GRAND PRIZE WINNING ENTRY, COLLEGE CATEGORY
“In this subtle and imaginative story, Dri Chiu Tattersfield explores questions of identity, family, foreignness and the body. The writing is nuanced and careful and emotionally grounded, evoking a sense of place and depth of feeling. This is an accomplished work by a promising voice.” -Shawna Yang Ryan and Charles Yu, co-judges of the 2021 Betty L. Yu & Jin C. Yu Creative Writing Prizes.
The day my body started disappearing began with a phone call.
My supervisor shot me a dirty look as I knocked my elbow against our just-settled sediment samples, turning each test tube into a thunderstorm of silt.
“Mei, I’m at the lab,” I sighed. Didn’t most 17-year-olds just text?
“Nice to hear your voice too, sis.”
“I’m not — never mind.” I bit my lip.
“What?” Mei groaned. “Li, what do you want me to say? ‘My dearest sibling’? I’m just speaking naturally.”
I exhaled. “Why’d you call?”
“Dude, you gotta come home. I think Mom is like, depressed or something. She hardly even speaks anymore! Dad’s just writing it off as usual, so he’s no help.”
Mei and I had always ignored the fissures in our family by throwing ourselves into school activities: science for me, softball for her. It never occurred to me that the structure might crack. “Maybe she should go to therapy,” I suggested.
“Now you’re the crazy one,” Mei replied. “Mom and Dad think that’s for white people.” I rolled my eyes, but she was right. It had taken several awkward interventions from roommates for me to unlearn the idea that mental health was only for “emotionally confused Americans.”
“Come on, you deal with this better than me,” Mei continued. “And maybe just seeing you home will shake her out of it.”
I thought about Mom’s many silences: her disapproving glare when she caught Mei sneaking out, her pursed lips when I shaved my head. Her downcast eyes when Dad interrupted her over and over. I imagined the silences getting longer and longer until one day becoming permanent; my stomach sank.
“Okay, I’ll take the bus to Garibaldi tomorrow. But only for the weekend, got it?” A tiny town on the Oregon coast, Garibaldi is only four hours away from the University of Washington, but I constantly found excuses to avoid going home: a prestigious talk invitation, a conference I needed for networking, fieldwork that was only possible on Christmas, you know, geologically. My girlfriend Maria didn’t even miss her family’s weekly Scrabble night when she broke her leg. I told my therapist the only similarity between our parents is that they don’t understand mayonnaise — the final barrier in the great obstacle course of American assimilation. —
Sleep usually comes quickly when Maria stays over, but that night I couldn’t un-tense, my skin wrinkling and tightening over and over. I concentrated on the rise and fall of Maria’s slow breathing, trying to ignore my body. Instead, I mapped out Maria’s: the soft curve of her shoulder, the ellipse of her hip, the axis of her spine. Her body a home mine had never been.
Outside my window, the moon surfaced through the thick Pacific Northwest clouds. Gibbous is my favorite phase: asymmetrical and unsure, unlike the others’ perfectionist geometries. I traced the moonlight across my room, through my arm, onto Maria’s waist— through my arm? I closed my eyes and concentrated on the feeling of Maria’s skin on mine, then looked again. The smooth skin of her stomach shone in the moonlight, as if my arm wasn’t there. I turned away, feeling unsettled. Was school stress getting to me?
I imagined my body turning into light, spreading out into everything and nothing, and I drifted off to sleep.
As the Greyhound rolled into the bus stop, I took in all the ways Garibaldi had changed: Tina’s Fish & Chips repainted their sign from green to blue. A tanned older woman in an “oreGUNian” sweatshirt spat on the sidewalk, expanding the crusted mosaic of tobacco stains. Across the street, rust crept up the iron gates guarding empty vacation homes and AirBnBs; their front doors opened directly to the beach, but the street-facing side needed protection. We called them the bubble wrap—if a tsunami ever hit, the houses along the shoreline would go first.
Besides our shared disdain for the vacationers, the two halves of the Garibaldi shared no overlap. The white families had been here for generations, running seafood restaurants in the summer and sending fish to Portland the rest of the year. The Asian families came more recently and were here for the clams. Tillamook Bay was the richest shellfish habitat in the state, and every morning at low tide we waded in, digging clams out of the popping mud until the sea returned. My parents initially tried to make friends with the fishermen, but Confederate flag stickers began appearing on pickup trucks soon after they moved in, and they took note.
