Heart And Seoul by Jen Frederick
I can’t remember how I broke the door, but the reason I was crying when I was ten is still vivid in my memory. Why that’s the memory of my childhood that has stuck with me I can’t explain, but humiliation is like superglue. My elementary school days are a mosaic of failing the spelling bee, tucking my skirt into the back of my tights, not realizing I had peanut butter smeared across my sweater for a whole day, seeing my crush confess his feelings to another girl on the same day I was going to declare my fourth-grade heart, and then this one. I’d like to say that these past hurts stung and I moved on, but I can recall the day with perfect clarity. It was sunny and the school term was nearing its end. We were all anticipating summer break and perhaps that was why we were testy with one another. During recess, a couple of stupid kids asked if my face was flat because I’d fallen off the monkey bars and landed facedown. One, I had never fallen off the monkey bars. I was strong as hell even at age ten and I could fly across those damn things. Second, my face is not flat. If anything my face is too round. My chin is curved and my cheeks are plump. I don’t have a prominent forehead or deep-set eyes, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s an Asian thing.