It was when I was five years old. One day, my family were going to make a visit to my paternal grandmother’s place. Her place was about three hours train ride from our home, and I was excited to travel by the bullet train all the way to Tokyo with all my family.
Since we were going to the Tokyo area, my mother dressed me and my brother in good clothes that morning. I wore a dress instead of a sweater and trousers and my brother also wore his signature jeans.
Our trip was scheduled in the afternoon. In the morning, my mother got the idea to take pictures of me and my brother because it was rare that we were dressed so properly. She wanted to have a good picture of us to include in her annual new year greeting cards.
She took us out to different places in our small neighbourhood and asked us to make different pauses while she clicked photos with her heavy Nikon camera. My brother and I were not interested in modelling for the photos, but took this as a great opportunity to play outside before our big trip.
Shortly after we started our photoshoot, however, I started to feel down and ill. It was as if my energy were draining from me all of a sudden. My mother noticed it and asked me if I was feeling ill. In that moment, I thought that if I admitted my illness, our exciting trip would be cancelled. I quickly pretended that there was nothing wrong and pretended that I was full of energy.
The photoshoot continued, and slowly but surely, I started feeling significantly ill. It became harder for me to pretend my energetic self. I asked my mother if we could finish and go back home.
Once back at home, my mother immediately put a thermometer under my armpit. I was furious that she was not completely fooled by my acting and decided to check my temperature. Sure enough, I had quite a high fever.
I was quickly carried to bed, and our trip was cancelled. As I lay in bed, I was so angry that I had to catch a cold on such a special day. I would have wanted to go even if I had to fake my health that day.