The Last Days: Memories w/ Meikai (yr. 2 – pt. 2)

Fast forward to after I drop them home —> (Trung, Alfred, and Jonathan came to my house by this time)

It was time to start the endless nite… making all the gifts for the Meikai students we knew. Early in the morning, Alfred and me stopped by Publix to get stuff to make sandwiches and cards for all the students and even earlier, I grabbed a big bag of sand from Clearwater Beach. We decided to fill jars w/ the sand so that they could take a piece of my hometown with them back to Japan (sounds kewl, rite!?). Jonathan decided to compile a DVD w/ a movie he was making and most of the pics that I took during my time w/ them. It took us most of the nite, but we finally finished filling out all the cards, making the DVD and sand jars around 7:45am.

It was time to face fate once again. We went over to Pegasus Pointe to meet w/ the students one last time and wait for their bus. I was too tired to get outta the car, so I stayed in the car to sleep. Everyone else went out to talk to the students/hang out more. Sometime later, the bus came and we headed off towards the airport, the final destination.

Fast forward to the airport —>

We arrive ahead of time, so we head over to where the bus of Meikai students are supposed to arrive. I have to go to the bathroom, so I go there first… after that business, Yancy and me head over to look for the others. By this time, the bus had already arrived. I see Trung and walk over to meet him. He takes us over to the bus, where the bags just started to be unloaded. Aaron walks outta the bus and says to me, “Wow, I dunno what you did, but everyone on the bus is happy to see you.” That line made me especially sad. Finally coming to the realization that the friends you have gotten to know and love are leaving… it’s not a good feeling. Everyone starts walking offa the bus. One by one, I see the familiar faces I’ve gotten to know, but the look on their faces was different. One of sadness and regret. I try to cheer up and greet everyone and they start looking for their bags to carry. I decide to help Hisayo out and carry one of her bags as they walk towards the check-in desk. Everyone gets into the line to check-in and Alfred, Trung, Yancy, and me step outta the line to try and coordinate our gift giving plan. Andrea and Aaron stay in the line w/ them for whatever reason…

Fast forward to everyone checked in —>

Everyone starts walking towards the gate and Yasuko runs up from behind to surprise me. I hadn’t talked to her at all the whole morning. She shyly asks if I am going to Japan. I reply w/ “If I am going this summer, you’ll be the first person to know.” She blushes. Yasuko says she is a tourism major and she will show me around when I go to Japan. I say “OK” and give her a thumbs up.

We reach the front of the gate. It’s time to do this. If we didn’t do this now, our work would be for nothing. We start by heading towards Yukie. By this time, she was already balling tears. I gently pull her towards Trung and Alfred. Trung gives her a card and Alfred tells her to pick a dunny. Jonathan was handing out the DVD’s he made to everyone. At this time, we get rushed since they have to enter the line now. We split up to give out as much as possible. I grab my fellow Mashimaro in a bag and stuff the handles of the bag into my back pocket. I walk over to Yuka, Kosuke, and Takahiro. I hand each of them one of the golden dollars I had gotten from the bank yesterday morning.

*PAUSE*

The reason I have golden coins is that I believe they are lucky. If you’ve known me for a long time, you know that when I was a child, I used to collect coins (yes, very dorky… I know…), and I believed that the rarer the coin, the more luck it brought to the person. So my gift idea was to give them a coin that’s uncommon here and rare in Japan. They can keep it for good luck and it’ll serve as a reminder of me.

RESUME: Back to the gift giving —>

I give hugs to everyone I knew, but one last person, Yasuko. As I walk up to her, she was already crying like crazy. She had already gotten the card from Alfred (or Aaron, since he grabbed half the cards from Alfred) and the sand jar from Trung. I approach her and give her a long hug. “It’s going to be alright. You’ll be back someday.” I whisper in her ear. I let go of her slightly to pull out the Mashimaro in my back pocket bag. As soon as she sees it, she starts crying even more. I tell her, “I want you to hold onto this for me. When I go to Japan, I’ll be expecting to see Mashimaro and you again.” She accepts the Mashimaro and slowly nods her head.

It’s time for them to go, so they head off into the line. Yancy hides behind a sign and starts to spam picture taking. As they come around, we wave one last time to them. They take some pictures of us waving as we do the same. Yuri runs up to us to take one last pic w/ us. Saori does the same. Yasuko comes up to us and gives each of us a high five. (LOL) She seems much more composed and happier by this time.

Alfred, Yancy, Trung, and I see them go around one more time and turn around to leave. If we had stayed any longer, the emotional tension would have peaked. I’m sure it was painful enough just seeing them off at the front of the line. Waiting for them to disappear while waving would have been killer, to me at least and probably them too. Aaron and one of the Meikai student’s BF decide to stay longer as we head off…

It was done. They had left. A sigh of relief creeped into my mind. It felt good for a second, but after, a wave a sadness hit. Had they really left? Yes, it’s true.

Opportunities like this are rare, in my life at least. Getting to know people half way around the world and being enriched by their culture can be a really rewarding experience. I said this last time and I’ll say it again. Life is too short to be sitting around watching youtube videos and surfing facebook/myspace/etc. You’ll miss so much sitting at home. Experiences like this enrich my life and makes it worth living…

That’s enough of my memoirs, but i’ll post a memory gallery of Meikai later. That was a lot of writing… I’m sure if you got to this, ur done reading… LOL.

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2 Responses to “The Last Days: Memories w/ Meikai (yr. 2 – pt. 2)”

  1. Funk Xero Says:

    Great post man, its always tough to say good-bye but yeah good friends always find a way back to each other. I always say good bye doesn’t mean the end, sometimes it means new beginnings. And people important in your life never leave you but become a part of you and for good or worse, you are a culmination of the people you have met in your life.

  2. leylinewalker Says:

    Its all about ‘Love’.

    You know, I received a voicemail from Yancy asking me if I wanted to go with you guys to Karaoke – about 24 hours late. I hate my cell phone! lol As for the park and the minigolf, of course, I wish I could’ve been there too, but whatever your reasons, I’m over it. Water under the bridge, right? ^^; I want to hang out with you guys more often, though. (I think Tasty Wok wasn’t so good – Kelvin still think I’m weird?)

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