By Darius Tucker

This won’t be the last time you see Bandia

You really do care 

There is always next year

You knew this would happen, right?

You will see him soon enough

It is okay

Remember this moment

Let it sink in

Let it go

Don’t let this set you back

We learn and move on

These are all the things said to me after I left the village and my friend Bandia. It’s true that time is the best remedy for pain, but I know that this one will never fully go away. I don’t know if it was the naivety that I thought this day would never come—that we will have to go our own ways—or it was the fact I truly believe that I had a chance to stay for life. 

But in that moment when I realized that it was over, the things I looked forward to seeing everyday, a smile from Bandia, a laugh, a hug at night were gone just like that. In that one moment as we slowly pulled off I felt like I was being torn away from what I learned to love. I couldn’t believe it was gone because it was a sound I have heard my whole life: an engine. In my mind it meant this was over, but there’s always time to come back. But, the truth was, there wasn’t. My time with the people with hearts as pure as gold was over. And to all the things that were said to me after we left the village, one comment stuck with me that wasn’t in words. It was from the soul. Sira pointed at her heart, then at mine, then at mine, then back at hers again. And that is what the whole trip was: an unspoken connection. That was stronger than any other words. 

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