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A Mother's Pride

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The birth of a child is the most beautiful moment in most mother’s lives. Holding her baby in her hands for the first time in her life was absolutely moving. It was her first time as a mother and through it all, the love of her life stood by her bedside, never moving. The fragile face was sleeping at this moment, and she couldn’t help but smile. The baby shifted in her arms and it finally hit her.

 She was a mother.

 She was responsible for this child’s life, she was the reason the child was alive. It was her job to raise her, and it was her job to love her. And by gods, she was going to do it.

 She was going to do it for her young Yako.

 “C’mon Yako! You can do it! It’s one foot over the other!” Seiichi cried out in encouragement. Haruka scowled.

 “Don’t you mean it’s one foot in front of the other?”

 “Sure!”

 The young toddler grasped a table leg and pulled herself up. Unsteadily, she moved forward. Heeding her mother’s advice, she placed one foot in front of the other until she stabilized herself. Yako giggled and started moving towards her parent’s open arms. Just as she was a few feet away from them, she moved right and moved towards the kitchen. Her parents watched defeated as their daughter picked food over them. 

 “Say Mommy!” Haruka cooed to the child. “Mom-my. Mooo-mmmyyyy.”

 Yako giggled at the site of her mother. She reached up and touched her cheek and Haruka smiled at the site of her daughter.

 “Let me try!” Seiichi took the place where his wife stood previously. “Say Daddy. Daaaa-dyyy.” The girl silenced her giggled and looked thoughtful...for a baby at least.

 “Food!” She cried. Her parents fell to their knees. Of course her first would be food.

 Her husband was working harder than ever, sending blueprints and having meetings constantly, he was often absent, but he tried his hardest to at least stay together. She was appreciative, after all, he was the one bringing in extra income so that she and her daughter could live comfortably. Though she did wish for a vacation every once in a while.

 Haruka loved to see her daughter go through the stages of life. Each birthday was as good as the first and sometimes even topped it. She remembered sending her daughter off to school for the very first time. The poor nervous, hungry girl looks absolutely frightened. It was only through Haruka’s assurance that the girl walked through those double doors. Her baby was growing up.

 However, even she could remember the first time Yako came crying home. Haruka knew that Yako’s appetite was monstrous, but she also knew that young children weren’t as accepting as mothers and teachers were. Haruka held her daughter for thirty minutes, assuring her that she was a beautiful child who shouldn’t try to change at all. She was who she was and she would always be great.

---

 That morning was quiet. For no reason did Haruka have to worry. Yet throughout the day, Haruka felt a lump in her throat growing and her stomach was churning. She left work early on the basis that she was getting sick.

 Her arrival home caused her to fall to her knees in horror. Surrounding her house were dozens of policemen. She heard bits and pieces of conversations. Things like ‘completely red’, ‘torn up’, and ‘mutilated’ were the key terms she couldn’t get out of her mind.

 The love of her life was dead.

 She was silent as Yako walked to the home, though she said nothing, Yako got the meaning quickly. Neither of them cried. It wasn’t until they were alone in their respective rooms that Haruka burst into tears. It wasn’t just for the death of her husband, it was for Yako. Her daughter had taken her father’s death harshly. She knew from the moment Yako set her eyes on the house. To make it worse, the policemen warned of how hard this case would be to solve.

 They might never get closure.

 To Haruka, that was worse possible news.

---

 Haruka stared intently at the new man that her daughter had found. His hair was strange, but it wasn’t exactly odd when she considered what it could be. He looked to be about 23, which set off Haruka’s maternal alarm.

 “Mom, I want to be a detective,” Yako announced. Haruka forced a smile.

 “You, become a detective? Do you have that kind of ability?”

 “Uh...yeah.” Was this man putting her up to this?! She swallowed a lump in her throat, why was her baby growing up so fast?

 “But...it’s okay, Yako. Your father used to think about those kinds of things. It’s alright.” She looked up at the man. “Who is this? This person your assistant? He looks...interesting.”

 “Mother! Please leave it up to me to be Yako’s support! She has a super method of being a detective; as for the case...I’m very glad to be of service as an assistant!” There was something behind his words, but she ignored it.

