Author's Note: Here's the very first installment of my Garfield Stephenson Wu series as part of my Dimension Four stories.
As you may have noticed, his namesake is the title character of the comic strip Garfield.
Therefore, I'm going to make the disclaimer that in these stories, the Garfield mentioned and featured in the stories is Garfield Stephenson Wu, NOT Garfield the Cat from the comic strip of the same name.
Also, the world timeline for this dimension is anachronistic in nature, so for example, by the 1960s, many of the historical empires that existed prior to the First World War (The German Empire, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, the Korean Empire, the Russian Empire and various kingdoms) are still active.
Similarly, Canada, particularly its capital Ottawa, have some differences in comparison to real-life history. For instance, Ottawa still has its streetcars running in the 1960s (In real-life, sadly, the last streetcar terminated services in Ottawa in 1959), and Union Station is still active as a railway station currently (The year this story takes place in is 1968; Sadly in real-life, that's two years after Ottawa Union Station was closed down and replaced by the Central Station located in Ottawa East).
For readers who understand Chinese: 這個虛構世界裡:國共內戰沒有爆發，所以中華民國依舊治理大陸地區，也是全球最大的民主和福利國家。另外，臺灣在經歷日本的治理下後於1970年代期間逐漸獨立，另外琉球群島也在那個年代逐漸脫離日本獨立。
This story also contains dialogue in Chinese, which will be accompanied by translations.
In addition, this dimension utilizes a floating timeline, in which characters age once every two years between 1969 and 1991. Therefore, for Garfield's case, after he turns 16 in 1969, he turns 17 in 1971 instead of 1970.
Another disclaimer: All events and characters presented in this story are entirely FICTIONAL, while all real-life locations are FICTIONALIZED. None of the events presented in this story have any connection to real-life figures or locations. This disclaimer APPLIES to all of my stories.
Chapter 1: Background and first day of school
7:30, September 3, 1968
The alarm clock sitting on the short cupboard right beside fifteen-year old Garfield Stephenson Wu's bed rang at 7:30, just as he had set the night before.
Garfield groaned as the wind-up mechanical clock rang loudly beside his bed, but eventually, he placed his hand on the clock to shut it off before yawning and stretching.
After sitting up on his bed, Garfield put on his slippers and then stretched one more time before getting out of his bed and went through his usual morning routine.
His clothes were hanging in the nearby closet, and after he returned to his bedroom, he immediately changed into his favourite attire of a green polo shirt and a pair of casual cream-white pants with a belt before proceeding to the dining room of his house.
His mother Melissa was already in the kitchen making coffee and the water boiler was on the stove whistling loudly, while his father Gordon sat at the dining room table listening intently to the nearby radio news.
"早安，媽媽和爸爸。" (Morning, Mom and Dad.) Garfield spoke as he grabbed his cup and poured himself a cup of water.
"早，廣慶。" (Morning, Gwang-Ching.) His father replied, referring to his Chinese name, as Garfield begin placing two slices of bread into the toaster and started munching on an apple.
A few minutes later, a few footsteps came from the stairs, and then down came his twelve-year old younger brother David, who the family and his friends commonly nicknamed as "Dave", and afterwards the ten-year old twins Emma and Diana.
Together, the family of six sat together and ate breakfast while listening to the radio playing some Meedles music.
(Note: The Meedles is a fictionalized version of The Beatles in this dimension, as I'm going to feature stories on FanFiction that features Mystery Inc. meeting the famed English rock band and both sites does not allow stories to feature real-life celebrities and figures.)
Eventually, after finishing his breakfast and packing his lunch, Garfield raced back up the stairs to brush his teeth and do his business in the washroom, then return to his bedroom to grab his flat cap, put on his trademark green-gold watch, grab his school bag and put on his glasses.
He then went back downstairs to put on his shoes before calling out, "我去上課了!" (I'm off to school!)
"好。" (Sure.) His mother's voice can be heard.
"Have fun." His father added.
Garfield nodded as if his parents were nearby watching him before opening the front door and headed out.
It was a warm, late-summer morning in Ottawa South, which is where the Wus lived, as Garfield walked down the sidewalk. His block of the neighbourhood is located just across a major road from the new Carleton University campus that was opened almost ten years ago.
Truth be told, Garfield and his family are actually familiar to the neighbourhood in spite of only living there for the past two months over the summer.
Garfield Stephenson Wu (Chinese name: 吳廣慶) was born on June 23, 1953 in Ottawa, Canadian Capital Territory, Canada in the Civic Hospital, and he had grew up in the neighbourhood, during which his mother had given birth to David, Emma and Diana and he attended kindergarten and started taking part in piano lessons.
At the time he was born, his father Gordon (Chinese name: 吳景源) was in his final years of master's studies in law and political science in Ottawa and worked in the Japanese Embassy's Taiwan Affairs sector.
