I saw a dream.
I met the man, and spent my life as a member of a warm family. I kept repeating this for fourteen long years.
The girly’s exams. Her first day, and graduation. And then, her marriage.
The little girly had grown up into a beautiful woman, and I watched over her until she embarked on to her own journey. It was a dream-like, happy, fourteen years.
There were also the four seasons, and the countless things we did together.
The birds would chirp in Spring, and I would take an afternoon nap with the man under the warm sun; In Summer, everyone would gather in the cool, refreshing living room and laugh. In Autumn, I would sleep on the lap of the man, who would be reading, and the woman would laugh, seeing that the man had also fallen asleep at some point. In Winter, the woman, man and girly, would hug me after coming back from the outside, saying how warm I was.
We also took commemorative photos together. Our warm family of three and a pet, had turned into a family of five and cat before I knew it.
It was 14 years of laughter, and time spent with each other.
Suddenly, I woke from my fourteen years’ worth of dreams.
I could hear a crying voice calling out my name from within the darkness. A nostalgic scent, and a beautiful, clear voice.
I recall that I had fallen asleep after the pain, and slowly opened my eyes.
Ahh, welcome home, my dear girly.
When I woke up, I was on top of a cushion, and the sunset was casting rays of light through the window.
In the dim room, was the sobbing girly, Noguchi, whose hair was a little messy, and behind them was the woman, who was breaking down in tears as she used her two hands to cover her mouth.
By my side, was the man, who continued to gently stroke my body.
That day, when my eyes had laid sight on the man with glasses coming to get me in the middle of the rain, I had felt incredibly safe. I could feel my painful breathing, relax just a little because of him.
The girly who noticed that I was awake, came over to me saying “Kuro…”, and roughly brushed my head.
After three years, the girly has grown to be even more beautiful.
Her crying face, showed signs of when she was younger.
I wanted to tell her, who I had finally met again, how beautiful she was, and how much I loved her as I slowly softened my eyes.
Noguchi was on his knees by the girly’s side, looking straight at me. He was keeping his lips shut as if he was keeping himself in order, but I could see the tears gathering in his gentle eyes.
I leave the girly to you, young one.
I said to Noguchi.
Though he probably didn’t hear me, Noguchi nodded boldly countless times.
I could see our family photo placed on top of a table behind the two.
Although it was a photo that I was in too, I had to say, I always thought that it was a splendid photo.
How lucky I am.
Without thinking, my eyes soften, and I looked up at the man. The man was stroking my back, forcefully making himself smile, despite the tears falling from his face.
Doing so, the woman takes the hand of the small child by her feet, walking over to me.
The man grabs the girly’s shoulder and moves to the left, and Noguchi too, moved over to the right side consciously.
“Look, Kuro-chan. It’s Yuumi-chan. Isn’t she just so big now?”
The woman smiles brightly, and as she said that with a tremble in her voice, brought that child in front of me.
A big-eyed young girl with black pupils, was looking at me with curiosity.
There were traces of her that looked just like the girly, and I cried out, wanting to say how lovely this child that I hoped to meet was. However, all that came out was a weak breath, and I couldn’t even make a single sound.
“Granny. What’s wrong with the kitty?”
“…She’s a little tired, so she’s laying down.”
After she said that, a single teardrop fell from the woman’s eyes.
Unsure of how she should explain, she looked towards her husband.
The man who felt the gaze from his wife, let out a large sigh, and swallowed as if to control himself, kneeling down, trying to see eye to eye with his grandchild.
“She’s going to a faraway place soon.”
“…That’s right. How about you try saying her name, she’ll be really happy.”
The girl nodded with her small head. Slowly coming up to me, she waved her cute hands.
“Kuuro, bye bye.”
Goodbye. I hope you’ll be healthy.
Was what I had wanted to say, but my shaky voice didn’t form any words. I raise my head ever so slightly so that I would be able to see them, but my head merely shook in pain.
A strong desire to sleep assaulted me. Even though I tried to let air into my lungs, I couldn’t breathe anymore.
In my hazy vision, the large, familiar hand of the man, was placed on my head.
That gently encouraged me to lay down on the cushion.
“You don’t have to push yourself, Kuro. Just go to sleep…”
After that, there were no more words.
The fact that the man was crying, was something I knew.
I pressed my head against the cushion. Feeling the hand of the man stroking me back, I slowly closed my eyes.
I don’t have anymore regrets.
I was just filled with a surge of happiness stemming from a sense of fulfillment, and suddenly I smile, putting together my last words.
Goodbye, my precious family.
Please be happy. – Were the words that continued, but I didn’t know if they reached them or not.
That was how my life ended, starting as a stray cat, before being given the name “Kuro” by the man, and spending fourteen long and happy cycles of the four seasons with him and his family.