This story is a continuation of the post “A Bug in the Eye.”

The kindergarten bus drops us at the square playground of our community of tiny half-dilapidated apartments. Our parents are waiting for us, and our teachers spend some time talking to them about the trip and our individual highlights from the trip.

After the brief festivity, the teachers depart on the kindergarten bus, and we also disperse, each heading their home. I wave at my two best friends before following my mother to our apartment right behind the playground.

Nobody else is at home. Once I take off my backpack, my mother prepares a bedding in the backroom so that I can take a nap. There is no more playing with friends today. I will rest, then do a little study session, and have dinner, most likely.

As I lie down and get comfortable under my blanket, however, I struggle to fall asleep. It is too quiet. And it feels too lonely.

When I shut my eyes, the memory from this early morning replays in my mind. How I was lying among my friends and how my teachers were chatting behind me. Then the campfire last night. How we sang and danced around the fire together under the starry sky. And this morning’s bug incident and how the headmaster and I drove to the hospital together. After that, how I rejoined others in the bus and we chatted and played.

Now, I am lying here all by myself. Alone. A sense of emptiness pokes at my heart and creates a tiny puncture. The puncture quickly grows into a hole, and soon, it conquers my whole body.

I shut my eyes tighter to sleep, but my brain keeps producing images. Images of different scenes from this trip. They are so vivid that the time gap between then and now threatens to paralyze me.

It is then that something hits me hard like a comet. I wish he were here. The house feels so empty without him. Too quiet and too lonely. It is as if the two days spent with my friends have reminded me how lonely and boring it is to be at home without my little brother.