Dear Journal, December 28, 2012
From the day I was conceived I have always been categorized as different. My brothers and sisters were considered perfect and infallible but not me. Maybe it was my constantly messy hair; my lack of the ability to wake up early, or the fact my highest grade was only an A. But I still had to live with my family every day, and suffer from the silent abuse of being unlike them. Perfection, beauty, poise, and obedience described my siblings. To the eyes of my oldest cousin they could do no wrong.
I have seven siblings and two of them were sisters. My oldest brother was Kiku; he was incredibly intelligent and very polite. Then there was Kai, he was the second eldest and carried a calming aura around him. Next there was my brother Bihn, he was always eccentric and had to say what was on his mind, but his thrill of adventurous attitude made life more entertaining. After him there was my mature sister Viet. From the looks of her you say she was a dare-devil! But inside she was a calming sea. Another brother I have younger then Viet is Xiang (pronounced like Chang) he was the most stoic person I have ever been related too. In our family he holds the silent position. Again I have another sister, but her name is Mei, and she is the complete opposite of Viet. On the outside she looks like a sweet, bubbly girl, but on the inside I say she’s the devil! Finally there Hyung Soo! And lucky me to have a twin brother who has been good at everything he does. Yao, my strict older cousin calls Hyung Soo a prodigy child. I guess I never could compare to how perfect he is and-
I stopped writing and looked at the clock. 11:30! What! How long have I been writing? I sighed and got up from my desk. Today had been another exhausting day as I suffered being compared to my siblings. Then there was a knock on my door. (Actually it was more like the fire depart was breaking down the door.)
“Im Young Soo it’s 11:30! Go to bed!” Yao shouted through the thin wood of the door. He had been woken up by the sound and lights coming from his youngest cousin’s bedroom. Instantly he thundered across the hall, one because he was annoyed that he couldn’t sleep peacefully and two because Young Soo should have been asleep hours ago.
“I’m going to bed now Yao!” I said as I flicked the light switch downwards and stumbled into bed. I listened to my cousin rant quietly about bad sleeping habits as he walked down the hall. For a couple of moments I laid there on my tossing and turning trying to go to sleep. After what had seemed like eternity my eyes closed as Morpheus traveled into my mind.
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! Blindly I tapped my alarm clock off and rubbed the sleep from my eyes. Oh great another day of being asked why I’m not perfect! I sat up and stretched my arms and legs before rolling over and dragging myself out of bed.
By the time I was down stairs my family of robotic like humans had already started breakfast. Each one of them was prim for perfection. Not even a single hair out of place. Yao looked at me disapprovingly but said nothing. He didn’t appreciate tardiness.
I glanced down at the breakfast Viet (the best cook in the house!) made for me. It was a slow-cooked roasted salmon, with a side of white rice, miso soup, and accompanied by a recently heated cup of jade tea. I started eating and every now and then I looked at her. Out of all my siblings Viet was my favorite! She was like a mother I had never had.
Slowly I took a bite of the smoked salmon and chewed as diligently as I could. I could feel the intense gaze coming from Yao as I took each morsel of food into my mouth. Every time I shot a glance up I saw the harsh glare from my cousin. Soon the acids in my stomach could no longer digest the food because of his stare.
I was about to tell him off until Viet forced her chopsticks down upon the Katatsu table causing everyone to give her a startled look, “It is time to get ready for school,” She said very abruptly. Viet new that the strong sense of dread and suspense would cause more corruption between the family and her brother, “We do not wish to be late,” she added in a monotone voice.
If instantly such as the pressing of a light switch everyone was standing in front of the door ready to go. Yet even so I am always the one dragging on behind. Together we all bowed respectfully and replied in perfect unison, “Thank you! We are going to school! Goodbye!”
That was the only time of the day I did something as well as my siblings, saying eight words all at the same time without anyone messing up. Pathetic! I growled in my mind.
Dear Journal, December 29, 2012
I’m sorry I haven’t updated you with the thoughts of yesterday. I had to stop before Yao found out about you. Nothing has really ever happened to me that can be described as thrilling, or exiting, or even exhilarating! No my life is boring and cruel.
For example today at school everyone thought I was Hyung Soo and no one wanted to talk to me. (Why did I have to have a twin brother who obsessed of war and military strategies?) All the teachers thought I was one of my brothers, and when all the questions they asked me were wrong they asked if I was sick! Then I had to explain to them that my name was Young Soo not Hyung Soo, Kiku, Bihn, Xiang, or Kai! Don’t you learn other peoples’ names in Kindergarten?!
