Subhana Mysha

Subhana Mysha

Subhana Mysha is an aspiring writer who is a student at Austin High School. She focuses on writing about her life as a first-generation Bangladeshi immigrant, womanhood and psychology. As Subhana has been writing since the age of nine, it is her absolute dream to be published and heard globally.

Red Pens


by Subhana Mysha

At school, no one knew me. I was the leper, the seeds of a grape, bitter and unwanted. But I was there, chewed and spitten raw. Everyone knew me as the keling with frizzy hair, the terrorist who always got yelled at by her teachers, the quiet one that always forgot her red pens. The teacher, Ms. Ong would yell out to the class, “Everyone take out your red pens for corrections on our English test!” And there I would be, my table completely empty—devoid of books, pencils, paper or red pens. I didn’t know why it mattered so much, I had always gotten every question wrong. The papers would have been molded and soggy, red ink flowing to every corner. The questions would drown, and the words wouldn’t be legible anymore. Homicides and bad grades just didn’t happen in Singapore, and so I didn’t happen either. I looked behind my desk, where a Malay girl that always seemed to side-eye me in the hallway sat. I asked, my mind already predicting the response, “Could I borrow a red pen?” She looked at me as if I had confessed to murder, her eyes as wide as saucers, “My mom told me you Indians have diseases, so I can’t.” I paused, went back to my seat and sat patiently. No red pen, no drowning paper, just me and the vultures picking at my organs like some rotten corpse. Maybe I did have a disease. Everyday it felt like the plague was hugging my rib cages, thrusting in and out of some space in my heart until it was ragged and beaten. It’s been 6 years, I’m still a diseased girl that has no red pens.