TL: New survey for those who have not filled. Link
“It’s so beautiful, isn’t it?”
The venue was filled with blessings. I joined in, applauding from the bottom of my heart.
Though invisible, happiness was there, taking shape and existing.
The trust connecting the bride and groom, the feelings they had cherished all along, now seemed tangible.
The bride was in tears. The groom’s older brother standing beside her had red eyes too.
There were people in the family seats crying. Even my mother wiped away tears.
A mix of emotions. Joy that could be felt. It was beautiful. A beauty overflowing from within.
That was an idea. That’s why I wanted to offer my congratulations. It was truly a recollection.
Together with my mother, we bid farewell to the couple on their new journey. All that remained was to go home.
My mother and I had attended the wedding. Initially, I was seated with Himiyama-san’s relatives, but I couldn’t bear the excessive attention and turned to my mother for help.
Seriously, something was off. I ended up being greeted by Himiyama-san’s parents, grandparents, and even the groom’s brother. “I will leave Misaki to you.” I couldn’t handle it even if they asked.
To top it off, we were formally invited to the Himiyama-san’s main family. Even the Himiyama-san’s house felt daunting, so what did the main family mean? It made me feel like I was being cornered.
Furthermore, I received greetings and about thirty business cards from unfamiliar people. “One of Rishu-sensei’s prized son,” “Successor,” “Looks like a high school student, but eventually…” I was scared by the snippets of conversation I overheard.
Fortunately, my mother was with me at the same venue, so my anxiety was somewhat alleviated, but the food was delicious.
As it turned out, all the dishes at the venue were supervised by the master chef. No wonder he has been so busy lately.
Leaving the venue, immersed in the afterglow. From now on, it would be the time for the bride and groom, and the time with their families.
“This is the happiest moment of Megumi’s life.”
With a thoughtful expression, my mother murmured such words.
“…That somehow feels unfortunate.”
“Why is that?”
“If the wedding is the happiest moment, then it feels like everything from now on will be downhill.”
“Megumi has gone through hardships, I think she understands the value of happiness.”
“I hope she accumulates happiness and becomes much happier in the future.”
“…You’re a kind child.”
My head was caressed. My mother had started doing these mom moves without me realizing.
Her maternal instincts, which had been somewhat out of control, were gradually calming down. That’s good, that’s good.
The couple looked happy. The fruition of “affection.” Something I had lost.
Strangers harboring affection for each other, falling in love, getting married, and becoming a family.
It taught me that it is such a blissful thing.
Will there come a day when I, too, will be blessed like that? Will it allow me to seek happiness? Whenever I look back, my expression is always filled with tears. I have always made everyone, including my mother, my sister, Sekka-san, Himiyama-san, Hinagi, Shiori, the president, and many others, sad.
It’s not just happiness, but I have scattered countless misfortunes in the past. Despite being such a person…
“Would you like to wear a wedding dress, Mom?”
“Me?… I think I am fine. I’ve already experienced failure once.”
She laughs with a self-deprecating tone. But there’s a hint of envy in my mother’s gaze, and she said it herself. It’s the happiest moment. If that’s the case, it’s okay to have such a moment once again.
I’ve made up my mind. I may be the lowest, most wretched person who only spreads unhappiness, but at least I’ll strive to bring happiness to those around me. To always have a smile, to avoid causing any more sadness. In return for taking away happiness, for causing unhappiness, I hope that this time, I will be given happiness.
“You might succeed this time, you know?”
“Being with you right now is the happiest thing. I can’t even think of remarriage.”
Lately, my mother has been into cosplay. The other day, she dressed up as a white angel, wearing a nurse uniform.
She was excited about taking care of me, but I have no symptoms. When I told her that, she responded with, “Then it’s mental care,” and strangely enough, my mental state was gradually reduced by ten percent each time.
What exactly is mental care? The laws of the universe are in disarray.
There’s no way my mother, who is like that, wouldn’t want to wear a wedding dress.
Ah, I see. She’s holding back, isn’t she?
Come to think of it, it would be difficult to consult with a wedding planner about renting a wedding dress for the sake of her cosplay hobby. Even trying on dresses would require going to a shop, and it would be quite troublesome. It’s not something that can be done so casually.
Wait a minute? Lately, I’ve been honing my sewing skills. If that’s the case, I can just make a wedding dress myself, right? Yeah, that’s right, it’s not that difficult! But then, I pause.
Is that all there is to it? Is it enough to just wear a wedding dress?
I can’t tolerate such half measures. If I’m going to do it, I’ll do it thoroughly. The word “compromise” doesn’t exist in my dictionary. Hairstyling, makeup, jewelry, they’re all essential. There’s so much a bride has to do.
I am a devoted filial child, Yukito Kokonoe. Bringing happiness to my family is my mission.
By the way, I have an expensive DSLR camera that I hardly use, so I can also take photographs.
“Then I’ll make mom wear a wedding dress.”
Dufufufu. Just wait, Mom! I’ll make you a perfect bride!
