Love Of iPad | Jason Zhu He

Love tablets not potions.

Love Of iPad

By Jason Zhu He

For the What We Talk About When We Talk About Love Award


At the age of six, I was a tall, thin boy with long, thin arms and a long, thin face. My parents scraped together every dime and were able to send me to the best private school in the state. Around that time, the iPad craze began, and it being a private school, the parents were all wealthy and bought their children these devices. One day, my friend invited me over to his house and we played games on his iPad. A desire sprang up in my heart for that little device. Each time my finger tapped the screen, it was like opening a magic box – a new world in front of me. I loved the way it felt in my hand, I loved its metallic shell and I loved its heft. I didn’t want to leave my friend’s house that day.

That night, whilst my mother was cooking, I asked her,

“Mummy, if I promise to be as good as gold, can I have an iPad for Christmas, pleeeeeaaaaase?”

“Mummy’s busy right now, Jono. Go and play in the garden,” she replied and then sampled the soup from the pot on the stove.

So, I went and found my father. He was sitting in front of the computer, his head in his hands
and muttered, “Ridiculous! Totally ridiculous!” His face was as dark as the sky before a tempest.

Slowly I shuffled my feet in, with my eyes cast down. I timidly asked, “Dad?”

He grunted.

“Dad, if I promise to be as good as gold,” I paused for a moment, thought a bit and added, “AND improve my bad marks at school, can we buy an iPad? Please?”

He turned to me with an exasperated expression on his face.

“Do you know how many iPads you could buy with your school fees?! Do you think that I am made of money!? That money grows on trees? If you want to buy that thing, make money and pay for it yourself!”

I stumbled back to my room, choking in tears. I buried myself in the bedsheets and sobbed. My father’s words echoed in my ears. “If you want to buy that thing, make money and pay for it yourself!” Suddenly, an idea struck me. I sat up and wiped away the tears. I printed out pictures of the $100 note from Google, painstakingly cut them out and triumphantly waved my “money” in front of my father whilst singing,”I made money, I made money!”

The first time I experienced severe depression in my life was upon being informed that my method of making money was forgery and therefore illegal. It seemed impossible for me to obtain this iPad which I desired so dearly.

Every time my parents went shopping, I always begged them to leave me behind at the Apple Store. Then, I ran to the iPad section, my heart beating faster with every step. When I reached the iPads, I would examine every app, every pixel, marvelling at the beauty of the device.

When my fingers made contact with the smooth glass, they jumped, swiped and tapped like a pianist’s hands on a keyboard. The world seemed to disappear and I would be entranced in its games for hours. If my parents didn’t come to drag me away, I would have stayed there forever. In the deepest recesses of my heart, I wished the flawless, glossy tablet were mine.

It is interesting how creative a six year old boy becomes when motivated by something he deeply loves. One day, my parents received a phone call from the headmaster.

“Jonathan has been collecting money from other pupils for doing their homework,” he enunciated in a cold tone. “Due to the gravity of this offence, he is suspended for a week. Please come and collect him.”

As soon as three of us had walked out of the school gates, my father unleashed his rage, “I did not send you to this school to do OTHER people’s homework and to charge them! I wanted you to study well and get good grades!”

Suddenly, my mother stopped. She turned to me, her brow wrinkled with confusion and said,

“Hang on a minute! Your homework comes back covered with crosses. How could your classmates pay you for a full page of crosses on their homework?”

I allowed myself a tiny grin. “I collected my customers homework and gave it to the smart kids to do. I just earned money!”

My parents glanced at each other. Deep in their eyes, I saw concealed delight at my creativity.

Or so I liked to think.