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By Soniya Najafi Ziarani November 19, 2021

Breach of Routine

“Is two plus two four there?”

Those were the words that came out of my mouth when Mom and Dad told me about the move.

My parents looked at each other in surprise. After a few moments, my mom finally answered.

“Of course it is, honey. You don’t have to worry about that. Math is the same everywhere in the world, no matter the language you study it in”.

I was sitting on the armchair with the stiff cushion in the living room, my feet dangling from the chair. We had just eaten the chocolate cake my parents had surprised me with. It was their attempt at making the news less overwhelming for me. I guess that’s the standard procedure one should follow when they plan on making a life-changing announcement to their nine-year-old.

Unfortunately, the cake had looked better than it had tasted: it had a raspberry filling that tasted weirdly bitter, ruining what could have been a delicious dessert.

I took a moment to process Mom’s answer to my question. It was hard to concentrate as my mind was suddenly filled with more questions.

How was I going to learn a whole new language?

Did I have to leave my school friends?

My grandparents?

The city I was born in?

I started to feel lightheaded, becoming more aware of the space between my dangling feet and the floor. It felt like I was going to fall out of the armchair. So, I got up from the chair to regain steadiness, nodded at my mom, and headed towards my room to join the tea party my stuffed animals were having there.

It wasn’t until a few months later, when my parents and I were on the plane that was bringing us to Canada, and that the space between my feet and the floor had grown from a few inches to thousands of feet, that I was forced to acknowledge what was about to come. That realization gave rise to the struggle to find my breath. My parents, helpless, tried to get the attention of a flight attendant. I still remember how she brought me a brown paper bag in a flash, handing it to me after a quick demonstration of how I had to breathe into it. Before I could grab the bag under my mom’s words of encouragement, I had to force myself to stop gripping the cold armrest.

After that, all I could hear were the sounds of the crumpling paper bag and my own shortened breath. Little did I know that on the other side of the plane, a man was also struggling to find his breath. It didn’t take long for the pilot to decide to land the plane in a close by city in order to bring the man to a hospital. Breathing into the bag while seeing the paramedics take the man out of the plane helped me calm down.

Maybe the man was also immigrating to another continent and was only trying to get back to the ground.

The photograph entitled “Water Drop” by Image Editor is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

About the author

Soniya Najafi Ziarani is a first-year Enriched Health Science student. She immigrated to Canada with her parents in 2013 and has grown to love Montreal over these eight years.

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    abigail kwon

    January 23, 2022

    “Unfortunately, the cake had looked better than it had tasted: it had a raspberry filling that tasted weirdly bitter, ruining what could have been a delicious dessert.”

    I have a feeling that the raspberry illustrates bad news or change. Based on the quote, it describes one small thing that could change the whole flavor. The Author moving to Canada is a change that would alter their whole life. I love how the Author describes its surroundings, the way they described the space between the feet and the floor, how It has gotten farther away from the couch to the plane. It captures that feeling of discomfort as you are far away from the place that is comfortable to you such as the couch. Moving to a different home is very much challenging, and this story describes very accurately how it feels to move somewhere where it is different from where you used to live.

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    Vlasios Carassavas

    January 23, 2022

    This text talks about a little girl who had been struggling with anxiety. Her parents had informed her that they would be moving to another country. She felt as if it was a dream and it couldn’t be real although it was. I can only imagine how difficult this must’ve been for the author to have dealt with this situation at such a young age. I have a friend who had been in a similar situation when he was younger. He’s moved around Canada all his life but it wasn’t as unfortunate as this situation because he was living in the same country whereas this girl had her life completely changed in such a small period of time.

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