In my science class we were learning about chemical and physical changes when my lab partner Jazz-Ella decided to pour too much baking soda into the vinegar and create a chemical explosion on the table! The Mr. Hansen asked who did this and I got blamed! Then I was sent to the principal’s office and the principal just excused like it was no big deal! School is so confusing!
I thought I hit the worst of the day, but some middle school girl crossed all the way to high school to give me chocolates and to say how much she liked me! I thought I was a nice gift, but I had to turn her down saying that I couldn’t got out with a girl who was only in sixth grade when I was in ninth. When I was at wits end with her she started crying, and her brother a big, burly, jock (I repeat he was BIG and he was BURLY!) brother beat me up for making her cry!
So that brings me to here now. I am sitting under the sinks in the abandon boys’ bathroom eating lunch and holding tissues up to my surely broken nose. My sister Viet being as motherly as she was let borrow her ice pack since we only had six. Why we never bought one for me was beyond (especially when I came up to Yao to decide.) reasoning. I was using the ice pack on head to make the pain go away but it was melting rather fast! Any way back to describing food! My lunch was the same as it always was. Green tea, rice balls, fried vegetable stir fry, and leftover dim sum was what I ate every single day for lunch for the last ten years and-
The bell rang for lunch to be over. I cursed under my breath. Quickly I finished my last thought before shoving the last of my rice ball into my mouth. Then I sprinted out of the door way and to my next class. My only class I shared with all of my siblings, history with Mr. Yamaguchi and the angelic, student teacher Ms. Julie D’Anglio.
I ran through all the halls dodging people and ducking from flying book reports. Barely had I made it to the class room A-46. I rushed inside and took my seat in the far back of the class room. Farthest from my siblings who sat like china dolls in the front.
Viet turned to me and offered a small smile. It was a feeble attempt to make this next class less torturous for me since I was always out shined from all my other siblings. I gave her a nod in return with a faded smile. She turned away from me and sighed. I knew she was worried about me, but I didn’t want her to give up her life ambitions for me.
Mr. Yamaguchi stepped into the class room followed by the lovely Ms. D’Anglio and some kid who I had never seen before. He was sure strange looking! On his white as chalk face he had big violet eyes and his long honey blonde hair covered over is round, cracked glasses. To top it all off he had a stuffed bear with him! Who carries a stuff animal with them in high school?
Mr. Yamaguchi cleared his throat, “Ahem! Today class we have a new student! His name is Matthew Williams! I expect you treat him with respect and make sure he’s comfortable in this new school!” He then turned to Matthew and pointed to the empty seat next to me and said that was where he was going to sit for now.
My eyes stalked the new boy until he was next to me in the farthest corner of the room. He offered me a gentle smile and I tried to wave back, but then class started. Soon the next period lesson began. Internally I groaned and wished I could have stayed in the boys’ bathroom writing.
After fifty-two minutes on writing essays on the history of Rome the period ended. I was about to leave when a hand grabbed my sleeve. I whirled around thinking it was one of my siblings, but instead it was Matthew. He looked rather embarrassed when he said he didn’t know where the Home Economics room was. Luckily for him I had that class next too so we went together.
I grasped his arm and dragged him out of the room. We both speeded through the death trap hallways and around each corner of doom. By the next three minutes we ended up in the correct room and completely out of breath by the time the last bell rang. We made our way to seats and again I sat next to Matthew.
Mr. Vargas entered the room and said that are assignment for today to make chocolate chip cookies without having any accidents. Such as burning down the class room which happened a week ago when Alfred Jones said he knew how to flip pancakes like a pro. Instead of white, fluffy, flat cakes there were only the carbon remains at the end. He had not only burned the pancakes to ash, but also half of the ingredients as well as Mr. Vargas’s shirt.
As I mixed the dry ingredients Matthew was doing the same with the wet ones. Surprisingly, He could cook and cook well! I grew to like the kid more as each minute passed. Next we put all the rolled up pieces of dough onto a greased try and placed it in the small oven. Mr. Vargas came over and examined our handiwork. Once approved he said we could have free time. The teacher strolled over to Alfred and his partner Arthur’s table to discover that they decided the cookies should be blue and there used copious of food coloring, which splattered all over the walls. We both covered our laughter as we heard the argument form Mr. Vargas and Alfred.
For the rest of the period Matthew and I discussed funny stories about cooking food. He told me about the time his father tried to make breakfast but all the food by then had spoiled. He said the milk was sour and the toast was not only burnt to a crisp but also covered in mold! I told him the time we decided to have a picnic, and just before we started eating a couple miles away there was a fire work show. The sound was so unexpected that my cousin had tea spew back out of his mouth onto my sister Mei. Those were incredible display of bright colors lighting up the sky when they started as pieces of metal.
