My little brother, when he was small, was an ardent bus lover. It’s not uncommon for a young boy to show interest in vehicles, but one unique thing about my brother was that he was only interested in buses and no other kinds of vehicles.
Right adjacent to the community of half-dilapidated apartments we lived in, there was a place where bus drivers would come and park their buses until their next service time. Whenever my mother took my toddler brother for a daily walk, he would insist to go there. When there were buses parked, he would watch them for a long time, and when there was none, he would sit and wait there for a long time. He would have stayed there forever if my mother hadn’t tactfully convinced him to walk back home after a long patient sitting.
Once there was a kind bus driver, who saw my brother keenly watching the bus and invited him to come inside so that he could enjoy the bus from inside as well. However, as soon as my brother got on the bus, he lost interest. For him, watching a bus from outside was the exciting part, and the interior of a bus had little appealing. That was another peculiar thing about his love of buses.
At home, my brother kept a large collection of toy buses modelled after the actual buses in my hometown. Most of them, if not all, were bought at the kiosk of the hospital that my brother used to visit regularly for the treatment of his heart condition. My mother usually had a strict policy not to easily purchase a toy for us just because we asked for it. But once in a while, she would buy one toy bus for my brother as a treat after he completed some medical task. When my father accompanied my brother for his treatment, he would buy one for my brother whenever he asked. Unlike my mother, my father didn’t have a policy about toy purchasing, and he wanted to do whatever would make my brother happy at hospital. Maybe that’s why my brother had such a large collection of toy buses.
My brother enjoyed moving his toy buses from one place to another with precision in our tiny apartment throughout the day, and when we went out together, he always carried a few buses in his hands.
My brother passed away just before he turned three. In the picture my parents chose for his farewell ceremony, my brother was sitting at the parking place where he would daily go for his bus watching. His hands were empty, but somehow folded as if holding something.
“So, his hands were always like this?” My mother said. “As if holding his toy buses?”
My brother’s love of buses was truly remarkable. When I think back on those little details of his sweet obsession, it brings me a smile even to this day.