I started writing this entry on Saturday, so I’m in the mindset of Saturday. Seeing as tomorrow comes in a minute, I’m going to request you read this as if it was still Saturday so I won’t have to say “yesterday” all of the time. Now, without further ado, a journal entry~!
I do realize that I’ve yet to submit the two CS entries for last month. They’re scheduled to be about topics that don’t expire, so I don’t quite feel the rush to get them done. In other words, no, this is not a confession session and no, you shouldn’t expect one so soon.
Did you know a day only has 24 hours? Like, how pathetic is that? I tell you, there are just not enough hours in a day! Tsk, tsk, reality, tsk, tsk.
Anyhow, today, I wanted to talk about, well, today.
On Saturdays, I volunteer at my parish. We host a Vietnamese church school thing, called “Giao Ly” in Vietnamese. It’s basically a weekly, two-and-a-half hour session that teaches kids religious studies in Vietnamese. I attended it from kindergarten to grade seven, grades that corresponded with my grades in normal school.
When I was still in Giao Ly, the sessions took place on Sunday. Because of this, it was often referred to as “Sunday school,” which sounds more natural. Since it would be Sunday, it was almost needless to say that we studied religion. However, after the switch from Sunday to Saturday, I felt the need to specify what was taught.
One time, after mentioning I attended “Saturday school,” my conversational partner said, “oh, that’s why you’re so smart!” Yeah, no. We don’t learn a lot of things in Giao Ly that helps us in school. I mean, it offers a head start in religion class if you go to a Catholic school, but other than that, nope.
In grade eight, I stopped going to Giao Ly. This was because my three other siblings also went to Giao Ly. When they were in the system, schooling only lasted until grade seven. The principal’s daughter, however, was the reason they added more grades. See, she’s a year above me so whenever she went up a grade past seven, another grade past seven was created in Giao Ly. My siblings, being more than just a year older than I am, finished Giao Ly before it was extended to further grades. My parents allowed me to, more or less, “drop” Giao Ly after grade seven.
Grade eight of Giao Ly, after a year or two of what I call failure, was changed it to a training course. See, with grades from kindergarten to, currently, grade seven again, every class has one teacher and several students. Much like in a normal school, there are other staff members roaming the grounds and lending a hand whenever they deem possible. In Giao Ly, these other roaming staff members are previous Giao Ly graduates or other Vietnamese youth willing to help out. Originally, after grade seven, you were eligible for this position. The job was called being a TA, or teacher’s assistant.
I don’t quite remember who the TAs were when I was in Giao Ly. It’s very well possible that my class didn’t have a TA. See, back then, our little Vietnamese community was new to the idea of TAs. The TAs I do remember could be done university by now.
I became a TA this school year.
And apparently, so did everyone else. Giao Ly has a lot of TAs, so we each got put in a specific class as opposed to wandering around and looking for a class in need. In addition to the eight grades, there are also grades big enough to be split in two classes. In other words, there are a lot of classes.
And there are a lot of TAs.
I chose a grade one class because, simply, I was new to being a TA and I found a smidge of comfort working on the same floor as my sister (because she volunteers as well). Working with me are two others, a boy named Andrew and a girl named... Cecilia? Or was it Monica? She has a twin cousin and I can’t tell the two apart for the life of me. For the sake of this entry, I’ll stick to calling her Cecilia.
I know for certain Andrew is a grade below me. As for Cecilia, I thought she was in my grade, but I’m starting to think she goes to school with Andrew, meaning she’s either one or two grades below me, probably the former.
I don’t go volunteering as often as I should because, being the procrastinator I am, I often stock my weekends up with homework. Other times, I ‘m in a neighbouring city for the weekend (as my brother attends a university in the next city). Sometimes I skip because of school events, like a concert of some sort. Point is, my attendance isn’t something to be proud of.
The few times that I do show up, Andrew and Cecilia aren’t always there. They, too, attend extracurricular activities and so the grade one TAs aren’t so reliable.
