V1 Chapter 71 | First Love

My first love? When in the world was that?

Moreover, Himekawa, who had been a little sleepy, was also waking up.

“Mom, when was my first love?”

I have no memory at all. The earliest memory I have is from when I was in kindergarten when I was about five years old.

After the age of five, I have no memory of what I would call my first love. So, is it a story before that?

“When Tsukasa was in kindergarten when he was young.”

“I have no memory of that at all.”

It was even earlier than I remember.

There are some photographs of myself, and if you look at them, you can see that it is me, but I have no memory of that time.

“I also have memories of when I was three years old, but childhood memories are different for everyone, so it’s normal if you don’t remember.”

Himekawa follows up casually.

But does Himekawa have memories of when she was three years old?

“Tsukasa lived in this boarding house from the time he was born until he was very young.”

I wondered if that was the reason why many of the old photos I saw seemed to have been taken at this boarding house.

In my memory, I thought the house I lived in until junior high school was the house I originally lived in.

I see, I used to live in this boarding house…

“So you never went to Ryuichi-san’s parents’ house after you got married?”

“Ryuichi-san said he preferred this boarding house to his own parents’ house. I also feel safer with my own mother by my side when I have a baby. Besides, I had a lot of family outside of my own family.”

They got together, got married, and then I was born just like that, and the people who lived here looked after me.

That’s why at my grandma’s funeral, the people who came were so concerned about me.

Not only my grandma, but also my father, mother, and I were all family…

“So, Tsukasa-kun’s first love was the kindergartener at that time?”

“Yes, it was Anri-chan. Tsukasa was always with that girl, and they were always close.”

“Were they always so close?”

“When I was picking him up, they were holding hands and smiling, and I got a little curious and asked him, “Do you like Ayane-chan?” and he said, “Yes!” Tsukasa was so cute at that time.”

Ayane-chan? I don’t remember her at all.

I can’t recall her face or name at all. Even if I were to look at past photos, I wouldn’t know who she was.

” Ah, Ayane-chan, is it? What’s her last name?”

“Hmmm, what was it? Sugiura? No, Sugiyama? Sorry, I don’t remember that much. I’m sure you’ll remember it if you look at the albums and lists from those days.”

“I’d like to look at them together tomorrow morning. I’d like to see Tsukasa-kun’s picture and Ayane-chan’s too.”

“Okay, I’ve organized the photos today, so I think I’ll be seeing them right away.”

“Then, please do me a favor, Mother-in-Law: ……”

Himekawa is asking seriously for some reason. Do you want to see the pictures that badly?

Well, I told Himekawa that I would give her my picture too, and that’s just fine. Saves me trouble.

“But you know, we moved to our current house just as Tsukasa was about to become a middle schooler. At the farewell party at the preschool, they hugged each other and cried. I wonder where Ayane-chan is now and what she is doing.”

With that kind of talk in one ear and out the other, stories that I have no recollection of are flying around.

I wondered if I should pull out the photos in the morning.

I was getting sleepy.

“I’m going to bed soon. As expected, I’m sleepy.”

“I see, I’ll go to bed then. Can I talk to you too, Anri? Do you want to talk more? Next, let’s talk about your first love, Anri-chan, shall we?”

“Well then, it’s getting late, so I’m going to sleep too. Staying up late is bad for your skin. Good night!”

Aaah! I’m the only one who was exposed, and you don’t want to talk about Himekawa?

I feel like I just lost the game.

“Too bad. Well, good night.”

And so, with only my story revealed, the three of us snuggled under the covers and quietly drifted off into the night.

I’m not snoring, am I? I’m okay, right?

What time is it?

It seems that I fell asleep before I knew it. I open my thin eyes to check, but the room is still dark.

I look at my phone, which I left by my bedside, and see that it is only 3:30. I woke up at a strange hour.

I guess I didn’t sleep well…

There is still time until morning. Let’s go sleep again.

I turn to the side and close my eyes to go back to sleep. I can hear the breathing of two people sleeping next to me.

It seems that they are sound asleep.

As I am about to enter the dream world again, someone gets out of bed and leaves the room.

Is it my mother or Himekawa? What is she doing here at this hour? Going to the bathroom?

Oh well. There is still time until morning. If I don’t get a good night’s sleep here, it will be bad for my skin.

As I was dozing off, I felt something on my back.

And it was hugging me like it was holding me.

What is it? Are you sleepwalking?

Even if you hug me with such force, wait, I’m in pain…

Is it my mother? Himekawa? Should I shake it off and return it to my original position here?

Or should I leave it as it is because she is sleeping?…

…Something soft and something is hitting me on my back.

Maybe it’s that. I could be wrong, but I’m sure it’s hitting my back.

What should I do? Is it safer to just do nothing and sleep until morning?

Okay, fine, let’s do that. Let’s just go to sleep and check with them in the morning.

Okay, let’s go to bed! Let’s count sheep to go to bed early.

One sheep, two sheep, three sheep, sheep—

I can’t sleep. To begin with, I remember seeing somewhere that you are not supposed to count sheep in Japanese.

Okay, next! Pie. Let’s see, pie is pie… Pie?

Pie? ! No! No Pie! I have to go to bed, quickly!

No mind. Empty your mind. Empty your mind!

And put all your attention on your back! No, no, no! That’s not it!  

Calm down, this is Mom. It’s not Himekawa.

If it was Himekawa, it would be very dangerous.

Sleeping together on the same futon, hugging each other, it’s very bad!

If Yuzo-san hears about this, I’m sure he’ll say, “Hmph, I can’t trust you with my daughter. See, I told you so!” like that

While I was thinking about that, someone who had just left came back.

Then, they got into the futon and went back to sleep.

The place where they got into the futon was on the opposite side of me.

That means that the person who left earlier was Himekawa, and the person who is hugging me is definitely my mother!

Yes! Yuzo-san’s plan is not going to work! Now I can sleep in peace.

What, you’re still a child, Mom.

But I wonder if she slept with me like this when I was a child.

I leave for the dream world again with my mother, who can’t let go of her childishness, holding me close to her.

While feeling the warmth of my mother…


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