You know what? I’m not going to apologise for being corny or cheesy or whichever edible foodstuff you’d prefer to substitute.

One year ago today I received a DM in a hotel room in Singapore that made me blush so deeply, I was at risk of bursting every blood vessel in my face. Ah, I really missed my calling to be a poet!

Having first met her briefly as the tablet wielding Social Media Queen of the Anime@UTS club during our Running Man escapades, I’d been fortunate enough to get to know Clara Tse. Whether it be through screenings, singing at karaoke with the club, Art Jams with impenetrable JENGA fortresses, having dinner and all those other wonderful club events, I’d come to look forward to being greeted by her adorable reserved smile, and hearing her calming voice.

(There’s no nerdier expression of love than referring to your girlfriend’s blog with “friend met date sweetheartXFN tags in the rel attribute on all their links!)

As an insular, introverted nerd, it’s painfully difficult for me to break the ice with people, but it happened so naturally with Clara I never felt nervous at all. Of course, that’s a complete and utter lie; I routinely felt shy as she would walk towards me in that screening room with her generous offerings of Strawberry Pocky, coffee keeki and Melonpan.

I increasingly viewed her as a dear friend, along with so many other lovely and wonderful people in the club (you know who you are!). Before I knew it though, I started getting those special (and thoroughly unhelpful!) butterflies in my tummy whenever I’d see her. Just to be sure, I met with her for a few lunches during her work experience. Though we ended up going thoroughly overtime, those thought provoking, wonderful conversations with this intelligent, beautiful, shy girl were some of the most special I’d ever had.

During SMASH! 2012, my feelings were all but confirmed when Clara raced up from behind me and gave me a hug, in the way she’d started to greet me by then. Of course, I was still too painfully shy to let her know about my feelings for her, though I suspect we both saw it in each other by that stage :”).

Only when I was 6000km’s away in Singapore were the feelings too much to take, and I asked her out in the most timid, pathetic way possible! Huddled, trembling and blushing under the blankets, I waited nervously for her response.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Happy Anniversary Clara! Thank you, for everything. I hope one day to speak Cantonese well enough to tell you properly ♡.