#247 On Acer Street

by Meg Montemayor

They all lived on the Acer street, some inside houses, some outside of them. Tran knew them all by name and, living in the same neighbourhood all of his life, they knew his name too.

There was the Novak family with a son, Tran’s age, who had been in and out of jail for five years. There were the newlyweds, Mr. and Mrs. Freeman, who were already on the brink of separation because Mrs. Freeman had an affair. There was the Cho family, with two daughters—one was missing an arm, one was mentally handicapped. There was the Vergara family, with an unmarried daughter pregnant with twins.

These people seemed desolate, lonely, isolated, and unhappy but Tran knew better. They were a community, and beyond all the derogatory names the rich neighbourhoods would call them. Only they knew each other’s victories and accomplishments.

The Novak family’s son just got out of jail and was taking courses to become a lawyer. Mr. and Mrs. Freeman were forced to get married by their families and were relieved to find a reason to separate. The Cho daughters were very gifted, the one with one arm was valedictorian of her class and the one who was mentally handicapped was an artist and an avid drum player. The unmarried Vergara daughter was going to defer going to the Ivy League school she was accepted into for one year, and her twins would be adopted of by her childless aunt.

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