Obsession with Number One

When I was five, my little brother went through a phase when he liked the concept of number one. In the community of tiny half-dilapidated apartments where we used to live in, all six apartment blocks were numbered. Since our apartment block was the oldest of all, its assigned number was the youngest number: number one.

On the side of our apartment block, the number one was printed in a large black lettering. Whenever we went out, my two-year-old brother saw it and said to everybody around him that our apartment block was number one. My brother’s love of number one started from here.

At home, he and I used to watch children’s TV programs together. One of them was an educational quiz program about insects. One female cartoon character appeared on the screen dressed like an insect, and after showing a short video clip about each insect, she would read a question about its life followed by three answer choices.

Standing in front of the TV screen, I thought about the question and gave my answer aloud.

“I go for number two!”

My brother immediately followed my lead.

“I go for number one!”

It did not matter what the question was. My brother always chose number one as his answer.

Sometimes, after giving my first answer, I had a second thought and changed my mind.

“I change my mind! I go for number three!”

“I change my mind, too!” My brother followed me once again with a beaming smile. “I go for number ONE!”

Such was his obsession with number one.