I had started working for Mizuho since back in Middle School for being his favorite niece of his sister (my mother), doing little things like sorting things out. He would also ask me to help me with sensitive things that only trusted people or relatives could handle. I guess relatives are included since they can’t really get away with confidential information, and least likely to betray.
Uncle Kenjiro just told me to just sign a blank employment information sheet to be officially become an employee then. I didn’t think he was serious even back then as many of the people hired into Hatsuya Institute for anything other than customer service are required to have a minimum qualification of a college degree or prove that you could do something they are looking out for quite well, but I was only just a middle school student. His daughter was also employed the same way as me, which makes the two of us, and later Itsuki, the youngest employees at that time.
From the way I was treated, it seems almost as though I am the likely candidate to take over my uncle as the director of the company more than his own daughter. I never understood why. Also, he also gave financial support to my family with no questions asked for as far I could remember. I thought it was for mom being his younger sister and dad could not find good jobs, along with 5 children to support, but it almost as though it was related to that foreign-language document I saw accidentally about my mom dating from a few months short before my birth. This was on the night of my first day in high school: if it wasn’t for my uncle being unfamiliar with my new look that I had decided upon for high school, I would not have had enough time to even know about the existance of that document. A more recent even that supports this suspicion is them taking advantage of me forgetting that I was just married (to Itsuki) back then to give me the suspense that I was fired as my information was missing from the database, until they told me that they reclassified my information under my married family name and working as a branch supervisor: a position what even the most senior staff would find hard to be promoted to.
Since then, I have been wondering what’s that document is about, and why is it tightly linked to me. One thing I could think of was him having a part of himself reside in me and soon indirectly continue on the director’s position as me when his original self couldn’t for whatever reason. So far, I don’t feel that my behavior is being controlled, but I found myself in a puzzled state sometimes when I am doing certain things. I don’t know why I feel confused, as though my brain was expecting my body to be different than what it actually is, but nothing strange happened to me as I was growing up. I suspect that 2 of my younger siblings, Kousei and Kuniko, thought of the same thing, seeing how father treated us, and Kousei’s current odd behavior. I’ve trained myself to the extent of not letting my body’s behavior affect how I think, but the mind can’t live without the body, and it can make me loose the ability to think when it wants to, usually only when I’m drunk or aroused.
Searching for those documents again was made harder. He hid it at an unknown location and did not mention anything about it at all. His behavior did not change, but it did change my opinion on the likelihood of me being one of his “long-term” test subject. He said that there are some experiments has yet to show results even after more than 15 years, at the time he said it: he didn’t say what it was or if it’s done, but he did look at me as though I am the subject of the experiment in question instead of as a daughter of his sister. One of my earliest memories I had from when I was just a baby was me being in some operation room-like place with my uncle and parents around. I could remember it clearly because of the strange flashes of images in my mind and the things I felt for what seemed like forever that were never repeated again. I don’t even know if this actually happened or if it was some dream I could remember strongly, but if the former had actually happened, it would explain a lot on uncle’s strange behavior towards me, and dad seeing me as a mutated child. It’s hard to confirm what I saw from something a long time ago, especially when I was just an infant. For all I know, I could have been brainwashed to only love a particular guy forever no matter what he does to me. It does seem to be a perfect age to totally transform me that I would only know about my altered self and not what I could have been since I grew up with it.
I might be too paranoid to even think of it, but my husband’s current work uniform and the very existance of his clone that is tagging along made me think that anything is possible. Among all of my siblings, I noticed an odd alternating pattern with me and my siblings with their gender and age gap as though there is a pattern. Between the first and second oldest and youngest children (me & Shin’ichi, Kousei & Kuniko), our age gap is 4 years, and with the other siblings, 2 years. On top of that all of the genders seems to alternate with each child, but what are the chances of that successfully happening five times without scientific intervention? Also, what are the chances of a child being able to get a first class degree if one parent only completed high school, and another shortly before.
