Memory of a hard candy

It was when I was three. One cloudy day, my mother took me to an annual festival at a local shinto shrine. I don’t exactly remember what occasion it was, but it was shortly after my little brother came to our life with a heart disease. That year, our family’s life revolved around the new-born baby since his condition was very delicate, and the day when I went out with my mother was one of those days when she had grabbed a moment while attending my brother to do something fun for me.

It was raining when we got to the shrine. In my memory, I was wearing my green raincoat. We quickly finished whatever needed to be done at the shrine, and we were coming down on the stone steps. Since it was a festival day, there were many vendors selling different kinds of food and toys. Usually, we would enjoy the festival atmosphere by browsing through these vendors, but that day, we were on a hurry. My father and my brother were waiting for our return, and we didn’t have the time to visit these vendors.

As we passed by the vendors like a wind, my eyes drifted to different items displayed in front of each vendor. Even though I knew we had to hurry, I still felt sad about leaving the festival without getting anything special. Were we just going back home like this?

We passed by another vendor. This vendor sold hard candies called bekko ame in Japanese. My mother suddenly deviated from the stone steps and went to the vendor. She asked for one candy, and the vendor picked one yellow candy from the candy stand and handed it to me. The candy came on a stick. The large transparent candy had the shape of a bird.

As I marvelled at the beautiful candy in my hand, my mother grabbed my other hand and started to run. We ran down the rest of the stone steps hand in hand, me in the green raincoat holding the special hard candy tight in my other hand. The shiny yellow candy looked even more colourful against the grey sky and the wet stone steps underneath us.