Time does not bound me

It is winter 2000. In our arts & crafts class, we work on paper prints. With a large blank sheet of paper in front of me, I listen to my teacher explain the procedure to the class, and a brilliant design idea pops up in my head.

My brother is riding on his ride-on car, but this is not any random ride-on car, it is shaped like a bus!

A smile tugs at my lips. The image is crystal clear in my mind.

As soon as my teacher finishes the explanation, I pick up a pen and start drawing the design on the paper. While my classmates are busy chatting around me, I quickly get absorbed in the happy world where my brother is riding a bus-shaped ride-on car. With one arm raised, he is shouting something. Yes, I can hear him. He is saying, “Let’s go!”

“What are you drawing?” Somebody asks me from across the table.

“This is my brother,” I reply without looking up. “He’s riding a bus-shaped ride-on car. He loves buses!”

Because I talk about my brother every now and then, everybody in my class knows that I once had a little brother who was a great bus lover. The only difference about this particular moment is that I talk about him in present tense. When I am immersed in my creative world, time does not bound me, and my brother becomes as present as anybody else in the room.

I work on my paper prints most enthusiastically. Every week, I look forward to our arts & crafts class where I can connect with my brother’s happy world of buses.

I choose yellow as the background colour so that it looks like my brother is riding his bus in the sunlight. My teacher helps me with the printing process on the final day of the project.

“It has turned out great,” he tells me as he hands me my printed picture. “Your brother is also looking very cute.”

I am too busy checking the outcome of my paper prints to make any verbal response, but my smile kicks up a notch upon hearing my teacher’s words, especially the part when he said my brother looked cute in this picture.