The Boy Who said Goodbye

End of solitary

The Boy Who said Goodbye
He will fine where ever he will be, I have my baby now

Who did the mess?

'Why did you put all the clothes on the floor?' Screeched mum with utter frustration. Well you couldn't blame her. She walked into the bedroom and guess what she found? All the clothes are out of the drawer and scattered all over the carpet and there he was, the alleged criminal, little Ivan.

'But IsJune did it' said Ivan, who was as frustrated as mum was. His hands were up in the air with utter disappointment at IsJune and quite annoyed at the prospects of being ordered to tidy it all up. And there it was 'Well, I don't care if IsJune did it or it was your idea, you are helping me tidying it up Mr', Mum's voice said there is no space for working out a deal. She is mad! Really mad!

Mum is frequently mad at the things IsJune is doing. Well Little Ivan who likes to think of himself as a man is failing to control IsJune these days and IsJune is always up to no good. Mummy has a baby in her belly and one day Ivan will meet the baby. Mummy says the baby in her belly makes her very tired and always asking him to help out. Mummy also asked Ivan to talk to IsJune for being so naughty all the time. She even proposed to say goodbye to IsJune,

'Ivan, you do say you are a man don't you?'

'Yes' confirmed Ivan.

'Well, men don't do naughty things and play with silly friends like IsJune. You will be a big brother soon. You better get used to being responsible and help out mummy. Please don't make so much mess for mummy. Mummy gets so tired' pleaded mum.

Ivan felt sorry for mummy. After all she looks a bit tired walking around with that baby in her belly. 'Maybe I can help her' Ivan thought. He did a big sigh and said 'Tell me what can I do to help you mummy' and then he felt so sorry for poor mummy that he stood up and hugged mummy who was sitting on the carpet with him. He hugged her so tight that mummy almost fell backwards.

'Oh! This is what I miss. That IsJune is taking over all his time and attention! He has to come back to real life' thought mummy.

'Here is the thing' Mummy builds up a serious proposal.

'You are a big boy now'

'Man' Ivan interrupted.

'Yes' Said Mum, 'Man' she corrected apologetically.

'You are my little man and you have got to help me out my love. We have so much to do and when the baby will come you will have to be very very responsible. IsJune is not going to let you be a man. Well, because he is always asking you to do silly things. It's time you make new friends baby and maybe you can ask IsJune to go and find new friends. Tell him you will be busy with lots and lots of responsibilities'. Breathed mum! This was hard for mum to say knowing how Ivan has created an attachment to IsJune's company. But Mum had it up to here. She just didn't want to put up with it any-more.

'Tell him to go?' Cried Ivan. 'But I can't do that mummy. IsJune needs me and I have to help him' Ivan stood up and put his hands over mum's shoulder and said 'Mummy, I pawmise I shall be wesponsibol but IsJune has impowtent things to do here'. Well what Ivan meant was 'Mummy, I promise I shall be responsible but IsJune has important things to do here'. But Ivan couldn't yet say certain letters properly, which was fine with mummy because the little man was only reaching his third birthday. Considering Ivan was 2 and 1/2 years old, he was very active and had a lot of new ideas; mum always recognised. However Ivan gives most of the credits for his ideas to IsJune and mummy sometimes wishes IsJune was just out of here.

Toys down the drain

'Ivan!' Mum called out worryingly. She was preparing lunch at the kitchen and next thing you know Ivan has vanished from the living room. 'Where did he go?' wondered mum, 'He was watching TV and playing with the toys when I left'. Mum looked everywhere! In the dining room, upstairs in the bedrooms and in the toilette and then she heard a noise from the back yard. Mum rushed outside and guess what she saw! There was this canal next to the back garden and all the toys were swimming up the stream to meet the river; mum scowled with defeat. It really bothered mummy. All those toys? 'Well, I had to buy those toys!'

Mum literally cried out 'Why did you throw the toys Ivan?'

'I didn't throw my toys mummy' answered Ivan pleadingly whilst looking at mummy with his big googly eyes and flattering his long curly eye lashes. 'IsJune floated them' said he by pointing at IsJune beside him and quickly glanced at him.