Today, bless the Lord, all three of us were here. It was nice not having to leave the room every few minutes to print stuff and do this and that. The work was somewhat divided among us three. It was nice. For once, I found myself honestly enjoying volunteering, which implies rude things, but eh.
Oh, did I forget to mention Giao Ly, like a normal school, offers a recess break? Well, it does. Although my job is supposed to be supervising the younguns, I choose to stay in the classroom and look over my students’ work and progress. It’s surprising how much they improve. I should probably be proud of them.
In class today, I was making origami turtles and cranes for my students. It’s been so long since someone appreciate my craftsmanship. Being requested to make so many things at once was so nostalgically pleasant. When I was an elementary kid, I was obsessed with origami. I have evidence of my obsession in my room, if you ever choose to visit me in real life.
When recess came about, I found that I wasn’t done my origami orders, so I stayed in the classroom and folded. There were kids in the classroom with me. Every week, there is at least one kid who can’t find someone or something to play with, so they chill with me. We often share really simple conversations to pass time. I mean, what do you expect? They’re in grade one, I’m in grade ten. There’s quite a substantial age gap, not to mention the intelligence gap.
I was talking to this one kid as I was folding him a crane. Was it green? Was it blue? I can’t remember. I’ve made too many today.
Anyhow, I heard someone say something and the voice came not from the kid. It was Andrew, my TA buddy person. I usually see him talking to Cecilia, which leads me to believe they have a relationship outside being TAs of the same class. I’m not implying that I suspect them of dating. I’m just saying I think they attend the same school.
Goodness, I hate how the term “relationship” implies so many unnecessary things.
*ahem* But that’s dismissible.
I don’t quite remember how he started the conversation, but we talked like normal human beings, which was weird since I’m not used to talking to guys in person. He doesn’t really know that about me, so I chose to conceal my discomfort and talk to him like I thought a normal girl might.
It was really strange. He asked me questions that I’ve heard before, but they were the oddest questions. They weren’t your average, stranger-to-stranger questions, is what I mean. Yet, we were strangers. He knew more about me than I knew of him. I blame that on my impaired memory (which I might discuss in a future entry). To be honest, I only learned his name from the kid I was talking to previously.
Andrew’s and my conversation took a rather awkward turn in my opinion. We started talking about the boy-girl relationships. It’s not a topic that I openly discuss in public, but he had a way of speaking that made me feel safe exposing a bit of myself. Is that weird? To act so familiar with an almost-stranger?
“Have you ever had a boyfriend?” he asked.
“No, ‘course not.”
“Because-” and this is where I hesitated. I didn’t want to launch into a lengthy explanation of how I view dating. Instead, I answered, “boys have cooties.” I mean, it was short and it kind of got my point across. I hoped he would drop the topic, but my response seemed to add fuel to his words.
“You’re like a seven-year old grown up.”
Why, thank you! I never did want to grow up to who I am now. I’d have loved to return to my younger days.
After about a minute of talking about cooties, another kid ran up to me and asked, “What are cooties?”
Well, I thought I saw him run up to me. He could’ve been sitting there the whole time. How else could this kid have overheard my conversation?
Anyway, I improvised, “Cooties are... a deadly disease found only in boys.” I tried to keep my tone stern enough to portray some sinisterness while keeping it childish enough to make evident my sarcasm.
Did Andrew laugh, I wonder? My memory is starting to fade. I should probably hurry up.
Somewhere near this point, Andrew instructed the kid he sat with to poke me. The kid, possessed by the nature of physical maturing, was kind of short. He had to prop himself over the table (as we were sitting opposite to each other) to reach me. His hand lightly brushed the side of mine before he sat back down.
In an instant, I licked where he touched and wiped it on my jeans.
I haven’t a clue what got into me. What type of survival instinct was that? It felt so natural to rid my skin of alien germs. I’m an oddball, apparently.
