Memory of yogurt

When I was six, one day shortly after my little brother had passed away, I was playing with my best friend’s little sister. Usually, my friend, her sister and I hung out together, but that day, my friend was out playing with somebody else, and we were just the two of us.

My friend’s sister was only a year older than my brother, and they used to play together a lot. As we walked to the park, we both started talking about my brother.

“I want to play with him again,” she said. “I really miss him.”

At my home, there was one video tape – only one – that captured my little brother. Somebody recorded a video of the sport festival of my kindergarten, and my brother happened to appear in it: first in the distance, sitting on a picnic sheet with my parents as part of the spectators. The next time, he appeared right in front of the camera as he participated in the younger siblings’ running game.

When my friend’s sister said she wanted to see my brother again, I thought of this video tape and invited her to come to my home to watch it together. She loved the idea, and excited, we both skipped to my tiny half-dilapidated apartment.

But once we got to my home and I asked my mother for the video tape, she didn’t approve of us watching it.

“I’m afraid you can’t do that,” she said to us gently.

“Why not?”

“You just can’t.”

Something about my mother’s gesture made me stop enquiring. Then the three of us sat at the table instead and chatted for some time. We had run out of snacks, so my mother gave each of us a bowl of yogurt with strawberry jam on it. My friend’s little sister was delighted.

“It’s so delicious!” she repeated many times. “I’ve never had such delicious yogurt before. Strawberry jam is my favourite!”

After this brief snack time, she went back home. Even though we didn’t watch the video we had planned earlier, she looked very happy as she left my home.

That bowl of yogurt with strawberry jam has never left my memory since.