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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 10, Number 3, September 2016

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Chen-ou Liu
Ajax, Ontario, Canada


The (Mostly) True Story of My School Days

It was the first day of school, and I waited by the community gate, keeping an eye out for any sign of the school bus’ arrival. My mother held my hand so tightly that I felt as if I were chained to a lamppost.

“Mom, what time is it? When will the school bus come? Will Uncle Bus Driver forget to pick me up? Mother, did you tell the school . . . ,” my mother interrupted my rambling and looked me in the eye, saying, “Son, you need to be patient. Just wait for the bus. I contacted the school a month ago and made sure that they would pick you up once school starts. Don’t you want to spend more time with me now?”

“Yes, I want to be with you. But, Mom, I just don’t want to miss my first day of school. Hsing-hsing always tells me that there is a lot of fun stuff in the school. I like to play . . . ,” “Honk! Honk!” Upon hearing the arrival of the school bus, I was so eager and ready to shake off the grip of my mother’s hand and rush inside.

a box of crayons
in the pool of sunlight
a circle of kids

When I got back home that afternoon, I could barely stop talking about my day. My mother kept nodding her head with a smile as I regaled her with my stories.

The next morning, my mother woke me and said, “It’s time for school.” I looked at her in a cheerful mood and asked, “Mother, does it happen again?” Pausing for a moment with tears welling up in the edges of her eyes, my mother replied, “Yes, you’ll have another happy day in school.”

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