[ good old fashioned lover boy – queen ]
“Ma, I found a letter oh.” Young Minji said, and Minjeong’s brows furrowed as she wiped her hands upon the dusty cloth she’s using as an apron while she’s cooking lunch for her daughter, and a smile immediately appears upon her lips as she reads the preliminary contents.
She recognizes the handwriting to be of someone familiar, someone she spent a lot of fragments in her past, the past that seems so far away now, but she smiles as she reads the contents of that letter that is in her hands right now, her daughter watching her with an amused smile.
4th of January, 1989
Courtesy of Doll Writing Services – Ms. JuLia Jisu Choi
Client: Katarina Jimin Yoo
Dearest, My Love.
The stars remind me of you. As I stare at it, writing this letter in a paper I found somewhere to stare these thoughts of mine, for I am a forgetful soul and you know that well – as usual, I would have Lia type this off on her parchment paper and a typewriter she uses for work, and a few coins would due the trick to keep her silent.
Anyways, back to the main thought of why I write a letter for you again, even though I know it might get lost in circulation: I find myself falling in love with you again, even if I only saw you once and you’re already so far away. You are the most beautiful woman I had ever seen, and it pains me to think that it would take a while before I could go to where you are – but even if you do not write back, I hold on to the fact that I might have made such impression to you.
I hope I do; otherwise I might have just lost fifty coins down the drain, doing that stunt of buying you coffee only for you to never even remember me in the slightest.
But I do hope you write back. It is something that I’ve been waiting for after a long time, after I’ve told you about how to reach me although I do not think you heard it through the commotion of this café that I had met you in, but I hope that this letter reaches you well with my intentions, and because I do have something else to say to you.
Happy birthday, my love. I keep blaming myself for I had forgotten to ask your name in my haste to leave such impression to you, but your face is etched upon my mind because of the minutes that I spent staring at it like a creepy stranger – I hope you don’t mind. I find your birthday special, because it is a dawn of a new year, a new start, and I hope I can take this moment as a sign that I can spend my new year with you.
I’m running out of paper to write, and Lia would not take kindly if I make her write a very long letter with just a few measly coins that I could give, so I think that I would cut this letter short and resume it for another time.
I hope this can reach you, my beautiful love.
P.S. What if I call you Winter? Because I met you in that season? Nice, right?
Minjeong broke from her daze as she heard the timer going off so suddenly, signifying that the meal is done, and in a hurry she serves plates of the lunch to her daughter who is waiting at the table, her other hand holding the letters that her daughter had found securely upon her left hand, not letting it get damaged or even just wet because of her antics in the kitchen.
As her daughter left for school, her promising that she would tell of her story in the past with those letters, she proceeded to read another one, this time going on some months later after the last letter.
8th of June, 1939
Courtesy of Doll Writing Services – Ms. Julia Jisu Choi
Client: Katarina Jimin Yoo
I’m sorry that I have not found the time to write again, because everything had been very hectic and very rushed, and Lia had been all around the country, writing for everyone else who needed her services, but I do not mind it, because after months of waiting, I can finally send my beloved a letter of my feelings.
You must have not found the letter I sent from before because you have not sent any form of reply, even a small note would suffice, but I am not one of complaints; I would still continue to wait for you, waiting for your reply, waiting for you to see me. I do not know yet when I could find you, because I do not know where you are, but with faith I know that I can find you, because I know deep in my heart that you’re someone who saw me that day, someone who saw me through my clumsiness and through the coffee that I had offered you.
Thank you, Winter, although I still do not know your name, because you had been one of the reasons now that I look forward to such mornings, and I certainly look forward meeting you again in person.
Attached here is a necklace that I had bought with the fifty coins that I had earned back, I do hope that no one would open this letter other than you and claim the necklace for their own, because it is only yours; it is a token of my love for you, and I hope it reaches you safe.
My Winter, you still remind me of stars. Shining bright upon the sky, although far away, and I’m desperate to reach you soon.
She remembers and laughs about the first time she had received those letters, for a doll writing service office had posted upon the bulletin boards at the time that they were trying to find someone that matches her description and her characteristics, although she had already cut her hair too short after the time that she had that woman had met, but she was able to claim those letters that came for her easily.
