The Rumour

I am six in this memory.

In late April, I am sitting with my two best friends in the playground. Our playhouse activity has come to a halt, and currently, we are just sitting, dangling our legs in the spring breeze.

“She says she feels sorry for Maiko,” my friend’s voice grabs my attention. “She even cried when we chatted.”

“That’s not surprising,” my other friend responds quietly. “I know many friends who feel the same way.”

“But my other classmate said something else,” the first one continues. “She told me that she doesn’t feel any pity. She said that she isn’t sorry at all!”


I know which girls they are talking about. I have not played with either of them much, so I do not know them very well. But still, it kind of surprises me that somebody can be so indifferent to my brother’s passing. I mean, why does anybody have to say that they are not sorry at all?

“That’s awful,” says my other friend after a while. “I think that’s so mean.”

“Me, too. I told her ‘You don’t know what you are talking about. Her brother passed away.’”


“She just shrugged.”

I remain silent. For some reason, I feel detached from this whole conversation. People can feel whatever they want about my loss. But what I know for sure is that this girl would not be saying whatever she said if it had been her brother who died.

“Don’t be so angry,” I finally opened my mouth. “She just doesn’t get it. Plus, she didn’t really know my brother. So, she cannot feel sorry.”

We know your brother,” my friends say in chorus. “He’s so sweet. The sweetest!”

“That’s true,” a smile comes back to my face.

“We’ll always remember him. And we’re always here with you.”

And I know, to me, that is all that matters. That I have two best friends who have known my brother for his entire life and who care for my feelings.