Secret Candies

In this memory, I am four years old. In October, my little brother goes through another heart surgery. Since my parents’ full attention needs to go to my brother, I am sent to my maternal grandmother’s house in the countryside for a few weeks.

My father and I travel there together by a bullet train, then by a local train. On the way, he buys me a case of candies. Usually, my mother strictly regulates my sugar consumption, and even when she buys me candies, she never gives me the whole package. My father, on the other hand, is relaxed about such matters. At the station kiosk, he buys a candy package and gives me the whole thing. My face lights up in delight.

At my grandmother’s house, everybody is eagerly waiting for my arrival. Even my aunt who lives in another city has come over to see me. When we arrive, my father is invited to a table of tea and snacks, and all the adults spend some time chatting – about my brother’s situation, about me, and other things.

I am too young to sit still and enjoy such a conversation, so I start exploring my grandmother’s big house, as I always do, with the candy package in my hand. I have eaten a few on the way, but now, I eat one more. It is such a good feeling to have the entire package of candies in my hand and be able to eat one whenever I want.

After a while, I come back to the room where adults are sitting and chatting. I come in through one door, pick a snack from the table, then exit from the other door. But before I exit, my aunt tries to catch me.

“Hey, Sweetie, why do I smell something sweet from you?”

Of course, it is the candy I am having in my mouth. But I don’t want to tell anybody about it because this is my candy package, and I don’t want anybody to take it away from me.

“Nothing, nothing!” I reply as I run toward the door. “You don’t smell anything!”

Just as I exit, however, I hear my father explain to my aunt.

“She has a secret package of candies today.”

I am furious that my father has revealed my secret so easily, but I don’t get to resent for too long. Soon, I am called as everyone comes out to the hallway to see my father off.

“Sweetie, be a good girl, okay?” My father tells me. “Don’t cause them troubles.”

“Of course she won’t!” Other adults respond immediately. “She is such a wonderful girl. Aren’t you, Sweeite?”

I don’t reply really. I am not interested in such pleasantry. All I am thinking is about the fun adventure I will be having with my grandmother for the next weeks and how odd it feels that my father is now going back home alone.