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Are you my child? 1

Are you my child?

en
+ posted by deanna as translation on Dec 4, 2011 17:00 | Go to Are you my child?

-> RTS Page for Are you my child? 1

Are you my child? v1 c01

Translated by Deanna

p.000c

Back cover: “It's your baby.” A one-year-old baby is suddenly brought. Even if you tell me that... There are too many father-child pairs like this!!

The college student playboy Jun who really loves the ladies, and the devilish, angelic one-year-old Sumire. He ends up raising her without knowing whether she's really his child...

Praising the honesty of life living with a child, Kurita Riku's heartful love story!

Flap: Babies are difficult to draw, especially the chubby part of the elbow. But if you draw it well, it will bring a smile to your face.

p.001

Are you my child?
NOTE: One letter is upside-down.

Kurita Riku

p.002

Contents

vol.1
Are you my child? p3

vol.2
Do I love you? p105

p.003

vol.1
Are you my child?

p.004

“Are you my child?”

Here's volume 1. It's my first series in a while.
I came up with a story like that movie from a while back, “Three Men and a Baby,” where some a boy has a baby forced upon him, and the running here and there that follows. At first, it was a story about how [face] and [face] join in on the child-raising. It didn't end up that way though...

Yamabuki Sumire. One year three months old. She's become good at standing up.

p.005

Jun: (narration) There's an opinion that
The reason baby animals are cute is that it's their best and only way of protecting themselves.
In other words, it's a signal to others, saying “Well, aren't I cute? Protect me.”
Human babies are no exception.

But aside from animals, human brats
Are noisy and depressing.
I hate them.

p.006

Baby: Ah. Oo.
Girls: Wahhhh.
Look, look, so cute!

What are these wings?
Let me take a picture!
Jun: (thoughts) Guh.

What's so cute about it?
It's drooling. That's unclean.
And anyway, why would you bring a baby here?

SFX: Don; thud.

p.007

Mother: E... Excuse me!
It's because you were running around!
Hey, say “sorry”!
Girl: Shorry.

Mother: Come on.
Let's go.

SFX: Gaa; grr.
Jun: I'm gonna eat you up!

Girl: Uh...
Uh...

* All characters' names and organizations are fictional.
Uwaaaa!
He's gonna eat me!
Mother: What? What happened?
Girl: You're so mean,
Jun.

p.008

Girl: That poor girl!
She was crying so much.
Jun: I hate brats.

Girl: Even though you like the process of making them, right?

SFX: Gui; grab.
Jun: Yeah.

Now I want to do it.
Girl: *Chuckle chuckle* Oh, Jun.
Miyauchi: Excuse me.

That cigarette.
Could you please stop holding it there?

p.009

Miyauchi: If you walk around smoking like that,
It would line up with the height of a child's face, wouldn't it?

Girl: Hey, I don't recall asking you for instructions...
Jun: It's fine.

It's fine if I just put it out, right?
I'd never thought about a child's face.
Girl: Geez.

Jun: What?
Miyauchi: Oh, no,
I'm grateful for your cooperation.

Jun: Hey, do you

Go around warning every single person, one by one?

p.010

Miyauchi: As much as I can!

Girl: What a strange woman.
Did you see? That hairstyle, nowadays?
Don't you think she probably hates us?
Jun: (thoughts) She certainly was a strange woman.
But...

If you notice her clothes and her hairstyle, and just look a little more...
Well...
Girl: Hey,
Let's continue.

Jun: She's kind of my type... Maybe.
Girl: Ah...

p.011

Girl: Jun...

Jun: *Pant*

This isn't bragging, but my first time was when I was 12.
Since then I've had more sex than I can keep track of.

Because of that, more sperm than I can count
Have made journeys in vain.

Babies: Papa!
Papa!

You shouldn't walk around smoking!
TEXT: All the children from all the times he's done pervy things.

Babies: Papa!
SFX: Wara wara; chatter chatter.
Papa!

p.012

Jun: I'll be crushed!

* In a love hotel.

Jun: (thoughts) What the hell kind of dream...
SFX: Pin poooon; ding doooong.

SFX: Pin pon pin pon; ding dong ding dong.
← Just got home and back to sleep.

Old lady, you're up, aren't you?
Hurry up and answer the door!
SFX: Ban; bang.

p.013

Mother: I'm busy at the moment.
You get it, Jun. You're an idle college student, anyway.
← Aesthetician
I have to go to work now.

Jun: Don't you think your makeup is too thick?
It's making your wrinkles stand out.
Mother: Be quiet.
Hurry and answer the door.

Jun: Yeah, yeah.
Mother: Oh, and...

The next time you call me “old lady,” I'll kill you.
Call me “Okaa-sama.”

Jun: Who's she kidding, “Okaa-sama”?
(thoughts) My parents divorced five years ago. For a long time before that, they were a couple who seemed like there was no reason for them to be together.
It was a relief, actually.
My mother, who never had any self-awareness about being a mother, has been running wild and having more and more fun.

p.014

SFX: Ding doooong.
Jun: (thoughts) Such a person shouldn't even put on the mask of being a mother.
SFX: Gacha; clack.
Coming, coming.

Sumire: Pa. Pa.

p.015

Sumire: Papa.
Jun: (thoughts) Yes?
Sumire: Up.
NOTE: She's saying “dakko,” which means “hold,” or “hug,” but I think English-speaking babies normally say “up”? I'm not a parent. @_@

LETTER: This is your child. Her name is Sumire. She is one year old. I've been raising her up until now, but I'm at my limit.
There are diapers and (rest is cut off)
SFX: Puru puru; tremble tremble.
Jun: (thoughts) My child?!

SFX: Tata; patter.

Jun: Ah!
Hey, wait!

Sumire: Papa,
Uuuup!
SFX: Uwaaaan; uwaaaaah!

SFX: Uwaaaan; uwaaaaah!

p.016

Jun: (thoughts) What...
It's my child,
It's my child.
(thoughts) What's going on here?
It's my child.
SFX: Butsu butsu butsu; mutter mutter mutter.
SFX: Uwaaaaan; uwaaaaah!

