Chapter 46 – Grandmother
“Then let’s get going.”
One of the daily routines that has been incorporated since I started going to kindergarten.
We take a walk together as a family when I go to kindergarten.
Yuya is still too young to be left alone at home, so the three of us take a walk in the morning sun.
“What is it?”
I asked the mother who was walking between two young children.
Something has been bothering me ever since the social gathering ended.
“Have you received any word from Akari-chan?”
“Akari-chan is the daughter of the Abe family, isn’t she? I haven’t received any word from her, but did you arrange to play with her?”
Yes, that’s right.
I invited her to come to my house with a spirit animal egg as a bait, but I haven’t heard from her at all since then.
I thought a child might be able to move around with less fuss, but neither a call for a visit nor a letter of invitation has come.
I wondered if I had been rejected.
“By the way, you said Akari-chan was cute. Do you like her?”
“Well, I think liking and saying she’s cute are two different things. But she is so lovely that I’m really curious about her.”
“Oh my, you already know what ‘like’ means, don’t you?”
That’s because I have already experienced life all the way to the end.
I have experienced both the sweet and sour love of adolescence and the dry relationships of adulthood.
I tried to make it sound like it was a good time, but my adolescent years were more like acid memories of just being rejected after confessing, rather than being sweet and sour, and my adult years consisted of treating someone to a meal and that was the end of it.
Still, I’m sure I understand it much better than I did when I was a kid.
It should be…….
“I love sweets.”
“Don’t you also like mommy?”
“I like mommy too!”
Brother, you will always remain pure and lovely.
Don’t grow up to look at people and judge them by their wrappings like I did.
“I have no way of contacting the Abe family directly, so I can’t ask them for confirmation. If I hear from them, you will be the first to know.”
“Okay, thank you.”
She seemed to be quite interested in the egg drawing, but I wonder if she actually wasn’t very interested in it.
Since she is a young child with easily shifting interests, she may have forgotten about it after the social gathering was over.
“By the way, Minamoto-sama said, ‘The Abe family members are given special training’. Perhaps they are not a very playful family. If you don’t hear from her, please don’t be mad at her for breaking her promise.”
“Of course. I really like that about you, mom.”
“Hmm, thank you. I love you both for being so kind as well.”
I admire your concern for others, because I myself can’t do that.
In my previous life, I did not have the luxury of being able to focus on the people around me, just like a person who spots an empty glass at a drinking party.
I wonder if I have inherited a generous heart like my mother’s.
Speaking of having a luxury: ……
“What is it, Hijiri?”
“Where is mother’s father and mother?”
My guess is that they are already dead or otherwise live in a very insulated place.
It is strange that they never came to see their grandchildren even once when they were born.
It is not in accordance with the universal rule that grandparents love their grandchildren. There must be a reason.
“My father, your grandfather died as a result of illness. As for your grandmother, she is alive.”
Grandpa passed away long before we were born.
And Grandma is said to be ill and has been in and out of the hospital for a while.
Is that why she never visited our house?
“She’ s always happy when she sees a picture of the two of you, and she’s always happy to see how cute you both are. See?”
We stopped at the end of the street and mother opened the messaging app on her phone.
She showed me a private chat with “mother” as the name of the room.
There, a number of photos of me and Yuya were uploaded, interspersed with comical messages such as “Cute! I like it,” and “Respectful death,” among other comical messages. Grandma, you really know your way around a smartphone, don’t you?
It was a ridiculous status report.
Far from being insulated.
“Why didn’t we go see her ourselves?”
“Ummm, I don’t want …… Hijiri to know about that yet. I’m sorry.”
Mother said this with a very sad expression on her face.
It is frustrating to be told that I cannot be told things because I am a child, just like the past of the Kyobe family.
The environment that surrounds me, I need to understand it more deeply.
But I know that this is because of the love my parents have for their child, so I can’t really press the matter.
“Birthday presents and New Year’s gifts for the two of you have been properly given.”
What? Was that so?
I remember that my parents received them in my previous life as well.
Did I also receive my grandmother’s love for me without even knowing it? ……
It’s pathetic that I’ve lived a full circle of life and I still didn’t realize it.
And if one looks closely, it was given to me as an electronic gift.
Grandma knows how to use her phone better than I do.
I didn’t have anyone to give the gift to, so I don’t know how to use that feature.
“It’s a good opportunity, shall we go visit her sometime?”
“Grandma is the name of…”
We arrived at the kindergarten and our conversation ended there for the day.
The next day off, I decided to go visit my grandmother as soon as possible.
Oddly enough, my dad came with me.
He is definitely counting on my help today.
As soon as we arrived at the hospital, he left us at the entrance and my dad went to my grandmother’s room first.
“Wait here for a moment.”