When he was six in 1959, the family moved back to Taiwan as Gordon was offered to teach at an then-new international university in a small town named Puli (埔里).
The family settled down in the small town, where Garfield spent the first half of his childhood, during which he began attending school and started taking up violin lessons while continuing his piano lessons.
Later when Garfield was nine in 1962, the family moved to Taipei (臺北) when Gordon got a job transfer: Teaching law and political science in the university he attended and graduated from years ago before military service and eventually international exchange to Canada in 1947.
It was that international exchange that introduced Gordon to Canada and he made several friends, including a middle-aged couple who will eventually witness Garfield's birth in 1953.
That middle-aged couple were Garfield Thompson and Arlene Kelly, who had no children of their own but had took in many university students in the past, including Gordon, who they came to view as a son of their own.
Garfield Thompson worked as a train operator for the Canadian Pacific Railway and was frequently out of town, while Arlene Kelly worked as a secretary in the Canadian Army headquarters.
It was Gordon who decided to name his first-born son after the train operator, and during his stay with the Thompsons, he became familiar with Ottawa and acquainted with the Thompsons' family and relatives.
Anyways, over the course of his growing up in Taiwan, Garfield became fluent in Taiwanese Hokkien, Mandarin Chinese and Japanese, in addition to the brief level of English introduced to him during kindergarten and the English classes in school.
After Garfield graduated from elementary school in 1965, a week after turning twelve years old, Gordon received an offer for a two-year exchange to Canada, in which he will be teaching in Toronto during that two years.
Gordon and his wife Melissa debated on the offer, and eventually the family decided to move back to Canada.
Arriving in late-August, the family decided to settle in a small apartment in Scarborough, one of the thirteen municipalities, including the "core" City of Toronto, that composed Metropolitan Toronto.
As the family settled in Scarborough, Garfield and his siblings were enrolled in the nearby public schools. It was during that time that Garfield also joined the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, a youth organization that promotes interest in aviation and joining the Royal Canadian Air Force.
He also made plenty of friends in school, and it was a sad feeling for him when his father's exchange term was ending in the early summer of 1967.
The year that Canada celebrates the centennial of Confederation.
It was Gordon and Melissa that decided that the family should move back to Ottawa after some discussion, with Gordon returning to Taiwan to continue his work.
The day the family decided to move back to Ottawa was June 30, 1967, and they had informed the Thompsons of their return.
It was Garfield Thompson who picked them up at Ottawa Union Station after the family got off the train from Toronto, and the family was invited to stay at the Thompsons' place in the interim while Gordon and Melissa searches for an apartment to rent.
One thing worth mentioning was that Garfield has a huge passion in trains and anything transportation-related. As a young boy, he will often drag his parents to the nearby streetcar terminal to watch the streetcars and buses go by. His parents will also take him to downtown at times so he can watch the trains pulling in and out of Union Station and he enjoyed watching airplanes taking off, landing and taxiing during air trips when waiting for their flights at the airports.
Most of his toys were buses, tractor trailers and trains, and his drawings typically consists of buses, trams and trains, and he also enjoyed collected model trains, mainly in the N-scale.
He also had the pleasure of taking a ride on the then-brand new Shinkansen in Japan when he accompanied his father to a conference in Tokyo in the winter of 1965, and as a souvenir, he bought a N-scale model of the 12-car bullet train.
Anyways, eventually, the family rented a small house in the Alta Vista neighbourhood and Garfield was subsequently enrolled in Hillcrest High School for the 1967-1968 school year while David, Emma and Diana were enrolled in the nearby public school.
It was also during his ninth grade school year did Garfield's transfer to an Ottawa-based Royal Canadian Air Cadet squadron from his old squadron in Scarborough was approved. His new squadron is based in RCAF Station Uplands, which is located in Gloucester South near the new Ottawa Uplands Airport.
The family's stay in their house didn't last long. In the spring of 1968, Melissa, who by then was now working in the Ogilvy's department store branch in the nearby Billings Bridge Plaza, bought a house in Ottawa South just a few blocks from where the Thompsons lived.
As a result of the purchase, the family moved back to Ottawa South in the summer and the kids were transferred schools.
And that's how Garfield Stephenson Wu was walking northbound down Bronson Avenue at 8:07 in the morning, about to cross the bridge over the Rideau Canal, en route to his new school: Glebe Collegiate Institute.
Garfield was feeling anxious as he walked along the major road. Watching a streetcar speeding by, he was thinking what kind of interesting people will he meet and befriend in Glebe.
Those thoughts continued to cloud his mind as he approaches the school building.
What awaits Garfield (廣慶) as he arrives in his new school?
Stay tuned, and please read and review!