“Wait,” Andrew said. “Do you actually believe boys have cooties?”
And for some reason, I lied, saying, “yes.”
OH! I remembered how our conversation took a turn towards boy-girl relationships! I remember how he started the conversation! Oh, the glorious feeling of remembrance~!
He was like, “do you plan to be a housewife when you grow up?” or something along those line. “You’re always with the kids.” This was, as mentioned, a reference to how I spend my recesses at Giao Ly.
After discussing why I stay in the classroom at recess, I stated my hatred for guys (which will probably be discussed in another future entry). That’s when he asked about the boyfriend things and yeah. Wow, remembering stuff like this is awesome.
At some point in our conversation, he asked me if I ever liked a guy. Slowly, I was being brought back to the reality where a girl named Lucia didn’t like talking about this stuff in public. “No,” I lie. “Boys have cooties.” This became my excuse for a lot of his questions as I didn’t want him to know who I really was.
Eventually, he says, “so a guy never liked you?” AHAHAHAHAHA, what. How in the world did you arrive upon that conclusion, Andrew? I’m offended, to some extent, not really but kind of.
“No, they—” and I stopped. I was going to tell him my history with guys and, quite frankly, I didn’t want to. Or rather, I’m not allowed to. Did you know, dear readers, how impolite it is to involve other people in discussions they aren’t aware of? How shameful it is to spread rumours regarding anyone but yourself? How I hate when people do that? And to start any drama, regardless of the severity, that exposes someone that isn’t you?
I’m a hypocrite, I’ll admit, as I do talk about people in my journal entries. But, dear readers, I’ll confess to it. Every entry serves as evidence of my faults and I will not deny what I have said in this journal. However, in normal conversations, a lot of things are spurted out without thought. A lot of things that shouldn’t be said are revealed to unwelcome minds. A lot of things happen.
But I was careful, dear readers. I didn’t mention any of the guys who have been captivated by my peculiarity. I didn’t mention any guys who captivated me by their peculiarity. I am a living secret.
“No, they—” the story continues. “Hey, that’s personal stuff!” I jokingly accused Andrew. I sent to friendly smile (or at least, tried to) and proceeded with folding paper. An awkward silence fell.
Since I felt guilty for killing the conversation, I asked, with my head still down and bent towards the paper in my hands, “do you have a special someone?”
I lied just now.
I didn’t say, “do you have a special someone?” I stuttered and hesitated and in the end, I said “Are you fond of a female human?”
“Do all honours students talk like that?” he laughed.
“No, I’m pretty sure it’s just me,” I assured him. I didn’t want to taint the reputation of IB-aspiring students. “Anyways, do you have a special someone?” I asked a second time, more contained and less strange.
I don’t know what he said at first. He started talking quieter and my ears were unprepared for the dramatic drop in volume. I did manage to adjust my hearing in time to catch, “but there’s this one girl” and that’s it. At least, that’s all I can remember.
I instantly thought of Cecilia. I wonder if Andrew and she really do share a special relationship of some sort. Perhaps I’m wrong. I’ve been wrong about a lot of things lately.
That’s all I can remember about today’s event, but I wanted to add another memory.
I went camping a few years ago with my church. It was someplace with cabins and campfires and lots of trees and grass. The memory wants to fade, but someone is pinning it in my long-term portion of memory.
It was cold. I can’t remember if it was night or day. It was probably a time that leaned towards the former of the two. There was this boy.
The two of us were strangers back then. I don’t remember what brought us together, but we ended up reviving a fire. I don’t remember how or when or where or, unfortunately, with who. I do remember a boy and a fire and us giving life to flames together.
The memory is also linked with a moment on the stairs of my church where I passed by the boy. He said to me, “Are you the girl who made the fire with me?”
And that’s all I can remember. I don’t remember his appearance nor his voice. I don’t remember his family relations, his age gap with my age, or, perhaps most importantly, his name.