Mother: Oh my,
So it finally turned out like this, did it?

That's not good.
You know, if you didn't date so randomly...
Jun: I don't want to be told that by you.
You know if it's my child, you're its grandmother.
SFX: Biku; surprise.

SFX: Ngyaaaaaa; uwaaaaagggggh (stronger crying)
Ahhh, geez.
What the heck should I do?
Mother: She's probably hungry, huh?
There was milk with her, too.

Jun: Ummm,
Three level spoonfuls... How do you level it?
ON CAN: Kurita MILK. Milk for babies older than a year. Follow-up milk.

p.017

Jun: (thoughts) So it's my child?
What a joke. I've never had a mishap before.

Well,
There was one time that I thought, “This is bad.”

But that was several years ago...
Oh, but it takes a child some time to be born, doesn't it?

More and more things are coming to mind.

SFX: Ngu; urg.
Here, it's food.

SFX: Fungyaaaaa; uwaaaaagggggh (strong crying)
What the heck, aren't you hungry?
Mother: You dummy,
It's too hot. Give it to me.

p.018

SFX: Naaaaa; wahhhh!
Mother: Yeah.
About like this, I think.

Here.
Come here.

See?
It's food.
SFX: Nku; smack.

SFX: Nku nku nku; smack smack smack.
Ohhh.
So much energy! You must have been really hungry.
SFX: Kusu kusu; chuckle chuckle.

There, all done.
What are you looking at?
SFX: Gefu; burp.
Jun: Well, I was just thinking that you were a mother to start with...
Mother: Of course I am!

Well, from here on you do it yourself. I'm going to work.
Jun: W...
Wait a second! I was going to go to class now...!
Please!

p.019

Mother: If you earn some money, I'll think about it.
Being a babysitter.
* It seems she thinks babysitting is easier.

Jun: She's...

Takuya: This is divine punishment.
You're too loose with women.

Jun: I'm normal.
You're the weird one, only knowing one woman.
Takuya: Don't call it weird!

Guy2: A baby, huh!
That's nice. They're so cute. Next time show us! Ehehe.
Jun: I'll give her
To you.

Guy2: No
Thanks.

p.020

Guy2: But
Is it really your baby, Jun-kun?
Takuya: There is the possibility that it's just an abandoned baby.

Jun: About that...
I might remember it...

Once I thought about it,
The thought that “Maybe it was that?” came rolling out...
SFX: Kichiku; what a brute!

I tried calling the police, too, but
They kept asking if it really had nothing to do with me...
Takuya: That's true.
Jun: And when I got flustered, they said that if I really figured it out,
They'd write up a bulletin.

Guy2: Anyway, wouldn't it be best to find that girl?
And ask her the truth.

Takuya: But what about the baby until then?
Guy2: Take a break from school,
And find someone to look after the baby.
Jun: Look after...
Oh yeah! Takuya, your house!

p.021

Jun: You guys run a temple, and you have a daycare, don't you?
Will you let me put her in there?
Takuya: No way, no way.
There are a lot of kids on stand-by.
TL NOTE: 待機児童 (taikijidou), or stand-by children.

Jun: Automatic celebrities?
TL NOTE: 大器自動 (taikijidou), or great talent automation. These are not the same kanji that Takuya used. Jun doesn't know the term for stand-by children.
← * Wrong.
Takuya: Children who want to enroll but can't.
They're waiting for openings.

It's different from kindergarten, because working parents leave their children there.
So there's an order of priority.
For example, if we knew you were living with your parents or something and they could take care of the child, you would have a lower priority.
These days there are a lot of single mothers, so for someone like you who lives with your mother, it could be tough.

Jun: You sure know a lot.
Takuya: Well, I plan to take it over someday.
Jun: The temple?
Or the daycare?
Takuya: Both.

Jun: (thoughts) This is kind of incredible.
(bubble) I thought he was stupid...
Even though there's nothing I want to do...
Guy2: Anyway...

p.022

Guy2: What if you go to the houses of all the girls you know?
Jun: Yeah...
There's a lot, so it could be tough.
SFX: Haa; sigh.
Takuya: You're making us not want to help.

Jun: (thoughts) For now, I need to get my mom to look after her...
SFX: Uwaaaaan; uwaaaah!

Mother: Ah,
Good. I was thinking of going out after this.
SFX: Ahhhhhh; gaaaaah.
I just can't get this kid to stop crying.
Jun: (thoughts) What is
This disaster scene?

Mother: I remembered. I really hated raising children. I had forgotten.
I've decided to go on a month-long business trip to Hokkaido after this.
Jun: Whaaaat?

Mother: I'm leaving!
I think she'll need a diaper change soon.
Jun: D....
Diaper?

SFX: Ueeeeeen; (strong crying).

p.023

Jun: (thoughts) Diapers...
What do I do with this?

Takuya: How to put on a diaper?
SFX: Gyahahahaha; Ahahahaha.
Jun: Shut up!
If you're going to run a daycare someday, you should know, right? Tell me.

Jun: First take off the dirty diaper...
Oh, it's heavy...
Takuya: Well that's because it's full.
Sumire: Uwaah.

Takuya: What's wrong?
Jun: Err,
Nothing.
(thoughts) I see.
So this child was a girl.
SFX: Kya kya; (playful shrieks)

Hey,
Don't move.

Didn't I tell you not to move?
Ah,
Why you little...
I messed up.

SFX: Haaaaaa; siiiiiiiigh.
I'm suddenly exhausted.
Takuya: You should buy a lot of diapers in advance.

Also, if you have wet wipes for when you wipe her bottom, that's handy.
Jun: W...
Wait a second.

p.024

Jun: Wet wipes...
Ah, hey!

Don't do that, I just got it written down!

SFX: Ururu; whimper.
SFX: Ehhhhhh; waaaaaah.
I'll
Call you back later.

SFX: Pi; beep.
Geez.
You're crying again.

