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Mier is from China

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and I can never understand what she is saying. She is always asking me how to pronounce words and I
tell her the wrong thing because it is annoying to listen to her struggle to pronounce a word with
too many consonants. But it is fun to listen to her say 'potty toe' over and over again, memorizing
the syllables like they make up a real word that means something. It is even funnier when potatoes
come up a week later and she says 'potty toe' in front of the whole class.

Then one day Liyu finds us where we are hiding from her behind the building at lunch, and tells me
her address like I am going to come over or something. I mumble okay thanks, and turn around to try
to remember what I was saying to Robert, but she doesn't go away. She just stands there for a
while, and when I don't say anything, she says:

'Don't you want come ober''

I look at Robert and he looks at me and he is just as scared as I am.

I clench my jaw nervously and look up at those awkward eyes that are always rolling around all over
the place and looking at things. No, I think. Just say no. Say no, Dustin. 'No.

'Yes.' I am always saying yes when really I mean no.

Before I can say anything else, Liyu starts talking again, and I have to stop thinking about what to
say next to translate.

'Oh-kay. I see you den at five clock.'

By the time I am ready to protest, she is already gone.

Robert laughs.

'Oh, no.' I tap dance around the words in a terrible impression of Liyu's pidgin English. 'You be
come wid me.'





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