The Vase Of Repentance

“Oh no,” Max and I whispered in perfect synchrony as I got up off the floor. The vase was gone and all that was left was the base. The ceramic pieces were strewn about as if a cannon had been shot in a china shop.

“Run!” I shouted.

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That day had begun like any other. My mom woke me up at approximately 8 am. I headed downstairs passing the new vase my mom had bought, and proceeded to pour myself a large bowl of cheerios. On this particular day I was very thirsty so I grabbed my water cup from the cupboard. As I walked to the water dispenser I contemplated the word cupboard. Why is it spelled cupboard? If it sounds like c-u-b-e-r-d why don’t you spell it that way? Anyway I was perplexed as I filled up my cup.

The jug of water was getting low, I thought. I would have changed it if I was stronger. My dad was the only one strong enough to lift the full jugs. The reason we had to get our water from jugs was because the water from the tap was dirty and unhealthy so we had jugs of water on water dispensers around the house so we wouldn’t get sick from drinking tap water.

After I drank my water my mom took my too school all the way talking about her new vase and how if any of us broke it we would be disowned. I didn’t  know what that meant but it sounded bad so I decided I wouldn’t break the vase. Or I wouldn’t try to.

The day at school was fun. In class we looked at our mealworms and the teacher called on me to help her with them, showing the whole class how they were changing into beetles. I had rice for lunch and a brownie for dessert. After lunch I learned how to say chocolate in vietnamese. My mom came and picked me up at the end of the day.

“Where’s Trajan?” I asked in the taxi on the way home.

“He’s at baseball practice,” She replied, “But you can play with Max at home. Just make sure you stay away from my vase.”

“Ok,” I said enthusiastically looking around the car, “Hey mom what’s that?” She looked where I was pointing. 

“That’s a pineapple,” She said, picking it up off the ground. She handed it too me.

“Ow,” I screeched as I dropped the fruit. “That hurts!”

“It’s got spikes Duncan,” She said laughing and putting the spiky fruit back, “It’s very sweet on the inside.”

“Cool, but I’m never touching one of those again.” I said staring fearfully at the fruit as if it was a grenade.

“We are here,” The taxi driver said, opening the door. Here in Vietnam our way of transportation was either walking or taxis. We did not have our own car. Sometimes we rode our bikes but me and Trajan were still learning. When we rode we looked like baby giraffes first trying to walk.

 We got out of the car and went to the gate of our house. Our house was pretty big in Vietnam despite being on an alleyway, even though most houses here in Vietnam are on an alleyway, It had four  floors with a storage area and a huge balcony covered by a thatch roof on top. It was surrounded by a green bamboo fence. We unlocked the gate to the fence and walked to our front door. On either side of the double doors we had a tangerine plants. They weren’t ready to be eaten yet.  They were yellow like lemons, and probably just as sour.

 As my mom opened the door I shot through like a heat seeking missile, headed for my target, the kitchen. I slid to a stop, grabbing the prize off the counter.

“I have secured the package!” I yelled, waving the plate in the air, “Thank you Ms. H!” I ran to my chair at the table and dug into the delicious morsel that was on the plate. Nutella and toast. The holy combo.

“Your welcome,” Ms. H yelled back. She was our nanny. She was awesome. She would make homemade food that could make your mouth water, she played games with us, and she helped my mom around the house with cleaning and stuff. She had helped mom pick out the green vase. My mom walked by watching as I scarfed the toast and Nutella down.

“Don’t eat too fast,” She warned, “You might choke if you eat as fast a cheetah runs.”

“Oh whatever,” I said between bites, “Where is Max?”

“He’s upstairs in his room,” She said as I threw my now finished plate into the sink like a frisbee, “And don’t play in the living room. There are too many fragile things to break.”

I ran past her ignoring her comments and scrambling up the stairs on all fours. I rounded the corner and ran into the living room jumping up three stairs to the floor with our bedrooms. I didn’t see Ms. H so she must have been upstairs in my mom and dad’s room. I ran past me and Trajan’s room and ran into the wall at the end of the hallway. I fell to the ground like a sack of potatoes and could hear my mom yelling downstairs.

“I told you you shouldn’t run Duncan,” She shouted.

“My only reply was some groaning as a rolled onto my stomach. I rolled into the room next to my point of impact.

“Hey Max,” I said, “Whatcha doing?”

“Nothing,” He said looking at me from his perch upon his bed, “Wanna play some soccer?”

I sat up immediately “Yes!” I shouted, jumping to my feet and running back down the hallway into me and Trajan’s room. I picked up the tiny soccer ball on the ground and tossed it into the hallway. “Let’s go!” I ran out of the room kicking the ball at the wall at the end of the hallway where I could imagine the impact area where I slammed into the wall like in the Looney Tunes cartoons. It rebounded back at me and I fell backward dodging the ball like Neo dodged bullets in The Matrix. I windmilled my arms trying to regain balance from my epic maneuver and fell backward just barely missing the corner of the wall into the living room.

“Get up,” Max yelled jumping over me into the living room, spinning around to kick the ball at my face. Once again channeling my inner Neo I dodged the ball but this time for the price of my foot. My foot hit the wall and my toe suddenly erupted in pain.

“Ow,” I said looking at it, “That hurt.” I got up and tested my foot. It was fine. I got the ball back from the ground and punted it at Max’s face. He caught it and placed it at his feet pulling his right foot back. This time I was ready and I got into a goalie stance.

“If it gets past you and into the hallway I win.” He said leaning forward. He kicked his foot forward.

Blam. Everything happened so fast. The ball rocketed forward at least 200 miles per hour. I prepared to dive for the ball. It seemed to curve like the ball in all those films. It sped to the left then to the right, confusing my senses. Finally I saw the pattern and jumped at the ball. It slammed into my chest knocking me back. The ball shot through my hands and straight at the vase.

“Noooooo!” I screamed, still falling. Max whipped his head from my falling body to look at the ball. I could see his eyes widen as he realized what was going on. He jumped at the ball missing only by centimeters.

Crack.

“Oh no,” Max and I whispered in perfect synchrony as I got up off the floor. The vase was gone and all that was left was the base. The ceramic pieces were strewn about as if a cannon had been shot in a china shop. 

“Run!” I shouted. I turned around and sprinted for my room. I slammed the door and heard Max’s footsteps run by and then another slammed door. I walked over to my bed and sat down. No no no no, I thought hitting myself with the pillow, I should have listened to my mom and been more careful in the living room. She is going to be so sad and because of what? I was an ignorant kid not listening to a word my mother said? I will never again ignore my mother’s comments. I will listen to her and make her proud.

I got up and walked to my door opening it and going out into the hallway. I walked to the living room and winced when I saw the carnage. I took the broom from the corner and swept the shards into the base of the vase. I felt bad for what I had done so I decided to atone for my crimes. Once I had put all the shards into the base I called out to my mom and told her about everything. She did not forgive me but she said she was proud that I owned up to it. From that day forth I always listened to my mom and never ignored her. 

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