171128 Wang XX, 7th Grade, Male

Translated by Neil Sun

Since my parent’s divorce, I was very lonely.  I didn’t want to play with my classmates in fear that they would look down on me.  So I didn't make any friends and no one wants to socialize with me neither.

I have never had a birthday celebration as others do.  I don't even know what "Birthday" means.  The money others spend on a chicken drumstick is my breakfast budget for an entire week.

Most of the pens I used come from leftovers because my parents don’t have money.   One time, when other students found me scrimmaging through the trash can for usable pens; they called me beggar and kicked me.  I ran home crying and did not want to return to school.  After my mother learned what happened, she said: "Go back to school.  As long as you study hard, I will support you to finish elementary school even if I don’t eat.” I listened to my mother and went back to school.

My life is full of setbacks because I'm not always clean, I’m not good looking, and I have a scar on my face from a car accident.  One day, in order to save money, I decided to walk home from school and did not take the village bus.  Halfway on the uphill mountain road, a car suddenly rushed toward me and knocked me down.

Because I'm dirty and poor, even my most respected teacher rejected me.  Once the teacher's pen fell to the ground and I picked it up and returned it.  The teacher looked at my hands and wiped the pen with disgust on her face.  Since that incidence, I didn't help that teacher with anything at all.

My current teacher is very nice to me.  Once, he even bought clothing for me.  He told me not to keep to myself all the time.  Instead of waiting for others to take the first step, he encouraged me to actively make friends with others.  Taking his advice, I am very happy that I have since made several friends.

There is another incidence when there was a group of creditors came to my house and asked for payment.   Under the pressure, mother cried to my older brother: “Stop going to school.  You will start working and taking care of your younger brother.”   I ran to my mother and burst into tears.  Grandpa said: “Keep all the children in the school.  I will borrow more money.”  Eventually, mother calmed down and agreed.

I asked Grandpa: “Where is my father?” Grandpa said: “Your father had a big argument with your Grandma.  He burned down the house and said he would not live with Grandma anymore.  He left and I’ve never seen him again.” Then Grandpa started crying.   I comforted my Grandpa and said: “Don’t be afraid.  I will keep this family going.”  Grandpa said: “Good boy!”

To make money, I do shepherd’s chores and carry water for well-to-do people in the village.  On this day, I earned 30 yuan (~=4.75 USD).  I was very happy and I ran to the village store and bought Grandpa 3 yuan (~=0.48 USD) worth of milk.  I also paid 10 yuan (~=1.6 USD) and bought a pair of gloves for my mother.   My mother's hands were scratched and bleeding from working too much.  Then I still had 17 yuan (~=2.3 USD) left.  I ran home to give rest of the money to my mother.  My mother was moved and started crying.  When Grandpa learned about it, he also cried and praised me that I have grown up.


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