Sumire: Papa.
Up.

p.025

Jun: I see.
You want some attention.

Mama.

Where are you going?
Mother: Mama has work, so look after the house.

Sumire: Uhhhhh.

Uuuuuup!
Jun: No choice, I guess.
Until we find your mom, I'll look after you.

But let me say this. It's not like I've acknowledged that you're my child.
Don't misunderstand.
Okay?
You understand?

p.026

Sumire: Ukya!
Kya!

Jun: This is bad, this is bad.
It seems like I'm starting to think she's cute.
Sumire: Uuuuuup. Uuuuuup.
SFX: Pin pooooon; ding dooooong.

Takuya: Hey.
It seemed like you were having a rough time, so we brought some gifts to your jail cell.
Guy2: I brought the stroller
And the baby carrier my sister used.

Jun: How do you use this?
Guy2: Waah!
Cute!

p.027

Guy2: What's her name?
Jun: It said “Sumire.”

Guy2: She looks just like you, Jun!
Takuya: It's true.
SFX: Geho; cough.

Guy2: Ah, that cigarette!!
Don't do that, it's so bad for a baby's body!
Takuya: He has no awareness as a father, doesh he?
Jun: Don't talk in that weird voice!

Do you really think she looks like me?
Guy2: Just like you.
Sumire: Pappa.

Jun: (thoughts) Dammit. I thought so myself, but...
Guy2: Hey, ummm...

For someone who decided to give birth to and raise a child alone,
It's extreme to just leave it at someone's house. I wonder if it means she has no one else to rely on.

p.028

Guy2: And also,
She was probably showing the baby Jun's picture, saying, “This is your papa.”
Takuya: Yeah, yeah.
“As a man, he was the worst, but maybe he would change if he knew about this child.”
Jun: Don't make up stories!!

Sumire: Papa.
Jun: Stop saying “Papa, papa”!

SFX: Uwaaaaan; uwaaaaah!
SFX: Soso kusa; quickly.
Takuya: Well,
Shall we go home?

Guy2: No matter how you look at it, it is Jun's child, huh?
Her features are just the same.
Takuya: 20 years old, with a child.

p.029

Takuya: I don't want that.
I like kids, but...
Guy2: It's nice that you don't have those kinds of worries, Taku-chan.
Takuya: Yeah.

Guy2: But unexpectedly, maybe it kind of suits Jun-kun. Being a “young papa.”

Since he acts cool,
But he's actually very prone to loneliness.

Takuya: Should we help him if he comes to us in tears?

Jun: (thoughts) Even so...
I know, I know.
Milk, right?

p.030

Jun: (thoughts) There are lots of people who talk about how hard it is to raise kids, but
I underestimated it, thinking it must be an exaggeration.

Jun: (thoughts) Tired...
But this reality...
← Three hours of sleep.

Oh, is she going to sleep?

SFX: Utsura utsura; nod nod.

SFX: Gon; thunk.

SFX: Ugyaaaaa; uwaaaaaah!
Sorry,
Sorry.
Excuse me.
I made a mistake.

p.031

Jun: Ah!
Hey, Sumire! My important manga!
TITLE: Weather Detective Megu

Hey, don't pull that!
Ahhhhh, scissors!!
Didn't I tell you not to do that?

SFX: Zee haa; wheeze pant.

I can' take this anymore.
It's only been two days and already I'm at my limit.
← The things he moved up so they wouldn't be touched.
Sumire: Mochi mochi.
TL NOTE: Japanese answer the phone “moshi moshi.”
I don't have a single minute or second for myself.

ON TV: Yeah!
It was a shotgun wedding at age 16.

Soooo cute!
Jun: (thoughts) Before, if I saw these people I could only think they were idiots.
Now I respect them.

Because they've been doing this kind of thing, every day.
Cigarette, cigarette.

p.032

SFX: Supiiiiii; soft breathing.

Jun: (thoughts) Just for a bit should be fine, right?
I'll go buy some cigarettes.
SFX: Osoru osoru; timidly.

Ohhhhh.
My first time outside in two days.

The joy of being able to smoke freely.
SFX: Puhaaaaa; puff.

Oh yeah, while I'm out I should stop by the convenience store.
Kaname: Oh,
Nagai?

p.033

Kaname: Wow!
It's been soooo long!

Jun: (thoughts) Wait, who is this?
Kaname: No way, you don't remember me? It's me, your classmate from high school, Kaname!

SFX: Sagi; rustle (?).
I'm not wearing any makeup right now, though.
You can't tell?
Back then I even wore makeup when doing “H” things.

Jun: (thoughts) I see. I've done it with this person, too.
The time frame matches, could it be this person?

Jun: Umm,
Could it be that you...
Girl: Mama!
Look, look, a leaf!

p.034

Jun: That child...
Kaname: Hehe. Isn't she cute? My daughter.
Come on, say hello.
Girl: Hello.

Jun: Isn't... She kind of big?
Kaname: The truth is, I was pregnant when I graduated high school.
Whose child do you think she is?

Jun: Huh?
It... It... It couldn't be...
Kaname: That's right.
It's Nagai's child!

Juuuuuust kidding!
When I was dating you, Nagai,
the other person I was dating, my current husband. It's his child.
Girl: Up!
SFX: Bushuuuuu; melt.

Kaname: When I conceived this child, I was very worried, and not sure what I should do, but
Now I'm glad I had her.
Here we go.

There's wasn't anything that I
Wanted to do, but
Once this child was born,
I became able to think about the world.

p.035

Jun: The world?
Kaname: For example, the problems with the environment.
I never had aaaaany interest in the news, but now I read the newspaper every day.

And smoking, too.
Just now, you were smoking, but if you walk around while smoking it's right at the level of a child's face.
Be careful, okay?
Jun: (thoughts) That's what that woman from before said.

Kaname: See you later!
Girl: Bye bye!
Jun: (thoughts) Incredible.
Becoming a mother.

Even though she was a flashy girl who only had fun...
(bubble) And that
Mother of mine was the same way.

