Xiao Lin went to school to pick up his academic report alone, while most of his schoolmates were accompanied by their parents.
Nine-year-old Lin (pseudonym), whose divorced parents had been working outside his hometown for years, looked a bit down with his disappointing scores on Monday, according to a village cadre in Sige Village in Wangjiang County of east China's Anhui Province.
Lin's mum made a phone call to the family during supper that night, saying that she would not be home for the Lunar New Year, the second year that Lin was not going to see her. Lin was silent during supper. He ate by the doorway staring into the distance.
No one thought that Lin was planning to end his life. He strangled himself in the toilet that night, days away from Spring Festival. He left no note.
Lin was one of China's vast number of "left-behind" migrant children. His father went to work outside the village, less than 30 days after Lin was born.
"Left-behind" children are those who remain in rural homes while their parents go to work in cities to earn a living. The children are usually taken care of by their grandparents or other relatives. China's "left-behind" population is nearing 100 million.
Lin's mum became a migrant worker when she and her husband divorced two years ago. The boy was transferred to an elementary school near his step-father's home village, also in Anhui Province. He was then transferred back half a year later to the school he had originally attended.
Lin's parents never went to school to pick up his academic reports with him, nor had they ever attended parents' meetings, enhancing his insecurities, according to Yang Qinglin, the school's headmaster.
"He was more well-behaved than his schoolmates, because he knew no one was going to defend him if he caused trouble at school," Yang said.
Lin rarely received a phone call from his parents.