That’s the explanation I offered friends when they asked why I went home so rarely: it’s a small town. A really small town. They had nodded knowingly, imagining GOD HATES GAYS signs in crumbling front yards. It’s the explanation I gave myself, too.
The sound of sneakers slapping pavement announced Mei flying down the hill. “SORRY I’M LATE, I WAS ON TIKTOK!” she hollered.
“No worries, you didn’t have to come pick me up,” I replied. “How’s Mom?”
Mei pouted. “How are you, Mei? I’m great, thanks for asking!” she said in a high voice, moving her hands like puppets. In sixth grade, she got the part of Townsperson #3 in the school’s production of Beauty and the Beast, and claims to have been forever changed. I used to be fluent in distinguishing her real emotions from theatrics, but now I wasn’t totally sure. “Okay, sorry. How are you doing?”
“Your sister that you’ve only seen once in the last year is doing great,” she replied, pouting. “Anyway, Mom’s on a walk. It’s all she does these days. They get longer every week.” We trudged up the hill, slicing through a cross-section of Garibaldi: the restaurant owners’ condos with ocean views, the fishermens’ mobile homes, then finally our house tucked into the woods.
“Remember ol’ Big G?” Mei asked, pointing at the massive letter cradled by the adjacent hillside.
“How could I forget omniscient G?” I laughed.
Mei nodded somberly. “Good, you’re still under its protection. Don’t worry, okay?” She grinned and skipped ahead. Remembering last night, I glanced at my arm, but it was fully visible.
Dad greeted us in a tan polo shirt covered in stains, studying me under the wall of his eyebrows. Even while sorting clams, he never wore T-shirts. “Hello. Yes. You’re visiting.” “Yeah, um, I finally got a free weekend,” I replied.
“You’re on track for the dissertation?” he asked. It sounded more like a statement than a question. Before I responded, he patted me on the back. “Good. I have to go back to the clams. Glad you’re home. Come help, Mei,” he stated, and they disappeared into the garage.
I wandered through the rooms of the house. Mei’s softball trophies flanked the TV. A faded Mother’s Day card hung on the fridge, signed Li Feng in neat cursive and M E I in scrawled crayon. I noticed for the first time that there were no photos of my parents.
I headed up to my old room and sank into the bed, dropping my backpack on the floor. It had been the guest room since I left for college, but I could still see the tiny holes in the wall where my decorations were once pinned. I closed my eyes and visualized them: the Strokes poster in the corner, prom photos with Nisha, a calligraphy print from a gift shop in Portland’s Chinatown. When I brought it home Dad frowned and said the characters were inaccurate, but I still put it up. I couldn’t read them anyway, so why did it matter?
Feeling warm, I turned to the window and realized it probably hadn’t been opened in months. It refused to budge. I reluctantly changed into shorts, which usually either make my hips too visible or fall so far down I look like a preteen Boy Scout; my compromise was extra-small soccer shorts. I tried to avoid looking in the closet mirror, but caught it in my peripheral vision and—
My left leg was gone.
I blinked hard, but still didn’t see anything. I could still feel the polyester against my skin, the weight of my foot on the floor. I ran my hands up and down my calves, and they were definitely there. But not visible. I tore off my shorts. Starting at the top of my thigh, my leg gradually faded until it was completely transparent at my knee and below. I tried bending my knee and it felt normal; I dropped my foot to the floor and heard a thud.
“Li, Mom’s home, let’s go downstairs!” Mei called.
I pressed my forehead against my knee and stared at the gradient between leg and not-leg, hyperventilating.
“Come on, girl! What’s taking you so long?”
I visualized my calves in the blank space they once occupied.
“Li! Isn’t this what you came home for?” Mei’s voice sounded far away.
“Just give me a minute.” She stomped down the stairs.
I called Maria but it went to voicemail. think i’m having a panic attack, I texted. body feeling weird, disconnected?
“Li, dinnertime!” Dad yelled from downstairs.
I took a long breath and did the thing I knew how to do best: ignore my body. I pulled on long pants and stumbled downstairs.
“Hello, Li,” Mom said as I shoved myself into a seat. Her soft voice pulled me into the present: the sturdy oak tabletop, the aroma of rice wine and ginger emanating from the steel soup pot. I looked for clues in her face as to how she was doing. Her cheeks were slightly gray, like a photo that had faded in the sun, but her expression was serene.