Well,
Right now I'm in the same situation...
Huh? I'm forgetting something...

p.036

SFX: Ha; ah!
Jun: Oh no!!

SFX: Ban; bang!

SFX: Haa haa; pant pant.

SFX: Gaku; wobble.

p.037

SFX: Koso; sneak.
SFX: Kyoro kyoro; looking around.

Sumire: Ma
Ma!
SFX: Ueeeeen; uwaaaah!
Pa
Pa!

SFX: Ueeeen; uwaaaaaah!
Jun: Sumire.

Come here.

p.038

SFX: Ara ara ara; totter totter.
Jun: Ha.

SFX: Don; thud.

Sumire: Paapa.

Jun: (thoughts) I didn't know.
No choice, I guess.
I'll acknowledge you.
(thoughts) That babies were this warm.

Takuya: Well?
Did you find her? The mother.

p.039

Jun: Not at all.
Or rather, I haven't had any time to look.

This is seriously bad.
I can't go to class.
My money's running out, and I can't work.

SFX: Haaa; sigh.
What should I do?
Takuya: I have good news for you.
Jun: Hm?

Takuya: It seems we're starting up a daycare for babies as young as infants.
And,
This is just temporary, but I was able to get them to look after the baby by saying you were a relative.

Jun: You're god!!
Takuya: Show me respect.

p.040

Jun: I did it!
I can be free!
ON SIGN: Tatsumaki Daycare.

Woman: It's
Naptime right now.

SFX: Biku biku; surprise.
SIGN: Duck class

This will be the daycare room for the 0-2 years age group.
Jun: (thoughts) The toilets are so little.

Woman: Over here is one of the head day care workers, Miyauchi.
Miyauchi-sensei, this is Nagai Sumire-chan, a new entry.

p.041

Miyauchi: Pleased to meet you.
I'm Miyauchi.

Jun: (thoughts) The one from that time...
Miyauchi: Sumire-chan?
Come here.

Jun: (thoughts) So she was a daycare worker.
Miyauchi: Come on.
Your big brother is busy. Come have fun with big sis.

Jun: Oh,
I'm not her brother. I'm her father.
Miyauchi: Is that so?
You're a young father.

Jun: (thoughts) Doesn't she remember me?
Come on,
Sumire.
SFX: Nnnnn; grrrrr.
Miyauchi: Hmmm.
This is tough. She won't let go.

p.042

Miyauchi: Wait just a second, okay?
SFX: Nnnnn; grrrr.
Jun: (thoughts) Why won't she let go?

Miyauchi: Sumire-chan.

Play with me!

SFX: Ho; oop.
Sumire: Nyaaa
Nyaaa!
TL NOTE: “Nyaa” is the sound a cat makes, so this would be roughly equivalent to “meow-meow.”
SFX: Totata; step step.

Nyaa-nya!
Nyaa-nya!

Woman: Go,
While you have the chance.
SFX: Hiso hiso; whisper whisper.
Jun: O...
Okay.
Woman: Today's only a half-day of daycare, so please come get her before noon.
Jun: (thoughts) What, that's all?

p.043

SFX: Chira; glance.

Miyauchi: See, there's a Mr. Rabbit, too!
Sumire: Kya!
Jun: (thoughts) Sorry, Sumire.

I've got things I need to do.
SFX: Ha; ah!

Miyauchi: Sumire-chan,
Shall we go to where your friends are?

SFX: Uwaaaaaaan; uwaaaah!

Jun: (thoughts) I wonder why.

p.044

Jun: (thoughts) I should be full of happiness, since I'm finally free.
But her crying voice is resounding in my head.
Guy2: Jun-chan.

I heard you've got daycare starting today?
Jun: Yeah.
Guy2: And it's until noon?
How is it, your first time back at school in a while?

Jun: (thoughts) An hour, huh?
I wonder what she's doing now. Is she still crying,
Or is she thinking she was tricked by me?

p.045

Jun: I think
I'm going to go pick her up.
Guy2: Huh?
But it's not noon yet.
You don't have to worry that much.

Jun: I'm not worried!
Guy2: Of course you're worried.

Jun: (thoughts) Geez.
For me to run around this much over a woman...

You're the first,
Sumire.
Sumire: Kyaaaa!

ON BALL: Chick class.
Woman: Great!
Sumire-chan, you're good!
Jun: What, she's laughing.

Miyauchi: She was crying until just a moment ago.

She's just gotten used to us daycare workers.
You were worried, weren't you?

Jun: I wasn't particularly...
SFX: Gara; rattle.
Miyauchi: Sumire-chan, Papa's here to get you.

Jun: (thoughts) She called me a “papa.”
Jun: Sumire.
Come here.

P...
Papa's here.
SFX: Tere; shy.

p.047

SFX: Uwaaaaan; uwaaaaah!

SFX: Eeeeeeen; whiny crying.
Jun: W...
What the heck, she was just laughing a second ago.
Miyauchi: She was just putting up with it.

I'm sure she was relieved to see her papa's face.

SFX: Tokun; thump.
“To see her papa's face”

p.048

Woman: These are the things we'd like you to have ready for tomorrow.
ON PAGE: Things >
• [Right column] Hand towel
Please put a string on it
( Length about 15cm)
• [Left column] Crayons
[Bottom right box] Name
On each crayon, write the name at the bottom.
• Socks. * Underwear.

Also, every morning the parents are supposed to put sheets on the bedding.
And every week, you take them with you and wash them at home.
Also...

Jun: (thoughts) Why are there so many things to do?
I thought things would be easier once she was in daycare.
Miyauchi: Well then,
Sumire-chan,

And Sumire-chan's papa.

Be careful with your cigarettes.

Child: Teacher!
Let's play!
Jun: (thoughts) What?
Miyauchi: Yes, yes.

p.049

Jun: (thoughts) So she did remember...
SFX: Kusu; chuckle.

Why aren't you crying?
Completely full of pee.

Dammit.
Pain in the butt.
Writing the name on everything he's supposed to bring to daycare.

