Thu used to live in Saigon. When the war ended, she had fallen in love with a boy who lived next door to her. He was her first love. He would write love poems to her. Sometimes they would hold hands. Once they shared a kiss. They were young and deeply in love. But as the war finished, they moved on from each other. The boy went to live with his family in Australia, while she moved to America. After they broke up, Thu would still think about him. He was the one who dumped her. The breakup crushed her heart. But she didn’t let it mar her dignity. Time passed, Thu moved to Virginia and she went to high school in Fairfax County. The letters started pouring in from the boy. But she had too much pride and she didn’t respond until one day. That was the day that John Lennon was murdered in cold blood. She was heartbroken like every other person in the world. Yet, she also thought of the boy and how much he loved John Lennon. Thu remembers reading the newspaper, seeing John Lennon’s face on the front page of the paper. She took a pair of scissors and cut a square around John’s face. Then she wrote a letter to the boy. And then she sealed the newspaper clipping and the letter in an envelope. Begged her mom over the phone to send the letter to the boy. Her mom was still in Saigon and somehow she made contact with the boy. And she gave the letter to him. A month later, she opened the mail and there was a letter from the boy. She read the letter, stifled a cry, and then proceeded to write. The next day she sent the letter. Thu was happy to read his words. It was as though she could hear his voice through his sentences. Like he was there next to her, looking at her, speaking to her spirit. Days passed. Weeks passed. And then after a month, she realized he wasn’t going to respond back to her letter. She couldn’t believe that he didn’t give her a response.
“And that’s the end of the story,” Thu said to her son. “What do you mean that’s the end of the story? That can’t be the end!” “Well you’re the writer, right? Think of an ending.”