More than a decade ago, I “fell in love” for the first time in my life. I use the term lightly, since as a twelve year old girl, I had no idea what romantic love felt like (nor do I know as a twenty-three year old woman, but that’s besides the point).

I walked into my homeroom on the first day of 7th grade, saw S, and bam. I was hooked. I eventually became friends with S, while still harboring feelings of intense attraction and adoration. I wrote more than a dozen poems about my feelings toward him (which I am in the process of digging up at the moment).

About a year into my crush, I told S that I liked him. A week later, he asked me out, but I said no because I knew he did not feel the same way about me. S promised to ask me out again if he ever liked me as a girl as opposed to a platonic friend.

Two months later, I transferred schools.

Needless to say, the memory of my “first love” remained tragic, in the sense that it was unrequited, and entirely romanticized since there was no falling out or disillusionment. My crush lasted the year and a half I spent at Korean public school, before transferring to an international school.

Or so it remained for years, nearly a decade.

Six days ago, almost a decade after I had last seen S, I grabbed dinner with him and a mutual friend. In the beginning, it was incredibly awkward. We were all uncertain of what to talk about. The conversation lulled to a stop many times, and I felt uncomfortable for the entirety of the meal.

To be perfectly honest, it was one of the strangest experiences of my life. Back in 7th grade, we lived in the same world, same neighborhood, with the same education, same school, etc. Our lives were somewhat similar. But ten years later, I live a life as a college graduate with her own apartment who is planning to go to graduate school for social work and has just finished a job at an Ivy League school. Ten years later, S is a high school graduate who still lives at home, works at a bar and wants to open his own bar in the future. I don’t mean to say there is anything wrong with it not going to college or anything. If you know college is not your thing, it’s a huge waste of money to attend one, so I think it’s great he knew not to do that. And yet I could not help but marvel at how much our lives changed and differed. I don’t know if we could be any more different. While we were playing catch up, I began to feel weird about how drastically different our lives were.

It felt like we had nothing in common.

Except for our memories of 7th grade.

Towards the end, I brought up the fact that I liked S. He didn’t seem to remember my confession of liking him many many years ago. He said he had a feeling that I liked him, but he did not remember my telling him at all. He did tell me though, that he was initially interested in me too. He said he remembered seeing me on the first day of classes and thinking that I was cute…until he later saw me arguing with my English teacher about something and decided I was strange or crazy (hard to translate).

Anyway, when we began to reminisce, our conversation seemed less forced. He brought up our school retreat and the talent show.

He sang this song called “Timeless” by SG Wannabe at our school talent show, and the tragic love story in the song reminded me of my tragic unrequited love. Every time I heard the song after that night, I thought of him. There was a period of my life, from eighth grade to six days ago, when I walked out of the room whenever this song played because it made me sad (the song is part of the PS of this blog post).

After dinner, S, mutual friend, and I all went to karaoke. We sang for two hours. And towards the end of the first hour, I looked at S jokingly and said that he should sing “Timeless.” He laughed it off, but half an hour later he did.

And when he did, I didn’t feel the sadness I used to feel.

Instead I remembered just how much I liked the song. I remembered how much I liked S. I stopped feeling weird about how different our lives were, because S is and forever will be part of my story. The song made me remember what it was like to be an awkward middle school girl with her first real crush. It reminded me of what it was like to feel such intense like for the first time.

Hearing the song reminded me of the girl I used to be and the boy I used to like. I am forever grateful for S. I am indebted to him in ways that I can’t possibly repay, because he is the first person to ever make me feel that way. He was one of the few things about Korean public school that I liked and helped me forget the fact that I was bullied for being “American.” He made me a writer in ways that I can’t explain.

It was nice to remember the 7th grade Eunice.

The memories of 7th grade, the memories of that girl, will forever be timeless (corny, I know).



PS- “Timeless” by SG Wannabe

This is the music video – which is super long because it’s like an actual story, like a mini-movie. Just warning you, it’s pretty sad. I just cried a lot a little bit after watching this.


This is just the song, if you just want to listen to the song.

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