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I did not even like this person. I thought she was brash and loud and a bit of a show-off, member of those types who speak first before thinking. I feared she was sweet to my face, but harsh behind my back. So I smiled at her in class when I should, then averted my eyes.

It did not feel fake though, when she wrote us an email explaining her condition, then promising that she will see our team through until the end. It did not feel fake to me either, when her name graduated to my prayer list during my morning commute, and at night if I don’t pass out before saying them. I give her words that may sound empty under threat of a spreading illness, but will give hope if linked with sturdy faith. I give her words that I wish I can say to my mother, if only we were wired with a little bit more closeness.

In a strange way I am grateful. And I do like her now, a little.

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