My Heart in Tokyo

In search of a place where my heart could feed in ways I was hungry for, I travelled to Tokyo, one crisp November day, many years ago. The minute I stepped out of the train into the sea of oblivious strangers, ー who, mostly, were absorbed in their worlds ー I sensed an intense familiarity to this place I have yet to know. What used to mean nothing became worth thinking ー all the things, the long-ignored longings, revealed in overt details. I found what I didn't even know I needed to find ー myself. However, regardless of how much Tokyo imbued an immense sense of self-awareness and comfort to my soul, I knew my heart was still homesick for a home ー one with a heartbeat ー I longed to have. So, before I set off on a journey to find it, I secured my heart beneath the earth where the Tokyo tower stood in glowing red; I promised to retrieve it one day, however long it might take for me to come back. Then, on a chilly December day, a year later, I had a glimpse of that home ー him ー on the boundary between the pierced veil of this world and that of his. I tried to reach out to him, but he was off to Tokyo. He was in Tokyo, but left too soon before I could return; his heart didn't belong to the place where mine was buried for so long. The thought of never crossing path with him, while I was there, evoked an abyss of emotions. How could I even miss him? I was consumed with a nostalgic void on the moments I spent there and the ones I never had. To fill the hole that used to be where my heart was, I returned to Tokyo, one cold March day, a few years later. As soon as I was out into the springtime air, I saw a Cherry tree blossomed in full bloom on the earth where I last saw my heart. The tree breathed pink under the Tokyo tower. Then a miracle happened, a guy in his late twenties, bent down on his knees and asked his girlfriend's hand for marriage. Her "Yes" tore the tender Cherry blossoms away; it looked like it snowed that day. And it finally dawned on me that while I thought we missed each other at the crossroads of our lives, there stood my heart all along in full bloom when he was in Tokyo.

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Angell Kim

Always doing things you never would have done.

Bogotá, Colombia