Since then, the seasons have cycled once more.
After the girly started to attend college, she started to date a man and brought him back home in her second year of college.
Just like the man who was so surprised he was rendered speechless, the other youngster was also showing an undisguisable look of surprise. It seems like the girly’s boyfriend didn’t know that her father was a great author. This meant that the girly didn’t spread word about who her father was around the school.
I had been thinking, hoping that no good for nothing fame seeking person would approach her, but looks like you took care of that yourself, girly.
The other man was a salaryman called Noguchi, and was six years older than the girly.
He had an aura similar to that of the Itou family’s man, and his eyes, looking at both the girly and us, were warm and gentle.
Looking at this man who was both older and had tender mannerisms, I instinctively thought that he was a fine fit for the girly. Next to both the woman and I, who approved of him, it was only the man, the father, who looked rather troubled.
If I had to describe it though, it felt like he was confused, not knowing if he should be happy or cry.
However, after being with him for a little bit, we were able to once again determine that Noguchi was truly a very nice person. Furthermore, knowing that he was a very avid reader, the man and Noguchi started to open up to one another after a little while. Sometimes he would, of his own volition, invite Noguchi over to the house to discuss books, further blossoming their relationship.
Lying on the lap of the girly, who gazed upon that scene happily, I felt relieved, and shut my eyes in satisfaction.
The girly had grown up to be a very beautiful woman. Her long black hair flowed down to her back, and she was looking at me with her clear eyes. Brushing me with her long, slender fingers, she called out my name, “Kuro”, with a mature, womanly voice. It was a voice that sounded very similar to her own mother’s.
I could feel that the girly was about to go into the real world, hearing that calming voice that seemed to reverberate through my old body, one that was no longer capable of running around the place.
Graduating from college, the girly went ahead and married Noguchi just like that.
At the girly’s request, Noguchi gave me an invitation to the wedding reception as well. The reason being, “For some reason, when I look at you, I feel something similar to that of Itou-san.”
It’s probably because, just like the man, I love the girly just like a daughter.
Perhaps, this Noguchi fellow might be quite sharp indeed.
Leaning forward from the lap of the man, sitting in the seat of honour, I looked at the girly dressed in her wedding dress.
‘She’s the most beautiful bride in the whole world.’ Was what I thought.
Looking at the girly who was so happy she was moved to tears, I extended my whole-hearted blessings to her.
I felt something warm raising up from my chest, overwhelming me, and welling up my black eyes. This was my first time realising that raising a child was such a fulfilling matter.
Thus, the girly left our house and started her own life.
In the living room, the photos of the girly’s high school graduation, her coming of age ceremony, and finally her wedding ceremony were hung up. My body had already become incapable of even climbing up the cabinet and so the man, aware of this, put them up in places where I could see them. Even though I was sitting on the sofa, I could see them without a problem.
All my meals have become gentle on my teeth and were all delicious, and even the times I got to eat my favourite, canned foods, increased.
When I asked the woman whether it was alright to have such luxurious meals, the woman replied with, “Eat a lot, and stay healthy for a long while.” My body which aged at several times that of the girly’s, was already very old and thus, I decided to indulge on her kind intentions.
Even if the girly has gained her independence, our daily lives continued without much change.
The man would spend his mornings in his study, and in the afternoon, he spent time with me, relaxing. The woman would make lunch for the man at 12 in the afternoon, prepare black tea and some snacks in the living room at 3 o’clock and give me a soft cookie.
Autumn passes, and now that it’s approaching my tenth winter, my family’s girly came back with some fortuitous news.
Oh my! The girly seems to have a child in her.
Hearing that they’ll have a grandchild by next year’s July, both the man and woman were delighted. I too, was overwhelmed with the feeling of wanting to meet the child of the girly.
“I wonder if that child will be alright…”
On a certain day, the man went out for work, and whilst waiting for his return, the woman, watching television, suddenly sighed.
I curled up into a ball onto her lap, turning up to look at the woman.
Some thin wrinkles have been carved into the woman’s white skin.
So, so much time has passed already huh, I thought quietly, looking at the young woman, much younger than me.
Even though it wasn’t even noon, the man had already returned.
Reading the situation, I moved off from the woman’s lap and looked towards the veranda. The woman stands up from the sofa, and took the coat and muffler from the man who had come into the living room.
