The autumn when I was six, my family moved to a new house in the suburb. Shortly after our new house was set up, my parents held a housewarming party, inviting many of my friends and their families from our old community of tiny half-dilapidated apartments. They had greatly helped us with the move, and the party was meant to be a gesture of gratitude from my family.
Well, that was probably how my parents saw the party. For us children, however, it was just another fun occasion with so many of us gathered in one place. There were several of my friends and their little siblings. Even back in our old community, it was rare for all of us to play together, and we were beside ourselves with excitement.
We spent hours playing different games in the playground until dusk. When we finally came inside, the food was ready. We all sat around the low table reserved for children and helped ourselves to the delicious dishes our mothers had prepared. We chatted and laughed while eating, and when the meal was over, we went upstairs to resume our play.
At one point, we were playing hide and seek, and one of my friends and I decided to hide inside the tiny bathroom upstairs. While hiding there, I observed the pattern on the bathroom floor. There were many tiny dots printed in the dark white background.
“They look like sands, don’t they?” I said to my friend, following the dotted pattern on the floor with my finger.
“Yeah, they do,” my friend replied.
“Maybe, we are sitting on the seaside!” I whispered with excitement. “Can you hear the sound of waves nearby?”
We completely forgot about hide and seek and started playing with the “sands” on the bathroom floor.
Suddenly, the door opened, and I saw a few of my friends standing there.
“We’re going home now,” one of them said to me. “We came to say good-bye.”
I was so surprised that for a moment I did not understand what she had said.
“Going home?” I repeated blankly. “You’re going home?”
From the hallway, I heard adults talking and preparing to leave. They were all going home now.
“Your mother was also looking for you,” she said to my friend who was sitting on the bathroom floor with me.
I felt the magic of the evening quickly fade around me. I looked at the bathroom floor. To my eyes, the dotted pattern still looked like sands. I wondered to myself how it could be that this fun time with my friends, which I thought would last forever, was yet again ending so abruptly.
My friends each said good-bye to me before going downstairs to meet their mothers. Not wanting to be left behind alone in my own imagination, I quickly followed them to the hallway.
My parents and I waved at our guests as they got into their cars and slowly departed to head back home – to the community which used to be my home as well until a few weeks ago.
I waved at my friends until the last car turned the corner and the taillamp disappeared into the darkness. I then dashed inside the house to find all the traces of our fun time and say my own good-bye to each of them.