I will create New Year’s greeting cards with bridal photos and spread happiness in all directions.
It’s a new challenge that excites my skills. Arm: “Gyiiiiiiiiiiin”
“I’ve never seen you in a wedding dress, Mom.”
“You… You’ll make me a bride?”
“Leave it to me!”
I give a thumbs-up. Tears welled up in my mother’s round eyes and rolled down her cheeks.
Eeh!? I made Mom cry again. It has become a specialty of the Kokonoe family.
“Aah… Why… How can I… Yukito… Uuuuu!”
“What’s wrong? Are you okay!?”
In a fluster, I hurriedly stroked her back.
“It’s impossible… anymore. So, I’m sorry.”
My mother raised her face and hugged me.
“…I promise to love you, risking my entire life.”
“It’s becoming a familiar development, but once again your face is close… Mmm… Mmm… Mmm!?”
My heart raced uncontrollably, pounding like a fast-beating bell. I couldn’t suppress it, no matter how hard I tried.
It felt like I had gone back in time, reliving the excitement of adolescence, experiencing that fluttering sensation once again.
I pretended not to notice. There was no need to. After all, family and love are the culmination of each other. Love is something that cannot be reversed, like turning back the hands of a clock.
Yet, my son walking beside me, his words spoken while walking beside me, remained etched in my mind and wouldn’t fade away.
(I’m happy… I’m happy, I’m happy!)
Unspoken words. My son, who believes in taking action, always follows through on what he says.
If he said he would dress me in a wedding dress, then I would wear one again. I know that, and yet, I can’t believe it.
At that moment, standing beside me is Yukito. I inadvertently see his figure as a vision.
Is such happiness allowed? Is such happiness permissible?
It shouldn’t be allowed, it shouldn’t be forgiven. Calm down, Ouka.
There’s a line that must never be crossed. Judging from my son’s demeanor, there should be no ulterior motive.
Kind-hearted Yukito must have made the suggestion because he thought it would bring me joy.
Did I look so envious? Maybe that’s how I appeared to my son, who is perceptive.
But those words were enough to remind me of the long-discarded feelings of love.
What should I do? I can’t look my son in the face, I’m too embarrassed!
Since that day, the world has changed. It might be b****t cancer. When confronted with that possibility, I realized the finite nature of time.
Fear rushed in as I calculated the remaining time. Confronting my own death.
I didn’t cherish my son enough. I couldn’t love him enough. Now, I regret it, only now, when it’s too late. It’s not enough. It’s too late to reclaim what’s lost.
Feeling overwhelmed by despair, unable to bear it any longer.
And yet, the one who saved me from the abyss of despair was my son, whom I failed to love enough.
It’s impossible. I can’t endure it. I may have taken somewhat forceful measures to improve our relationship, to change the current situation, but even so, without denying it, Yukito’s kindness enveloped me.
Because he is my son. There is no way I could ever dislike him. And there was never even a hint of rebelliousness.
That worries me in its own way, but I fall in love with him more and more every single day. Today more than yesterday, tomorrow more than today.
What will become of me if things continue like this? Honestly, I’m terrified.
But even that fear was blown away by the words spoken just now.
He said it’s okay for me to love him more, to love him freely, and that he will dress me in a wedding dress. I was happy, truly happy from the bottom of my heart.
Regardless of the intention behind those words, I am already falling for this child.
If there is one concern, it would be…
“Lately, something seems off about Nee-san.”
“Well, yeah. If mom sleeps in my room seven nights a week, I’d notice.”
“R-Right. I’m sorry. You must have disliked it, right?”
I might have acted too childishly, without showing maturity. I need to reflect on this…
“It’s not that big of a deal. It used to be about equal between Nee-san and mom before, right?”
He forgave me. My son, I love you… You’re so adorable, I could just eat you up.
“She hasn’t been coming to my room much lately, hmmm…”
Yukito looked troubled with a difficult expression. I know the reason behind it. The career path that Yuri consulted me about.
Studying abroad. If that doesn’t work out, Yuri hopes to attend a university far away.
It’s an unbearable choice for Yuri. That child is still trapped by guilt.
“Please. I know I shouldn’t tell you this kind of thing. But I’m powerless and can’t help Yuri. That’s why I’m asking you to save her. Your words are the only ones that can reach Yuri. Only you can help her.”
Just as I was saved, only Yukito can save Yuri.
Certainly, she committed a crime. She has been forgiven for over ten years. It continued to torment Yuri, as if she were serving a prison sentence. Yet, that child still believes she is lacking, punishing herself. Forever and ever. An endless cycle of atonement and guilt.
“Please protect your sister.”
“…Can I do that?”
“It’s… okay. You are stronger than anyone else.”
It’s the parent’s role to save their child, yet I’m entrusting it to my son. I’m a failure as a mother. I shake my head in my heart. I’ve long since failed. As someone who is starting over from the position of a fallen mother, I have no right to claim such qualifications.
But I understand. I am Yuri’s mother. I know what that child needs right now. I have no worries. Yukito will surely make us happy.