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Some foods to introduce first:
Unfortunately this chapter isn’t really about food, but these do get mentioned, so I thought I would mention anyway.
Now that I’m a middle schooler I can walk about on my own, and there’s a place that I’ve always wanted to go to.
The home that I lived in, in my old life.
The world that I live in now is almost exactly the same as my old world. Even the landmarks and station names and addresses are the same.
But there are some parts that are different. Naturally Suiran Academy is the first difference, and then there are the families, societies, and people that appear in Kimidol.
Only, aside from these, it really is just like the place that I knew. In that case, just maybe, the home that I lived in, and my family, might be here.
I’ve always, always thought it.
That perhaps, just maybe, I could meet them.
The place I used to live with my family was a town just outside of Tokyo.
Together with my parents and younger sister, the four of us lived there in an apartment.
Dad was a normal salaryman. After getting out of the bath, he would wander about in his underwear and get booed by the rest of us. A dad who was just a tad hopeless at home.
Mum was a housewife, and she was good at cooking. Whenever I came back from a school trip or camp, she would always make the dishes I liked. Takikomigohan, nikujaga and oden. When it came to my sister, it was hamburg steak with ketchup, chawanmushi, and miso soup with nameko mushrooms and tofu.
So I would come back home in the first time in days, and opening the door I would smell the foods that I loved. I’d feel relieved at coming home.
What was it that she made when Dad came back from business trips? Aahh, it was always beer and the like. He’d say that beer was really something, and happily drink it.
In my old life I would always laze about at home, and Mum would get angry because of it.
Why was it that when people tell you to go study before you get to it, you lose all motivation?
When I wasn’t around she would clean up my room without permission, and we’d even fight about it. Even if they were meaningless to Mum, they were important to me, so how could she just throw them out, I would argue.
My little sister was a shrewd one.
She was smart enough to run away when she saw me getting yelled at.
Whenever adults told me to bear with it because I was the older one, or give things to her because I was the older one, I would always wonder why in frustration. Sometimes I hated her a little.
But on nights that we saw scary things on television, we would sleep in the same futon together. And when we went to the toilet, we would hold hands, and then wait outside singing songs to calm each other down.
For my coming-of-age ceremony, she gave me a bag and zori that she bought with money from her part-time job. With a laugh she told me to pay her back when it was her turn.
Dad was always lazing around on the couch. He was like a beached seal, really. Mum would tell me that I was like him.
But on weekends, even if it was just close-by, he would drive us places. We went to the ocean or the mountains to play. The road safety amulet charm that I bought on a trip would hang from the mirror of his car.
I arrived at the station of my old town.
The front of the station seemed the way I remembered it. The large supermarket, and a few other little things were changed, but it was still a nostalgic view.
The distance to my home was ten minutes by foot. After leaving the main street and entering the residential zone, it was on the 7th floor of an apartment complex.
Just a little further. Just a little further. After turning this corner───
It wasn’t there.
In place of the familiar brick apartment complex, was an old, beige building.
Neither the home that I lived in, or the family that I lived with, had been there.
I had the family car pick me up.
The first train ride in a while had been nerve-wracking. Having a car take me to and from is a lot easier.
Once I get used to this, I really can’t return to being a commoner.
Because this lifestyle is going to continue anyway. It can’t be helped.
When I came home, Oniisama was there for once.
He’s been busy ever since he entered university, and lately I don’t even see him at dinner.
Because Oniisama was relaxing on the living room sofa, I sat down by his side and clung to him.
“Mn? What’s wrong, Reika?”
Nothing really. I just wanted to cling to you.
Please don’t mind me, and continue reading your book.
I rubbed my head into his arm.
And he sat there, silently accepting me.
When I was there───
I knew it, I thought.
I knew that this was the world of a manga, so of course they wouldn’t be there.
But I had hoped.
If I could see them, once more…
I wanted to tell them that I loved them.
I should have had Mum teach me how to cook. I won’t be able to taste her food again. I never helped her do anything after all. This is my punishment.
I should have gone to watch baseball with Dad. Instead I wasn’t interested, so I just stayed in my room to read manga. Since I was just his seal daughter anyway, I should have at least lazed about in the living room with him.
I should have been kinder to my sister. When she used my accessories without permission, I seriously grabbed her and fought. I was the older sister, so I should have just let her.
I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m sorry for being useless.
I want to see you.
Just once more, I want to see you.
I’m so lonely.
I’ve always, always been lonely.
Dad. Mum. Yuka-chan…
Apparently I had drifted off before I knew it.
I’d been laying on the couch with a blanket on me.
Was it Oniisama who covered it over me?
There wasn’t anybody in the living room right now.
It’s the Kisshouin house.
I’m Kisshouin Reika.
My family right now is Otousama, Okaasama, and Oniisama.
This time I’ll treasure them.
I’ll definitely protect them.
That’s what I’ve decided.
“Oh? You’re up, Reika?”
Oniisama came back into the living room.
So I jumped at him.