Rekindled Sparks: A Love Rediscovered

Short Stories
The Beginning

It all started back in the days when Asiantown was still popular. I never believed in those websites and was only on there to kill time whenever I was bored. I had been using the site since high school, but by the time I was in my first year of college, it was getting old for me. I was still in the “partying” stage of my life, having a blast meeting new people and enjoying being away from home. Life was great.

One day, I got a friend request and a note from a guy named Xiong. I saw his picture and thought he was super cute. He lived in Minnesota, and I was in Wisconsin. I accepted his friend request, and we started noting each other back and forth. We clicked right away. I couldn’t stay off the website and looked forward to his notes every morning. Finally, after two weeks, we exchanged phone numbers. His texts and our conversations were what I looked forward to every day. I would call him to wake him up for work, and he would call me on his lunch break. We were glued to our phones, staying up late to talk. I was falling for this guy and couldn’t control my heart.

Growing Feelings

Four months into our talking, I had yet to admit my feelings for him. I liked him, but I wasn’t sure if he felt the same way. I had my share of bad boyfriends in the past—abusive ones and controlling ones. I was a decent girl but always ended up with the bad guys. This scared me from confronting my feelings for Xiong. As much as I liked him, I was afraid he would be like all the others. So, as quickly as I fell for him, I tried to stop my feelings because I didn’t want to get hurt.

After another month of talking, we still hadn’t seen each other face to face. I started ignoring his texts and calls and even changed my phone number. I lost contact with him for about a year. Then one day, he found me on Facebook and messaged me again. We picked up right where we left off and started talking again. My heart and feelings came rushing back, and our old ways continued. We talked for another four months, but I got so busy with school and work that I knew I wasn’t ready for a relationship. Again, I started ignoring his texts, and soon enough, we lost contact.


After I graduated from college, I took a full-time job in my field. Xiong crossed my mind many times, but I knew I had lost him. No guy is ever going to come back to a girl who ignored him and lost touch. Soon enough, it was the Labor Day Tournament in Oshkosh, and my mom made me wear Hmong clothes to ball toss. All my friends had boyfriends or were married. I was considered “old” in the Hmong culture since I wasn’t married yet. So, being the good daughter, I agreed to wear the Hmong clothes and go ball toss.

The first day at the tournament was beautiful. Not too cold, not too warm. My cousin and I walked off on our own and decided to check out the ball toss area. We walked around and said hi to a few people. I was listening to my cousin talk with some people she knew when suddenly I felt a tap on my shoulder.

The Unexpected Encounter

“Hey, can I get your name?” he asked.

“Hi, I’m Joua Lor. What’s your name?” I replied.

“Nice to meet you, Joua. I’m Xiong Vang.”

Right as he said that, my mind instantly thought of the Xiong I knew. Although we’d seen pictures of each other, this Xiong looked nothing like the old pictures I had seen. But something about him seemed familiar. We started talking and decided to ball toss together. As we walked around the tournament, we had great conversations.

I finally mustered up the courage to ask, “Hey Xiong… are you from Minnesota by chance?”

“Yes… why do you ask?” he responded.

“I used to know a Xiong Vang from Minnesota too….” I said.

“Oh really… that’s nice,” he replied with a smile that hinted he knew something. I didn’t want to ask more questions, so I left it at that. We exchanged numbers and promised to meet at the tournament the next day.


The next day, I decided not to wear Hmong clothes. Xiong was on my mind the whole night and morning. I met up with him again, and we continued our conversations. Before he left, I finally asked him directly.

“Xiong, I know this may sound weird, but I think you’re the Xiong that I used to talk to a while back.”

He smiled and said, “If you say so.”

Confused and feeling a bit stupid, I dropped the subject. Even though we exchanged numbers, I didn’t hear from him until a couple of weeks later. His first text message after the tournament was one I never expected.

“Joua, after all these years and many times of losing touch, I never thought I would meet you in person. I’ve been thinking about our time at the tournament and how you are everything I imagined. I’m not sure if you’re seeing someone, but I want to give it one last try to see if we can make something of this.”

I froze after reading his text. Was this my chance? I couldn’t let him go without telling him my feelings. I texted back, “Xiong, is this really you? The Xiong I knew from a long time ago?”

“Yes, it’s me, Joua. I couldn’t tell you the truth because I thought you weren’t interested. But I wanted to give it one more chance.”

A Fresh Start

“Meet me this weekend if you feel the same,” he said. He didn’t text or pick up my calls for the next few days. I wasn’t sure what to do. Did I want to meet him or let it go? Deep down, I knew I liked him. Saturday was approaching, and the butterflies in my tummy wouldn’t stop.

Saturday morning, I got ready. After many restless nights, I decided to follow my heart. I was going to meet Xiong and confess everything. When he pulled up to the park, I was so nervous. As he walked towards me with a huge smile, everything from the past flashed back.

“You came…” he said.

“Why wouldn’t I?” I replied.

That was all we needed to say. I went into his arms and hugged him. After a few minutes, I pulled back and looked at him.

“I’m so sorry for everything. I was confused and selfish. But I know now. Will you let me back into your life?”

“You never left. I knew you were cautious with men. I wanted to prove there are nice guys who can fulfill your wants and needs. Let’s start fresh and see where this chance leads us.”

True Love

It’s been four amazing years since that day in the park. We are happily engaged and planning our wedding for next year. Every couple has their ups and downs, but we balance each other. He treats me as if I am the only woman in the world. The love and respect he has for me have never wavered. I recently moved closer to him for a job, and our relationship has grown stronger every day.

I used to think every guy would be the same and that I would never be happy. Yet, here he is to prove me wrong. No matter what chances life gives you, take them. Don’t be afraid to express your feelings. True love does exist; you just have to be patient. One day, it will come to you.

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