There’s a person I know besides my uncle and parents who might know this secret about the me I don’t know about. He was my high school principal: he whispered some strange words into my ear right after I gave out my head student council speech during the graduation ceremony that it caught me by surprise. He asked me to see him a year later, but he died within that period. I was not told about it until I came down to the school just before I left for university. (School years in western countries starts in September instead of April.) There were whispers going about saying that he looked a lot older than just the week before, but were not sure since the elderly above a certain age looked the same to them.
I don’t know who else to ask to know more. Saeko or Itsuki might know more since they work more closely with the headquarters. They are not telling me anything either because they really don’t know about it, or think that the truth is so shocking that I might kill myself over it that things might be better of if I didn’t know about it. Well, it is true that I would rather not know anything than thinking too much, but this secret is about myself from a time where I can’t even stand, only knew how to cry when unhappy, and recognize my parents only by looking. Me not knowing this is like not being allowed to know myself.
Before I entered primary school, I thought there would only be me and Shin’ichi as the only children of my parents. However, a new sibling keeps appearing in the family until the first year of middle school. It’s kind of stressful for me as the oldest child as I’m like the third parent to take care of. I had trouble studying with my younger siblings making noise around the house that I had to do it at the library or in school. I had my own room, but the noise travels through the thin walls and doors. My age gap with my parents and Kuniko is about 15 years on average that, during my middle school era, friends who saw me with only dad and Kuniko would think (or jokingly say) that dad is my husband and Kuniko is our child. Well, that can’t be helped since we really do look like a couple with a baby child.
I wonder if I have been hypnotized? There’s no other explanation I could think of how I am unable to recognize only my own children, but that doesn’t explain why dad was cold to me until high school. Well, I would be cold to my children myself if someone did something and ended up looking different than before it happened despite not being the fault of the child in question.
Saeko: “Er, Kotomi? If that were to be true, you wouldn’t even be able to think about it.”
Wait, what?! Where did she come from? How did she know what I was thinking about? And is that my eldest child with her?
Me: “I… You… er…”
Saeko: “Well, **** told me that you were deep in thought for quite a while. **** tried to attract your attention for quite some time now that she called me. You were uttering random phrases like “mistaken for an all girls’ school“, “financial support“, and “been hypnotized“. Oh wait… You aren’t able to see or hear **** even if you wanted to.”
Again, my brain is refusing to let me hear the names of my children or even know their gender for reasons even I don’t know even when I’m holding and staring at them and know nothing except them being the Nth child of mine. That is why I am having trouble registering official documents or buying gender-specific things for them. I fail so badly at being a mother to them that I had Saeko to take over the role of taking care of them. She seems more glad to help me with this problem than Itsuki, who doesn’t seem to understand my handicap.
Me: “Well, I have been thinking about how odd my family… er… my parents and siblings are and how it affects me as I was growing up being the eldest child and born when my parents were still in high school. I was also thinking about the document I saw very briefly on the first night of high school in uncle Kenjiro’s office.”
Saeko looked as though she knew the truth behind what I was talking about and, at the same time, feared that I might go insane if she were to tell me about it to the point of affecting people around me. I want to know the truth, but I don’t want to go insane from knowing it.
Saeko: “Well, have you wondered why exactly did your family receive money from your uncle, your mother’s relationship with him, or why you were born when your parents were still in school? This seems to be a clue to how it happened but I don’t actually know as much as you do. I never knew the director, your uncle, or know anyone in connection prior to working with the company.”
The eldest child of mine that is with Saeko seems to be telling me that they are having problems with something.
Me: “Is my child asking for help with their homework?”
Saeko: “No, actually. **** specifically wanted you to help to set up some old technology equipment from before they were born they stumbled across, especially the computer you were using during your middle school days due to the semi-transparent casing and built in display that is bulky.”
Wait, they are only in kindergarten and primary school and already interested in such things? Did they inherit what I knew at the time of being born? It scary that the child knows things more than the parent when they were of the same age.