SFX: Kue; bleh.

And so, the days passed by in a flurry.

Woman: Oh, my! What a young father!
Jun: Dammit, this is so uncool...
I'll never use this again.

A week went by in a flash.
Guy2: Jun-chaaaaan.
Are you serious about quitting school?

p.050

Jun: I'm not quitting, it's just a temporary absence.
Guy2: But don't you have more time now that you've gotten her into daycare?
Jun: The daycare fees,
To pay them I need to have a job.

Guy2: That's kind of weird.
Jun: Isn't it? I was talking to the other mothers, and
The monthly rate for the daycare is based on your income, so if the money you make by working increases, it gets more expensive, and you have to work more.
It's like a backwards deflationary spiral.
Guy2: Jun-chan, it's kinda different.

Jun: Well, it's fine.
Anyway, I was only in school to appear respectable to my parents.
I was made to enter.

For me now,
Raising Sumire is the more important thing.

Guy2: Jun-chan,
You're so cool!

p.051

Jun: Also,
The truth is the daycare is totally a harem.

Guy2: (thoughts) Harem?
Like this?

Jun: Hello!
I've come to get Sumire.

Harem Part 1 – The daycare workers
Woman: Sumire-chan's papa!

Harem Part 2 – The mothers
* There aren't many fathers who come to get their children, so he's very popular.

Harem Part 3 – The kids
Jun: Take this!
He plays rough, so he's very popular.

p.052

And the angry wife.
Himawari: Hey!
He's my papa, everyone! Don't go touching him!

Jun: Himawari-chan, can you stop doing those weird dub voices?
Himawari: But
She looked like that was what she wanted to say!
Right, Sumire?
Sumire: Ahhhh.
Mother: Come on, Himawari.

Himawari: She's cute,
Sumire.
Sumire: Ugh.

Himawari: Hey, mama, I want a baby too.
Make me a little sister.

Jun: (thoughts) Himawari-chan is a little girl from the middle age group, and it seems she's at the age where she wants to take care of others.
She treasures Sumire.
Himawari: Here,
Your bag.
Jun: (thoughts) It seems like it's kind of a nuisance to Sumire.
Sumire: Ohhhh.

p.053

Mother: Sorry!
She likes to act like an adult.
Himawari: Bye
Bye!

Jun: (thoughts) I wonder if Sumire will be like that too?
Close your eyes.
Today I got a job at a convenience store.
When I get paid, I'll buy you something you like.
(thoughts) I can't think about that now, though.

Sumire: Wike?
Jun: Yeah!
A Prada bag, or a rattle from Tiffany's.

Sumire: Chumire-chan
Wikes
Papa.

SFX: Kyun; throb. (an emotional response, like one's heart feeling tight)

Jun: W...
What is this “throb”?
Yes, yes.
SFX: Pururu pururu; ring ring.

p.054

SFX: Pururu pururu; ring ring.
Jun: Gah,
It's the phone! Sumire, here, stay wrapped for a second.

SFX: Bata bata; running footsteps.

SFX: Pururu; ring.
Jun: Yes,
Hello?
Father: Jun?

Jun: It's my father...
Father: I was contacted by your college today.
They said you were taking a leave of absence? What are you planning?

Jun: “What” you say...
Nothing, really... There are things I want to do, so...
Father: What kind of soft thing are you saying? Anyway, you're just going to goof off, aren't you?
You're just like your mother.

Anyway, return to school. Okay?
Jun: You're so noisy. I'll do what I want.
I don't need your help.

p.055

Father: Jun,
Don't say such stupid things-
SFX: Gacha; clack.

SFX: Hekuchi hekuchi; drag drag.

Jun: Sorry,
Sumire.
Let's get your clothes on.

Sumire: Papa.

Jun: He shouldn't start acting like a father at this late time.

p.056

Woman: 37.4 degrees.

Sorry.
We don't look after children who have a fever of more than 37 degrees.
Jun: Huh?
But I have work...
Woman: It's a rule, so...
I'm very sorry.

Child: Sumire-chaaan.
Jun: I've got to
Call work ahead.

Boss: We asked for you starting today, so it's hard for us if you take a day off suddenly.
This is how young people are...
Jun: But I have circumstances...
That is... My child has a fever.

p.057

Boss: Child, you say?
Aren't you a student?
Jun: That's right.
Boss: That's not good, you should've told us something like that ahead of time.

Kids, you know...
Was it an accident? Young people just don't think things through.
SFX: Ka; blush.

Jun: ...understand.
Boss: Hm?
What?

Jun: I'll just quit.
It's fine if I just quit, right?
Boss: Wait, you, don't hang...
SFX: Bu; beep.

SFX: Uwaaaa.
Jun: Sumire,
sorry, sorry.

Whoa,
SFX: Hahyuu; sigh.
Incredible fever!

I'll take you to the hospital, okay?
(thoughts) I gotta find another job.

p.058

Doctor: It's her tonsils.
SIGN: (can't read) Doctor's Office
Pediatric Internal Medicine

I think her fever will rise again tonight.
I'll give you an anti-fever medicine.

Jun: This is bad...
Will this really do it?
Mother: Sumire-chan?

Jun: Oh,
Himawari's...
Mother: Hello.
Does Sumire-chan have a fever or something?

Jun: Yeah, suddenly...
Mother: That's rough. Kids' fevers can get so high so fast.
Jun: What about Himawari-chan?

p.059

Mother: Since yesterday she's been saying that her stomach hurts.
Himawari, are you okay? They'll examine you soon.

Himawari: I...
I'm fine.
Mama... You go to work.

Jun: (thoughts) Wow,
She really looks like she's suffering.
Mother: It's okay. I called and said I was taking the day off.

They're making the insurance arrangements, but
It's hard to get vacation time for a sick child.
Right now, I can't be sure when I'll be fired.

Jun: (thoughts) I see...
That's right, all the people who leave their children at the daycare are working parents.
Nurse: Natsuno-san.
This way.
Mother: Yes.

