Short Story: I, a Smiley, and a Liquid Paper

Short Story: I, a Smiley, and a Liquid Paper

Have you ever faced any circumstances that seemed to be so little of importance, but amazingly turned out to have a real impact on you?

Eight years ago, when I was studying in the Lower Secondary School, I used to be a person who really got annoyed easily when any of my friends teased me by drawing or writing any nonsense stuffs in my textbooks. I disliked textbook doodles. I’d always love to see my books clean and in good condition. I kept them well -tried not to make even a single crease.

And one day, it happened. During a short break in the afternoon, after I had finished my snack, I sat at my desk with my back against the backrest, waiting for a teacher to come. A mathematics textbook lay open on the desk. One boy classmate walked into the room, spinning a blue ballpoint pen between his fingers. He was about to walk past my desk, and then, instantly, he stopped. He glanced at the book on my desk, raised the hand he was holding the pen, and drew something on the page.




And a long, curved line.


I quickly leaned forward to see what he had done to my book. There it was. A big ‘Smiley’ was drawn right in the middle of the page.




“Hey! Why did you do that?” I cried. I was a bit annoyed and shocked, not with the way he teased me, but with the size of the emoticon of that smiling face. It was far too big.

“Just erase it, then,” he said and walked away back to his desk.

Without thinking, I automatically picked up a liquid paper from my pencil case and started erasing.

And that was my biggest mistake.


Because my textbook paper happened to be the yellowish brown paper!

For the first time in my life, I had finally noticed that the correction fluid didn’t ‘erase’ the mark. Actually, it ‘covered’ up the mark. Ironically, with my intention to remove that mark, I had just made an annoying, big, new, white smiling face in my textbook by myself. It could be seen even clearer than before.


So, who to blame now?

If I had just left the mark like that, it wouldn’t have become so obvious like this. It would have been only that thin, blue line.


Now, some of you, or maybe all of you, might think “This is all about children and a little textbook doodle. Why do I have to read all this stuff? It doesn’t make any sense.” Well, for me, it does make sense. Years after years, I have remembered and learned several lessons from what happened that day.

That smiley teaches me that repetition makes things clearer. I repeated the line my friend drew, so it became more obvious. If you still keep reminding yourself of bad and sad memories, your pain will not be relieved. It is just like you keep stabbing yourself. In the same way, if you remind yourself of every good and memorable day, you will be able to feel that happiness again.

That smiley warns me that every action leaves the trace; beware of it. Although you can’t remember everything you’ve done, it doesn’t mean that others can’t. No matter what you’ve done is good or bad, big or small, there will always be someone who keeps it in their mind.

That smiley tells me, “Hey! I know that’s the textbook. But you don’t need to be that serious. Can’t you just smile like me?”

That smiley also warns me not to do everything I’m told to do. Before you do something, think about its result first.

That smiley asks me, “Is it that bad to have some differences, some mistakes, or something more than usual?”


I won’t blame you if you have no idea what I’m talking about.

This is the story of nothing but I, a smiley, and a liquid paper.



Edited by: Pang

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