She remembers the woman, who had fervently sent those letters for her, not knowing that they were in the same city, after all. Minjeong never left, and that woman was the reason.
And so she found herself rummaging through the closets, through the attic even, trying to find a copy of the letter she had sent herself to the woman after she received that necklace of hers:
There. In her own handwriting, and the typewritten version attached to it with a neat pin, she remembers she had wanted it to be two copies, one for that woman and for her own self, although she does not remember why she had wanted a copy of her letter that seemed so cheesy and cringy to her.
10th of June, 1989
Courtesy of Doll Writing Services – Ms. Ryujin Shin
Client: Minjeong “Winter” Kim
Hi, Ms. Yoo.
I’ve finally received your letter.
Sorry, it took such a long time; I did not have the intuition to look at the doll writing services a long time after you and I had met, but rest assured that I had proved to the women or the “dolls” in the office that I am the one that you are looking for, and the one that you had sent letters to; I had received them all, even if they are just only two.
I remember you that day. In fact, you’re the only one that I remember seeing and interacting with that day, because you’re someone who had struck such impression upon me that everyone or everything else pales in comparison, and although I confess that I am not particularly fond of coffee, I find myself drinking it while laughing at your antics – then I wonder why we’ve never met again.
Every night I dream of meeting you again, although I do not really know why; but I will wear this necklace that you had given me in earnest, keeping it close to me while I wait for another letter that you will send, a letter that I find myself smiling to, a letter that would make my day.
To my Katarina, you remind me of the moon. I sit beside you in the night sky, and your moonlight makes me calm. I wish to see you again, though not now.
Minjeong internally cringed as she sat down upon her work from home office, finally finding all of the letters that they had exchanged throughout the months and the years, fixing it so it’s all in order from the dates, and there she started to read the next entry, a smile upon her face as the memories from that past came rushing through her mind, replaying earnestly while she reads ever letter that was made from ink.
15th of June, 1989
Courtesy of Doll Writing Services – Ms. Julia Jisu Choi
Client: Katarina Jimin Yoo.
Great Heavens, you’ve replied! No words can express my overjoyment and happiness upon going into the doll office just because my feet had taken me here, and my smile immediately widened as Lia had told me that there was a letter waiting for me, and not that it is the first time that I had received a letter, it is a letter from you.
Yes, I am holding on to that promise, alright? I really want the both of us to meet again, and I am sure to look forward to that day, knowing that someday we would be given a chance to meet again, and now I know your name.
Minjeong Kim. Such a cute little name, a name that would surely be etched in my mind for a long time, and I am glad that the necklace I had given you had reached you safely, and I am also overjoyed that you decided to wear it while waiting for us to meet – I’d be glad to give you many things when we finally meet, and none of that would be coffee, as you apparently dislike it.
My Winter. You have given me warmth from the harsh cold of winter, and that warmth had finally graced me again through a letter that you had sent, through a letter that I look forward receiving from you again.
Minjeong smiled as she skipped through some of the letters, only finding it to be of the two of them updating about each other’s days (Minjeong remembers how she had always saved some coins through her shift being a caretaker of a café just so she can go to the doll writing services once every two or so weeks to send a letter to that woman), and it was through her that Minjeong felt calm, felt grounded throughout the day.
She found herself looking forward to every letter sent, every gift that she had been given, searching through markets up and down the city for a gift that she would give to the woman who had kept her life better, and soon gifts weren’t enough.
Letters simply weren’t enough.
It was their own form of communication, yes, but soon, after many months and already a year of conversing through letters they send three or four times a month, Minjeong knew it was time.
It is time for us to meet, Katarina, is what her letter had been sent with at one time, and Minjeong remembers how Katarina had not sent a letter long after that; she feared that she may have kicked the bucket upon this special relationship of theirs, that she may have spooked this woman, but all the fears disappeared when she received an empty letter bearing a ticket to the grand opera ball being held in the city.
Seems like Katarina had plans.
Write my letter
Feel much better
And use my fancy patter on the telephone