“We’re very proud of Li,” Dad proclaimed, not looking at anyone in particular. Mei nodded, scrolling through Instagram under the table.
Mom smiled. “What are you working on now?”
“Well, we’re looking at travertine deposits, a kind of limestone, near the Columbia River Basin, because the palynological record —like, the particles— can indicate climate changes over—”
“Our daughter is so smart,” Dad interrupted. “And she uses all her smarts to study rocks, of all things! But we are still proud.”
My body tensed. I was used to my parents misgendering me over the phone, but I had forgotten how it felt in person; each word crawled under my skin. Mei could barely handle not calling me her sister, and only referred to me as “they” when I reminded her to. After twenty-five years, how could my parents see me as anything but their daughter?
On the other hand, that daughter was simply no longer there. Years before I stopped coming home, I threw out most of my makeup and stopped referring to myself with feminine language. Yet for Christmas, Mom still sent me nail polish, and Mei constantly asked when I would grow my hair back out. Who were they seeing when they looked at me? —
“Li, help your mom with the dishes, will you?” Dad called over his shoulder as he ambled toward the living room. I ducked under the table and cautiously checked my leg: still invisible. Could other people see—not see—or was it just in my head? In whispers around town, and out loud on the internet, I had heard enough times that I was delusional. I rolled down my pants.
While Mom scrubbed the pans, I fell into the muscle memory of loading the dishwasher. Her hands followed a rhythm, as if she was playing a percussion instrument. “How have you been, Mom?” I ventured.
I needed to be more specific. “How are you and Dad?”
Just when I began to worry I had broached a bad topic, she looked up and smiled absently. “You know, we got married when I was your age. 25.”
I thought about the instability of my life—working irregular hours, living off my measly graduate stipend. Maria and I were just getting serious enough that we could move in together, but I didn’t know where I would get a postdoc next year, if I got one at all. Settling down still felt like a horizon, never getting any closer.
“Did you feel ready?” I asked.
She arched an eyebrow. I’d never asked her such a personal question.
“Well. I had no idea what I wanted back then.” She wrung out the sponge and started filling the rice pot to soak. “But it felt good to make a decision. How about you, do you have a boyfriend?”
“Yeah, do you have a boyfriend?” Mei cackled, draped over the sofa. She had met Maria over FaceTime, and wouldn’t actually tell my parents about her —probably— but for some reason loved getting right to the edge.
“No, too busy,” I mumbled.
Mom nodded. “Your work is complicated. Very stressful. You should visit more often, to relax.”
Mei snorted. I focused intently on finding the most economical arrangement of plates in the dishwasher.
“You were always a tomboy, but you’ll find someone,” Mom murmured. For a long time I thought I was attracted to men because I would stare at them — their square jawlines, their broad shoulders, the way their bodies so casually spread out into space. On
the subway, in coffeeshops, across the street. Then I realized my straight friends didn’t really focus on the same things.
“Girl, what?” Sarah had laughed, swinging her head down from the top bunk in our freshman triple. “The way he slouches?”
I was the most jealous of taking off your shirt in public. God, to be able to just sling your shirt over your shoulder when the sun gets too hot, to feel the breeze envelop your entire torso— seeing my labmates shirtless last summer when we collected sediment samples on Mt. Hood was the first time I seriously considered top surgery.
Insurance wouldn’t cover it though — I checked. Even if it did, I was still on my parents’ plan, so Periareolar Top Surgery would be emblazoned on their annual summary, standing out as if it said ALIEN ABDUCTION in capital letters. How would I explain that?
“Good night, Li,” Mom called as she drifted into my parents’ bedroom. Through the open door, Dad was reading A History of Mushroom Gathering in Southern China. “Yo, wanna watch Avatar the Last Airbender? I’m on season 2,” Mei asked. “How many times have you rewatched that now, five?” I laughed. Then I saw a text from Maria: call when you’re free! i’m here. “I gotta call Maria. Have fun, though.” We had met kneeling in dirt. The University of Washington Vegetable Farm held volunteer hours each Saturday, and Maria and I were the only two that kept coming back. For a few weeks, we pulled weeds in silence, but I couldn’t stop watching her hands: careful and fluid, in conversation with the soil. When the pomegranate tree swelled with flowers, I picked one and walked over without thinking. “Here,” I presented, a question.
