Goodbye.

January 20, 2009
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Suddenly I start to smile as I walk the street. This happens quite often. The reason I do this is because when I walk and have nothing to do, I start to think and search through my memories. Every time I do this, there’s a person who emerges often from memories. She meant a lot to me.

I met Mary in first grade and she was my best friend. She was nice, friendly, and funny. If I describe her as a flower, I would be a little honey bee. She had lots of friends but I was her only best friend. If I was her best friend, I hope that I meant something to her. I’m not very sure what that “something” would be but I’m happy that I wasn’t just a friend. I can’t meet her anymore but I remember her as clear as the autumn sky. I think I’ll be never able to forget her. If I forget her that would be the day I’d die or the day I got too old to remember anything.
One gloomy day, my dad drove me to the school I used to attend. It was an ordinary Korean elementary school. The sky was gray, just like a sad, lonely concrete wall. I stared at the frowning sky from inside of the car. The clouds seemed to stay there as if to guard something. Maybe it was going to rain. But it never did. I walked into the classroom. Everything was like usual, except that my best friend didn’t talk to me much: the only thing she said was, “hi.” I thought it was strange, but I didn’t react to it. I guess I was too afraid to ask her what was wrong. I wasn’t sure what she was mad about but soon I noticed the rumor. The rumor was that I was moving to Osaka, a city in Japan, and was never coming back to Korea. The rumor was true, I was going to Osaka, but what was I supposed to do? I could never tell Mary that I could never meet her again. We promised that we would be friends until we died. She might have thought that I was betraying her but I thought I would be her best friend no matter what happened. I was wrong. My way of thinking was very different from Mary’s. During classes she threw heart-piercing glares at me. I pretended that I didn’t notice because I had no guts to admit that she hated me at that moment. I was too scared. I was just staring at the blackboard with white scribbles of Korean letters. Sadness surrounded me like air. The school was about to end that day and my teacher called me to the front of the class room. I just looked at the floor, afraid to look at my classmates. The teacher said in a calm, warm voice that I was leaving. I decided to just take a peek at Mary. There was no reaction or emotion on her face. She wasn’t even looking at me or listening to the teacher. She just stared at the window as if trying to make a hole in it. When the teacher was done with his announcement about me leaving, I waved at nobody and nobody waved me back. When I went out from the building, my dad’s car was waiting. I reached for the door and sat on the cold seat. The car shivered and started to move. When the car was almost completely out of the school grounds, I looked back at the school’s front door. There was a familiar figure of someone. It was Mary! She was waving at me and her eyes were teared up. I banged on the switch, begging for the window to open up. When the window finally opened up, I stuck my head out and waved back at her with tears rolling down my eyes and a smile hanging on my lips.





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littleamerica said...
Feb. 12, 2009 at 9:11 am
I was moved reading this article. I found the imagery really lucid. I think the writer has good artistic sense and has a natural talent for description. I live in Japan and appreciate the way she expressed Asian sentiment from an Eastern viewpoint in a subtle way.

I encourage Ji Hyyun to continue with her writing and submit it to more channels like this.
 
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