Sung Mi

Rebecca’s attention was redirected itself from the decimal problems on the white board to the now opening door. Fully opened, it released a flood of daylight into previously dimly lit classroom. Following the sudden daybreak, the entire fifth grade class blinked and shifted their attention as well. There in the doorway stood the familiar figure of Mrs. Marsteller, the school guidance counselor.
“Hello class, I’d like you meet your new classmate, Sung Mi, “Mrs. Marsteller beamed as she stepped aside.
There stood the skinny outline of a girl. Her long, foreign black hair was braided into two dark plaits down her back. It was beautiful, Rebecca thought, like ebony rain or black shadows spun into silk threads. Despite the girl’s beautiful hair, she was dressed strangely. Even for fifth grade. Long, purple plaid socks and a knee length jean skirt covered her bamboo pole legs. A yellow polo brightened her sunken chest. Her head was bent down but Rebecca could tell from what little of her face she could see, those crescent moon eyes confirmed her ethnicity to be Asian. Two boys in the front of the room snickered.
“Welcome Sung Mi,” said Mrs. Sullivan, Rebecca’s fifth grade teacher.
She looked around the room, presumably for a seat for Sung Mi.
“You can sit next to…Nicole!”
Nicole Cashman groaned audibly from the back of the room. Sung Mi looked up and her face had a sad look. Rebecca looked deeper and realized it was a look of confusion. Mrs. Marsteller obviously noticed this too and whispered to Sung Mi where she was to sit. Sung Mi’s confused look vanished and she smiled widely revealing two rows of crooked teeth. Sung Mi bowed deeply and said in a squeaky but heavy accent,
“Thank you…teacher!”
This was too much for the fifth grade class. They burst out laughing. Mrs. Marsteller’s smile vanished, she glared at the class and left. Sung Mi’s face got that confused look again, but this time Rebecca realized that this was sadness. Sung Mi bowed her head and hurried to her seat. Mocking laughter was the same in whatever language you spoke, Rebecca realized sympathetically. Mrs. Sullivan was furious and deducted the recess time from twenty five minutes to ten.
During recess, the class split quickly into cliques (as puny as cliques might be in fifth grade, but cliques none the less.) Rachel scanned the playground until she spotted Sung Mi sitting alone on a picnic bench. She had a pink notebook sprawled on the table and was scribbling actively into it. Rachel watched as two boys—the same two boys who laughed at Sung Mi’s name, snuck up behind her. The one directly behind Sung Mi’s left shoulder pulled the corners of his eyelids reducing them to slits. Sung Mi turned around and faced the boys. They continued their antics.
“Look at me! I’m Chinese like Sung Mi!”
“I not Chinese!” Sung Mi shrieked as she fled ditching her notebook.
Rebecca glared at the boys, she grabbed Sung Mi’s notebook and chased after her. Rebecca finally found Sung Mi, crying in the school’s butterfly garden. Hearing Rebecca’s footsteps, she looked up half fearfully, half resentfully. Her eyes were rimmed with red from salty tears,
“You come to make fun of me?” She asked.
Rebecca shook her head and held out the notebook.
“No”
“I not Chinese, komawoyo,” added Sung Mi miserably taking the notebook.
Rebecca sat down beside her. A yellow and black monarch butterfly flitted from a honeysuckle bush and alighted on Sung Mi’s shoulder.
“I think you have a friend,” said Rebecca smiling
Sung Mi’s face lit up as she smiled, the butterfly flew away. Standing Sung Mi stood up and bowed at it zig zagging figure.
“Komawoyo butterfly,” she said, thanking the butterfly

From that moment on Rebecca and Sung Mi became the best of friends. Rebecca tutored Sung Mi in her English pronunciation and grammar, Sung MI taught Rebecca some Korean customs. Friendship is a powerful thing; it can bring life to hopes and can do the impossible. It can bring two different worlds together.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

CameronOliver said...
Jan. 24, 2011 at 10:52 am
Thank you, but there are so many dang typos.
 
jlevin said...
Jan. 21, 2011 at 9:18 pm
youre a beautiful writer.
 
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