“Schhhwak!”… Thwack is the sound I'd use That was the sound of a slap that I have not been able to not forget for the past eleven years.
Just like every other day, my mom drove me to school because it was quite a distance from home. The streets in Ho Chi Minh City were very unsafe and crowded with fast moving vehicles; therefore, I was fortunate enough that I didn’t have to walk, unlike most of the students there. She drove a Honda 50s, an outdated motorbike. Compare to today’s superbike, the Honda 50s might (would??) seem like toy. However, it still is the most convenient and most efficient way to get around the city. While my mom was driving, the bike suddenly slowed down, and eventually came to a complete stop, the motor was dead. I realized I was going to be late for school, and I knew that I would either stand in front of the flagpole for hours or get some other undeserved punishments My mom tried to fix the bike, but there was no sign of success.
“Sorry, my dear,” she said. “You have to walk now. I need to get this thing fixed.”
I hemmed and hawed and reluctantly agreed. Without even saying a word of good-bye, I burst out and (I'd delete this, unless you add something like burst out crying. Or do you mean 'jumped off'?) ran straight to school thinking that I could get there on time.
A few minutes later, I arrived at the school gate and hesitantly ran to my classroom. Upon entering it, I noticed the whole class was so quiet that I could hear the sound of pages flipping . Soon after that, my teacher noticed my presence, turned around, and stared at me with a face that betrayed no sign of emotion. He immediately asked, “Why are you late?” I was startled, to say the least, and frightened while trying to catch my breath. I could not give the explanation quick enough. He promptly raised his rough right hand high, and slapped me hard across the face in front of all of my classmates. From that moment, the noises around me became faint ringing sounds. I simply blinked several times, seeing the room as if it was changing shapes and the floor tilting (the room spinning?. I felt everything fading farther and farther away. My body slowly dropped to the ground. Then, I felt and saw no more; I had fainted.
In the archaic, authoritarian Vietnamese school system, such punishment is regularly meted out to students, and I was destined to get an extra hard one.
However, looking back on it now, I learned, through that incident, that I should not be late for anything. I also realize, now, that it doesn't matter whether or not the teacher is harsh or strict; the only important thing is the memorable experience that I can learn from. As long as there is something that reminds me – a slap, whip, whatever else – it is a sign not to commit the act again or lessen (unclear- maybe just delete it) it because not everything is preventable.