Sept 12th, I married him.
A week later, we kissed for the last time in months (nearly 6!) and I boarded my flight to return to the land of bibimbap 비빔밥.
I found out later that, while I was crying beside a retired Air Force man of about 75 years of age and gasping in heartbreak, my love experienced his first panic attack.
Now, I know panic attacks. I thought panic attack “victims” were attention-seekers when I was younger. Thought panic attacks were reserved for only a certain type of person (who probably crawled out of a Lifetime movie.) But, a few years after I was raped and had joined the military as a farewell to myself, I experienced my first bout. Absolutely the scariest thing I have ever experienced in my life— so much so that I called my father, who works at an emergency clinic, and told him that I was suffering from the symptoms of some complication with my heart and probably had a weakened aorta or something of the sort and was going to pass soon. He assured me that it was, in fact, a panic-attack.
I dealt with them for about two years before I reached a new chapter in life. Even after I had met my love, I was still trying to drown them away in glitter-filled nights in tiny dresses.
Eventually, like everything else, they drifted away.
So, my love said he had experienced his first panic attack once I left. I was a bit suspicious— he is entirely too stoic for something like that. But, as he described it to me, I knew that it was true. He hadn’t been able to breathe for a few minutes and messaged his sister to help him. He had no idea what was happening to his body at the time.
Sweet, sweet man. I knew he loved me but I never thought he couldn’t live without me.
I’ll be with him forever.