Tuesday, July 27, 2010

#36 Goodbye

The last day was horrible.

The night before I left I had to say goodbye to Iri and Otosan. Otosan I just awkwardly bowed to and said my thanks in very bad Japanese unfortunately, but I tried my hardest to convey the gratitude I felt.

Iri, was another story. We both were bawling our eyes out. She had to take off her cute little glasses because she couldn’t see. That’s how hard she was crying. She hugged me, which I didn’t expect because she has an aversion to hugs, and I said goodbye. She had band practice in the morning so I excused myself so she could get some sleep.

At the train station, it was just me and Okasan. We got through all the tunnels and the traffic and eventually got to the right place at the right time. We waited with other YFU kids and their host families. The atmosphere was tense, thick with the anticipation for the train and also with the dread that came with knowing what the train will take away. When our train got there.. All we could say was goodbye.

I turned to Okasan. Who, at this point, really was like a mother to me. She ran to get me medicine when and I was sick, and packed my lunches for school, and laughed with me when I pointed out how starkly different our cultures were. And now, after 6 weeks, I have to say goodbye. It was just enough time for you to let someone into your heart and I did. It hurt so badly when I looked at her and saw the tears in her eyes.

I was crying. I was saying bye and how much I’ll miss her, putting off until the last possible moment to get on the train. She hugged me and, after what felt like just a few seconds, she let me go. I walked onto the train and sat down in my chair, clutching to the little bento bag she had pushed into my hands moments before.

Everyone in that compartment was wiping their eyes. Guys, girls, everyone. It was horrible.

Later, after everything got settled I opened my bento box. At the very bottom, just under my hot dogs was little note. It read “We love you forever. Love, Katos”

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