I have found myself awake shortly before the alarm rang. I don’t know how I’m able to do that.
The summer vacation is still ongoing and I should be having time to myself, but people who rely on me too much are still contacting me. Didn’t I tell them not to contact me except in real emergencies? Sadly, they didn’t take me seriously, they hardly do except a few.
As though he could read my mind from very far away, Itsuki invited me to stay at my parent’s house at Inami City. I have not been there lately due to the traveling times to and from Kamisugi City, which is where I am currently staying. Itsuki could afford to do so as taking care of me is part of his job. I wonder if he’s staying elsewhere?
My house in Kamisugi City is within the Powell Institute Headquarters. I have to follow the dress code to avoid them stopping me unnecessarily as I head to the parking area. Fortunately, I don’t need to carry my luggage, so they won’t stop me for carrying peculiar things despite the right dress code because I’m not carrying anything!
There isn’t a place to park my car at my parents’ place as there isn’t a garage there, and the road right outside it is narrow to only allow a vehicle to pass through. So I have no choice but to park at my other house and use my bicycle that is parked there. Need to pump the tires first though, as all the air pressure is gone from the long period of non-usage.
Upon arrival, it seems that only my mother is there to greet me. In the other dimension, this actually belonged to someone else, but there were hints that my family lived there before the new house was complete. (I was attending Mihara Academy at that time.) The other me (Ituski) had introduced me to her last year, explaining my situation and showing medical documents that I am their child, or at least how identical I am to Itsuki. I don’t mind staying in my old room there, but with my other self… I’m not sure.
They didn’t say if they had preferred a daughter over a son, but it does seem obvious with the way I’m treated. This is evident with the family album with me in it that I saw at the other dimension. I mean, piano completion during my childhood days? Frequent overseas holidays? Parents regularly attending my annual school sports festival? People gathering around me like I’m some celebrity? Well, these are what my counterpart has went through, so I roughly know what’s going on, but can’t really recall when I want to as I myself never went through them.
Mother: “Oh? Saeko-chan! It’s been a while. I thought you were Itsuki with that lab coat until I noticed something different.”
Although she knows that I was formerly part of Itsuki, she’s not used to having the idea of having a young girl as their child. I could tell that she’s trying to treat me the same way as him but there’s the temptation to treat me differently from my other half. I mean, what’s worse? Treating your own siblings badly or your own child? Obviously it’s the latter.
Me: “You mean he would be coming back soon?”
Her mood changed, as though telling me that I shouldn’t have said that. Huh? I was just asking what time he would return home from work. Did she misinterpret it or misheard me?
Mother: “No. I meant that you resemble both me and your father in ways just as what we wanted our child to look like. I’ve always wanted a daughter, but after so many miscarriages, I was finally able to give birth to Itsuki. However, I found out that I can’t give birth to anymore children. After the long time we spent meeting doctors around the world, they said that I can’t…”
She can’t seem to bring herself to say it, but it does explain why they were always overseas most of the time. Mom’s job qualifications meant that she could have worked in a job better than dad’s. The amount of money she could have made in that time if she had worked and the amount of money that could have been saved from meeting the doctors meant that what my counterpart went through isn’t too far-fetched. They wanted a child would carry on their bloodline more than one who would just carry on the family name or culture. Quite rare for most families.
Mother: “We could have lived a better life than…”
Me: “Er, why don’t I cook for you lunch while you take a rest?”
I feel sad for being the only child my parents could give birth to and though of the siblings that I could have had. She never gave any hint of this problem to me prior to today. She might not want to think too much of it, or wanted to wait until I was old enough.
Mother: “Oh? That’s quite a nice favorite meal of mine you have cooked for me. Even the way you are serving it is lovely. You really are my daughter.”
I felt happy, yet uncomfortable, on her saying this.
I know what she liked to eat as I (as Itsuki) noticed her cooking a particular food, but only having it to herself. It’s the only meal she cooks at home that doesn’t taste good, judging from her reaction. I could tell it’s her favorite food as she keeps cooking it for herself, but does not like the taste. She mixes the ingredients of it with the food for dinner on the kitchen table.
Mother: “Wow, it even tastes the best among all the versions I had, but to think it was done by my own child, you really are something. How did you learn it? Itsuki only knows how to boil instant noodles.”
Even I myself don’t know how to cook, let alone taste excellent and look appetizing. I would just need to analyze the kitchen equipment, time and food ingredients available, the occasion, and the intention of wanting to cook for someone before my hands does all the preparations and cooking.
Me: “Well, I figured that people would expect me to be able to cook seeing that I am quite good at everything else.”
Mother: “Good for you. Now I know who to look for should I want something delicious. No, I’m kidding. Sorry to have you unexpectedly do this upon reaching after I made myself cry unnecessary. It was a hard subject not to cry at. At least Itsuki has found a girlfriend who would most likely be his wife by the name of Miyazawa Kotomi. He introduced me to her two years ago. “
No wonder I rarely see you sad.
Mother: “By the way, do you have anything to wear besides your work attire or school uniform? Something that you would only wear at home or walking around the neighborhood? And where’s your luggage? You couldn’t have cycled all the way from Kamisugi City empty-handed and still not sweat at all in this hot weather in all that clothing.”
Me: “Well, I went to my other house nearby on the way here and had my luggage brought here.”
Mother: “You did? Nobody came here between the time your dad left and you coming here. Don’t tell me you have something like a four-dimensional pocket on you…”
How did she guess, or is she thinking about a popular 1970s anime that is still well known today? I didn’t dare to ask or reply. She’s not the type who could be fooled easily by anyone outside her family, but shows love towards people. I don’t know much about what my parents do prior to me being born.
|← Part 47||Part 49 →|