Tea Before Dawn.

A small pot of lemongrass tea brews at

five o’clock in the morning. A shaven head 

bobbling past in hasten steps. 

Past the room with the warm pillows and the 

gray blanket with the polka dots scattered in white. 

Past the leather couch, brown like espresso. Past the Christmas tree of

lights and memories and her children. She unravels out of her 

cords of void and falls, embraced in the arms of the cool kitchen, before 

dawn greets the world with her


A girl weeps softly beneath the gray blanket,

for dreams of pins and 

needles have plagued her sleep.

Peeping through the polka-dots, she sees the

figure fidgeting with the pot. 


Knees buckling and 


Frail white hands drumming on 

the cool granite counter. 

Toes dancing above the hard wooden 


The sound of humming 

escapes the shaven head’s 


Her head bobbing to the disoriented 


The weeping girl, watching



The girl wrapped in the big polka-dotted blanket,

pillow beneath her head, bundled on

 the espresso brown couch 

feels a lump stiffening in her throat.

Muffled tears make it hard to 

swallow. The lump 

turns to cold stone, 

lodged in the throat that 

is trying to swallow, to cry, to


The bitter

taste of copper reality in her 

mouth makes the stone soften to 

a ball of clay. Head about to 

explode, nauseated


a fever, no sleep,

and from a stranger 

humming awkwardly while making 



The girl shimmies out of the gray 

blanket and tries to get on her 


Numb feet 

stinging —

stinging and 


on shards of broken 



Could you please help me— 

The question was croaked out a second too late.

She’s gone.

The small pot remains fixed on the countertop.


Tea gone in the sink,

tea leaves scattered on the stove. 


Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.

Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.

We have grown since then, putting out bimonthly issues (we are contributor powered: apply to write for our next one!), and weekly reviews of culture, and news that is important to us.

You can find announcements, more news, and get to know our staff on social media: give us a follow, and learn how you can get involved today!

We do not claim to speak for all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. We are just here to give them a place to speak for themselves.

We hope you’ll join us.

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