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Doumeki Shizuka is old.

He is old and he is tired, and he carries his old injured heart around with a surprising amount of equanimity.

He has one son – fully grown and working himself. His wife has passed on already, and Doumeki Shizuka wishes her happiness there.

He does not wish to join her.

He does not wish to die, though he is rapidly becoming one of the few remaining of his age bracket.

Doumeki Shizuka has only one wish, but it is not one he will ever utter and it is not one he will ever see come true.

Doumeki Shizuka has not seen the one person just for him for nearly three decades.

He has allowed his lone son to take his place, as much as he can. Their appearance is almost identical, like Doumeki Shizuka and Doumeki Haruka before them.

Doumeki Shizuka sometimes thinks that this is his happiness, but in his old age he is losing the ability to be optimistic about things, and a great part of him is intensely upset that his son may get to live with his special person where Doumeki Shizuka could not.

Doumeki Shizuka is wrong.

Doumeki Shizuka knows he is wrong.

Doumeki Shizuka goes there, to the place he was happy. It takes him a long time these days, and he’s not sure if it is worth the effort.

When Doumeki Shizuka reaches that place, he can see nothing there at all, and he is sorry for it.

Doumeki Shizuka’s son finds him out there a few hours later; he is seeing his own future and he knows it.

Inside Doumeki Shizuka’s last happy place, the special person just for him starts crying for no reason he can fathom.

~

Doumeki Haruka was named after his great grandfather, and Watanuki-san and Haruka-san both tell him how annoying and confusing it is.

Doumeki Haruka loves Watanuki-san. Doumeki Haruka’s father loved Watanuki-san, and this made their relationship with each other tense at the best of times.

Doumeki Haruka’s father was ninety-eight when he died. He gave his son Yuuko’s egg when he was sixty-seven.

Doumeki Haruka is married. He has a son who is still young, and he loves him dearly.

Doumeki Haruka knows that his son will love Watanuki-san.

Doumeki Haruka has only one wish, but it is not one he will ever utter and it is not one he will ever see come true.

Some days Doumeki Haruka wakes up and thinks that it would be good if his wife was his special person, but he cannot wish it to be so.

When Doumeki Haruka is sixty-seven he will give his son Yuuko’s egg and he will tell him everything his father told him and then he will do as his father did and save Watanuki-san the pain of watching him die, as Doumeki Haruka surely will.

He has been told he is like his father.

He is not nearly as strong.

~

Doumeki Hisoka once told his father he would never ever marry.

Doumeki Hisoka chooses a nice woman, who is kind and understanding, and who he loves.

He does not love her as much as he should.

Doumeki Hisoka only knew his grandfather a little.

It was enough to know that his grandfather loved the same person his father did, and the same person he did.

He first saw the person he loved most when he was sixteen, and his father took him to the shop. The person just for him had smiled sadly and had said, “Ah, is it that time again?”

Doumeki Hisoka never ever wants to see that person look so sad again.

Sometimes that person calls him Shizuka.

Doumeki Hisoka has only one wish, but it is not one he will ever utter and it is not one he will ever see come true.

When his wife that he does not love as much as he should gives birth, Doumeki Hisoka calls his son Shizuka and whispers how sorry he is that his only son has been born into this life.

Doumeki Hisoka knows that his father and grandfather were both happy in their way, and he is as well, but he does not think he has known true happiness since the day he fell in love, and that is a bitter assessment of his life.

He dies outside a shop he cannot see, but he is happy to be near the person he loves most.

~

Doumeki Shizuka is young.

He is young but he is tired, and he carries his long injured heart around with a surprising amount of equanimity.

There is a person he loves, and a place he is happy.

His father, grandfather and great grandfather before him were all happy there, and they all died there.

There is a curse on the Doumeki family, the people say. Those Doumeki men are always so sad, always so lost. It is as if their hearts have been broken before they were even born.

The person he loves can leave the shop, but that person is still the same.

Doumeki Shizuka has only one wish, but it is not one he will ever utter and it is not one he will ever see come true.

And perhaps it will stay this way forever.

As long as that person is loved, Doumeki Shizuka does not mind if his wish is never fulfilled.