My Thai Kai: My Sweet Moment In Time
• News Plaza Hotel
• Novotel Peace Hotel
• Oriental Peace Hotel
• Red Cross Hotel
My story begins almost four years ago. At that time I was coming to Thailand once or twice a year. My job took me to most places in Asia. I had a long time friend in Thailand that would always show me around. He had grown up there since his family had lived there when he was young. He had many Thai friends and we would all go out together from time to time. One was a Thai girl, who also worked at our company. She would take us around on our days off. She always had a smile and a bright outlook on life. That smile always stuck in my head.
A year went by and I never really thought much about getting back to Thailand. But then an assignment to go came and I was off once more. My friend Dan met me at the airport as usual and dropped me off at the Shangri-La, my home away from home. Got a good night’s sleep. The next day Dan was not feeling well as he had been out with friends drinking late. He sent Kai to meet me at the hotel to take me around Bangkok. It felt a little awkward just the two of us. But I did not mind, Kai was beautiful and kind hearted. She had studied Industrial Design and was interesting and easy to converse with. She reminded me of a friend I had in college. Every time we would run into each other she was always very enjoyable to talk with and we always laughed a lot.
Kai was the type of person I really respected. Her family was poor and did not have the money to send her to college. But she did not give up. She always found a way. Either by scholarships or by working at night. Even with all the extra work she still did well with her grades. She was the oldest of four children and helped to take care of her brothers and sisters while her mother worked twelve hours a day. You could not see the all the years of sad times and hard work in her face, though. Her smile would light up the room, and her personality would leave everyone with a warm smile. She treated everyone with the same respect. No matter who needed help she would jump in and do her best.
Unfortunately she had a boyfriend. I had a lot of respect for her and her boyfriend so I always controlled my temptation. Although, Kai would always make me feel like I was someplace else in time. That one day Kai toured me around Bangkok was enough to make me happy for a year.
For the rest of the week I would see Kai at work and she would always say hello with her charming smile. I counted the days until the weekend hoping to be taken somewhere by Kai again. But Dan had other ideas. He wanted to go to Phuket for the weekend and do some scuba diving. I loved scuba so I thought maybe it would help me get back to reality. I knew Kai was already with someone and I had to stop thinking about her. It was great diving in the tropical waters and seeing all the sea life.
I only had one more week in Thailand and on the last night Dan took me and some friends out for “One Night in Bangkok”. I was hoping to see Kai one last time but she did not come. We went out dancing and bar hoping with some of the other people from work. It was fun; I had not been dancing for a long time. Some of the women from work could really dance.
I had an early flight home the next morning. I just kept seeing Kai’s face in my mind. Her smile and her beautiful character just played over and over in my head.
Six months went by and the next trip to Thailand came. Dan could not make it to pick me up at the airport as he was in Japan on business. I got my self to the hotel. Had a quiet weekend and enjoyed the health spa at the hotel. During the week Kai offered to take me around the following weekend and of course I could never say no to her.
This time Kai and I talked a lot. She would tell me about her family and how they grew up and helped each other. Sometimes there would not be enough food and they would take turns eating. Her family dreamed about having a house. She would tell me about how she would make presents by hand. She loved to make things or draw nice pictures. I thought about how much we take for granted in our own lives as she talked.
The day soon passed and Kai had to meet her boyfriend later that evening. So once again my moment in time with Kai had come to an end. I returned to my hotel room to enjoy an exquisite Thai dinner alone.
During the week at work Kai would pass by in the hallway and give me her special smile and ask me how I was doing. I was working late on Friday and I passed Kai’s desk to see her crying. No one else was in the office. I asked her what happened and she just sat there like she was paralyzed. She said I just got a phone call. I said from whom. She said Sahn’s mother. She said Sahn is in the hospital. He had a motorcycle accident. It is really bad. She said “I can’t go alone to the hospital; I am too scared what I may see”. She asked me if I could you go with her. I said yes.
The whole way to the hospital Kai just looked frozen. All the spirit was drained from her. We arrived at the hospital and we were asked to wait outside for a while. I was even scared for Kai. Finally Kai was allowed to visit. I waited for her. After an hour she came out. A few tears were rolling down her cheeks. She said I don’t know if he will make it. She sat down next to me in the waiting room and put her head on my shoulder as she collapsed into tears.
I told her she needed to rest and asked her if she wanted me to take her to her apartment or to her family. She said she just wanted to go to her apartment. So I dropped her off at her apartment and told her everything will be ok. She asked me to come in for a while and have some tea. She talked for a long time and eventually fell asleep in the chair across from me. I picked her up and put her on the couch and covered her with a blanket. Left a note with my phone number, and said if she needed anything just to call me anytime.
For the rest of my time in Thailand I would stop by and make sure Kai was ok. While I was back in the US, I would ask Dan about Sahn. Sahn did recover although his face was badly scarred and he was missing some teeth.
Sahn’s personality started to change after that too. He was not happy with the way life treated him. He would get into fights sometimes, and started to drink. Kai and Sahn started fighting. I could see the distance between them growing over time.
A year later I was back in Thailand walking along the river and ran into Kai one evening on a weekend. She had just left Sahn after a fight. I could see something was wrong because her face was not bright as usual. I asked her to have some coffee with me and talk. She told me how things had changed after the accident. She felt sorry for Sahn but just could not take it anymore. She said she needed time to heal. She did not know if her heart could ever love again.
I told her if she ever needed a friend I she could always talk to me.
Kai and I did write to each other after that and became good friends. It was always easy to talk with her and we always enjoyed laughing together. It was a sweet slice of beauty in a moment of time. Unfortunately, our paths never crossed at the right time. She eventually married someone and the letters stopped. I hope whoever she found treats her as well as she deserves. But I will always remember her bright smile, the way she made me laugh, having that feeling of living a dream in a moment in time.
I was half expecting something else to happen….and am impressed at how you did not try to take advantage of the situation.