 “Thank you, Mr. Assistant.”

 “If you give us thirty minutes, we’ll have a solution to this case.” Haruka blinked in surprise. Was her daughter really that good? The detectives let her go, obviously letting her fulfill her fantasy and get it over with. Haruka felt a mixture of emotions. She loved her daughter dearly, but she didn’t want to have a glimmer of hope disappear right in front of her eyes. She heard the policeman speaking.

 “She is now looking at her father’s case in a positive light.” He paused. “What do you expect from her ma’am?” Haruka smiled, she was being selfish. He was right, her daughter was really recovering.

 “I’m proud of her decision. That child when from listless to lively today.” Her daughter meant the world to her, and she wouldn’t sacrifice her for anything.

 Her daughter solved the case. Nothing could’ve braced her for the betrayal, joy, and pride that hit her all at the same time. She was betrayed that the detective working on the case killed her husband. She was thankful for her daughter and assistant’s solving in the murder, and she was terribly proud of her little Yako for giving both of them closure. Regardless of what she thought, there was no way for her to deny Yako something she was clearly good at. It was time for her daughter to grow up.

 Haruka watched from the sidelines as her daughter solved mystery after mystery. The SupremeS case, the Aya Asia case, the Histerrier case, the American case, the Kamikiri Hairdresser case, and even the Phantom Theif Sai case. She watched helplessly as her daughter rose to fame. She watched as her daughter made mistakes, embarrassed herself, and furthermore...she watched her daughter be used.

 It was clear to anyone who watched closely enough to know that it wasn’t Yako pulling the strings here. It was that assistant. Haruka had mixed emotions about him. He was the one that brought her out of her stupor, but this was the same man that kept harming her baby.

 It wasn’t hard to see. Yako would come home with bruises, blemishes, cuts, and sometimes burns. At first, she’d pass it off as detective work. Maybe she was extraordinarily clumsy that day? But it became harder to throw away as cases or as general clumsiness. She would come back worse on days in which she had no cases, she would have injuries that she couldn’t just write off as clumsiness. To say Haruka was frightened for her daughter was an understatement.

 Haruka imagined her worst nightmare to be Yako dying on a case. Yet it seemed like wherever she went, she was surrounded by people who would protect her. Yet all her close calls never ceased to make her worry. Sometimes she was glad to hear Yako just give her the gist of the story, rather than going into all the details. But there was no way to deny what was going on when she heard about the electronic drug case. She knew that her daughter was in danger whenever she solved a case, but never like this.

 Haruka could only pray that her daughter remained safe.

 Haruka thought the worse was over after the electronic drug case. She was right...for a while. Her daughter helped with a silly furniture case and she was glad to hear that a good friend of a policeman her daughter knew was coming to help with the Sai case.

 That is, until the flood came.

 Disasters hit their country like nothing before, and her daughter became unusually quiet. She wouldn’t discuss things and would have a forlorn look to her. Haruka always had herself open to discussion, but Yako wouldn’t cooperate. Haruka slowly accepted it. Though that didn’t make the sleepless nights come any less.

 It broke Haruka’s heart to see her baby cry, but there wasn’t much she could do or say. It wasn’t as if her daughter wasn’t exposed to death, but the death of someone close to her would undoubtedly bring back bad memories and bring new ones in. To make it worse, her daughter had actually seen the death of her friend occur right in front of her eyes.

 Then the suicide of that man she admired caused her daughter to come back in hysterics. Haruka tried her best to calm her daughter down, but she had limited success. After all, there was no way to understand how she felt. All she could do was hold and hope.

  Haruka could remember the exact day that her daughter came home, telling her that Neuro left. He left to return to where he came from. Yako stayed in the shadows for months, just getting by. It was easy to tell that she was depressed. But it happened suddenly, and Yako was back out there. This time, without her assistant. Haruka continued on with her life. The worry she felt for her daughter never went away, but nothing could stop her now. She had to let go sometime. Her daughter had caused her worry, pride, and an experience down the emotional spectrum. But most of all, she was proud that she had seen her innocent child turn into such a great young woman.