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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 4, December 2015

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Jayashree Maniyil
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Once Upon a Time

Life wasn’t easy after my undergraduate degree. Every day, I spent hours scanning the newspapers and responding to job advertisements. With no real breakthrough coming my way for a few months, I was offered a one year unpaid on-the-job-training opportunity through a family friend that I readily accepted.

After eight months, I was handed a neatly folded envelope—promotion to a regular paid position and my first pay. I felt like a millionaire holding my first salary. Immediately I made a list of things to buy for everyone at home, along with a quick mental note to visit the new bakery around the corner, for my favourite veggie burger, the thought of which had already started my tongue tingling.

During our break, I stepped out to buy lunch, and noticed him coming up the stairs. As we passed, he swiftly slipped a piece of folded newspaper into my palm, and hurried on. Not daring to even look at it, I slipped it into my handbag.

Back at my desk, I found a little card hidden inside the folded piece of newspaper. My face began to flush. I hesitated, and quickly scanned the room.

There was no one around me. I opened my first love note.

unexpected rain . . .
under the banana leaf
a trembling puppy

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