The Lake House has always been one of my all-time favorite movies. I have watched it over and over again and every time, it totally gets me.
The story is about Alex and Kate, two people who haven’t realized they’ve already met but send letters to each other through a mysterious mailbox. The only problem is that they are 2 years apart. Kate is living in 2006 and Alex in 2004. But it doesn’t prevent them from falling for each other. One day, they agree to meet in Kate’s time but Alex doesn’t show up. Kate, disheartened, realizes that it’s never going to work for them and asks Alex to stop writing to her. Alex, even so brokenhearted with Kate’s decision, gives in to her wish.
I love this movie not because Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock are in it, but because I can relate to the story. It reminded me of a similar one that happened many years ago. A blast from the past.
I met him in the chat room a few months after I got my first broken heart. Not that I was looking for love. It was just something that I needed to pass time with and it was the fad then. His handle was Fallen. He was Eurasian.
As all chats started with “Hello! ASL please?” before, ours developed into writing emails every day after a few months. I was looking forward to his long and detailed emails and I never got tired of reading them. I also got a couple of chatmates before him who became my cyber friends but with him, it was totally different. He really got into my soul.
He would really write long emails, talked about the story of his life, how his day was, his wishes, his dreams. I even kept his emails but not sure what happened to my email account and most of them were deleted. Oh, and he made me some poems, too. It’s a good thing I was able to print them. He even introduced me to his best friend and his wife.
He was trying to win my heart but I was hesitant all along. You know how it is with the internet. 1% is truth, 99% are lies. I even told him I wanted another guy just to ward him off but he was so persistent and wished that one day I would realize it was him that I wanted all along. Yes, I know you would ask why we didn’t do a video call. It was many years ago and all we could do then to know what we looked like was exchange pictures.
Truth is, I wanted to give him my heart. But I was dubious. A tiny part of me was saying he’s not real but a huge part of me was really wishing everything about him and with him was true.
So, we continued to exchange emails. He never gave up and I was thankful for that.
And just as I was to give us a chance, I received an email from his best friend that he got into an accident and he didn’t make it. He went to join their company car race wishing that he would win so he could use the money to come and visit me. As much as I wanted to think that all about him was now a farce, I couldn’t control myself and I began to sob inside the internet café, oblivious of the people around me.
I should have told him that I also loved him. I should have let him know what I felt for him then. I know you would ask me, “What if it was all a sham?” I was willing to take the risk. If it was not true, at least I would know it wasn’t meant to be rather than asking myself after, “What if I should have told him what I felt?” In love, there’s always a risk. Even when you’re physically present for each other, it may or never work. Or it may also be just a charade.
It took me a while to forget him. I know that he couldn’t be real or maybe somebody was playing a prank on me but at least once in my life, somebody had made me feel another side of love, made me smile and took away the dark clouds that hovered above me. For me, he was real than any other thing then.
I truly understand when Alex said, “While it lasted, she was more real to me than any of that stuff. She was more real to me than anything I've ever known. I saw her. I kissed her. I love her. And now she's gone."