daddy’s drawer

my godsister showed me her diary written in her fifth grade when I visited her in Kashgar in 2019. She granted me permission to archive, translate, and display her diary in 2024 spring, but she ask me to keep her anoymous. Her diary has become a drawer of my own in the past 5 years. 


Sep 4, 2012

dear diary, hey there! It’s been a while :)
I just had to come back and chat with you again because the other day I really couldn’t help peeking into my dad’s drawer. he always stays up in this room at night. I just had to know what he was doing! my dad is a super cool police officer and all my friends wish their dads were like him!

        (Sketch: dad in my heart! he rocks!)

I found something weird. There were loads of the same pictures in there. I hope he doesn't catch me snooping.
Why would those people get beat up by the officers?
Did my dad kill this guy?
If he did, does that mean he's a bad guy?

I'm kinda freaked out, diary. There were so many of those pictures.

Sep 6th, 2012

diary. Today was the worst day ever. My dad actually hit me for the first time. I finally gathered up the courage to ask him if he ever killed anyone. He flipped out! Like, super, super mad. He wanted to know why I'd even think that. I got really scared and owned up to snooping. After that, he locked his door, which he's never done before.But here's the thing, diary. I didn't tell him I took two pictures from his drawer. I just don’t want to bring myself to. Later, he gave me these pictures and said they were of him and his buddies playing games. He said they were practicing catching bad guys!

Ohhhh! That makes so much sense now! They work really hard!
But my butt still hurts from getting in trouble :’)

Sep 10, 2012

Dear diary,I think I might be in trouble. Whenever my dad goes out to smoke, I sneak into his room again to look through his stuff. He still hasn't caught me. Yesterday, I found this:

I couldn't really tell if my dad was in the photo, but I saw those guys from my dream again, and they were staring right at me.

Could I ever turn into a bad guy?

Sep 13, 2012

diary! Guess what? Today my dad took a huge dump for like forever, so I swiped two more pictures! They're gonna make such a funny story!

One's called "the sleepyhead"

and the other is "Witch Auntie with Poisons".

Catching bad guys is the coolest thing ever!

Sep 15, 2012

Dear diary, today I found something super scary. Zerarel's dad's picture was in my dad's drawer! Is this some kind of game too?

—I can't be mistaken.

—That's definitely the mosque their family always goes to.

Maybe my dad thinks Zerarel's dad is a bad person?
But Zerarel is my best friend!
Her dad even buys me fresh, warm, roasted naan!
But what really makes someone a bad person in the end?

Sep 16, 2012

Diary, I've been having trouble sleeping lately. I keep thinking about Zerarel. I haven't seen her since second grade. Mom says I shouldn't go near the street where they live, but all my friends are there!I found something strange, again. The more I stare at it, the more it looks like the carpet in Zerarel's house. How can that be?

Should I ask Dad about it again?
But what if he gets mad and hits me like last time?