One week ago…
“Why!? Where’s Onii-chan!?”
I shouted at Dad, my voice filled with frustration, as I bombarded him with questions.
The reason was that whenever I came home, my older brother was always there, but now his presence was absent. His room was empty, devoid of all his belongings and furniture.
Desperation surged within me at that moment. But it was still too early to imagine the worst… Maybe Dad knows something!
After a few seconds of contemplating my question, Dad answered while looking downcast.
“Mana… Yuran couldn’t bear to live in this house any longer… So I entrusted him to an acquaintance’s home.”
My vision turned black upon hearing those words. The truth spoken by Dad shattered the last strand of hope I had left.
“Is Onii-chan… gone?”
“Yes, Yuran is no longer here.”
“…Onii-chan isn’t here anymore?”
Amid my confusion, my younger sister, Mai, spoke up. Mai rarely initiated conversations, so seeing her raise her voice and confront Dad in this manner illustrated the gravity of the situation.
“Yuran is no longer here.”
However, Dad remained resolute, relaying the harsh truth.
“Ugh!! I don’t want this!!”
Mai, who had been informed of this cold truth by Dad, began to sob like a child. She clung to Dad’s clothes, pleading for him to bring back her brother. But Dad only shook his head.
This display of intense emotion from Mai was something I hadn’t seen in the 14 years since she was born. Such an outburst…
After Mai’s protest to Dad subsided, she returned to her room, seemingly giving up. The room was now filled with the weight of silence and stillness.
Amid this atmosphere…
“Why!? Why did you do this!?”
From behind me, I heard my sister’s voice. Her voice was loud, almost bordering on shouting, and for an instant, Dad seemed taken aback.
“Hey, Dad… Whose permission did you get to take Yuran away from this house? Tell me.”
With an intimidating glare that made it seem like she could kill someone, my sister confronted Dad.
“Yuran is my son. I don’t need permission from you, Maya.”
“He’s mine!! My little brother!”
Without being swayed by Dad’s rational argument, she began to unfold an irrational theory.
“That’s why Yuran’s heart, body, and everything else belong to me. Yuran is mine! Call him here right now!”
It seemed my sister believed that Onii-chan was her possession…
Could such selfishness really be forgiven?
But wasn’t it because of my sister’s criminal actions that my brother left?
Thinking about that, I began to grow increasingly angry.
I interrupted my sister’s words and shouted,
“It’s pretty obvious that my Onee-chan is the reason why Onii-chan is gone, right? Onii-chan isn’t an emotionless doll. Why don’t you try to think about his feelings for once?”
My sister didn’t seem to have any response to my outburst. She looked down, muttering incoherent words, and then returned to her room.
“…Dad, please tell me where Onii-chan went.”
“…I’m sorry, but I can’t. Yuran asked me not to.”
Hearing that response, I felt like it was hopeless. I returned to my room, closed the door, and cried out loud.
The fact that my big brother was gone…
That reality deeply tore at my heart.
As I lay on my bed, contemplating the tragedy that unfolded one week ago, my thoughts consumed me.
My name is Mana Kimisaki, the second daughter of the Kimisaki family.
In addition to me, there are three other siblings: the third daughter, Mai, and the fourth daughter, Mahiro.
And then, there’s the eldest daughter, Maya.
Maya Kimisaki… my older sister, and the mastermind behind the incident that led to my brother’s disappearance. She’s also the person I despise the most in the world.
My sister has suffered significant psychological damage from my brother’s disappearance, and she hasn’t attended the university she was going to for the past week.
But to be honest, I think it’s her own fault.
My sister had kidnapped my brother for several days, subjecting him to unspeakable acts.
If something like that was done to him, it’s not unreasonable to think that my brother wouldn’t be able to stay in the same house or space as my sister who caused harm.
But there’s one thing I want to complain about.
“Why didn’t he tell me where he was going?”
I couldn’t help but voice my frustration. I couldn’t comprehend my brother’s decision, and it was unforgivable.
I understand why Onii-chan didn’t tell Mahiro. Mahiro has a loose tongue and might accidentally reveal Onii-chan’s location. But I wouldn’t have made such a mistake, and I understand the wounds my brother carries in his heart.
Why didn’t he trust me enough to tell me? Such thoughts filled me with a sense of emptiness and anger that seemed never-ending.
Does Onii-chan not trust me?
Such thoughts were overwhelming, and I couldn’t escape the feeling of meaninglessness.
“I… don’t know what to do, Onii-chan.”
I voiced my unspoken feelings, struggling with this newfound emptiness.
To be honest, I didn’t have just sibling love for Onii-chan, but a romantic affection similar to how someone might feel towards a partner.
So, the thought of being suddenly separated from someone I loved like that, it was unbearable to the point where tears flowed uncontrollably.
I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I can’t stand it.
On the night when my brother was no longer here, it felt like a tragedy had struck, I cried alone in my bed.
“I loved him… even though…”
I absentmindedly touched my hair. This hair, that had been touched by my brother, I tried to feel his touch through it, but his presence was no longer there.
I love him.
The kind brother,
The cool brother,
The brother I could rely on when things got tough,
The brother who would always reach out a helping hand when I was in trouble, like a radiant sun.
But the beloved brother I cherished is no longer here. Thinking that, tears welled up naturally.
“I love you, Onii-chan…”
I whispered towards him, even though I knew my words would never reach him.