During the summer when I was five, I was visiting my maternal grandmother’s house with my mother and little brother. Since it was hot, one day, my mother gave us a permission to play in the bathtub. There was lukewarm water in the bathtub from the night before (in Japan, we often keep the hot water in the bathtub after we take bath), and it was perfect for us to play inside.
My brother and I were excited, and we jumped into the water with several toys to play with. After seeing that we were now good on our own, my mother left to attend some other task.
It was exciting to play in our grandmother’s bathtub because it was much bigger than the one at our tiny apartment back home. We started playing our usual games, screaming and moving around the bathtub to our heart’s content.
Suddenly, in the midst of our chaotic dance, my brother slipped on the floor and disappeared under the water. He was tall enough to stand over the water, but the shock of falling made him impossible to stand up on his own. I quickly grabbed his hand and pulled him up. He came above the water for a second, but he was panicking so much that he couldn’t stand up and fell into the water again. I saw his crying face underneath the water. This time, I pulled him up harder, and made sure that his feet didn’t slip again.
As soon as his face came out of the water, his powerful cry echoed and shook the entire bathroom. I heard the footstep approaching and my mother’s face appeared at the door.
She asked, her eyes scanning us and the entire bathroom in search of the reason why my brother was crying so hard.
I explained to her that he had slipped and fallen in the water.
“I picked him up from the water, and he’s okay now. But he won’t stop crying.”
My mother immediately pulled my brother out of the water and carried him away to calm him down.
As I sat in the water and listened to the fading cry of my brother in the corridor, I felt the magic leaving the room quickly. Just one moment ago, we were playing and dancing happily. But now, the party was over. I sat and watched a sense of disappointment float in my heart for a while before finally deciding to stand up and get out of the water.