Monday, October 8, 2018

I Would Be Fine

written by Chakriya PHOU
photographed and designed by Chakriya PHOU

Did you ever think what I would be if you left me? 

I could tell you, don't worry, I would be definitely fine. I would still be who I was. I would still eat delicious food. I would still go to work as usual. I would still smile when people asked about you and I would tell them with a smile that I and you broke up. 

I would still go to have fun with my family and friends on weekends. I would still join my relative's or friend's wedding and wish them happiness. I would still have nice sleep and sweet dreams every night. 

Well, if you truly left me and we met one day, by chance, I would say hello but I could not let myself love you again, like I do today.

Note : this story was edited by American writer but I did not remember her name and I have lost contact with her. I would like to express great thank to her for editing my story.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

If your father and your mother fell into the sea, who would you help first?

written by Chakriya PHOU
edited by Arnold Zable
photographed by Chakriya PHOU

On Sunday, I met my friend.

She asked me, "If your parents and your boyfriend fell into the sea, who would you help first?"

I could not make a decision because all of them were precious to me.

On Monday, I went to class. Then I remembered my friend's question. I decided to set it as an exercise for my students before the lesson began. I amended the question, "If your father and your mother fell into the sea, who would you help first?"


I said, "Hands up." 

Still quiet. 

I decided to point to one of them. I looked around and I chose the girl who was sitting in the fifth row table on the left. She stood up and said, "I don't know how to swim. Moreover, even if I did, I would not be able to carry father nor mother from the water. I weigh only 40 kilograms."

I was surprised. But she was correct. She was truly the number one, outstanding student of the university.

I bet not one of the students understood and perhaps you don't too. 

The Girl was born to be dead

written by Chakriya PHOU

This world does not seem to have justice. 

I was dragged into this world; a man raped a girl, and she got pregnant. 

When I was in her womb, she wanted to give up on me.  

Three months after conception, she drank medicine to get rid of me. Unfortunately, the medicine had expired. 

She tried again when I was three-and-a-half months old, by going to see a doctor. The doctor refused. She went to another nurse; she agreed. On the day they made the appointment, the house of that nurse caught fire. 

She did not stop thinking of getting rid of me. She jumped from the stairs, jumped from the first floor, rolled down a hill towards the rocks, etc. but at those moments, people helped her. 

That girl cried every night. I could hear her crying. I saw her punch her abdomen strongly. I could feel how much she hated me. 

When she cried, I cried too. I wanted to say sorry. I didn't mean to upset her. 

She ate little. Perhaps she wanted to kill me step by step. She couldn’t kill me openly; she had to do it secretly. 

Before long, it was nine months and then days. I could not remain in the womb anymore. I had to get out. I did not care about anything besides freeing myself from that narrow space full of snot and mucus. 

At last, I was able to leave. 

Then the girl became sweet to me. 

She said, “Sorry.”

She carried me, she kissed me, her expression was completely different, but I did not feel anything from her warmth and love. She cried and cried and cried, but I could not hear her, I could not hear anything. 

I was dead when I was born. It was my destiny.

When you looking at the river

written by Chakriya PHOU


Eh, what are you looking at? River? The bank at another side of the river? Or are you looking at the sun? But the sun is covered by the clouds. Are you trying to see it? 

Well, you look gentle today. Normally, you were naughty. You ate a lot, but this morning you just had only a glass of milk. Are you not well? Are you upset with anyone? Is there anything wrong?

You know, today you behave strangely. You don’t talk with anyone. You seem not happy with this trip. You act that you are bored with all people. You make everyone scared and worry about you.

Since you arrived here, you just sit and look at that side. You don’t walk. There are many places to visit on this mountain, but you seem not interested in it.

What’s wrong with you? You smile. Who do you smile at? You smile alone. Eh, what's the matter?

Your face expression shows that there is something in your mind.

It is the Mekong River. The wind is cool. It is Kampong Cham province. Perhaps you are thinking of your childhood. Yes, Kompong Cham is your hometown. You are missing your house that you lived before. Your hometown is as same as the district of Teav, the main lady character in Khmer novel titled ‘Tum Teav’. You nod your head. You are missing it for sure.

Tboung Khnom, you were born there. You stayed in a house with your parents and your siblings happily. You stayed shortly. Your family moved to the city when you were young. You rarely visit your hometown. That's why this time you feel missing it so much. You want to visit it. You want to see your old house.

You are thinking and comparing your past and your present. Also, you ask about your future; what will it be?

You know that you cannot return, but you may feel happy when you think about your past because it was a happy time.

The thing you are afraid of is about the future. It is because you cannot see it. You cannot see even this evening, tonight, or tomorrow. You try, but it’s impossible. If you can see it, you will feel relaxed.

You take a deep breath. According to the health advice, taking deep breath is good. It brings Oxygen to lungs and brain.

You should not worry much. Yes, you do it correctly. It is lunchtime so it is better to stop thinking of anything and go to eat. Let's go.

History teachers

Tonight, Robert was laying on the ground next to my lounge, quietly.  Seeing he was not active, I asked, “Don’t you want to know anything mo...