Childhood’s End.

There is a little boy I do not know sitting in the corner of my room. He has round eyes that are puffy and red, with a pale face, like a little rabbit looking down, not speaking. The boy is supposed to be my brother. He had been introduced to me a few days ago. They told me he was always there, but I just did not know. I don’t think I had ever been told about him before. I am 5 years old.

 

I am holding a doll, a doll I’ve had as long as I can remember, a doll with falling out hair, one closed eye and one open eye, a doll that has always been with me. I am holding my doll, and looking at the boy. The doll fits me, holds me and is held and I feel without counting its missing hairs, its familiar one-eyed gaze. There is nothing wrong with my doll. The boy doesn’t fit here. From a distance I am just looking at this little stranger. I hold my doll more closely.

 

Mom comes in the room looking upset. She says, “Let’s get rid of this old doll. Now you are a big sister, and you have to take care of your brother. You are now an elder sister, you cannot act like a child anymore.” I nod no. I shake my head fast and hold the doll tight. Mom starts pulling my doll away from me. I pull back strongly, but my doll slips out of my hands. I cry and cry. But Mom takes the doll away. I only have a few hairs of the doll in my hand – a few from a few.

 

I am getting very upset. The doll is mine, but the boy is not my brother. He is a boy not a baby, so he cannot be my brother. The boy is looking at me, the red eyes and a pale face, like a doll.

 

I met the boy a few days before. Mom and dad introduced him as my brother. He had been there since 3 years ago. He was there. I don’t know what they mean. Grandma brought him here. He was holding my grandma’s hand and wouldn’t let her go. When Mom tried to hold his little hand, he had refused, and held Grandma more tightly with both his arms. He was crying. Dad had looked at me and said, “Now you have a younger brother”. I just looked at my dad. I didn’t understand what he meant. I was holding my doll then.

 

Since grandma left, the boy has been sitting down, not talking or looking at anyone, but just looking down in the corner of the room. Silence.

 

I hear mom and dad talking outside the room, whispering.

 

I think he is like a doll. He does not move nor talk. He has round eyes and does not blink. He just looks down. We are both alone.

 

 

About Suk Kyoung Choi

artist / researcher

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