A letter of love that literally crossed seas only to find its recipient married to someone else has gone viral on the internet.
Kate Challenger and her partner Daniel McNally were sailing off the coast of Queensland, Australia on Aug. 8 when they stumbled upon a floating bottle.
“Dan found it while he was filleting a fish on the back of the boat and saw it floating past,” Challenger told the Brisbane Times. “He’s all about keeping the ocean clean and thought he was pulling a piece of rubbish out of the water.”
But to their surprise, the barnacle-covered bottle contained a note written in Chinese.
McNally, owner of a local tour company, used his Facebook business page to find help in understanding the mysterious note.
With the help of some translators, the couple learned that the letter was penned by a Chinese sailor who had gone to sea just after his engagement.
In the letter, the sailor professes his love for his fiancée, Jing, with a wish to “return home to live a beautiful and happy life” with her.
“I’m a sailor sailing on the Indian Ocean. I deeply miss my fiancée at home. Shortly after we were engaged, I am travelling far away on the sea. I am sorry for leaving her behind, I could only jot down my deep feelings to her and seal it in a floating bottle.
“My only wish is to return home to live a beautiful and happy life with Jing, a long life in harmony. I know the bottle is in deep seas and I wouldn’t dream someone could found it and read my letter. What I’ve done is … to keep a peace and comfort in my heart.”
“I love you, Jing.”
Challenger, who cried after realizing what the letter meant, took the initiative to find the romantic sailor.
The letter eventually went viral on Chinese social media, and soon enough, a man claiming to be a friend of the sailor contacted Challenger.
Unfortunately, it was then when Challenger and McNally learned that the sailor and his beloved were no longer engaged.
In fact, Jing was already married to another man and is now raising her own family.
“The love story hasn’t worked out for the man, but I really want to respect him,” Challenger said. “Because his former fiancee now has another family, he is worried that if either of them are identified it will hurt her and the family she now has.”
Challenger hopes that the sailor eventually finds his true love.
“He’s a really lovely man … the world would be such a nicer place with more men like him. I cried when I first read the letter and I still get goosebumps every time I read it again. It just didn’t work out. He’s single and I’d love for him to find a nice girl.”
Weibo users shared their two cents on the modern-day “tragedy”:
“A fairytale beginning, a realistic end.”
“Don’t bother her family.”
“A romantic love, but helplessness is reality.”
“Oh, not everyone can stand loneliness.”
“This is life.”