By Mailé Nguyen, a first-year ETA in Gumi
that they plagued her thoughts in darkness.
She was afraid of the passage of time
and saying goodbye.
She took pictures of everyone
to pause them in laughter
so the year would never end
and neither would our time together.
She didn’t want to forget or be forgotten.
What if I go back and I regret it? She asked.
I told her, You can’t stay here forever.
It’s hard to say if things would be better or worse.
Her heart is so big, I understand why she’s
so sad to see people leave.
People in her life would come and go,
but so would she.
Will it ever be as good as this? She asked.
I said, You won’t feel this way forever.
Her loneliness would subside,
and she would continue to love outwards.
So many people will be loved by her.
She will remember the good moments
and let them exist peacefully.
And we will not forget her.