Daiki Hamanaka had a childhood friend.
Her name was Wakaba Misaki, a very pretty girl of the same age who lived in the neighborhood.
There were not many children living in the neighborhood, so they became good friends before they knew it, and they were always together.
Their parents were just neighbors, but the two of them always played together at a nearby park.
They also went to same kindergarten, so they were always together there as well.
Playing together in a friendly manner, they were always smiling and the air was warm and fuzzy.
They played together as if they were mother and son, not husband and wife, even when playing make-believe.
After graduating from kindergarten and entering the same elementary school, they continued to have a sister-brother relationship and were often together, but when they reached the upper grades, they began to play with their male and female friends separately more often.
It was not that they did not get along well, but they always went home together.
Wakaba always protected Daiki like a big sister, and Daiki always followed her back.
At that time, Daiki’s parents had a frosty relationship, so even as a child at home, he could tell that his parents did not get along.
One day, after Wakaba and Daiki came home from school as usual, they promised to play at the park, and when he went home to drop off his luggage, his mother was there with a man he did not know.
She was in a hurry and called out to him.
Daiki had arrived home earlier than usual because he had run home to play at the park.
His mother quickly sent the stranger away with a twitchy smile on her face.
“He’s an old friend of mother’s.”
She said with a cramped smile.
At the park, he played with Wakaba as if nothing had happened, and the day went by happily.
The next week, a man he did not know left the house just as he was leaving.
At that time, he was still far away from the house, so they did not run into each other.
It seemed he was coming again another day the next week.
“He is always here.”
Is what he said.
“He is an old friend of mother’s, so he often comes to our house and talks about the old days.”
Daiki, who was still in elementary school, did not understand what she meant.
And after a week.
“He came back again” (Daiki)
Is what he said
“Is it really a friend?” (Wakaba)
“Real friend huh” (Daiki)
“But she said they were friends?” (Daiki)
Daiki followed up.
“Next time he’s coming over, hurry home and find out!” (Wakaba)
Wakaba’s curiosity was ignited, and the two of them hurried home together every day for the next week.
She did not know that this would be Daiki’s first traumatic experience… and the beginning of her first regret.
After school, they hurried home together.
When they reached the front of his house, he caught his breath.
Quietly, they went around to the back door of the house and gently opened the kitchen door with the key he had hidden there.
Entering the house like a ninja, they were thrilled to be able to play the role of a ninja.
A male voice could be heard, so it seemed like he was there today.
They seemed to be talking in the living room, so in order not to make any footsteps, they walked to the living room.
Listening carefully to the conversation coming from there, both of them heard his mother talking.
“He is becoming more and more like you every year. Lately, even his gestures are so similar to you that I often wonder if you are still around.”
“It can’t be helped that he looks like me
he’s my child,
I’m so sorry
when are you planning to tell your husband?”
“He’s always working.
I don’t have time to talk to him…
Maybe he’s already noticed…
Maybe he’s avoiding me…
Maybe he was never interested in me in the first place…
I felt like I was always being compared…”
“I’m so sorry…
I’m so sorry… for making you feel like this.
I wish I had more power back then…
I wish I had the strength to resist…”
“It can’t be helped.
You were young back then.
You didn’t know anything”
“it’s almost time!
He will be back soon”
Hurriedly they went out through the kitchen door to hide.
Not understanding what was going on.
“Is that man my father?”
and so on, while thinking in a carefree manner.
Wakaba looked at him awkwardly after they went outside.
“Are you okay?”
Was all she asked.
“I’m fine! Is that guy my father?”
Wakaba hugged him.
Instead of just hugging him, she hugged him while stroking his head.
As it was.
“It will be all right…
It will be all right…”
Is what she said
Wakaba may have understood the meaning of those words even as a child.
Daiki also gradually understood, and as Wakaba stroked his head, tears naturally flowed.
After regaining his composure, they decided to go to the park.
They didn’t feel like playing, but they didn’t want to stay at home.
They went to the park without putting down their luggage.
Without saying a word, they just went to the park and got on the swings.
“If only I hadn’t said that you should check on them…”
Wakaba regretted it.
At the same time, she made a promise to herself.
“I will protect Daiki!”
She originally thought of him as a younger brother, so she felt like an older sister.
This was the beginning of Wakaba’s differences.
Daiki was thinking about the future.
“So my father isn’t my father now? That uncle my real father? Which one does mother love more? What should I do?”
No matter how much he thought about it, he could not come up with an answer.
What became clear to him was that his current family was not his real family, but a family of lies.
What seemed normal was not normal at all.
Even as a child, many emotions went through his mind.
This was the beginning of Daiki’s trauma.