'But why?' Screamed mummy with frustration and anger.

'Because he wanted them to swim' said Ivan again pointing at IsJune.

'Why?' asked a livid mummy.

'They need to travel' Ivan knelt forward and lowered his voice slightly to educate mummy.

'To places and to the revwa and do things and come back!' said he with a little awe in his voice as if he doesn't understand why mummy doesn't get this. 'He will come back' Ivan comforts mummy and returns to the shed to get more toys. Angry mummy runs after Ivan to the shed

'No, No more toys down the drain' gasps mummy and pleads.

That evening mummy was really upset about IsJune's interference in Ivan's life. She felt really guilty about shouting at Ivan and will feel sad for him for many many years. But she couldn't help feeling mad for losing all those toys and that Ivan doesn't understand that those toys will not return.

That evening Ivan was very quiet and did not chat to mummy because he couldn't fathom why mummy did not understand that those toys would return after traveling the world. For one day Ivan would go outside in the world all on his own too but he will come back. He can't have mummy crying like this. IsJune said so. And he can't leave IsJune; without him he is alone.

Study Time

'But you need to start practising from now' Ordered mummy with authority.

'No, I don't, I have things to do!' A very rude Ivan walked away from mummy, climbed on the bed and lay down and put his leg over his lifted knee as if he was sitting down and started flipping pages of a picture book. Ivan had no interest in learning the alphabets let alone learning to read. Pictures were much fun to read, besides why learn to read when mummy is there to read a story? He didn't have interest in learning numbers either. Ivan knew 1 is a small number so he would never ask for 1 sweetie. He knew 19 was a big number and 100 meant a lot so every time mum was happy with him he would ask for either 19 sweeties or 100, depending on how happy mummy was. Besides this there was a very little usage of numbers as far as Ivan's concern and he thought all the other kids of his age were wasting their times. He was too busy to spend time in such useless activities.

Mummy on the contrary was getting increasingly worried especially when she meet children of Ivan's age counting 1-10 and some could even count up to 50 and 100. They knew their A-Z alphabets and they could sing the alphabet song too and they would sing all kind of songs. Ivan would order mummy to sing 'Little Lord Jesus' at him with an invincible smile on his face and go off to his regular activities. He did not want to sing any nursery songs.

Mummy ordered, pleaded, begged, cried but nothing would bring interest in Ivan to get educated. So Mummy explained why he needs to learn, for example when he will grow up he will have to work and to work he needs to read and write.

'Nah!' said Ivan dismissing Mummy's logic, 'I have TwV (TV) and Computa (Computer), I don't need to learn all that and I can just tipa tipa' -tipa tipa was a gesture Ivan used to use to express typing on a keyboard of a computer -replied Ivan mimicking a typist. 'And you can read big thwings (things), right IsJune?' and then he smirked and said 'Look, IsJune says yes!' pointing at IsJune with the hand gesture of a ballet dancer.

'IsJune again!' grumbled mummy. Mummy felt lost, really lost!

Can we pay attention please!

One of the biggest worry for mummy was Ivan paying no attention to listening to a story book or finding his favourite music. If mum wanted to read a story Ivan would turn the pages abruptly and destruct mummy from a beautiful story. He would make his own ending like 'The hungwy (hungry) caterpillar was stupid and vomited all the food' and force close the book.

Mummy wanted to read the book 'The bad baby' because she thought the baby was funny and would catch Ivan's attention but Ivan announced the baby was stupid and he had no interest in him.

He would watch movies when he would get really tired after playing with IsJune for a long time. He would chat with him endlessly at dinner and had to offer him a plate. He would chat with him in the bath and before going to sleep. Sometimes mummy felt ignored and didn't know what to do. Some people have suggested to take Ivan to a doctor because the doctor could convince Ivan to leave IsJune because IsJune was not a very good influence. It is true IsJune taught Ivan to put his own clothes and shoes on and taught him to take his dinner plate to the kitchen but these helps were occasional. Most of the time he was up to no good and sometimes he would wake Ivan up in the middle of the night and start dancing in the dark. But Mummy knew Ivan would cry and cry if he was asked to leave IsJune and Mummy didn't want Ivan to feel sad, so she never asked a doctor to work with Ivan.

