confined or obligated by an oath
Whereas before, we were best friends
bound by lies, now we shared a secret truth.
a record in which commercial accounts are recorded
Curious, I pulled out the
ledger from the bottom drawer of the front desk.
marked by precise accordance with details
The ledger was this big black book my dad kept with
meticulous records of how many customers we had each day.
startle or be overcome with amazement or fear
I lined the numbers up neatly on my paper and started doing the math. My eyes
boggled at the numbers: $12,000. That’s how much we made for Mr. Yao last month.
relating to or associated with an empire
Mrs. Douglas told Jason and Stuart both to hush, and she started talking about the
imperial era and Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China.
give an incentive for action
prompted Jason to raise his hand.
censure severely or angrily
As Mrs. Douglas
reprimanded Jason for calling Stuart a moron, I sat very quietly in my seat.
unhappy about being away and longing for familiar things
Then she became all
nostalgic. “You know when I was your age, I used to eavesdrop on my brother’s math lessons....”
“English writing?” she asked, like it was the most
preposterous thing in the world, like I’d just said basket weaving.
showing a sense of shame
sheepishly admitted that he didn’t know, he had been sleeping, to which Mr. Yao frowned and said, “Stop sleeping!”
being sharply insistent on being heard
Mrs. Q put a hand to her chest and let out a
shrill “Good God!”
insert between other elements
“But you’re asking the wrong people!” I
disturb, especially by minor irritations
The more I thought about it, the more
riled up I got.
disturb the composure of
But Hank just sat there, quiet and
unfazed, gazing in the general direction of the pool.
directed toward a lower place
I stared at the flowers, so warm and bright in my
marked by skill in deception
“Heard you guys got a little visit from the cops,” he said. A
sly grin stretched across his face.
something said in a restrained way for ironic contrast
The Topaz Inn people did not like us, and we didn’t like them. To say that we had a little rivalry was an
showing bias or bigotry or influenced by preconceived ideas
Lupe put her pencil down and gave me a look. “The thing about prejudice is you can’t tell people not to be
prejudiced. You’ve got to show them. It’s like writing.”
go, come, or spread in a rambling or irregular way
sprawled as far south as San Diego and as far north as Sacramento.
Aunt Ling was a friend of Uncle Li’s, and she was so
famished, she practically inhaled the dumplings my mother made at dinner.
“Oh, that’s very nice of you, but it’s not necessary,” my mother said
bashfully, tucking her hands under her armpit to hide them from Aunt Ling.
with a certain degree of unwillingness
Reluctantly, my mom put her hands out in front.
contort the face to indicate a certain mental state
“Oh, that’s hard,” my mom said,
grimacing. “We’ve been there.”
marked by keen caution and watchful prudence
When at last the school bell rang, I
skulked home, my legs like Jell-O, my feet cement blocks.