Remnants of the Past

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Around 2001, I climb up to the second floor of the loft in kindergarten where all the books are. I extract one 36-page book from the big basket and start to look at it from the very first page to the last. No one joins me.

Around June 2005, I sink my teeth into a delicious-looking meat-filled bun in Enping, China. I soon become dangerously close to vomiting it out because the filling is partially cooked. Oh, and if that isn’t bad enough, the meat came from a poor, innocent dog.

Around 1997, my sister is born. While in the hospital, my aunt constantly holds me tightly. I develop an intense desire to visit my mom and check how she is doing, but am not allowed to. I guess my aunt is holding me like that because she didn’t want me to understand what my mom was going through at the time.

Around 2003, I take the wrong bus back home on the very first day of school. At least the driver is kind enough to drive me back to the school and let me wait for my mother there.

Around June 1999, I accidentally drop the home phone. The batteries detach from the system after impact. My father becomes furious and eventually slaps me on the hand after 5 minutes of chasing me around the house. He is waiting for a call regarding further instructions for his lymphoma. Damaging the phone makes him so much more impatient.

Around May 2007, every fifth grader gets ready to eat freshly baked apple and cherry pies that we assembled. A few kids at my table throw their slices away because they saw a few strands of hair in the filling. In turn, everyone else at the table loses their desire for sweet, luscious fruit surrounded in golden brown dough. They throw their slices into the trash as well for fear of ingesting additional hairs.

Around July 2004, without even looking carefully at the label, I order one scoop of Nutterbutter ice cream at Sundaze. It wasn’t until I felt some of the horrible effects of the peanut allergy that I finally decide to check the label- and end up seeing five peanut drawings on it.

Around August 2005, I enter a new school in a new district. Hardly anyone in the class treats me as a friend. My teacher’s faith and support in me helps significantly in combating that hatred.

Around 2000, it occurs to me that my sister isn’t speaking proper English. She still can’t speak in English 100% properly today despite hundreds of thousands of efforts from various tutors. But they still try to teach her.

Around April 2004, I prepare to release butterflies with the rest of my second grade class that we raised from when they were caterpillars. I open the door leading outside and release the butterfly in my hands before anyone else does. My teacher reprimands me for that because we were supposed to release them as a class.

Around March 1999, in the storytime room in the Nanini Library, my family and I sit next to another Asian family. My mom and the mom of the other family start talking to each other, and both revealed they had one daughter who were, more or less, the same age. Needless to say, they end up becoming excellent friends, and they also formed what I think will be the first friendship of both of those 3-year-olds.

Around March 2005, a boy named George Dawson harasses me daily. “Chinese pig”, huh? I wonder how he’d react if I called him a “fat black crow”?





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