The Alternative Reality

The spring I turn eight, one day, I find a beautiful blank notebook in my mother’s collection. Recently, I have been thinking how if my brother had been alive, he would be starting kindergarten this month. With the blank notebook in my hands, his first day at kindergarten starts playing in my mind.

In this imagination, we still live in that old, tiny half-dilapidated apartment, and my brother is going to the same kindergarten where my two best friends and I went to. He is assigned to the same class I was in during my first year: the class of Zelkova.

Early morning of his first day as a kindergartener, my brother’s voice echoes in the main room of our apartment. Too excited, he has woken up earlier than his mother and is now checking his bag content one by one. When he goes through all items, he starts all over again, and finally, his loud voice even wakes up his mother.

She hands him his lunch box, and my brother heads out to kindergarten on his own, singing a song he has just made up to express how happy he is on this first day of kindergarten.

In this story, I also make an appearance – as a responsible big sister –, and we interact just like any other siblings in the world. The time I spend writing is when I live in this alternative reality, where we all still live in that community of tiny half-dilapidated apartments, nothing lacking from my life, with all my family and friends right beside me.