“My name is Mehoko. I live alone in New York City. My family threw me on the last plane here.”
My name is Mehoko. I live alone in New York City. My family threw me on the last plane here. “You deserve a better life than what you have here. Go, Mehoko, to a world I heard that has more!” My parents’ voices still echo in my ears as I repeat our last moment together. It hurt leaving my home in Quivik, where we always had rice for our meals. Quivik is in a distinct island off of China, and we speak Chinese, but we aren’t as advanced with life as they are. My life was still better, though. It might have been hard eating the leftovers of our old Emperor (who to say was actually quite nice), especially since we had to polish his house 20 times so we could get at least a dime’s worth of money (that’s how they say it in New York), but at least I had something. Here, I am lost and have only a bit of food. My authentic Quivik wear is ripping, and I have sort of started to lose hope, though I did have a decent day today.
I look to get a job, so I can fulfill my family’s wishes. I have run into some people here (by accident), and they were all so lively! I have observed how they speak, walk, and eat. Earlier today, I stopped at a Chinese restaurant and was greeted by two nice ladies, and they said they could possibly hire me.
They gave me a couple of dollars saying, “We few Chinese people need to stay together and watch out for each other.”
I nodded my head, though I am Quiviknese. But besides that, I know that I need to spend the money on food!
A few moments later…
I have been watching a little girl and her dad walk into a store that said Grocery Store. I have learned a few things about the language, and I now know a few words and their meanings. Anyways, I keep following them throughout the store without them knowing, picking everything they get and putting it in a crate/bag thingy. (I have never seen these helpful things.) Well, as I am following them, my heart is sinking. They keep playing together like me and my dad had once done. I only just stopped following them because they are now going to the “cash register,” and I can only be in the line. Now that they are leaving, I am desperately trying to put my things down exactly like the kid had.
“That will be $50.25,” the guy is saying, looking at me.
I don’t know the currency rules here, but I am just going to hand him a paper with a 20 on it. “Here.” I want to get out of the store because now there is no one to learn from, so I keep pushing the bill towards him.
“Oh, are you new here because that is only $20, and I need 30 more dollars and 25 cents,” the guy said once again, looking me up and down.
I can only nod because I really am having trouble with what the guy is saying. But he is full of surprises as he reaches for this black thing and dials numbers.
“Hey, boss, we have an Asian girl who looks like an immigrant who doesn’t have enough money… Yes… Okay… So I can give her the discount if she will work here to pay it off… Okay.” He hangs up. “Well, I will let you off the hook if you will work to pay it off.”
I keep nodding and repeating his words “work.” I am so surprised nobody ever leaves Quivik because you can’t work if you aren’t legal, and I learned in school that I could’ve gone to jail! I can’t stop myself from smiling, and he is reaching out his hand, so I will do the same. He continues to shake my hands, and I feel very proud right now. Mom, Dad, I will not fail you. One day, I will retrieve you from Quivik, I am thinking to myself.
I am looking at the shopping list thing that is coming out of this weird machine here. It says: bread, ham, banana, apple, watermelon, tomatoes, grapes, strawberries, crackers, cheese, hamburgers, hotdogs, water, juice, sugar, ice cream, cookies, cake, flour, pasta, lollipops, and gummy worms! My time here will be awesome and delicious! I feel better now that I have worked things out. Tomorrow, I start work, working. I am actually sort of happy I moved! But I will, I will, thank my lucky star, the one that made a difference! Quivik is my Home but New York is my City!