David, I said.
David, youve been most kind.
Thank you, David, the green-eyed girl said.
Feeling somewhat triumphant at surviving my first customer assistance, I turned back to where Father had been, but he wasnt there; he was at the register, ringing up some other sale, Mother wrapping and bagging next to him. In his place stood Noona, who watched me with a rueful smile.
My sister had unusually large eyes for a Korean, and her face was almost perfectly round. Or at least it used to be. She seemed not just thinner but older, and prettier, too, her cheekbones pronounced, her arms somehow longer and more graceful. Never again would she look the way she did in Korea. I dont know how I knew that, but I did.
Good work, she said.
No sweat, I said.
We sat inside the fortress of showcases in the middle of the store, she on the aluminum stool and me on the wooden one.
Do you like it here? she asked, and I didnt know if she meant this store or this country or this planet. I was going to ask for clarification, then I stopped myself when I realized my answer would have been the same.
Could be worse, I said.
She nodded slowly.
It can always be worse, she said.
Excerpted from Everything Asian by Sung J. Woo. Copyright © 2006 by Sung J. Woo. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Dunne Books, a division of Macmillan. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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