Once my story was finished we both heard the timer go off and took out the cookies. They looked absolutely divine. With a golden color and smooth chocolate chunks barely melting. Mr. Vargas gave us both A+s’. We high fived each other for a job well down
Dear Journal, December 30, 2012
This was the happiest day of my life! I had never felt so perfect in my life. This was because of my new found friend Matthew! Mattie (his nick name) and I became best friends within one day. Even my own family has noticed the results. I’m no longer a grump towards my family because I realized that no one is perfect. Yes, Yao tends to play favorites, but he still cared for me. It turns out Mattie suffered the same problem with his family. He had a twin brother who was very loud and always took all the attention away from Mattie. Alfred Jones is his twin! Who knew?!
I thought I was down in the dumps! Mattie had the most annoying guy as a twin brother, and I only had a military obsessed twin. Even though our lives were completely different we still find the similarities. For example Mattie was out of the picture in his family same as I was but for different reasons.
Mattie’s life was like ripped paper. He grew up in Canada with his mother. Alfred grew up in America with his father. Their sons’ barely knew about each other’s existence. After they turned six their parents got back together again and moved to New York. Mattie and Alfred then grew up together, but Alfred was more assertive and took Mattie out from the family view point. Sometimes Mattie’s parents wouldn’t recognize the fact that they had two children. Mattie became known as invisible person! When he got transferred into high school we met each other, and took all the bad parts of our life and made them positive!
My life was the rusting on an iron fence. It started out brand new and happy and as time passed on it became broken down and desolate. My father married many times because he could never have a love that lasted more than a couple of years. His sister gave birth to my cousin Yao, but she was very ill and couldn’t pull through. Yao the first child to be in custody with my father.
Yao was a spit fire to put it short. My father had to work in the office and had to constantly bring his little Yao-Yao with him. But Yao was four when my father took him in and like all toddlers they can become rebellious. So for the first time my father married a young Japanese woman and gave birth to Kiku. At first everything seemed okay that was until a terrible accident occurred leaving my father with two young boys. Ever since the death of his first love my father dedicated his entire life to his children. Soon he had a new lover.
She was an angel to my father, but she already had child with another man who took the money and left her. The third child of the family was my second oldest brother Kai. Kai was the mediator of the family. Kiku was the polite one who was more obedient then a butler. Once again the new wife became with child and bore my brother Bihn. Together they lived peacefully.
On a cold, windy night there was crying from outside the house. That was when my father discovered two orphans Viet and Xiang. Nobody knew anything about them from the neighboring towns. They were soaking wet and alone. Now there were six children in all living in one small home in the country side of western China.
Mei was next after that. She too was an orphan. My family was on a stroll in the rice fields in the Terrance. A small head peeped out from behind the rice plants and my father adopted yet another child. They all seemed at peace until a horrible storm brewed up.
Lightning and thunder raged on as a mighty storm gave way. I remember Yao saying that the house rocked so much it was as if they were in a hurricane in the middle of the sea. The swaying of the rice plants went from dancing to look as if they were contorted in painful positions. Xiang said the lightning struck the house igniting flames to appear on the roof. The house was burning.
Viet said that our mother picked all of the children up by their necks and threw them out the door to safety. Each child was told to run away from the home. My father was holding up the entrance to escape. Yao being the eldest gathered all the children, and kept them a safe distance away from the house. Yao gathered all the children except one. Mei was left inside.
Our mother knew that and dove back into the fire when she heard Mei scream. Her scream made every ones’ blood run cold. The littlest in the family was surrounded by flames on the second story of the house. My father’s newest lover grabbed the girl and flung her at my father’s chest. My father called for his lover, but she told him to go and save their daughter. Once he was out of the house the rain came pouring down.
Our mother was gone, as well as the crops, and home. So once again there was a speed bump thrown at us on the high way of life.
After that horrible catastrophe my father took us to the big apple of our new home America. And that’s where he met his final love. My birth mother a beautiful Korean woman named Im Eun Sun. She bore him twins, who was me Im Young Soon and my brother Im Hyung Soo. As for a wedding it never happened.
By that time Yao was eighteen and he took responsibility for all of us. After the car accidents of our parents he was claimed to be in charge. My cousin Yao gave up high school and college for us. He took up a job and raised all of us.
Though all those years Yao faced the hardships the most. But it was him who kept us as a family. And even when life seems rough you always pull through. Well that’s Mattie said (he’s the one who helped me realize my life isn’t so bad). I think when life is throwing you off the horse; someone is going to help you get back on the saddle.