Will you miss me?

When I was five, since I started going to the kindergarten, I caught a cold more frequently than before. Whenever I became sick, my mother would prepare a bedding for me and tell my little brother to stay in another room so that he didn’t contract the virus.

Our house was a tiny apartment, and the room where I was sleeping and the room where my brother was supposed to be staying in were connected by a single door. I could hear everything that was going on in the next room.

When my mother went out for an errand, I could hear my little brother playing with his toy buses in the next room. After a while, his voice stopped and it became quiet. As I wondered what he was doing, there were footsteps, and my brother’s head popped out from the door.

“If I’m gone, will you miss me?”

He asked me. He was keeping my mother’s words, and only his head was visible.

“Yes, of course, I’ll miss you.”

I answered. Satisfied, my brother went back to play with his buses. Then after some time, his voice stopped again, and I heard his footsteps. He poked out his head from the door and asked me again.

“If I’m gone, will you miss me?”

“Of course, I’ll miss you.”

I answered again. My brother smiled and said,

“Then I will always be here.”

This was a ritual that we went through whenever I was sick in bed. Before long, my brother would forget my mother’s words and start visiting my bedside to play with me.