“널 좋아해” (nal - cho - hwa - hae)
A simple Korean phrase that translates directly to “I like you” — a phrase that begs to be let out whenever we interact.
What am I to you?
Initially, I thought you were just another really pretty Korean girl and so when I was told you had a boyfriend thought nothing more than, “Darn, too bad.” Hell, the first time I met you, when we all met up for dinner, and that’s when I REALLY thought, “It seriously is too bad.” However, I began to notice some things — things that may or may not have been done intentionally, but regardless – I still noticed. Every time I looked up, you were looking (admiring?) at me. Even when we all went to the bar together you stood closer to me than you did to your partner, but as your 12 o’clock curfew hit and the two of you walked away, that was the end of that.
or so I thought.
During my karaoke with friends you proceeded to blast my social media which was normal, you were just being friendly right? I responded to it and asked you out to a simple dinner. We meet in Itaewon, and wow. We were matching! Granted, it was all black – a common outfit... But we looked pretty damn good standing next to each other. That’s when things started to get more convoluted — you pulled me by my waist… more than once. Okay fine. Maybe you’re just REALLY FRIENDLY. The night goes on, we have a good time together, and your boyfriend comes to pick you up at your curfew. It HAS to be the end at this point.
You want to see me tomorrow.
Okay. Sure. I mean I have a crush on you anyways — who wouldn’t say yes? “Let’s do Hanbok” you say. SOUNDS GUCCI (and like a date), but OKAY. LET’S DO IT. What happens next?
You lead me everywhere by grabbing my wrist
It’s just the wrist, nothing too major
You feed me a wrap, two, three, etc.
I’ll feed you one, two, three, etc. back, my big bros have done the same to me before
We start linking arms
Grabbing my wrist was getting too tiring and repetitive
You let me choose your Hanbok
You’ve done this before, probably want me to have as much fun as possible
We take couple-like pictures
You just think of me as a close friend
You buy me AND my mother souvenirs
You’re a REALLY kind person
We hold hands
We hold han — wait, what? HUH??
If only it ended there.
Subway ride, we listen to music together, your favorite songs and mine
You lay your head on my shoulder for a brief moment
We sing coin karaoke together
We meet up with my friends at a cafe
That’s when you started to back off. You were even reluctant to give me a hug so I thought “okay, it is 1000% the end now.
You video call me while I’m waiting for my flight AND when I am sitting in my seat waiting for take-off (might I include watching me during my meal).
Fast forward 2 days and we are video calling as we get ready in the morning.
Despite all this, after I watch you go from fresh out of bed to fully dressed with makeup, you tell me you’re going to watch a movie with your boyfriend.
All this is fine.
But I really really have to know
What am I to you?