“I’m sorry for being a coward. I’m sorry for keeping my feelings to myself. I’m sorry for pushing you away.”
“I’m sorry for not loving you. I’m sorry for not letting you love me. And I’m sorry for not asking you to.”
Now Playing: 처음부터 지금까지 Cheoeumbuteo Jigeumkkaji (From the Beginning Until Now) – Winter Sonata OST
Trigger Focus: Novella / Light Novel
Genre: Romance, Drama, Tragedy
Output: The Feast of the North Star, my first romance story, or at least, my first attempt to make one…
“All it took was one Facebook post, and the floodgates of forgotten emotions broke down.”
…Or so I would like to begin this post, now being written to the tune of the opening theme of “Winter Sonata”. I had to listen to that song, if only to bring back the feelings I had three years ago.
On that night, seven days before Valentine’s Day, I received the news that a close friend of mine was getting married. She was already with another man a long time ago, someone within her social circle and with the same status as she is. They loved each other, plain and simple.
I was happy for her. She was fortunate to have found true love, I said, and she deserves all the good luck and happiness in the world. But then, as I drove home on my motorcycle to the tune of the “Winter Sonata” soundtrack in my mp3 player, I felt a sharp tinge of pain in my chest.
She wasn’t just a close friend in my books, but one that I was truly, madly, deeply in love with. And yes, I made it known to her, at least through my actions. She didn’t feel the same way. I left it at that. I was happy for her despite my feelings.
The pain in my chest grew stronger when I got home. The already sad playlist that LSS-ed in my head may have worsened the welling up of emotions inside me.
It was then that I found an old note among my belongings, which contained an undated poem from college. “The Feast of the North Star,” its title said. The blatant anime reference notwithstanding, it was a love poem drawing allusions to Polaris, the North Star, and the constellations.
Taking to Wattpad as a springboard, I thought and typed furiously in the days counting to Valentine’s Day. I wrote about unrequited love, and the pain of failing to express one’s true feelings. I wrote about selfless love, acceptance, and letting go. I wrote about a young man who looked up to the love of his life the way a traveler looked up to Polaris for guidance.
On the night of February 14, over a glass of Javakula and half a pack of cigarettes, I finished writing “The Feast of the North Star”. It was only then that the pain in my chest was lifted.
My first love story – at least I believe it qualifies as one – was born out of grief.
Looking back, my story and “Winter Sonata” shared a common central theme: Polaris and its symbolism as a guiding star. Polaris is a star that stays permanent in its place no matter what season it is, making it a reliable guide for travelers. Drawing from this symbolism, Joonsang promised Yujin that he would be her Polaris, her guiding light.
Similarly, my male character alluded to himself as the North Star to his love interest. Then again, the North Star changes every few thousand years, which means if the girl’s fiance is Polaris, he was Thuban (the previous one, although in-universe he mistakenly mentions Vega, the NEXT North Star).
“The Feast of the North Star” is what I call a “hugot” (feels) story, similar to that damned Jollibee commercial featuring the best man in his friend’s wedding. The characters are flawed like the rest of the story. For them, everything was fine, they were fine, they were experiencing all these things but it’s fine, only to realize they have feelings that are in need of closure. Rather than letting everything pass in peace, the two acknowledge how they felt for each other, and why they never confronted those feelings.
I’ll let you go on ahead and read my story, including everything else I wrote on Wattpad. Wattpad is my literary playground, where I can write anything that I fancy when I’m having trouble working on anything else. Heck, I actually have another ongoing romance story on Wattpad, which focuses on flamenco, but I digress.
Which now begs the question: What was I thinking when I decided to try my hand on romance?