What I Can Remember

“The Grocery Store Aisle”

I never got to see my mom often, she picked up more jobs and worked all day to late night. My dad worked the same, but was off on the weekends. They worked to pay rent for the whole house and other bills. My uncle was home looking out for us, but it was really just an excuse to not have to go to work. I stayed at home and watched Netflix with my brother. My brother would keep me company as we shared a room with our parents. It was getting pretty boring but I was soon to be put into kindergarten. I liked the idea of it, I’d get to make new friends and go outside and play. But as of right now, I’m only 5 years old, and I still bawl my eyes out when my dad leaves for work. How was I supposed to make friends? I only had 1 friend, excluding my brother, she was an old lady living in one of the rooms of the house. I’d go into her room and her husband would be sitting in a chair in the middle of the room, just staring at the wall in front of him. If I’m being honest, it freaked me out. The old lady would feed me plain vanilla ice cream and drag me away from my father’s leg in the morning. I liked her. She was a typical old Asian lady you’d find in the aisle of a grocery store looking for Jasmine tea. 

“Typical Talkative Tuesday” 

It was a typical Tuesday and I woke up to go to school. I didn’t have any friends and quite frankly didn’t want any. I hated people judging me and looking my way. I don’t know why I cared so much but I did and I don’t know how to get rid of it. My dad drops me off at school and I walk to my class. My backpack feels awfully light today and I looked in and I realized I left my folder at home. With my homework. I felt like crying because this was the first time I left my homework at home. But what can I do now? The class starts and we are learning about new vocab words and grammar work. Today we had testing on counting by 2s. I can’t get past it for some reason. I keep messing up after 16. The teacher assistant called me up to test. It was an oral test so you had to speak out the numbers. I failed it as usual. I wasn’t even bothered by it at this point. Then lunch came. My least favorite class of the day. I had no friends to eat with or hang out with. I would finish eating and circle around my favorite tree at the school and peel off the bark or I would sit back on the lunch benches. Yeah. I lied. I wanted friends. I wanted friends so bad. I’d be jealous looking at groups of friends playing handball or four square or laughing and walking together talking about the people they had crushes on. I envied people who had friends. How do you even make friends? You know? I questioned and got insecure about myself. Maybe I was just ugly and no one wanted to be my friend. Maybe it’s because I didn’t talk. It’s not like I didn’t want to talk. But who would understand that considering everyone around me were extroverts. 

“The Piano”

My aunt was driving my cousin and I to her first piano class. The piano class was located next to a supermarket and looked super sketchy. As we were dropping Nat off for her piano class, my aunt asked me if I was interested in learning the piano with her daughter at this place. I looked at the flier and I was really interested. The piano looked super cool and I think I’d look cool playing the piano. You press keys and they make sounds. It was satisfying looking. The white rectangles and black blocks on top. So I said yeah. My aunt talks to my mom and she signs me up. I went to classes every week and I loved it. The teacher was named Mrs. Pink and she had a husband, he would eat in the corner of one of the rooms just on his computer. There would be many keyboards with different stations all bunched up in a small shop. I chose the keyboard which had a rice cooker seated next to it because it seemed cozy. The walls were covered up in newspapers and the floors were creaky. But I had the most fun here. I also made a friend, Annie and she was the weirdest person I met but we had a lot of fun messing around on the piano… I mean learning on the piano. A year passes by and I love it, another year passes by and i’m okay with it, another year passes by and I hate it, and another year passes by and I regret it. 

“The Sleeping Auntie” 

My mom was a hardworking lady. Average height, black hair with barely any gray hair. She’d wake up at 3am to go to work and would be home at 10pm. Only having Sunday’s off. I’d go to sleep early at 8 or 9 so I never got to see her. But sometimes when she’d come home at night, I could feel her Eskimo kiss on my cheek. On Sunday’s my mom would sleep the entire day and I always wondered why my dad would take me places or go out to eat on his weekend off but my mom just sleeps. She’d also be half sleeping sometimes and tell me and tell my brother and I to go practice on the piano. Which I hated. My mom didn’t know any better back then though, I only knew her as a sleeping lady. I didn’t know anything about my mom. As I grew older, I realized she sacrificed her time to work to earn money for my brother and I. I realized it was selfish of me to only think she didn’t care about being home and taking care of me or taking me places on Sundays. If only I thought about it a little harder… like it would’ve made a difference.

“55% Chance”

I groaned. It was 6:20am and my alarm was shrieking in my right ear. So unfamiliar. I didn’t want to get up. I had no motivation. Ever since… yeah. I stood up, I stretched, and I dressed. I go to my kitchen and toast some wheat bread and spread some avocado on top of it, with some meat on the side. Im getting more and more anxious. My mind fills up every single second, 55 times a day, for 24 hours. 55 is a big number, I don’t know why I am so obsessed. It’s crazy how much this can affect me and why I can’t stop thinking about it. I didn’t know if the day was going to end well or not, but I didn’t care, I’m just going to keep going. Doing whatever I want. I tidy myself, until I take my newly cleaned backpack, put on my shoes, and leave the house for my pending doom. I was sweating, clammy hands. as I stare outside the car window. Half an hour later, I arrived at… yeah. My new middle school, in a new district, a new city. I step out of my car and walk towards the entrance. With my head up high, chest out, and swallowing my gulp, I walk confidently to face it. That’s how I was. That’s how I still am. 

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