In the guest room, her round face blinked onto my phone screen. “What’s going on, are you okay?” Maria asked.
“I need to ask you a question.” I took off my pants and pointed the camera at my legs. “What do you see?”
Maria laughed. “Has walking up the hill buffed up your muscles already?” “So my legs look normal to you,” I said slowly. I wasn’t sure whether that was a relief. I explained what happened that afternoon as best I could, eyeing the door.
“Want me to come pick you up?” she offered. “I could be there in the morning.” I imagined explaining the scene to my parents: yes, my bus ticket is for tomorrow, no, I’m leaving now, no reason in particular, yes, this is just a friend, goodbye.
“I think I’ll be okay.”
After assurances that my body felt physically fine, never better, Maria relented. “Try not to focus on it too much, okay? We’ll figure it out when you get back.” Her face was open and sure, and I felt sure too.
The morning opened gently. I crawled out of bed and surveyed my body in the mirror feeling strangely calm, like an auditor making a routine inspection. My limbs faded in and out of my reflection with each blink: left hand, right arm, both calves. The velocity made me dizzy. Tectonic plates shift 0.6 inches a year, and sedimentary rocks form over millennia. I think I wanted to study earth processes because their stability comforted me; I could handle their rates of change. I looked down, and my thighs were invisible.
Could this have been going on for weeks? When Mei broke my bathroom mirror on her last visit after insisting on indoor baseball practice, I just swept up the shards and never thought to replace it. Reaching for a sports bra, I thought about all the times I’ve wished my chest would disappear. Sports bras flatten my chest, but the pressure of fabric against skin is also a constant reminder that my chest has something to flatten. Wearing no bra means I don’t feel my chest at all, which means I can forget it exists if I close my eyes and forget that people around me also have eyes. I choose the sports bra about three times a week; I gave all my other bras to Mei. Would it be easier if I just couldn’t see my body at all?
Walking down the stairs, I saw Mom lacing up her running shoes. “Are you going on a walk? Wait for me!” I called out.
She put on a sunhat with a small ribbon, and then set one of Mei’s baseball caps on my head. “Don’t want to get dark,” she said quietly.
I followed her out the door and down the hill, surprised at my difficulty keeping up. She moved like a hummingbird in quick strides, occasionally pausing to examine flowers and other plants.
“Where are we going?” I asked. She glanced back and smiled.
I caught up to her and tried to ask how she was doing again, but she gazed intently at the pattern of moss on a tree and didn’t respond. Mom waved to Mrs. Tran in her garden, tending to green onions, and Mr. Chang in his yard scrubbing a rusty clamming rake. As we approached the ocean, she sped up and looked down. I caught the eye of Mr. Wilson, my old math teacher, but he didn’t recognize me.
The vacation homes’ dwindling size and increasingly faded paint indicated that the beach on the other side was transitioning to tidal flats. I knew where we were going. A narrow path opened between two houses and we slipped through. The pier, a long arm reaching into the ocean, introduced itself in English: Open 5am-10pm. Fish cleaning station limited to one group at a time. There was no path down to the water through the barnacle-crusted rocks, but there was a sign, in Mandarin, Korean and Vietnamese: 20 clams per recreational permit, 200 per commercial permit. Scrawled in black marker at the top, in English, GO AWAY. “Why did you and Dad move here?” I asked.
“To sell clams,” Mom replied.
“I know, but why not stay in Portland?”
The sea stacks offshore rose out of the water like fists. In college I learned they form when waves erode a chunk of rock until it separates from the landmass; I tried to visualize the land that once connected them to the shore.
“Your father missed the ocean. He grew up in a fishing town in Yilan. He worked hard so he could move to an American city, but when he got there he wasn’t happy.” My parents rarely talked about Portland, and never talked about Taiwan. “But didn’t you grow up in Taipei? Do you miss living in a city?”
“City life isn’t so special,” Mom replied. I studied her face for traces of nostalgia, but couldn’t be sure. “Do you like Seattle more than here?” she asked.
Leaving Garibaldi had been my central goal since middle school; it kept me up through each all-nighter, drove each college application. “I’m happy,” I nodded.
Back at the top of the hill, we stopped on the sidewalk and gazed at the town together.
