Summer of Change

Short Stories

As the school year drew to a close, I found myself at the north side library, perhaps for the last time before summer. My hopes of seeing Cha, my secret crush, at the library faded after a few hours, but my parents had other plans for me anyway. The very next day, I was sent off to a cucumber farm to join my older brother and an aunty for the summer.

Part 1: Arrival at the Farm

Our work at the farm involved picking cucumbers for the market, paid by the pound. It was tough labor from the end of June to August. During my first week, my thoughts often wandered back to Cha, questioning why he hadn’t shown up at the library as I had hoped. It was a silly thought, as we weren’t even dating, but I couldn’t help feeling a bit heartbroken.

Part 2: Unexpected Connections

A couple of weeks into farm life, I thought I heard someone calling Cha’s name, only to discover it was just my neighbor, Chia. One windy night, Chia and I connected over a shared blanket at a bonfire, marking the start of something new. He began accompanying me on early morning walks to the fields and occasionally brought me breakfast, which was both sweet and unusual.

Part 3: Confusion and Realizations

As our relationship appeared to bloom, I couldn’t shake off my lingering feelings for Cha. After a chance encounter with Cha’s cousin, Chou, I learned that Cha had just left the farm. This revelation left me heartbroken again. However, my confusion grew when Chia confronted me, and I impulsively ran away, unable to face my feelings.

Part 4: A Heart-to-Heart under the Stars

That evening, Chia and I had a heart-to-heart behind our tent. Through tears, I explained my feelings for Cha and my fears about the rumors of us dating. Chia reassured me, promising that everything would be okay, leading to a pinky promise to always strive for happiness.

Part 5: An Unsettling Proposal

In August, a twist of fate occurred when my parents only came to pick up my aunty, leaving me to fend for myself on the farm. Fearing for my privacy, I asked Chia to guard the makeshift shower area. During a tornado warning, Chia and I found shelter under a tree, an incident that brought us closer in the most unexpected way.


As summer ended and it was time to return to school, we didn’t know much about each other beyond our daily routines. My parents disapproved of our relationship due to his family’s reputation. Further complications arose when I learned about his impending arranged marriage. Heartbroken, I ended things, choosing to preserve my dignity over a relationship built on deceit.

This summer taught me lessons in love, trust, and the importance of honesty. Though it started with a heart set on one person, it ended with profound growth and a better understanding of my own needs and boundaries.

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