If I try to remember, I am instead reminded of a kid who my brother accused to theft. His name began with V.
Why did I mention all this, you might be wonder? Why, if his name began with V, why do I associate this with Andrew?
Well, first of all, I don’t know if it started with V. The boy who my brother hates had a name that began with V. In my childhood memory, my brain links this accused thief to the boy who created a fire with me. I’m guessing, at the time, the two either shared a similar appearance or (this perks my curiosity) were the same person.
So the boy who made a fire with me, let’s pretend his name began with V. I didn’t know his name. I still don’t know his name.
Before today, I didn’t know Andrew’s name either.
So what, you might wonder? For your information, I do not think all strangers are the same person. That’s idiotic... I think. Perhaps that’s really how the world runs? Ahh, I’m losing my sanity here. I’ll get back to the topic at hand.
After Giao Ly, I was in the car with my mother and sister.
“Is that Vinh kid a TA with you?” my mother asked me. She said so in Vietnamese, so what I typed here is a rough translation. Also, I don’t know if she said Vinh or Vincent or Vladimir.
... I doubt she said Vladimir.
“The teacher seems really fond of him,” my mother continued.
“Oh, uh, probably.” I answered. Well, I supposed it wasn’t an appropriate answer. At the time, I didn’t get the question and I didn’t know who this (let’s call him Vinh) Vinh was.
But when my mother mentioned the name, my mind was brought back to the time when I was standing before a baby fire, steadily growing under the care of a young boy and a young girl.
Do you see the link, dear readers?
My brother disliked a kid whose name begins with V, according to my memory.
The boy who made the fire with me is linked to the boy my brother despises, according to my memory.
My mother addresses Andrew with a name that begins with V, according to my hearing.
Are these three people one and the same?
Now, does it seem logical that my mind links the campfire boy and Andrew with the fact that I didn’t know their names?
There are a lot of connections and it’s mindboggling me. Are they the same?
Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe none of them were the same. Heck, there’s the possibility that they’re all different people.
But there’s a hopeful curiosity inside me. Have I found someone who was lost in my memory? Have I found someone who can give me more memories? Have I found a nameless character of my memory in the Andrew I found in reality?
I want to believe they’re the same. I want to know that things like this can happen.
Dear readers, there’s someone else in my memory who I wanted to meet again in reality. If Andrew is the same boy I met years ago, I will be renewed with the hope that I can find my beloved first love. For once in my life, I want a valid reason to hope. I want to hope, dear readers, because it’s been so long; so incredibly long; so painfully, agonizingly long.
Andrew, in the slim chance you read this before next week, do take the initiative to talk to me about it. If not, that’s alright.
Whenever I see Andrew again, be it next week, two weeks from now, or even two months from now, I’ll start hinting at him. I’ll ask his if he ever went camping, if he knew how to make a fire.
Oh my geez, I just remembered something. He knows my brother. He mentioned my brother’s name in our conversation. The same brother who knows him. Gah!Was Andrew from my memory?
But if so, why hasn’t he said anything?! Has he forgotten as well? That can’t be! If everyone’s memory was as dull as mine, our world would collapse. He has to know. Andrew has to know. He has to.
I’ll ask him if he knows me.
Today’s lyrics are:
And when the night wind starts to sing
A lonesome lullaby,
It helps to think we're sleeping underneath the
Same big sky
Comment below the song’s title and artist and a reward shall be granted! Actually, for this one, there are multiple answers. I know I shouldn’t give hints, but this song has been sung by several upon several people. Any valid singer would merit a reward. Best of luck guessing!
Also, as always, thanks for reading. Any insight on the matter would be enlightening. Stick around to see how my investigation goes~!
Oh, and in regards to the CS entries of last month that were never submitted, they’ll be super late.
Okeedokes, with that, I bid my farewell! Good night if it’s dark out. Until next time~! yum_puddi
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