Nightsky:Beginning Part I

14 May

夜空:Beginning Part I

The sky was dark but clear: a perfect night for stargazing.

The July air was surprisingly breezy and gentle for summer, and it provided some much needed reprieve to the sweltering heat of the day. Waves crashing against the shore were the only thing that disturbed the otherwise quiet atmosphere. At least it was until the excited chatter of children began filling the air.

“I can’t believe we’re actually gonna see a meteor!” It was the smaller of the three that spoke, voice laced with that exuberance only children could exhibit. Eyes wide in excitement, he was racing ahead of the older children, clearly the most enthusiastic of them all.

“Are you really that excited about it?” The older boy asked amusedly.

“Yeah! I really wanted to see it! Dad said it was gonna be awesome!”

The older boy just shook his head, knowing there was no way he could match his younger companion’s level of enthusiasm. “They’re just stars. You seem them every day in the sky,” he told the bouncing child dryly. He could not help the smile on his face however, at the prospect of watching shooting stars with the rest of his family. “But I guess it’s pretty cool to see meteors once in a while.”

“Right?” the brown-haired boy looked behind the taller blonde to see the girl trailing behind them, having been distracted by a lovely seashell on the ground. “Sis! Hurry up – we have to get to our lookout spot before the meteor shower starts!”

She rose at the exasperated tone in the boy’s voice, dusting off her pink sun dress and wearing a slight frown. “There’s no need to rush… Papa said it won’t start for another half hour, you know.”

Still! Let’s go, let’s go!”

The girl sighed, hands on her hips. “You don’t rush a lady!”

“But you’re not a lady! Haruka’s a lady, but you’re just a slowpoke!” the little boy declared. “Hey… maybe you can use that seashell to evolve!”

The effect was immediate – crimson eyes filled with tears and the offended child turned to the other boy for support. “He made fun of me! Tell him that was mean!”

“Ah… well what can I do? He’s just a little brat -“the blonde affectionately trapped the younger brunette in a headlock. “- he’ll go away if you ignore him, haha!”

“Quit it! I’m not a little kid! I’m eight, you know… Dad said I’m a ‘little man’ now!”

“Yeah. Little. And big boys don’t wet their beds after watching scary movies,” her tone was smug, all too happy to take revenge upon her troublesome little brother. “So I guess you’re just a brat.”

It was the little boy’s turn to scowl and sulk. “Shut up! I’m gonna tell Haruka and Dad you picked on me… she said she’ll take my side since it’s my birthday today!”

“Well I’ll tell her you were picking on girls! It’s my birthday too and she said she likes me the most, anyway.”

Actually, Haruka said I was her favorite because I don’t cause trouble like you two do,” the blonde interjected, grinning. “So I guess I win!”

“Huh?”

“How does that make sense?”

“I’m the oldest, so whatever I say goes, that’s all.”

The comment threw both of the younger children into a fit; but the blonde was all too used to the situation, merely laughing and ushering them on to their ‘secret’ lookout spot that overlooked the ocean.

It was quite a bit breezier, the wind mixing with the salty smell of the ocean. The sky seemed vast and never-ending to the three children and the stars reflected off the water’s surface looked more like dancing fireflies.

“It’s so pretty!” the girl exclaimed, eyes wide and doing a full turn to see all of the night sky. “Doesn’t it? Doesn’t it?”

“Where’s Dad with the telescope?” the youngest one complained, dashing to the edge of the woods and back anxiously. “We can’t see them without it!”

“It’s a meteor shower… you won’t need it.”

Thankfully, to save the high-strung boy’s poor nerves, two adults emerged from the woods with amused smiles on their faces.

“I could hear you all the way from the middle of the trail, little man. Looking for this?” the man inquired with a languid grin, holding up the hefty case he was holding.

His son immediately raced over with a large grin that showcased his missing teeth. “Alright! Now we can watch!”

“You’re really excited, aren’t you?” the woman – considerably younger than the man beside her – asked the little boy, ruffling his hair affectionately.

“Duh! It’s gonna look so cool! Right, Big Bro?!” the boy tackled his older brother and latched onto his waist.

“Haha! I sure hope so!”

The older woman walked over to the little girl, holding up the picnic basket. “Want to help me set this up while the boys help your father put together the telescope?” she suggested. Leaning down, she lowered her voice a little so the three males could not hear what she said next. “We can eat the cupcakes while they’re distracted!”

