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From Bakersfield Adult School

A day I can never wipe out of my memory

by Tracy Zhao, Bakersfield Adult School

In 2012, something terrible happened with my daughter in South Africa. I went to pick her up from school because she had an appointment to go to the Chinese Embassy that afternoon. It was about 50 miles from the school to the Embassy. I remember that day was sunny. The blue sky was clear but the day was hot. My daughter talked to me about the drama in her class. Sometimes the drama made me nervous. However, sometimes it made me laugh. I enjoyed that happy time. Suddenly I smelled something burning so I immediately pulled over and turned on the emergency lights and got out to check. I was worried. At this time a white car parked in front of us. Then a man from the car slowly came toward us. He was about 35 years old. He asked us "Can I help you?" Then I told him what happened. He checked the car and did not want me to continue to drive. I told him that I wanted to take the car to the car repair center close to my home. Then he found a tow truck and let me go with the tow truck driver and he drove with my daughter following us because the tow truck cab had only two seats.

His car was following us very closely. I thought the day's troubles would pass soon. Suddenly his car was lost from my sight, so I told the driver to slow down to see the car behind us but I still did not see the car. I called my daughter but she did not answer. I hated myself for what I did and my mind was blank. She was only 12 years old. What situation was she in now? I could not think and hoped this was a dream. I felt the sky was falling. My heart was broken. My only hope was to find her at that repair center. When we got close, we found the white car parking on the side of the road. Finally, I was relieved. I wanted to laugh but I did not. I cried.