“Toki, is that you? Are you eating right? Have you lost weight?”
“Dad…I’m back. I’m eating well.”
In the hospital room, Dad had a tube inserted in his nose. He smiled cheerfully. Don’t worry about me.
According to the doctor, depending on the progress of the disease, he may have to carry an oxygen tank.
I quit my job and decided to take care of my father. I told my boss, who had been looking out for me, and apologized to him.
Dad told me not to worry, that he would be fine. He told me not to do my job half-heartedly. I know what he means. Like the company, even though I’ve kept my relationships with people to a minimum, there are still people who have helped me.
But I can’t do that.
I never thought that my father would die. I never doubted his love. I never thought that my heart would be so troubled that it would be better to stay far away from it.
It was my choice.
“I want to do this. Please, Dad.”
Aah, I see.
I hadn’t lost my attachment. I was just running away from something I didn’t want to see.
I was just lying to myself.
When I thought about my father’s disappearance, I remembered all the things I’d been through.
I didn’t want to remember.
I had only closed my heart that was betrayed by my mother, and the center of my heart that was crying so hard, so that no one could ever see it.
Not even Haruka, whom I loved.
I was the one who wasn’t trying to communicate with her.
“What are you going to do now, Toki?”
“…I’d like to come back here and support my father.”
“If you like, why don’t you come work for us? It’s easy to support Seiji. And I’m worried about you too.”
“…Is that okay?”
“Yeah, I know you’ve always been serious. I gave you my business card earlier, didn’t I? I also took the liberty of talking to your boss, Kakimoto-san, earlier. He asked me if I would be willing to help you out if you decide to quit.”
“I’m sorry for taking advantage of you. Seiji asked me to take care of you in case something happens to him. This is about you. You can’t leave Seiji behind, can you? I’m sorry if I made you feel like a child, but I’m as worried about Toki-kun as if you were my own son.”
“Uncle ………please take care of me.”
I returned to my hometown and started taking care of my dad from personal care. I wanted to make up for the blanks of being away for several years while he still didn’t need an oxygen tank. Fortunately, he said I could wait three months to join a company affiliated with Narimiya.
“Somehow, this is embarrassing.”
“Get used to it. Don’t worry about me.”
Dad behaved so normally that he didn’t feel suffocated, smiling at the first conversation between father and son in a long time.