In China, some families tried to time their children’s births so they were born in the year of the dragon. Of course this wasn’t an exact science—undershoot it, and you get a rabbit, or worse—overshoot it, and you get a snake. But that’s not what happened to me. Here in America, my parents didn’t worry over my birth year. Why bother about such things when there were real dragons in the world. That’s right. Dragons were real. I should know since I came from a family of dragons. Just my rotten luck that I ended up as a snake.
Ava Wang plopped down in the seat beside me at Saturday Chinese school, which—full disclosure—was just the damp rented basement of a church. Her super hip green hair and matching green knee-high boots upped the cool factor of Chinese school about a thousand times, and when she said, “Hi Melia,” my heart pounded crazy fast. My dorky bobbed black hair with too-straight bangs matched my shoes too, but there was nothing hip about the black Mary Janes I was wearing.
“Hi,” I squeaked, wondering what the coolest girl in Chinese school (I realized that wasn’t saying much, but Ava would have been the coolest girl anywhere) wanted with me. Did she want to copy my homework?