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by HUYENTRAN NGOMAI (United States)

Issue 2.1    April 2020

Illustrations for Rose by Tran Ngomai-4.

Rose felt angry. There was a girl in class that Rose really wanted to play with, but she didn’t know what to say to make the girl play with her. The girl kept playing with her brother instead.


She felt so angry that she couldn’t take it anymore. “I hate you!” Rose cried.

The teacher got angry, too. “Rose, apologize to her! You’re just jealous,” said the teacher. 

Rose thought. Was she jealous? Well, she did feel a little hateful and angry towards the girl. Was that what jealousy felt like?

Suddenly, she didn’t want to play with the girl or her brother anymore.


Rose ran outside during recess and sat on some grass.

There were dandelions! She blew on one and wished, “Please give me a dog.” She blew on another and wished, “Please make me a princess.”

Rose was about to blow on a third dandelion when two girls came up to her. 

Mimi and Momo shuffled their feet. Rose looked down. She felt uncomfortable. What should she talk with them about? 

“You’re a little shy, you know,” said Mimi. Was Rose shy? Well, she did feel uncomfortable and didn’t know what to say to them, so she must be shy. 


Rose slowly found her voice. “I like to blow on dandelions and make wishes.” Together, they blew on dandelions

“I like to look for lucky four-leaf clovers.”


Together, they looked for four-leaf clovers.

“I also like to pretend that fairies have come to play with me.” Together, they played with fairies.


“Wait a minute,” said Momo. “We came to play with you. Does that make us fairies?”

Rose smiled a big smile. “Yes!”

Funnily enough, she didn’t feel sad and quiet or hateful and angry anymore. She felt happy.


This must be what friendship felt like! While they played together, her brother and the girl came up. “Can we play with you?”

Rose smiled an even bigger smile. 



Huyentran Ngomai, 17, is an introverted and shy teenager from the United States. Her piece was based on a true story of learning how to name her feelings of jealousy, loneliness, and belonging.

#Friendship          #Childhood

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