Cao Rachel




It has been inside me for ten years. 


As I woke up, I opened my phone. I looked out the window, it was almost dark. 


I wanted to text my friend, but I saw a notification from the family group chat. It was another family picture sent by my grandma. My grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, my two cousins, and my dad. I stared at the picture for a few seconds. My grandma and grandpa were standing together, my aunt’s family sitting together on the bench and my dad was standing at the corner smiling. 


My eyebrows twisted like a piece of tangled string, and I shut my phone. 


My mom wasn’t at home, so there was only me. I sat by the window, stared outside, and listened to the noises of all the cars and a few buses driving past like a river stream. 


The family picture lingered in my mind and wouldn’t go away. 


The face of my dad became clearer than other people in the picture. I remembered every now and then when I visited him, he was such a nice and gentle man that never got mad. But same with that gentle tone, the cruelest words came out of his mouth. 


“Me and your mom are no longer able to get back together.”


I remembered when I was younger, my five birthday wishes spent on wishing to have a complete family, how much I traveled between my mom and my dad, and the letter that my grandmother sent to my dad about how much I desire for a complete family. 


At the very early stage of my childhood I’ve been sensitive about this. In second grade at lower school, seeing other kids having mom and dad together picking them up and I only had my grandmother. Families sitting in a restaurant having noodles. I had always been jealous of them. 


At those times I would stare at my grandmother sitting on the other side of the table. I could see a flash of imperceptible emotion under her eyes, I didn’t recognize what that emotion was. 


But when time moved on I managed to ignore it. 


I immigrated to another country, I escaped a place filled with my silent pain, that I even didn’t notice for years. I met new friends here, the happiness brought to me covered the deepest pain inside me. 


But then one of my friends and I got into an argument. It was in PE class, I swung the badminton racket at her, but I still controlled my strength. 


What I didn’t expect to happen was that she screamed in pain, yelling to the teacher that I had hurt her chest. At the corner of my sight I saw she was looking at me, with pride in her eyes. 


In the afternoon, I got the news that she went to the hospital. 


Her mom was screaming in the rooms. 


Other patients sitting in their beds were putting their sight on her, but she ignored it. 


“Your daughter has a mother that gave birth to her but doesn’t have a father to take care of her!”


My friend’s dad and herself fell silent, offensive words kept bursting out from her mom’s mouth like an erupting volcano.  


I couldn’t forget those words. I felt like someone had lifted me up by the neck, and peeled my skin off, inch by inch, and all my fresh flesh had been shown to everyone. 


Some car beeping sound pulled me back. I was still staring at the traffic outside, and felt the itch in the deepest part of my heart. 


I pulled down the curtains, stood up and left a big sigh. 


Clothes need mending, wounds need healing. 


Envoyé: 11:30 Tue, 14 March 2023 by : Cao Rachel age : 15