“Imouto-san, is she alright?”
Sitting next to me on the train, Mamiko asked me with a worried expression. I was in no position to stay silent about it, so I gave her a casual response of “I wonder…” and left it at that.
My father will most likely do something about it. Hopefully, our relationship can return to what it was before… Is that too much of a wish?
It might be possible that I may never be able to speak to my little sister ever again. For now though, I can only depend on my father.
It’s absolutely impossible for me to do anything about it after all.
It’s been a few years since something so surprising has happened, no, more than 20 years ago when I earned the prize for the newcomer’s manga competition that I had entered.
First, my son got a girlfriend. Moreover, she was really cute. I don’t think my son has a great look and to be honest, they don’t match very well. If people were to see this couple in town, they would probably think, “The guy probably has a lot of money”.
Currently, I have questions about why such a beautiful girl is dating my son. Then, what was most surprising, was that my daughter liked my son. Of course, this wasn’t the “like” used between family members, but the type of “like” that you would be using for your love interest.
After they had entered puberty, I always thought they were pretty close as siblings, but I never thought that she would ever have feelings for him. Honestly, as a parent, I didn’t like it. The thought of having my children date each other, gives me a slight feeling of discomfort. It’s not an absolute refusal, but if possible, I wouldn’t want it to happen.
However, she should be free to fall in love.
So even if she falls in love with her actual brother, there shouldn’t be any problem. The people around shouldn’t be able to say anything about it. If she’s fallen in love, then it can’t be helped. That’s why I only quietly watched the confession as a bystander.
The result, well… of course, my son rejected my daughter. It was a very clear rejection. His words were quite harsh, but I think it’s better that way. If he holds no feelings for her, saying it directly would be better.
Then my daughter left this place with tears in her eyes, while my son left to go on a date with his girlfriend. After so much has happened earlier, now, I’m the only one left here. The only thing that could be heard was the sound of cicadas from outside and the constant drone of the air conditioner.
In this sort of situation, I will soon start to daze off. In order to finish drawing my storyboard for my new release, I start moving my hands. Even though I had to start thinking about how to develop my new work, all that was in my head was the face of my daughter.
I’m super worried.
I have had the experience of being rejected before and that was tough as well. Back then, I had confessed to someone that I was close with and the harshness of the aftermath that time was clear. I probably wouldn’t see or talk to them again after that, and I remember that I had thought about it so much that I couldn’t sleep.
In my daughter’s case, she had confessed to her brother, who she was together with ever since she was born. They used to take baths together, dined together, and slept under the same roof together. Being unable to talk to her brother, that possibility is something a mangaka would be unable to imagine.
What should I do? What should I do to make it easier on my daughter?
Thinking about all of this, for some reason, my hands kept moving. Thinking about the feelings of my daughter, the story began to form. The pictures were messy and ugly, but I couldn’t stop my hands.
The feelings flowing out of me right now, I want to draw them.
By the time I noticed, daytime had already passed. It seems that I’ve been absorbed in drawing
my manga for about 4 hours. What I quickly drew was an embarrassment to a professional mangaka. It didn’t have foreshadowing or a great plot, and probably had a lot of mistakes as well. No matter what, this could not be released to the world.
But now, I want my daughter to see it. It would be a small call from a father to his daughter. I held the storyboard as I headed home. By the time I returned home, the lights in the living room were already dark. The light in the room that I use with my wife is also off, so my wife is most likely also asleep. My son’s room also had the lights off.
The only room with light was my daughter’s room. I slowly walk up the stairs to the second floor and knock on the door to my daughter’s room.
“What is it?”
My daughter’s voice came from behind the closed door.
“It’s your dad. Can I talk to you for a bit?”
When I said that, the door slowly opened, and my daughter appeared with red eyes. Well, crying this much is understandable, but as a parent, it really hurts to see her like this. It’s been about a year since I last entered her room, however, it still has the same girlish feel as before.
“And? What is it?”
As I looked around the room, my daughter bluntly asked me this. As expected, she doesn’t seem to be in a great mood.
“No, it’s nothing big, but would you mind reading my new work?”
“If it’s about that, wouldn’t it be better to ask Ani to do it?”
“Don’t worry about it, I want Yui to read it.”
Stubbornly telling her this, my daughter let out a sigh and picked up the storyboard. Then, she began to read it carefully.
This manga is a story of a broken heart.
It was about a boy who had fallen in love with a girl, confessed, and was rejected. You’ve probably noticed, but it really doesn’t feel anything like a shounen manga. There is still hope for them to date, but it would definitely be called a bitter end if it was seen in a shounen manga.
However, I didn’t care about that.
The feelings of a person falling in love, the nervousness that occurs when you confess, and the sadness of the rejection. These feelings that the main character felt, I tried to portray with care and detail.
I did this all in hopes of getting my daughter to empathize. The ending was a scene of the main character, depressed after being rejected, lifting his head up. That scene was a total of 4 pages. I drew the scene so largely that the scene of the main character facing down to looking forward would only fit in two comic boxes.
That was my call to my daughter.
No matter how much time you take. No matter how long you drag yourself through the past. It’s fine even if you forget your brother. However, I hope that in the end, you will properly look forward. To face forward and live on smiling.
I tried my best to put all those feelings into it. Only for a very very important person. For my daughter’s sake. Then, when my daughter finished reading the manga, she left the storyboard on the floor.
“Yeah, it was interesting. Good night then.”
She said this to me and returned to her bed.… It seems that my feelings weren’t able to get through. Discouraged, I picked up the storyboard.
“Yeah, good night.”
After telling her good night, I turned off the lights in my daughter’s room.
In that moment.
“Dad, I’ll try my best.”
It was a quiet voice, but I definitely heard it. Perhaps my feelings were able to get through to her. I did a small fist pump as I left my daughters room.
In the end, I couldn’t sleep.
I couldn’t help but worry about my sister who was sleeping next door. My father had been in her room for about an hour, but I wonder if he was able to do anything?
By the way, I couldn’t talk to my sister at all. We dined together, but we couldn’t even make eye contact. It was like we were strangers. Even our usually insensitive mother noticed as well and had to ask, “Did something happen?”
I wonder how long it’ll take to return our relationship to how it was before? When will our happy dinners together come back? While thinking about such things, I entered the living room.
“Good morning. As usual, you have terrible bed hair. Go fix it quickly.”
Since I get bed hair every day, waking up and going to the bathroom is already a routine for me. I went to the bathroom as usual, and there was my sister brushing her teeth. She had on a sailor uniform, with her hair tied up in a ponytail. It seems she’s already heading to school.
She usually heads out later though… Was the the effect of what happened yesterday…? I tried to keep to myself and not bother her.
“Onii-chan, good morning.”
Surprisingly, my sister was the one to talk to me. She even changed the way she calls me. She usually calls me “Ani”, but…
“Fufu, as expected, it’s feels strange when I call you differently.”
“…Then, there isn’t a need to change it.”
“No, from today on, I’ll call you Nii-chan. I’ll stop calling you Ani.”
After saying that, my sister returned her toothbrush to its original place. To be honest, whether she calls me by Nii-chan or Ani, it doesn’t really matter to me, but to my sister it was probably a big issue. Then, I too…
“I understand, Yui.”
My sister froze for an instant and looked at me with a surprised face.
“I will also change how I call you.”
When I said that, Yui nodded slowly.
“Then, I’ll be in your care for now on, Nii-chan.”
“Yeah, I’ll be in your care, Yui.”