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Please begin with an informative title:

I'm not sure why I feel like I should regale my poor readers with this tale of relationships gone wrong. But it's a good story, as far as it goes I guess. I know I'm a few days behind the curve, but if you're willing, follow me below the orange squiggly of heartbreak for my #1 break-up story.

Intro

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I'm not perfect. I admit that. I've made some mistakes in life. Like getting a degree in music, for example. But whatever- I wound up back in 2001 as a music teacher, teaching in English in Masan, South Korea. I was 23 at the time. This, incidentally, was how I learned that I'm not a good teacher. "G major? GBD. What's the problem? I know that, how come you don't know that?!" It takes a certain personality to be great teacher. One that I don't have.

Anyway, I met this girl out there. Woo. We started dating, things were fine. She was kind of a "princess" type, but she was a fascinating person. She was fluent in Korean, English and Russian. And she was pretty. Funny thing, you know- for an American to travel a few hours is nothing. But for Koreans (and Europeans), it's a big deal. I wanted to see Korea, so I packed up Woo and we would go see the country, which was a first for her.

So, getting back to mistakes I've made in life- I cheated on her. This was not good. Don't behave like that. But I was a much-dumber-than-I-am-now 23-year-old guy. I thought that I could get away with it. And for a while, I did. But of course, she eventually found out about it. She found out about it after I had returned to the USA. So in my guilt, I flew back to Korea and secured a marriage visa for her! A K2 (not to be confused with the mountain). And I personally brought her back to the United States with me.

Well this is where the story takes a harsh turn. We got an apartment in Van Nuys, CA. (If you've never been to Van Nuys, well, you're not missing much. Kind of one of LA's crappier neighborhoods). It was then that her anger issues really started to surface. In Woo's defense, she was all alone in a strange country and the only person she knew was me. She couldn't work legally at the time and was in complete culture shock. But she focused all of her anger directly on me.

It got bad. I would have to wear long-sleeved shirts to cover up defensive wounds on my forearms from her beating on me with her fists. She would scream at me all the time and kick me in the legs. And I never once raised a hand to her. I'm just not that kind of guy. We had a small two bedroom apartment and it got to the point that I had the landlord install a deadbolt on my bedroom so that Woo couldn't get in. The cops were called repeatedly because of the screaming. I never pressed charges. If I had, she would have been deported. I still carried that guilt with me.

Finally, the day came when I had enough of being abused. I don't remember how the argument started exactly. But she flew into one of her rages and started hitting me. I was used to that at this point, but then she upped the ante and grabbed a kitchen knife in her hand, blade facing downwards and ran at me with the knife over her head! Think the knife grip from the movie "psycho."

And I'll tell you, your brain does a funny thing when you're about to be stabbed. If you've ever been in a car accident, it's similar. Your adrenaline kicks in, your brain speeds up and time seems to slow down. Like, this chick was gonna try to f*cking stab me! I crouched down and I pulled off a sort of Bruce Lee/Jackie Chan move that I didn't even know I was capable of- I swept-kicked her legs out from under her and she went down. I ran into my bedroom and dead-bolted the door behind me.

She screamed and pounded on the door for a while afterwards. The next day I told her that I was moving out, breaking the lease. I had to get out of there. I felt bad about kicking her out on her own, but for God's sake! You don't try to stab a dude. Not cool. She actually ended up moving in with and eventually getting married to a friend of mine. She's now been in the USA for nine years and has her Greencard and they are happily married.

I still keep in touch with her sometimes, and her anger issues seem to be under control. But damn. That's my anti-Valentine's Day story of woe.

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