The Mobile Home on Bolsa Ave

People who live on hills sleep so close to the stars they forget those of us who live too much on earth. They don’t look down at all except to be content to live on hills. They have nothing to do with last week’s garbage or fear of rats. Night comes. Nothing wakes them but the wind. -The House on Mango Street

My First Loss

Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! I squint my eyes as my mom turns on the blinding light to wake me up. At first I was reluctant about actually waking up, because it was still early in the morning. But when I heard her say, “We need to go check on grandma.” my heart started to beat like a drumline and I jolt out of bed to get dressed. My whole family gets dressed in a blitz and make a beeline to the car. 

“What happened mom! How is grandma?” 

“Uncle Phu just called and said it was urgent, that I know right now”

Everyone in the car sits with our knees going shakity shake and hold in our breath as we pull into the emergency room parking. We did not care if we got ticketed we needed to get in there as soon as possible. 

“Hello we need to get to room 302 really quick it is urgent”

“I understand sir, but you must check in”

The nurse emotionlessly hands us a clipboard and we all have to write down our information as quickly as possible and get our nametags to allow us entry into the hospital rooms.

The lights were dim and the mood was damp

With our hearts racing we followed the map to find our grandma’s room

But. When we turned the corner our hearts leaped off the cliff and sank deeper and deeper.

My uncle stood outside the room crying… we were too late, my grandma has joined my grandfather.

Image taken by me

The Rope

My sister and I watch tv shows in the dark as they yell at each other in the kitchen. The racket outside sounds like a giant tornado just ripped through the house and threw everything around. 




I clasp my sister and shut my eyes. I wished that things could just simmer down and everything could be peaceful once again. It really hurts to see the two people who cared for you the most fight with one another. 

“Im sorry”

“Im sorry too”

“. . . “

We slowly sneak a peak in the kitchen and see them hugging it out. At last they have mended the rope. Everytime they cut the rope it can cause a lot of destruction, but tying it back together brings the two ends closer together.

My sister and I watch tv shows in the dark as they yell at each other in the kitchen. The racket outside sounds like a giant tornado just ripped through the house and threw everything around. 




Dad’s home!

I awake to the sound of my mom yelling for me to wake up. I try to remember what day it is and come to the realization that it is a school day. Disappointment fills my mind as I put on my spider man shirt and brush my teeth. I try to rush through the morning as I am sure my 5th grade teacher will not cut me slack this time for being late again. Suddenly I remember that I had something cool to show my dad and run out to the kitchen.However I was only met with an empty coffee cup because I forgot that he had already left for work like every other weekday. I guess I will have to just wait till sunday to see my dad. My papa works very hard almost everyday going to work early at 5 am in the morning and coming home at 9pm. 

“Why does dad have to go to work all the time mom?”

“He works hard to keep you happy and fed boy”

The next dawn I wake up with an ominous feeling flowing through my bones. It is extra foggy today and I somehow woke up at 5 am. I rub my eyes and notice in my peripheral vision that my dad was sitting on my bed. 


“I got laid off”

“What does that mean?”

“I can stay home with you”

I felt a rush of joy and jump to hug my dad, but did not know that this was not the good news I thought it was. He started tearing up and I was confused. My stoic dad who works and gets things done every day is crying.

The “Play” ground

The blades of grass crumple as I sprint across the green and wet field. I can feel the swinging hammer in my chest pound away as I pant for air. 

“Maybe they won’t find me here”, I think to myself

My pals and I were just simply playing tag

The rough wind blows past my hair as I walk to the back of my elementary school field to find a more hidden spot.

Andrew is smart, but he isn’t the fastest one of the bunch.

Daniel is fast, but he easily gets distracted by bugs

“They will never find me here”

But that was not a good thing

As I turn the corner behind the fence I lay my eyes on kids double my size. 

They must’ve been 6th graders or something because I could only feel my heart pumping faster.

The older kids walked over to me and they did not look happy that I found them smoking cigarettes in school

“Knock him out!”

“Punch him!”

Fight or flight kicked in and I searched through the back of my brain for all the karate movies I watched with my dad.

But before I could think of what to do I got the air knocked out of me by the big boy in a red shirt.

The world around me spun and became dimmer and dimmer.

Someone flicked the switch and the lights were shut off.

I guess I fell asleep

Bring your Lunch!

My mom is simply a spectacular cook. I love eating the food she makes whenever and however she makes it.

Her traditional food items are a culmination of all the skills she has learned from the people before her and the skills that she has honed to perfection today.

Personally I love it when my mother prepares Thit Kho or Bun Rieu.

There is a perfect balance between spice and savory that will always have you bringing the bowl over to the kitchen for seconds.

My mom wanted the best for me and put the effort to make me special packed lunch every morning.

I was the only one bringing in fancy handmade meals to the school cafeteria.

At first it felt amazing to be able to eat the wonderful food at school.

I twist the cap and the steam of deliciousness would overwhelm my face.

But, I noticed something.

The kids started to giggle about my food.

It was different and weird to them.

I turned beet red and tried to hide the food I was eating.

What I did after is something that I regret doing till this day.

I went home and asked my mom for Lunchables.

She was heartbroken, but wanted the best for me so went out to buy me the mass produced artificially flavored food.

Now that I’ve grown I realize the food I eat and the culture within it is what makes a big part of me. I shouldn’t abandon myself because of what other people think. What makes up your lunchbox?

All images are courtesy of Pixabay

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