“Dear, you’re back early today.”
“There’s already nothing left to do this year.”
The man says and sits down next to me, his nose still a little red.
Oh, welcome back. I move just my head, as if replying to him.
Was it that cold outside?
“It was really chilly outside~ I’m really glad I got back before the snow started really pouring down.”
The man says, then casually picking me up. His two large hands, were very cold.
“Ahh~ Kuro. You’re so warm~.”
I tremble, feeling his cold hands, but didn’t move for worry about the man’s body. Just for today, alright? I say, then leaving him to his actions. Perhaps this was due to me recalling the man say that his joints were hurting when winter comes these past few years.
Gee almighty, we’re both old now.
I said to the man.
Even if he wasn’t as aged as I was, there was no doubt that the man has grown considerably old.
Lately, every time he went to the barber he would have to dye his hair. The man went to the barber last week as well, and there was a slight medicinal-scent coming from his hair.
“Here you go.”
The woman brought out a cup of steaming tea. The man thanked her, taking a sip, as I lay on his lap. However, he soon let out a “Ach-”, and moved the cup from his lip, probably getting burnt.
Seeing the man having not learnt from his mistakes after all these years, I let out a light sigh whilst on his lap.
After that, the seasons kept changing, and the following year’s summer, the girly safely gave birth to her first child.
They told me that the one who was born was a girl. Since I couldn’t go and take a look for myself, the woman and man went by car to go take a look for themselves. The two of them told me all about the cute, little baby girl who looked just like the girly. They also told me that they would bring the baby girl over here around October.
Perhaps it was because I’m older now, which is why I’m sleeping so much, but I felt like the days were passing faster and faster.
When the chill was starting to come around again, the girly brought Noguchi and her child over.
The girly, holding her baby, looked exactly like a mother would.
As the man and woman happily cuddled their grandchild, Noguchi looked a little tired, and sat down next to me on the sofa.
You seem a little tired?
I say to him, and Noguchi suddenly smiles, patting my head.
“The baby crying at night is a real headache, right?”
I heard the sound of the woman asking the girly. Looking at that, the man lets out a slight smile, and said “It’s been tough on you.”, sitting down, handing Noguchi the glass he brought over. Replying with a “No, not at all.”, Noguchi downed half the water in the glass.
A little while after that, the girly came down to sit next to Noguchi and me.
I could smell a very nostalgic scent from the girly.
The child resting in her arms had the scent of both the girly and Noguchi, as well as the fragrance of milk. Looking at the baby again from this distance, I could see that the she was a cute, little, baby girl with tiny baby hands and white, chubby cheeks.
“Kuro, this is Yuumi. It’s taken from both my name, and Makoto-san’s name. It’s meaning stems from my hope that she will grow up, kind and gentle.”
Ahh, that’s a great name.
I whisper, looking at the girly who gazed gently at the baby, eyes full of love.
Since I knew that a baby was an extremely weak being, I climbed up onto the girly’s lap, not trying to touch the child. I might be able to touch her once she grows up a little more, maybe. I’ll have to be patient until then.
Noguchi looked on with the face of a father, lightly touching his child’s hands.
Even the sleeping child seemed to know that it was her father. The scene of the baby tightly grabbing onto his large finger, was happily seen by the man and woman across from them.
“Speaking of which, Kuro doesn’t have any kids… The joy of being able to have kids, was taken away by us…”
Hearing the girly’s words, the man and woman opened their eyes as if they had just noticed this, and made an apologetic expression.
Truth be told, a little while after I was taken in by them, I had gotten the neuter surgery. And since I’m female, it basically meant that my body was unable to give birth anymore.
I, have a daughter in the form of you, girly. That’s all I need.
As I prayed that my message would get through, I rubbed against my dear girly’s lap. Both the girly and Noguchi gently stroked my head, and the woman who saw this, said with eyes full of love.
“Perhaps, Kuro-chan… thinks of you has if her own daughter.”
“Ahh, that’s definitely the case.”
The man says, and even Noguchi nods, full of confidence, saying, “That’s definitely it.”
I look up at the baby cuddled within the girly’s arms, and say gently,
‘Come back again once you’re a little bit bigger.’
And at that time, that’s when I’ll be able to touch you. You, my dear girly’s, lovely girly.