All but Plastic

Katherine Sun

More stories from Katherine Sun


      I made my first one in fifth grade: a pink rose. Throughout middle school I made several more: an apple, a sun, a moon, a swan, etc. Forming a collection that lined the walls of my mom’s favorite cabinet, I eventually replaced the nice china plates and vases with plastic miniature 3D puzzles. 

      I loved building these puzzles. From the initial confusion of scattered pieces to the satisfying click of the last piece, it was my favorite thing.

      But as high school started, I found myself digging through piles of misshapen puzzle pieces less and less. Instead, my desk began to clutter with textbooks creased with coffee-stained chemical formulas and misplaced pencils worn to a nub. 

      Whatever it was, my attention was called in several directions. The next APUSH test, the math assignment, the leadership position – all but the pink rose and its companions. 

      It wasn’t until a few months ago that I actually stopped and looked inside the cabinet again. The puzzles were untouched except for the thin layer of dust resting on their surface. Flipping the wrinkled pages of books shut, I cleared my desk. 

      Now, for the first time since eighth grade, I was again faced with the confusion of a hundred plastic pieces. This wasn’t for my resume. And it wasn’t for an application. It was just something I loved. 

      I smiled as I reached for my first piece. Why had I ever stopped?