Jun: Himawari.
When you come back to daycare, please look after Sumire.

p.060

Himawari: See you later,
Sumire.

Sumire: Ima-chan,
Bye-bye.

Jun: (thoughts) How admirable. She's so little, but she knows that her parents are having a rough time.
Insurance card?!

SIGN: Admissions...
Nurse: Yes.
If you don't have it, you'll have to pay up-front.
Jun: (thoughts) Oh.
(thoughts) Sumire doesn't have insurance or anything...
Umm,
I don't have it with me...

Nurse: Well,
It's 15,600 yen.

p.061

Jun: This is bad. I'm almost out of money.

Huh? It's increased?

Oh,
I see.
It's lucky it's the day Dad makes his deposit.
And isn't this more than usual?
SIGN: ... Cash...
... Lobby

Sumire: Paapa.
← Tired.
SFX: Ha; ah!

“I don't need your help.”
Jun: (thoughts) Am I an idiot? Being so defiant...
And being so happy about the money my parents sent.
In the end, I can't do anything without my parents.
At best, I'm a brat.

p.062

SFX: Gacha gacha; clack clack.

Jun: (thoughts) I feel someone watching me...
Miyauchi: Sumire-chan.

I'm so glad I got to see you!
I was worried, so I came by.
BAG: Hana Mart.

In here,
There are ice packs and such.
SFX: Gasa gasa; rustle rustle.
You probably can't go shopping, right?
I put in some 100% juice drinks, too.

p.063

Jun: Uh,
Umm...
Why are you
Doing this for us?

(thoughts) She turned red...
Could it be that she's interested in me...? I knew it.
Miyauchi: I heard
About Sumire-chan's situation
From the principal.

At first,
There was the cigarette incident, and I thought you had it coming to you, but
You've been so caring to Sumire-chan, and I thought maybe it was a misunderstanding.
And so this is also to apologize.
Jun: Even though I put it out right away...

Miyauchi: Sumire-chan,
Come back soon, okay?

SFX: Dokin; thump.

p.064

Miyauchi: Well then,
Sumire-chan's-papa, too.
See you at daycare.

SFX: Dokin dokin; thump thump.
Jun: (thoughts) What
Is this?

SFX: Dokun; thump.
Miyauchi: See you later!
Bye bye!
Jun: (thoughts) I'm
Acting weird.

Heeeere.
Good job!
You even ate the ones you don't like.

Sumire: Tehe!

p.065

Jun: (thoughts) It looked
Incredibly sparkly to me.

If...
If I had gotten married, and had a child,
And saw my wife and child together,

Would it feel like this?

The ones I love.

SFX: Buuuu; poooout.

What, I'm thinking of the wrong person?
Sorry, but I don't know who your mother is.

p.066

Sumire: Daaa.
Ukya!

Jun: Hurry
(thoughts) What kind of girl was she? Sumire's mother.
(thoughts) With what...
And get better soon.

(thoughts) Kind of emotion did I make love to her?
36.2 degrees.

You're back to normal, huh?
You have too much energy.
Sumire: Kyahahaha!
Jun: Shall we go to daycare?
SFX: Dadada; patter patter.

p.067

Jun: I hope Himawari is better, too.

Sumire: Ima-chan,
Okee?

Jun: I thought you don't like Himawari.
But I guess there's no one who takes better care of you.

SFX: Zawa: chatter.

Umm,
What's going on?
Woman: Ah,
Sumire-chan's-papa.
It's terrible...

p.068

Woman: Himawari-chan
Passed away.

Jun: (thoughts) No way.

Woman: Poor thing.

p.069

Someone: In the middle of the night, her condition worsened.
Apparently it was an intestinal obstruction.
At the hospital where she was examined that afternoon, they told her it was just a stomachache.
For it to turn out like this...

In the ambulance, they were just passing her around...
If they'd only admitted her sooner.
Such a small child, too.
Mother: ... For coming...
Someone: That's total malpractice. They should sue.
This kind of this has been happening a lot lately.

Jun: Excuse me...

Mother: Ah,
Sumire-chan's...
Thank you for coming...

Jun: Umm,
I'm not sure what to say.
I was really surprised.

Mother: Well,
Please join in
The visitation.
TL NOTE: Loose translation; what she actually says is “No, please look at her for a moment one last time.” But I thought that sounds not only awkward but creepy.

p.070

Mother: She really
Looks like she's still alive, doesn't she?

“See you later, Sumire!”

SFX: Toko toko; step step.
Jun: Ah,
Sumire...

Sumire: Ima-chan...

Nap-nap?

p.071

Jun: That's right.
Himawari is taking a nap-nap.
Sumire: Okee?

Jun: She can't play anymore.

Mother: Agggggh!!
Sorry, I'm sorry, Himawari!

It hurt, didn't it?
You were suffering, weren't you?
Me...
It should have been me!

I'm sorry,
Himawari...

p.072

Mother: Himawariiii...
Sumire: Ima-chan,
Not wake up.

SFX: Gyu; squeeze.

p.073

SFX: Gasa; rustle.
Miyauchi: Sumire-chan?

I was right,
It's you, Sumire-chan's-papa.

Jun: Miyauchi-sensei...
Miyauchi: Are you on your way home from Himawari-chan's wake?
Jun: Yeah.
You too, sensei?
Miyauchi: All us daycare workers went together.

p.074

Miyauchi: It was...
SFX: Boro; tears welling up.
So sudden...

Oh no...
And I cried an awful lot over there, already...
SFX: Gusu; sniff.

SFX: Kii; creak.
Jun: I saw Himawari yesterday at the hospital.
She said “See you later,”
And smiled.

You know about the circumstances with Sumire, don't you?
Miyauchi: Yes.
Jun: At first, I really hated having such a thing forced on me.
All I could think of was finding her mother and becoming free.
Lately I've started to think that she's cute, but really I've always wanted to return her.

p.075

Jun: But,
If she... Tomorrow, suddenly... Like Himawari...
Passed away... If I think about that...

I get scared.