“Oh, can we, Mama, can we?!”

It was a word that should not have been surprising, but was. The little girl’s exclamation plunged the little family into complete silence; the father looked up in shock, the tripod falling from his hand. The boys understandably looked a little less surprised – after all, at seven and ten, it was hard to grasp the concept of ‘remarriage’ and ‘stepmother’ properly.

The little girl seemed to have realized what she said, eyes widening and hands flying to her mouth. Panicked by the sudden silence and afraid she had made a mistake, she looked between her father and the woman in front of her with teary eyes. “Was I not supposed to call her Mama, Papa?”

“N-No!” It was an instinctual response, and one he meant with all his heart. “O-Of course you can, Princess! T-That is, i-if she doesn’t mind…”

She looked to the brown-haired woman next. “C-Can I call you Mama?”

“O-Of course!” the older woman blurted out, face lighting up in delight. She knelt down and took the little girl’s hands in hers in gratitude. “Thank you!”

“What for?” The pink-haired girl was trifle confused now, wondering why her father’s new wife looked so happy all of a sudden. Did being called ‘Mama’ mean that much to her? “I don’t understand…”

She laughed and pulled back. “Maybe you’ll understand when you’re older,” she said with a wink. “Now, how about those cupcakes, hmm?”

“Hey! You weren’t gonna eat them all by yourselves now, were you?” the father demanded in mock indignation. “That’s not fair, girls!”

“Yeah! No fair! Give us some, too!” the youngest child cried, abandoning his father and older brother to rush over to the picnic blanket the women were setting up. “Don’t be a pig, Sis!”

Mama! He made fun of me!”

“It’s my birthday! I can do whatever I want!”

“It’s my birthday too, you bed-wetter!”

“Aren’t they lively?” the bespectacled man chuckled as he put together the telescope. “I sure hope they’re not that loud when they grow up, though.”

“We’re all gonna be deaf before they even turn ten,” the oldest child agreed, dutifully helping his father like a responsible son.

“I’m nearly blind already… I don’t need hearing aids on top of that!”

“You’re just old… Dad.”

The father’s laughter was hearty, and he ruffled the ten-year-old’s hair with a grin. “I’m still better-looking than you, big man!”

“Haruka says it’s immature to compare yourself to little kids,” the son returned with the same grin.

“That woman… what has she been telling my kids while I haven’t been around?” it was spoken in jest, complete with an accompanying smile. “Now… since we’ve got this thing set up, why don’t we go and eat some cupcakes before the twin pigs eat them all up?”

“I’m not a pig!” the brown-haired boy declared indignantly, chocolate crumbs painting a messy picture on his face.

“Idiot, the cake on your face says different!” the blonde plopped down beside his siblings, reaching for a misshapen cupcake with bright pink icing. “What’s this?”

“I made it just for you, Big Brother!” the pink-haired girl declared proudly. “See? There’s even extra sprinkles!”

“Aw, you don’t have anything for your father?”

“Oh, well… you can ask Mama! I can’t make cupcakes for everybody, Papa!”

“I’m hurt, Princess! I thought I was your favorite!”

“You are! But – oh!” she stopped mid-sentence and rushed over to where the telescope was, near the edge of the cliff. “Look!”

The rest of the family gazed up just as a slew of shooting stars streaked across the sky, leaving behind glittering trails. Gasps erupted from the awed children and the parents simply exchanged quaint smiles.

“It’s so cool!” the youngest boy cried, joining his sister.

“When we see shooting stars, we’re supposed to make a wish,” the oldest boy told his two younger siblings with a grin. “Let’s make one!”

The little girl tilted her head to the side as she gazed up at the sky, now alight with the many stars that journeyed across it. After a moment, she said with a smile, “I wish we can stay like this forever!” She looked back towards her two brothers. “As a family!”

“Ugh, Sis! That’s so lame!” the younger brother rolled his eyes. “And you’re not supposed to say your wish aloud… now it’s never gonna come true!”

“That’s not true! Right, Big Brother?”

Never been the one to refuse his younger siblings anything, the soft-hearted older brother smiled. “I’m sure it’ll come true! And I wish we can stay forever like this, too.”

“Now you’re the odd one out!” the girl declaimed smugly.

“No fair! Fine then… I’ll wish for the same thing! I wish we can always be like this!”

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