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Jan 7-14, 1998

This was Ha, born June 9, 1975 in Rach Gia, Vietnam, and immigrated to the United States in 1980. She was divorced and lived alone in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Over the next month or so Ha and I would be messaging or chatting every night, making each other laugh and trying to out-think the other. She was building a huge website and put most of our chats on it because they were quite entertaining. We'd ad-lib Star Trek episodes, which were pretty funny, or trade song lyrics for hours, and when we ran out we made up our own. I rarely went anywhere because I was always trying to study for promotion, and it got dark early, so while I studied in the dark with my computer on, I chatted with Ha. I was mentally exhausted during January from all this. On January 14th, I was feeling sad about my divorce, so Ha showed me how to use Powwow, a voice-chat program. We talked for three hours, got tired, then doodled on an interactive chalkboard.

Ha liked poetry so I tried dabbling into that a little. I'd written a silly Christmas poem for my old office a month earlier, a violent parody of "The Night Before Christmas" called "The Night Before Christmas"

Hi there!>>> using stories about co-workers; but Ha wrote impressive pieces. The "Poetry Superhighway" named her poet of the week in 9-15 February 1998. I wanted to impress her. After five weeks of this I started having feelings I hadn't felt in eleven years. I hadn't met Ha, but it felt like love. Every waking hour I felt her, my life revolved around her. I was embarrassed to tell her or anyone that I might be falling in love online. Ha seemed very fond of me, although a 'romance' never happened. We were both just interested in the other person. Although I was in Korea, she only lived four hours from my house in Virginia, so I asked her if I could visit her during my vacation that summer and she said she'd be on vacation in Europe. So I asked if I could meet her in Belgium and she replied,"Yes!" I was throwing caution to the wind. I had little to lose, and a burning desire to recapture the fire which had been smothered out when I married in 1990. It was time to get on with living.

On January 19, 1998, I ran another 5K race at Osan in 19 degree weather. It was so cold I had frost on my razor stubble. I finished 3rd with a time of 17:50. Decent I guess--one win, one 3rd place so far. Ha said she was proud of me. She sent me these pictures of herself.