“The thing I like about cities is that they’re always changing. Garibaldi stays the same.” “It’s changed since we moved here,” Mom shrugged.
I turned to face the house. “Home feels the same to me.”
“Hmm.” Mom paused. “I repainted the stairs last week. Dad’s been spraying fungicide on the moss, although this spring it grew back. And we replaced the house number plaque in January.”
In fieldwork I learned to use space to study time, still landscapes becoming lively dancers through layers of rock and shapes of sand grains. I thought about how easy it was for me to view a granite cliff as dynamic, and how hard it was to view home as anything but static. Did Mom, Dad, and Mei see me in the same way?
“What else has changed?” I asked as we walked inside.
“You never used to ask these kinds of questions,” Mom replied, smiling. She sunk into the sofa and checked her Minnie Mouse watch, a Disneyland souvenir from ten years ago. “Can you and Mei make lunch? I drove into Portland yesterday and went to 99 Ranch Market.” Some things do stay the same.
“Meeeeeeeiiii! We gotta cook!” I yelled.
I knew she would take at least ten minutes to come down, so I started exploring the fridge. The introduction to Blue Planet floated in from the living room and I grinned, remembering rewatching episodes with Mom over and over in high school. I obsessed over the reef structures, while Mom loved the crowding schools of fish; our interests formed a symbiotic whole, like coral polyps and algae.
Absentmindedly, I sorted the produce on the counter, grouping them by leaf shape and stem thickness. I knew these were traditional Chinese vegetables, but fragments of characters swirled in my mind, just out of reach. The kitchen was a botanical exhibit by the time Mei arrived, every surface awash with green.
“You’re so weird,” she said, laughing. “Not everything is a science experiment, you know.” I pouted and swept the vegetal taxonomy aside. We began the methodical dance of creating a meal, Mei chopping vegetables, me preparing the rice. “My hands are sore, dude. Your turn,” she whined.
I glanced at the blank space that should have been my right arm, and then the glinting edge of the knife in her hands. “Um.” I pause. “Do I have to?”
Mei scowled. “Lazy-ass,” she hissed, but she let it go.
As the vegetables sizzled in soy sauce, I turned to Mei. “What were you worried about with Mom again?” I whispered. “She doesn’t seem that bad.”
“I mean, she’s not like, dying or anything,” Mei whispered back. “But she’s getting more and more distant.”
I frowned. “You made it sound really serious when you called,” I replied, moving the pan off the heat. “I dropped my weekend plans to come home. I’ve been trying to talk to Mom, but besides being a little out of it she seems fine.”
Mei laughed. “What plans do you have besides reading papers or whatever?” She reached behind me to take four bowls from the cabinet. “I’m just worried about her, okay? I thought seeing you would be good for her. And it’s probably good for you to get out of your tiny apartment.”
I crossed my arms. “Are you worried about Mom, or about me?”
I heard Dad’s lumbering footsteps. “Do I smell lunch?” he called out.
“What’s wrong with wanting my sister to visit? You basically ditched us after you left for college. What’s so terrible about coming home?” Mei demanded. Didn’t she hear our parents coming?
“I don’t—” I started. I took a breath. “I just don’t feel… seen here.”
“What does that mean?” Dad asked, walking into the kitchen with Mom.
“Um.” My tongue felt too big for my mouth. “I guess I don’t really feel like you see who I am? So I don’t feel like myself here.”
“What do you mean? You’re our daughter. We see you as our daughter.”
I buried my face in my hands.
“Well, how can we see you, if we never see you?” Mei demanded. Lungs felt too big for my ribcage.
“I just don’t feel super comfortable at home, okay? I don’t know how to explain!” My voice cracked.
“That’s not so unusual,” Mom said quietly. We turned and faced her. “Feeling uncomfortable at home.”
Dad furrowed his eyebrows. The silence felt solid, as if the air had changed phases of matter. “I think what Mom means is that we work hard to provide for you, everyone is healthy, and that’s what matters,” he declared. “So. Let’s eat.”
My breath caught in my throat. “Sorry, I have to go,” I forced out as I ran up the stairs and locked the guest room door. My clothes felt like they were shrinking into my body so I
wrestled them off. In my underwear, I sunk down to the floor and hung my head in my knees, and then I realized —
I couldn’t see my body at all.
