Chapter 1

The mailman knocked on the door and when mama answered his cheery voice sang out, "Got a letter for, Miss Jade Yang and it looks like a college acceptance letter. She's been getting a lot of those hasn't she?" "The return address is Design School of the South and the envelope is larger than a letter. All the schools have replied and quickly, I wonder…" said mama to the mailman.

"Jade have you decided what schools you will apply to," asks Ann her cousin, "You know that you should apply to more than one and see what types of scholarship offers the colleges will make. You were smart to do well in school with your GPA schools will be trying get you to come to them."

"I have tried to study and be smart true but because my English wasn't real good when we came over I didn't know if it was doing any good. You have good grades too and also play piano well. I think I will look at schools that are in state, I like State, and Wen University, I had thought of Design School of the South but I'm not sure."

"Apply to all of them but I really think that you should go to Design School of the South you have such a flare for design, just look at how you decorated your bedroom," sang Ann.

They were sitting in Jade's room, not a large room by American standards but for a girl from a small village in China this room was huge. She wasn't into stuffed animal prints like some of her friends in China were, she chose to decorate her room in shades of pink, light blue, and chocolate brown. Her bed, a futon, she could not get used to the mattresses here in America, was low to the ground and neatly made with a chocolate quilt with light blue throw pillows on it and slim pink pillows for her head to rest on at night.

Her desk was of wood with a chocolate stain, and her folders for school classes were in color coded order light blue for academic classes and pink for electives her design classes were all in chocolate brown folders. Her pencil holder is a rose jade glass she found in a flee market. Because it was jade and not green she was able to talk the seller into selling it to her for less than the list price on the sticker. She learned that some things that were valued in her homeland were not held in the same esteem in her new home. Her two unmatched chairs the finds from another flee market that she had sewn covers of chocolate brown to match her bed quilt. The small table between them is a table that she and her father built in his workshop outside the house. The light wood took the blue paint well. Instead of painting her walls she got plain white sheets at the local dollar store and died them such a soft shade of pink that they barely seem to have any color. Once the sheets were dry, she and her mama hung the sheets all over the walls with tiny thumb tacks. Her room was very pretty and as a nod to her artistic nature her parents had always given her free reign to decorate her room her way and add any accessories to any other rooms in the house. Jade was sorry that she didn't have a younger brother or sister; she would have loved to design the perfect room for them. She loved design class at school where she could work on designs for different rooms.

"See, your room is just perfect everything in its place and it is such a restful and comfortable place to be. I wish I had your talent." Ann trilled her statement as she put on her light coat and prepared to go home, it was getting late and her uncle had just come home and her own father should be coming home soon too. She would not make her parents wait for dinner.