Over the past two years Wenxing has mentioned his mum’s playing poker more than once in the journal. It seems that the mum is a poker addict.


Wenxing is a high school senior this year. He started the new term on July 25. After doing lessons for about a fortnight, he got one day off. The break started on a Wednesday afternoon. After the third lesson, all the classes dismissed, Wenxing headed home.


Upon reaching their flat, Wenxing groped for the keys in his pocket, but they were not there. It occurred to him that he had forgotten to take them along when he left home earlier in the day. He knocked on the door but there was no response. “Mother must be playing poker games with her friends again,” he sighed.


Not being able to get in, he decided to go to a recess in the community, where he thought he could get some homework done. To his chagrin, the corner was not quiet that afternoon. A lot of kids were playing there and therefore it was quite noisy. Wenxing sat down and set about his school assignments anyway.


Despite the bedlam, Wenxing soon concentrated on his work. He was working on a maths problem when an uncle in the neighbourhood noticed him. The uncle asked him why he was doing his work in this environment. Wenxing explained why, and the uncle gave him an approving look. Then the uncle started chatting with other adults in the place, saying that students at Wenxing’s school were studious. The comment lifted Wenxing’s spirits a bit.


When all his work was done, it was 7 pm. Mother was still not back. Wenxing thought it was a waste of time waiting. An idea came up. “Why not go and get a haircut?” he thought. He knew that his mother frequented a hair salon in the lane near the community. He decided that his mother must be a VIP customer there. In that case, he could charge his haircut to his mother’s VIP account. He had run out of his pocket money.


He walked over into the shop. Upon inquiring, he was told that no one there knew his mother and that the mother’s name was not on the register. Wenxing was upset. He was about to leave the premises when a barber apprentice stopped him. The barber called Wenxing by the name, which surprised him. Wenxing asked the young man how on earth he knew his name. The barber explained that Wenxing’s sister was his friend. Through the sister, the barber got to know it.


Thanks to the young barber, Wenxing got his hair done without paying in cash. He promised to ask his mother to come and pay for it later. The boss agreed.


It was 7.40 now. Wenxing went back to his home. Luckily by this hour the mother had come back. Opening the door, the mother found a sulky teen standing there long-faced. It immediately dawned on the mother that she had made a terrible mistake. She had forgotten that the son would have a break the very evening because it was only a Wednesday. The mother apologised to Wenxing repeatedly. The son forgave her in the end.


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