She calls me “papa.”
No matter how angry I am with her, she still clings to me.

Until recently, I didn't even know that she existed.
I...

p.076

Miyauchi: I said this the other day, too, but...

I...
I thought you were a very bad person, Nagai-san.
I thought I would never have anything to do with you again.

But
After I saw you again at the daycare, my impression of you has changed little by little.
Your attitude toward Sumire-chan was strained at first, but...
You're become more and more fatherly.

“Child-rearing”...
We act like we're raising our children, but...
The truth is they're raising their parents.

I often think this when I interact with the children.
They're very perceptive.

p.077

Miyauchi: So if you feel that way about Sumire-chan,
Maybe it's because she's raising you as a father.

Jun: (thoughts) That was...
The first time I'd seen her with her hair down.

I thought that she was pretty
And I wanted to kiss her.

p.078

Jun: But I didn't.

Because tonight is the night of Himawari's wake.
God,
I've never prayed for anything before.

But please,
Somehow,
Let Himawari rest in peace.

p.079

SFX: Pin pooon; ding doooong.

Father: Yes?
Jun: It's me...

Father: Jun?
What's going on? This is rare.
Did you come to get more money or something?
Sumire: Auu!
Father: Whose child is that?

Jun: This
Is my daughter,
Sumire.

Father: W...
What did you say?!
Jun: I don't know who the mother is.
She was left in front of my door and now I'm caring for her.

Father: W...
What the hell are you doing?!
You're disinherited!!
Jun: I
Will return to school.

p.080

Jun: There's a job I want to do, for this child's sake.
To do that, I need to go to college.
I'll pay for her daycare with a part-time job.

This is my own selfishness, so
I really do plan on paying my tuition myself, but
It will be by working hard, graduating, and paying you back.
It would really help me if you could continue helping as you have been.

Please.

Father: Such a stupid thing...

p.081

Father: So in the end, you're saying it should be just the way it has been.
Why would you come and announce it like this?
Jun: Becaaaaause
I wanted to be prepared,
I mean, I told you I didn't need your help...

And I'm just going to be relying on you forever...
Father: Well, I'm your father, so it's to be expected.
Don't you even understand that?

That's why I always say you're no good.
Jun: (thoughts) I wonder why...

Those are words
That would normally make me very angry.

Hey, Sumire.
This is your grandpa.

Sumire: Gampa!
Jun: Ah, she's fixated on it.

p.082

Sumire: Bye bye!
Gampa!

Jun: Sumire,
Today it's curry.

Sumire: Curry?
Jun: For you, it's curry-flavored mashed potatoes.

Sumire.
Sumire: Ah?

Jun: I want to become a doctor.
So that there won't be any more children like Himawari.
To do that, I have to go to medical school, but...

p.083

← Sumire

SFX: Pin pon; ding dong.

Jun: (thoughts) H... Huh?
Who is that?
A girl I know?

Sumire: Mama!!

Mother: Sumire!!
Sumire: Maamaa!

p.084

Jun: You couldn't be...
Sumire's...?

Mother: I'm sorry.
Sumire is not your child, Nagai-kun.

I did have that kind of relationship with you, but
Her father is someone else.
I broke up with him... And gave birth to Sumire alone.
Jun: (thoughts) Eh?
Mother: I...
I always thought you would make a good father.
I showed Sumire photos of you and told her you were her papa...

p.085

Mother: I'm sorry...
At that time, I...
I had kind of a breakdown...
Since then, I've come
Over her many times, but I couldn't say anything.

Jun: (thoughts) I
Don't understand.
Mother: I'm sorry.

Jun: (thoughts) Sumire...
Isn't my child...?

SFX: Pin pon pin pon; ding dong ding dong.

p.086

Jun: Sensei.
SFX: Gacha; clack.

Miyauchi: Umm,
About Sumire-chan...

Jun: You probably heard about it from Takuya.
What a joke.

Miyauchi: Are... You drunk?
Jun: Nah, not from this much!
I used to drink way more.

Oh, yeah,
Sensei,
SFX: Batan; slam.

Wanna make a baby with me?
Miyauchi: Eh...
Wai...

Stop...
Jun: Come on,
You came because you like me, didn't you?

p.087

SFX: Pan; slap.

Miyauchi: Sumire-chan would be sad.

Even though you're not related by blood,
You and Sumire-chan
Were a family!

Isn't that right?!

“Paapa.”

p.088

Jun: (thoughts) She's... Not here.
...

Those small hands...

Her soft face...
Sumire isn't here.

SFX: Purururu purururu; ring ring.

p.089

Jun: Yes,
Hello?
Mother: Umm,
It's me, Sumire's...

Sumire: Abuuu.
Mother: Umm,
Jun: (thoughts) That was Sumire's voice.
Mother: I know it isn't appropriate for me to be asking you for advice.

Jun: Sorry, but
I don't want to get involved anymore.
Mother: Wait!
Don't hang up!!

Sumire may die!!

Her fever's past 40 degrees!
Just now she convulsed and her eyes rolled up in her head!
I'm... Scared...

p.090

Jun: The ambulance?
Mother: I called them, but
They said they're all busy, and it'll take more than 30 minutes!

Jun: Gimme your address.

This'll be faster than waiting for the ambulance.
We'll go to the hospital
In my neighborhood.
Mother: O...
Okay.

SFX: Fuuu fuuu; sigh sigh.

SFX: Gyu; squeeze.

Jun: (thoughts) Hang on,
Sumire.

p.091

Jun: (thoughts) Papa's
Gonna save you!

SIGN: Pediatric clinic.
Woman: We're done examining patients for the day.
You should go to the emergency room.

The doctor's not here, so...

Jun: Open up!
Someone's gotta be in there!
SIGN: ... Hospital
SFX: Don don; thud thud.

Dammit!
SFX: Ga; bang.

p.092

Sumire: Uahh...
*Cough*
Mother: S...
Sumire!!

Jun: What should we do?
Is there a hospital in this area...?
“In the ambulance, they were just passing her around”...

