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It’s all right

It was a sunny summer day in the year of 1997, topping out the hottest summer on record in Los Angeles.

May (35), a pleasant-looking Chinese woman of a neat appearance. Yet she also looks abnormally pale and elusive. She is making a jar of fruit smoothies while talking to Ling (40, a waitress in a Chinese restaurant) on the phone in her kitchen.

“I will come in after 5 pm, Anne gets out of school around 2:30 pm. Tell Mrs. Huang, I will make up those hours to her next week. Thank you. I will see you.”

The apartment is quite small. It only has one bedroom and a half bathroom. The kitchen has a window partition to separate it partly from the rest of the room. On the wall, you see a girl holding various trophies and certificates smiling at the camera in difference pictures. May finished making smoothies. She hung up the phone and put a jar of smoothies in her purse. She wore a black plaid shirt, black pants and a thick black leather shoes. It’s the dress code for waitering in Chinese restaurants.

Radio played softly in the background.

“It’s the hottest summer on record in Los Angeles. The heat wave crossed much of the country has raised a serious concerns of health to children.”

You heard door closing.


May waited by a bus stop with her lunch box. She got on the bus.


It was 2:45 pm. The bell rang, and students started to walk out. Anne (10), is dressed in her school uniform, white collared polo shirts, blue skirt, and white tennis shoes hurried to May.
May gave her a kiss, put her arms around Anne, and squeezed her neck. Then she withdrew.

“How was school?”
“Good mom.”
“How did you do on the math test?’
“Good, i mean i got a 88, but still that was the highest grade.

Before Anne could finish her sentence, May glared at Anne, and almost yelled at her.

“Why 88? I told you a B is unacceptable to me. You need to be the best every single time. Did you study for this test?

Anne was shocked by May’s reaction. She frowned, and stood there. She looked angry. You see Anne opened her mouth and almost bursted out some words. But May looked furious and Anne started to slowly put down her head.

VO of Anne’s monologue

I did study, I was the best. I scored the highest in my class. Why do you care so much of grade. Jackie got a C, Brian scored 78. I scored 88. Yea, I should have done better. I could. I will study more next time.

Anne looks up, and May already walked away. Anne tailer her quickly.

May kept walking down the street, Anne followed with a careful distance. The smoothies jar is sitting quietly in May’s purse. Sweat has dripped down from Anne’s face.

You see Anne looking down to the ground and walking aimlessly. She looked up and tried to find May’s attention several times, but May never turned back. Anne kept walking, her face turned red and she opened her mouth several times but didn’t say anything. She kept tears in her eyes and swiped them off when they were about to burst out.

Other kids were calling her name from their parents’ car. She looked at them and felt very disappointed by May’s reaction.

She kept walking and sighing.


Why do I need to care grades? It’s not the end of the world. I want to watch       and play with Emily.
No, I need to study more. I have to get an A next time.
No, I don’t need to. I will go to Emily’s house and eat her mom’s homemade chocolate cookie. She is such a nice person.

You see Anne passing by vendors on the sidewalk of the street. They are mid aged Chinese. You heard them bargaining with their customers in China Town in the background.

Anne stops by a bus stop. She looked at the timetable. It’s the stop which they take to get home everyday. May passed by like she didn’t even see it. She kept walking.

Mom, you missed the bus stop.

Anne screamed at May. May did not turn back, she kept walking faster and faster.

Ann started to run to May. The heat has become increasingly sweltering. Anne’s breathe were also shortening.

May has crossed the intersection, and left Anne behind. Anne stopped before the last second of white padestrinian light went off.

Anne felt because May was almost disappearing in the far distance.
It was the longest road Anne had to crawl out of.

When they finally got home, May walked and shut the door in Anne’s face. Anne stood outside of the aprtment.

Emily (10), stepping out of another apartment

“Anne, come, let’s watch  Simpson. My mom is making chocolate cookies.

Anne looks at her, and shaker her head.

Why? What’s the matter?

Anne didn’t say a word. She just kept staring at the floor.

Emily left.

Then she felt a blackness in her, then she fainted.

Cut to

Anne woke up. May was rubbing her hair. The fruit smoothies is placed on the table. May’s flaming tears drizzled on Anne’s cheek.

Answering machines speaks
May, where are you? Mrs Huang is looking for you. When are you coming to the restaurant?

Anne hugged May.

You have to score

You heard other kids laughing in the background.

May then started to walk away.

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