I guess they wanted to talk about something alone.
We sat on the couch and waited until I received a message that said, “The conversation is over”.
“Here it is. Let’s knock together.”
The room that my mother guided me to was a private room in the special care ward.
Her family is rich, after all.
When you have a private room instead of a four-person room, you have to pay the difference in bed charges.
For a few days, I would consider paying for the comfort of a private room, but a long-term stay in a special care ward would be too much of a burden for an ordinary family. At least, it is so expensive that I, in my previous life, would have maturely chosen a four-person room.
“Mom, we’re coming in, okay?”
“Hello, excuse us.”
I entered the room and understood.
This room …… is a special private room!
They charge more for more facilities than a regular private room. It was so expensive that I, who was single and had savings for retirement, would not have chosen this option in the first place.
I am curious about what mom’s family has been doing, but more important right now is the first meeting with the person in front of me.
“Nice to meet you. My name is Kyobe Hijiri, and I’m four years old.”
“Hello! I’m Kyobe Yuya, 3 years old!”
“Well, it’s great that you can greet people so well. I am your grandmother, Miyano.”
My grandmother, who broke into a smile at our greeting, was a woman just like my mother.
Or perhaps it was the other way around: my mother resembled my grandmother.
Her black hair, mixed with gray, is kept short because of her hospital stay, but in her younger days, it must have been long and glossy like mother’s.
Her face is exactly what I expect my mother to look like in the future after she ages gracefully.
Perhaps because of her frailty, she is not likely to get up with her back resting on the electric bed. But why does her bearing give off a sense of elegance?
I had no connection with a wealthy people in my previous life, yet I can tell that the world they live in is different just by the atmosphere they give off. Since the beginning of this year, this kind of connections have been increasing.
Compared to my grandmother, my mother seems more like a beautiful and kind sister in the neighborhood, and I can’t help but feel that she is more like a commoner.
“Miya miya miya yo?”
“Ufufu, it’s hard to say name for a child. Please just call me Grandma.”
“Yes, well done. Come this way. I have some sweets for you.”
My little brother, who was attracted by the sweets readily approached her.
He is not shy at all, similar to how he was at the tea party.
I’m afraid that one day he might be kidnapped by someone who offers him some sweets.
“How about you, Hijiri? This stuff looks delicious.”
“Thanks for the meal.”
There is a small basket on the side table with several small bags of candy.
They are not something you eat when you are hungry, rather they must have been prepared in advance when she found out that her grandchildren were coming to visit.
Seeing Yuya earnestly wondering which one to choose, the grandmother has an expression on her face that says, “He’s so cute”.
Then she turned her face towards me with the same expression on her face.
“So Hijiri-san is already a respectable older brother. I wonder if Tsuyoshi-san’s education helped him.”
“No, it is nothing of that sort. It’s all the result of Reika-san’s upbringing.”
“Hijiri has been growing up splendidly without my intervention. I’m sure it’s because he has a great role model right beside him.”
“You two are as harmonious as ever.”
It’s true. I wish I would have had a marriage like this in my past life.
I never thought I would be vomiting out sugar when dealing with my parents.
My grandmother and my mother are similar not only in appearance, but also in what’s on the inside.
They are familiar in the way they speak and in their choice of words.
However, my grandmother’s mannerisms are more refined than my mother’s, and I think the analogy I just used was quite accurate.
My grandmother, who possesses a dignity that resembles that of the wives I met at the social gathering, serenely continued her conversation with the two of them.
“Hijiri-san looks like Ken Suguru, doesn’t he?”
“Now that you mention it, he might look like your brother.”
After the parents’ status reports were over, the main topic of conversation naturally centered on their children.
Although it is uncomfortable to be talked about in front of me, I don’t feel bad about it because all of them are complimentary comments about me.
As I grow older, I will have no one to give me compliments.
Let’s satisfy my need for approval while I still can.
“But I’m a little worried. The boy has never been very good at taking advantage of people. Sometimes it’s okay to depend on others, even if there is no reason to.”
My grandmother pats my head.
Her strength feels very fragile, and there is a hint of death in the air, which I also experienced in the past.
But I still feel some weight and warmth, probably because she has lived a much more profound life than I did in my previous life. The depth of the wrinkles is different.
I don’t want to worry my grandmother who raised a wonderful woman which is my mother.
I reply with a nice smile on my face.
“Mom is very kind…Dad too.”
“You are right, I don’t have to worry if you have your mother and father. The most important thing to remember is that you can’t be too careful when it comes to your health and wellbeing. Reika is very protective and affectionate like her father, and Tsuyoshi is very family oriented as well.”
I’m a little curious about my grandmother’s comment that she just said.
Mother looks like my grandmother in every sense of the word, but according to her words, she looks like my grandfather.