Oh yeah!
The pediatrician I used to go to is just over there.
“If they'd only examined her sooner”...
It should be open if that old geezer is still alive.


SFX: Don don; thud thud.
SIGN: Pediatric Internal Medicine, Surgery
Itakura Clinic
Jun: Hey,
Damn old man!!

If you're alive, open up!
My child, my baby may die!

SFX: Pa; plink. (Sound of light coming on)

p.093

Doctor: What is it?
Are you trying to break down the door?
SFX: Gara; rattle.
Jun: My child has a fever.
Please.

SFX: Chira; glance.
Doctor: Hmm...

The patient is this child, huh?
Mother: Yes,
And she suddenly had a seizure, too...

Doctor: Well, she'll calm down now.
Please take her home and see how she does.
SFX: Suuu; zzzzz.
Jun: T...
Thank you.

Doctor: A year old, huh? It'll be rough from here on out.
She won't be getting any more of the mother's antibodies.
She'll be getting sick a lot.
Jun: (thoughts) Is that so?
Mother: I...
I see.

Doctor: You must have been surprised.
You did well.

p.094

Jun: Thank you very much.
Doctor: Take care.
Please be a little more quiet the next time you visit.

Boy.
Jun: “Boy”?
Doctor: You're the Nagai boy, aren't you?

You know, when you were about this child's age,
Your parents brought you here in the middle of the night, too.

Your mother was very pretty, but
Her hair was all disheveled.
And your father was crying. I remember it well.

Jun: (thoughts) Is that so?
That father, and my mother...
Doctor: You're gotten big.
The boy is a father already.
Jun: (thoughts) Well, that's not quite true...

“I'm your father, so it's to be expected.”

p.095

Jun: (thoughts) Yeah.
That may just be true.
Even for those two.
Mother: She's okay now.
Sorry about this.

Really,
We inconvenienced you.
Jun: Hey, umm...
I don't... Remember very well, but
With me... You said we had that kind of relationship...?

Was I...
Was I a bad person?

Mother: You were incredibly kind.
If you were really her father, Nagai-kun...

p.096

Jun: I see.
(thoughts) Good.
So there's a girl who thinks of me like this.

Sumire: Hrm...

Pappa!

Papa!
Paapaa!

p.097

Mother: Sumire, you know...
This person is...
Sumire: Paapa.
Jun: It's okay.
Come here, Sumire.

You've gotten heavy,
haven't you?
It was hard making your baby food.
Don't forget it.

Sumire: Pappa.
Kiss.

SFX: Kyahahaha.

p.098

Jun: (thoughts) Goodbye.

For a kiss to move me to tears...
You're the first,
Sumire.

p.099

Jun: (thoughts) My baby.

And so,
My days returned to the way they were before.
Guy2: Jun-kuuuuuuun.

Jun: (thoughts) But there were a few things that changed...
Guy2: Long time no see.
Jun: (thoughts) I decided to enroll in medical school.

Mother: Oh, this is rare.

You're studying, of all things.
Jun: Shut up.
Don't come in here, old lady.
(thoughts) And...

p.100

Mother: Didn't I tell you not to call me “old lady”?
You'll turn me into a real old lady, calling me that.
Jun: (thoughts) Even these parents...
Well, you really are an old lady, so there's no helping it.
(thoughts) I've become grateful to them for raising me, and never turning their backs on me.
Mother: What did you say?!

SFX: Gatan gatan; clatter clatter.

SFX: Gatan; clatter.
Baby: Wahhhhh!
Uwahhhh!
Mother: Be a good boy, okay?
We're almost there, so be good.
Baby: Uaaaaaa!

Jun: You can sit here.
Mother: Huh?
Oh, thank you.

*sigh*
Hey, say thank you to this man.
Baby: Thank you!
Jun: (thoughts) Before, I...

Definitely wouldn't have done something like this.
They're the ones who had the children, after all.

p.101

Jun: (thoughts) I used to think, if it was so rough, they shouldn't bother to come outside.
But now I understand.
They want to live normal lives, and bring their babies along.
And just how hard that is...

Miyauchi: Didn't you quit?

Jun: (thoughts) I also started smoking again.
Yeah,
I'll put it out.

p.102

Jun: (thoughts) But I never walk around when I'm smoking.
Miyauchi: I saw Himawari-chan's mother the other day.
Jun: Oh?

Child: Papa!

Papa, up!

Jun: (thoughts) Someday...

p.103

Jun: (thoughts) If I really have a child someday,
I'll tell them about her.

ON SIDE: First published 2003 – The Dessert September Issue.

About little Sumire.
Oh yeah, the other day I came home and found that my father had bought a ton of kid's toys.
Miyauchi: No way! (Laugh)

p.105

* About raising children.

I also have a daughter. When I was trying to remember things from long ago to write about them, I realized how much I've forgotten. “How big is a one-year-old?” and such. For the first time in a long time, I bought parenting magazines. I brought out my old maternity register, and I was very surprised by the vagueness of my own entries.

First parenting magazine in a long time.
Various interesting things.
Riku: Cuuuute.
I start to want to buy things by mail order. (In bubble: Hey.)

A set of three tote bags, large, medium, and small,
A pouch,
Bento boxes,
I'm weak for these on-the-go item sets.

Because I was working while raising my child, I think I was living on the brink of tears (because I had no time), but it's a good memory now. (Only now, though.) So, among those of you who picked up this book, if there are people who are currently raising children, I wanted to say: “Just a little longer.”

The things a mother worries about... No time, no one to talk to, and so on; there are a lot, aren't there? Personally, I didn't have any friends who were mothers. I don't have any now, either (except maybe some I can talk to just a little).

First of all, I don't have very many friends who have children, and it was embarrassing to call out 00-chan's mama to talk. But now I think I would've been happy if I'd made some friends like that.

And I didn't really bring my daughter to the park, either...
(Bubble: Please) Mothers who have babies. If there is some interesting episode, please tell me about it. Even if it's just ordinary talk. Thank you very much.

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