Chapter 39: To face the situation
[Kitami’s mother PoV]
It is an hour and a half train ride from the house I live in now. From there, a 15-minute bus ride. I arrived at my destination.
I——Taeko Kitami, had returned to my late husband’s family home.
“It’s been a long time. Mother-in-law, father-in-law.”
“Welcome, Taeko. Come in, come in.”
My mother-in-law and father-in-law welcomed me generously.
For both of them, I was one of the few links they had left with my husband. Of course, Shuya and Sachi are one of them.
The last time I saw them was a little over a year ago. We have kept in touch, but it has been a long time since we last saw each other.
There is a reason. Shuya started to live alone and lost contact with me.
Until then, the three of us used to visit every year. And I played the role of a fake mother.
And Shuya didn’t say anything to me for acting like that. He must have realized it. To my foolish intentions.
Both of them have been very good to our family.
Their son, a treasure to them both, will be cherished as the person they loved before he died.
They have helped us a lot, especially financially. After my husband’s death, the insurance money came through, but combined with my earnings, it was not enough to send them both to college.
They were very supportive and came up with the money. I didn’t borrow money. They provided it.
It was as if it was a matter of course.
We were taken to the living room and drank tea.
For a while, we talked about nothing else. The main topic of conversation was about their two grandchildren.
Sachi and Shuya are doing well, I said. They asked if they had found something they wanted to do.
In the past, I would have told them that everything was fine.
Your grandchildren are growing up without any problems.
My legs, my knees, my hands, my whole body is shaking.
I know. From now on I will be judged.
One purpose of my visit is to talk about the money for Sachi’s higher education.
To put it simply, I came to ask for the missing amount.
And they probably know that.
And perhaps, or rather, certainly, they will pay for it.
They understand our family’s financial situation.
They know that I alone cannot send them to higher education.
They will not blame me. On the contrary, they would even praise me for doing so well with just one hand.
That is the kind of people they are.
My husband was the same way. He is an extremely good-natured person. I was attracted to that kind of personality.
I don’t want to make mistakes anymore.
Fortunately, Shuya made me realize that.
I could not allow myself to remain in the wrong.
“Father-in-law, mother-in-law, I need to talk to you.”
They straighten their residence at my words.
They probably thought I was talking about money. They probably thought a proposing to help me to pay for the missing school fees.
Their expressions were calm. They didn’t find the proposal annoying at all.
—Ah, I’m scared. I could easily imagine their reaction, and my heart was frightened.
I kept lying to them. I kept betraying the person who cares about us so much.
I ran, and ran, and still there are people who reach out to me, and I am here like this. If I can.
I am afraid of destroying with my own hands the connection my husband left me.
But above all else—
—I’m afraid that I won’t be able to face Sachi and Shuya.
I am here to face it.
I’m not doing this because I have to. This is a desire.
Responsibility is not the word to describe it. This is what I want.
I don’t need responsibility, I need to be here.
I confessed. Each and every one of my sins.
3 comments »
SimakAugust 4, 2022 at 1:59 am
Finally, reckonings have begun.
Thanks for the chapter.
Strawberry MilkshakeAugust 4, 2022 at 6:27 am
Good, you better save your son and clear his name too.
EssaAugust 4, 2022 at 8:18 am