Charity to the cats

Mum rushed to the door with a surprise because she was not expecting anyone this Saturday afternoon. A man from the neighbourhood was knocking and asked mum to watch what her son was doing upstairs. 'Even your jewellery is on the street, anyone could pick them up! Are you watching him?' The man sounded a bit angry at mum and mum was very embarrassed at this criticism. She came downstairs when Ivan was taking a nap and it has only been a few minutes. What could have happened by now? She rushed upstairs and found Ivan throwing mum's scarf out of the bedroom window and looking down to check their safe landing on the street. Mum looked down and with utter shock she found her clothing, jewellery, cosmetics, watch and even socks and mitten on the street. Ivan busily went back to the drawer to find something else as she was looking down wondering if someone with a bike runs over her staff and how quickly could she rescue her things. Mum also saw people are looking up with judging eyes. 'They think I am a silly and lazy mum' she thought and this made her really upset.

'Why? Why? Why are you throwing my things out?' Mum asked.

'For the Bussy cat!' Said a poised Ivan. Stating the obvious. Bussy cat meant a pussy cat.

'Why?' asked mum.

Ivan flipped his hands 'Because they need them. They don't have lipstwick and dresswes'.

'Why do you think cats need dresses and lipstick?' asked mummy.

'IsJune said they need them' Ivan sounded genuinely charitable.

'Oh! That IsJune again?' Pondered mum! 'IsJune has to go!' said mum as she could not bear this disruptive activities any-more.

No, Mummy, Please mummy! IsJune wants to stay!' Ivan had tears in his eyes.

'Come with me and pick up everything from the street. Now!' 'He has to learn the consequences.' Thought mummy.

'But the cats!'

'Cats are fine with milk and tuna' trotted a disgruntled mummy downstairs.

This is the day the baby has come

And this was the day the baby came. Ivan strutted to the ward where mummy was staying with the new baby in the hospital and for a brief moment thought the baby came from the same vending machine he bought the chocolate with 20 pence on the way to the third floor. When mummy reminded him the baby was in mummy's tummy Ivan laughed and said 'Oh! Yeah! IsJune said you bought the baby from the vending machine for 20p, IsJune is silly!'.

Mummy was not surprised. IsJune had a very silly sense of humour. But Mummy noticed something when Ivan sat on the sofa holding the baby for the first time. That is Ivan's gestures were really mature and responsible and he was speaking very clearly. He didn't chat with IsJune at all and paid all the attention to the baby. And was not too interested in having the chocolate but he said he will save it for the baby. He gave the baby the bottle of milk mummy handed him over and was looking down at the baby with lots of love. He introduced the baby to the wonderful nurses saying 'This is my baby and I am the big man now'. The nurses were really impressed. Mummy heard Ivan was pronouncing all the words like a grown up.

After a while when the baby fell asleep and the nurse carefully put him on the cot mummy noticed Ivan was really worried. He was sitting on the sofa leaning forward, one knee down and the other up with his right elbow resting on it and his fist supporting his chin. He looked like a worried thinker, you know like those Italian or Greek statues, like Aristotle or Socrates; he just looked contemplative.

'What's wrong Buga?' That was the baby name for Ivan.

Buga aka Ivan took a deep breath and spread his arm as if he is looking for something and looked side to side and said ' I have to be really responsible' he still couldn't say the words properly but mum noticed he was really trying ' I have to take care of the baby! I have to be the man. You have to rest and I have to feed the baby and play with the baby and I have to walk with him, make his lunch and wash him and take him to school. I have to teach the baby 1, 6, 9, 19 and I have to teach him to read' Ivan exhaled after relieving what was in his mind and went into the same contemplative motion. This time he looked more worried.

'What's wrong then?' mum asked lovingly.

Ivan kept his face down at the same position but took the hand off of his chin and said with a singing melody with a lot of regret in his voice 'I can't read…..I’m just a baby' and returned to Aristotle mode.