I looked down and saw only the floor. I stumbled to the mirror and saw only the room behind me. No gradient, no blinking in and out, just blank space. I was not there. A knock on the door. A voice that sounded like it came from underwater. “Li? Can you come out?” Or maybe I was underwater.
“Li, come to the garage, okay?” Soft footsteps receding.
I closed my eyes and stood up, propelled by an unfamiliar force. Numb, I pulled on my pajamas and stumbled downstairs. I ignored Dad and Mei’s bewildered stares and entered the garage.
Mom was sitting on a low stool above a large bucket of clams.
“These are from this morning. I haven’t sorted and cleaned them yet. Will you help me?” She pointed to a second stool and three empty buckets. I slowly sat down. “Do you still know how?” she asked.
I shook my head, but I reached into the bucket and my hands remembered: ridged cockles, smooth littlenecks, oval softshells. I gently placed a littleneck clam in the first bucket, keeping my eyes fixed on the swaying trees outside the open garage door.
The bucket gradually emptied, until my fingers scraped the gritty bottom. “I’m feeling really strange today,” I said.
“I know,” Mom replied. “This is what I do when I’m feeling strange.” She filled the bucket of softshells with water and began to scrub them with her hands. She pointed at the remaining buckets and I filled the first one cautiously, avoiding looking at my arms. “Don’t worry about thinking. Just feel the clams,” Mom said.
Eyes closed, I picked a small clam and pushed my thumb along its ridges, concentrating on the rough shell against my skin. I thought back to this morning and opened my eyes. Water sloshed seemingly on its own, as if the bucket were a rough sea. Is this what it meant to not have a body? I thought back to all the times I had wanted it to disappear, the times I had wanted to disappear because my body was too soft, round in the wrong places, incongruous with an ideal that I could never even fully visualize. But this emptiness was more terrifying than I could have imagined, like free-falling in darkness with nothing to hold onto. If my body was not here, then where was I?
I want to be here. I want to be here. I want to be here.
I wanted my body to be here.
I felt wetness on my cheeks and I realized I was crying.
Mom stood up and placed her hand on my shoulder, and we watched the afternoon sunlight inch across the garage floor.
“Mei asked me to come visit because she was worried about you,” I said after a few minutes. “She said you’ve been getting quieter and more distant.”
“Oh?” Mom said, pausing. “Don’t worry about me. Now that Mei’s growing up, I finally have some alone time.”
“What did you mean when you said you weren’t comfortable at home?”
“I—” Mom hesitated. “Well, when Dad and I first moved here, we worked so hard we had no time to think about anything else. I’m just now realizing that I don’t feel like myself. But I’m not sure what to do differently. We’ve settled into such a routine.”
I thought about lithification: the process by which sediment compacts under pressure and becomes solid rock. I’d never learned a term for a reverse process.
Mom turned to me. “What did you mean, about not feeling seen?”
“Do you feel like we know you?” I asked.
“Of course,” she replied. “We’re family.”
“But do you feel like we know all of you?
“I don’t think anyone can know all of you,” she said slowly. “But that’s just how it is.” She frowned slightly.
“People can know a lot,” I insisted. I thought about how easy I felt with Maria, how we moved like gravity was at half-strength. How time felt like a garden we grew together, full of both intention and surprise. I thought about how close and distant I felt with Mei. “Wouldn’t it be better if all knew each other more fully?”
Mom tilted her head. “Well, what do you want us to know?”
I inhaled sharply, and then faltered. I raised my arm and looked through it at the distant sea stacks along the shoreline.
“Do you ever sometimes,” I took a breath. “Not even see yourself?”
Dri grew up in Taipei, Taiwan and now lives in Portland, OR. They write stories, make video games (at hellodri.itch.io), and are constantly finding more elaborate ways to make instant noodles. He studied physics and philosophy at Claremont McKenna, and is interested in farming, education and community-based science.
From Dri: Lithification and Other Processes has been over a year in the making – I started it in a fiction writing workshop with Professor Kevin Moffett in March 2020 and it kept me company into quarantine & more. I started with certain assumptions about what kind of story this would be, but along with the protagonist Li, my assumptions took on new shapes as the story progressed. Writing is communal! I couldn’t have written this without my writing comrades Laleh Ahmad and Toluwani Roberts, and of course, my family; 謝謝!