In retrospect, there was something exciting about leaving school early especially earlier than everybody else. My mother came to grab me out of Ms. Wojtyna’s fourth grade class. “Excuse me, I’m sorry for interrupting but I have come to pick up my daughter. Today she is leaving to China”, said my mother. At last, my adventure starts today! No longer would I be under my mother’s grasps . No longer would I have to bore my head in despair and suffer the stifling weeks at home.
Our Summer had began. Good-bye my fellow classmates, see you all next year. The day was lovely after all it was Summer. When me and my father waved our solid goodbyes to your family, I felt, that there were some ambiguities that day that my antennas could not receive, perhaps I was too young to take notice then and, also, to know the proper behavior. I trailed off with my father to the airport only to look forward in the freedom we could compensate together that Summer.
I had yet to see my grandparents after five long years living in America. Maybe the reason for the cold goodbyes we shared that day we knew we would see each other and by a little over a month, time would snap in an instant. And so it came to pass that I arrived in Hong Kong an quiet girl that followed her father’s more experienced sense of direction.
Upon walking to my grandparent’s home we passed through street-markets crowded with people.
Most seemed to just pass by not in much interest to buy merchandise. We reached a familiar paltry building that held a arcade downstairs for the public entertainment and apartments upstairs for living space. My grandparents lived in a exotic building that I was always excited to go to because of the convenient access to the giant arcade room on the ground floor. But there wasn’t much use of going if I didn’t have any company willing to go with me. My grandparents and father felt that they reached the limit of their youths and no longer wanted to play childish games; they had a tendency of going out to restaurant to eat breakfast and sitting contently on their couch watching television at home. I thought these moments were just as great. There were some part of me that thought that my grandmother disfavored my mother. Maybe, it was the flat and solid tone she gave or the way she snorted at the bag of green mochi candy my mother gave her as a gift.
Either way, I was only a child and I couldn’t look too intensely over this. After many instances of waking up in the morning, right at the point when dawn breaks, I thought I wasn’t used to the standard living time. Many times I would be astounded to look out the window and compare the desolate streets to the ones during the day. Then I would go back to sleep and wake up to a bright morning. Still all but one were asleep. I suppose my grandmother noticed my morning patterns and she decided to share her special albums of her nephews or my cousins that she respectfully displayed on top of the couch. We laughed and enjoyed many of the pictures that showed a story of human growth within a family setting. She offered me one piece of green tea mochi candy that my mother gave her as a gift. The sweet candy melting in my mouth resonated the moment I shared with my grandmother, simply happily at ease. During dinnertime we would all sit around those small folded up tables that come by cheaply over the market. The dishes steamed on the table but as I looked over I didn’t have much of an appetite.
My grandmother would sternly warn me that I’m too thin and that I need to eat more. But none of her words made me any less full. She averted her eyes over my bowl many times and many times it looks as if I merely touched my rice. I knew that not finishing my rice would give me a hard exit pass to do other things so I sat there in silence until someone took notice that I wasn’t hungry. Every morning and dinner routinely went on like this for many days. I loved that moment that I shared with my grandma that I wanted to reenact it again every morning but she no longer awoke when I awoke. Nonetheless, I carried on by doing a one man show or to say one” person” show altogether. At nighttime, by my surprise, I overheard my grandparents talking derisively about my disappointing behavior I have shown over the past weeks staying with them while my father was busy taking a shower. I could hear them from the other room speaking.
But the one thing that stuck in my head was when they said I was a “bad daughter”. Never have I been called that before and never have I thought myself to be. Immediately I burst into uncontrollable tears. As my father came in to my bedroom from finishing up his shower, I pulled the covers over my head and tried to mute my weep as much as possible. As I thought of home and mother, silent tear after tear came pouring down my face and then dried by the most convenient material around, my blanket. As days went by, I became more reserved in an environment I thought I fit perfectly in. One day, all four of us watched T.V. and my grandfather got up, smiled, and said he was thirsty. As he walked up to the kitchen he turned over his head and asked me if I wanted some milk. I nodded. When he came back he sat down on the sofa with a warm cup of milk in his hands and another cup in his other hand. He poured some milk into the other cup and gave it to me.
As he was pouring his milk, my grandmother screamed at him consistently to not share the same cup because he’s a an old man with probably some diseases that could be contagious. I couldn’t help but grin and drank the warm milk that filled my insides with warmth too. From the act of kindness that my grandparents showed me, I realized that they’re not cruel people. They still loved me even though I had done things they disliked. I realized my faults while living with them. I took advantage and showed greed while staying in their home. Never once did I thought to share or ask if they wanted a portion of the piece I held. Sharing is important because in many ways it shows others that we care, respect, and consider others. Even though sharing something we enjoy to another may not entirely make their day the happiest it is the best feeling and worth to know that we could give bit of happiness to someone else.