Shengliver’s Note: Teen Dai Yang misses his ex-teacher a lot.


Miss Zhao was my first Chinese teacher in primary school. She was the kindest teacher I had ever met then. In my first lesson, she said that I must be a cute boy. She later told my parents that I would grow into a wise man because I had a kind heart. She talked as if I were her son.


Because I started school too early, the first day of school scared me. When I got home from school at the end of the first day, crying like hell, I said that I would never go to school again. Miss Zhao later visited my family. After talking with my parents, she convinced them that I was still too young for school. Therefore I was able to wait until the next year to start my education thanks to her advice.


The next year my schooling started. Miss Zhao was still my Chinese teacher. One day a harsh maths teacher came into the classroom with a stick in his hand. He dragged a boy out of the classroom. When Miss Zhao saw it, she rushed over and stopped the maths teacher from taking the boy away. All the students in my class witnessed Miss Zhao confronting the man teacher in the corridor. Years later, one of my classmates told me that he had found tears in Miss Zhao’s eyes during the row. Miss Zhao won in the end, because all the students informed the head teacher of the maths teacher’s misconduct. From then on, no one in my class would disobey Miss Zhao.


Two years went by. She quitted her job for a reason we kids could not understand. She gave us the last lesson before she bid us farewell. After that I did not meet her for years.


When I was in middle school at the age of 14, I encountered her. I was going home when my friend pulled me aside and said, “Look, Dai Yang. Do you remember who she is?” When I looked in the direction my friend was indicating, I saw a woman farmer in a grotesque straw hat walking to us. It was Miss Zhao. I was too nervous to say anything to her. I managed a smile, embarrassed.


At the end of that term, a horrible traffic accident happened in our city. The accident was nothing unusual until I was told that Miss Zhao had died in it.


The encounter earlier that term should have been our last meeting. I will miss her a lot.


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