss all these.

Although I cry everyday since our break-up, I am thankful that she came into my life and softened my hard heart with every movement and word she made. It will be an uphill task for me to forget her totally. It might not even happened because I am a very sentimental person when matters of heart are concerned. I realize now that I could love someone that much in such a short period of time. For now, I know in my heart that my love for her is immeasurable and she is simply irreplaceable. It is just that I failed to realize how much when I was with her. Whatever it is, no matter how she thinks of me now, she is always in my heart...ALWAYS.

Although our relationship is very short-lived, it seems that I know her all my life. I have never experienced this feeling with anyone before. I may not get to experience it again with someone else but at least I am comforted by the fact that she and I shared the same feeling together for once in our lives. I thank her for that and I always utter it quietly in my heart each brand new day. I will miss everything about her.

I may have lost her forever. I may see her again. It is still left unanswered till today. I do not see her absence as a sense of finality for us both. Rather I see it as a goal in my life...something that I want to work for and strive for if we ever meet again.

But I remember her telling me that Love is unconditional....and that Love is free. I Love Her. So I decided to set her free.

* * *

To Her - Yes...we are still the cutest couple around here. You are always a part of me. Je t'aime.


Jane Wan, 24, is a student in Singapore. She can be reached at wjane@rocketmail.com


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