Days after the baby came

Days after that when the baby and mummy came home Ivan became very helpful to mum's friends who came to help mum and the baby and he gave a lot of attention in learning to read and know his numbers and soon he was saying numbers in order, like 1,2,3,4 and not 1,6,9, 19, 50, 100. He also asked IsJune to be quite at story times and told him the baby needs to listen to the story and made sure baby falls asleep listening to the stories and songs. Every time a story ended Ivan explained it to the baby and talked about the characters with mummy. Mum was enjoying it very much.

He helped to change the baby's nappy and IsJune sometimes would do silly things like sprinkle half the bottle of talc on baby's bum and thought it was funny. But most of the time Ivan told off IsJune and as soon as he came up with any silly ideas he would tell mummy. Mummy would tell isJune off and Ivan would say 'hear that isJune? You have to be responsible for baby!' Ivan was always thinking about the baby even when he was watching cartoons on TV. OK! Occasionally when the baby was crying nonstop Ivan would ask mummy to put the baby in the drawer for few minutes so that he could finish his TV show and get back to taking care of the baby but that's only because Ivan didn't know babies don't stay in drawers. He would still fall for IsJune's fibs and tell the ladies in the neighbourhood that he got the baby from the vending machine at the hospital for 20p and then remember IsJune's bad sense of humour. 'Oh! IsJune!' He would cover his face with embarrassment and impatience but he would laugh it away. He was always introducing the baby to the cats and he stopped introducing IsJune because he was a very busy big brother.

The Day we said goodbye

Mummy came upstairs to check if Ivan and the baby were still napping but baby was already awake and smiling and looking at his big brother. And Ivan was looking down at the street and waving goodbye to someone.

'Who are you saying goodbye to' said mummy curiously.

'To isJune' Pointing at IsJune down on the street. Ivan leaned forward and said 'look!'

Mummy also leaned and looked out the window.

'That's IsJune? Going? Where?' Mummy asked lots of questions because IsJune has never left Ivan's sight before.

'He is going on a holiday' Said Ivan.

'Leaving you?' asked a surprised mum.

'Yes, we talked about it. I said he needs a holiday. It's ok' Comforted Ivan.

'Where is he going?' Mummy asked.

'Far away, very very far' said Ivan stretching his arm pointing to the end of the street. Ivan picked up a sack filled with IsJune's belongings and threw it down to him.

'But You?' asked mum.

'I have a lot to do with the baby. I have to play with the baby from now on and take him to school and make his lunch' said Ivan looking ahead in the near future.

Mummy will always remember that summer afternoon. It was a hot day and was just cooling down as the sun went under the cloud. IsJune walked up the hill right to the end of the street with his sack on his shoulder. Mum and Ivan watched him walking up with all his naughty ideas packed away in his bag, vanishing in the horizon where the end of the street and the cool blue sky meet.

'When will he come back?'

Ivan shrugged. 'Mmm! Don't know! Maybe he will not. But he will be ok where he is going.' He sighed and got into the bed and started to read a picture book to the baby.

Ivan never chucked things down the window again nor did he talk about IsJune. He never gave away mummy's things to the cats again but taught the baby to give them milk and tuna. He also never practised throwing toys down the stairs or down the canal and always helped the baby to eat. He hugged mummy and said 'I am the man now' and helped mummy to carry her shopping. He was always saving his share of the sweeties for the baby because he loved him too much.

IsJune

No one actually knew how IsJune looked like. Mummy always imagined him to be very tall as Ivan used to look up to him. Mummy used to imagine him on a cloak with a hoody on but that's only because Ivan used to wear the small blanket over his head and sit on the bed conversing with IsJune. Mummy doesn't know what the name IsJune means and why he was in her house tormenting her every day. Many suggested IsJune is a problem but one has to agree IsJune was quite strong and capable of much clever misconduct.

If mummy ever asked about IsJune Ivan would ignore the question. So mummy asked one day when Ivan was cuddling the baby on the sofa and explaining him what is happening in the cartoon

'Do you not miss IsJune anymore?'

'No! I have my baby now.'

siblings
Shanta Sultana
Shanta Sultana
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Shanta Sultana

I am a writer, I was trained in Patisserie at West Kings College London. I have been a Chef and I have received academic awards from the University of Greenwich and from Southampton City College.

See all posts by Shanta Sultana