SEARCHING FOR SEOUL 6
It's weird getting life-altering information via email.
You read a message that says your birth father wants to meet you in January and you can't quite believe it because this is the same manner in which you receive coupons to stores you no longer frequent and Twitter notifications for people you don't know and bills for your water and gas and health insurance.
But there it is anyway. The familiar Korean characters in your inbox signaling another email from Sister Theresa.
You don't have time to weight the letter in your hands, give yourself a moment to collect your thoughts or squirrel the envelope away for a more private time or place to open. You were only trying to check a map on your phone but what you get slapped with is an email that says, "Dearest Hana, your birth father just called me a few minutes ago! Merciful Lord heard our prayers! "
And the words slam into your eyes like a light that's too bright.
The skeptic in me, the one who knows that nothing is ever wholly good, that even gifts come tainted, thinks, well, that was a quick turnaround! Didn’t I get an email earlier this week that implies my birth dad wants nothing to do with me? And now he’s calling Sister Theresa back? And he’s crying about how sorry he is for everything. What is this? Some sort of Hallmark special?
I read my birth dad’s words embraced by quotation marks, no more real than the rest of it, lines from a script crafted for maximum emotional punch. I turn them over and over again in my mind, wondering what sad stories must lie in wait behind these vague revelations, squeezing each sentence for more information.
“He said he loves you all.” And my story as I know it crumbles.