“Nao-kun, shall we sleep together tonight?”
Inaho slipped into bed, clutching a single pillow the same way younger kids at the Home did.
Never turn off the orange light we use every day was Yuki and Inaho’s tacit rule.
“Today was a busy day, huh,” she remarked.
“Yuki-nee, your feet are cold.”
“Girls are sensitive to cold, you know.”
“You can use my blanket. I prefer the feel of my futon cover more than a blanket cover, so I always kick the blanket to my feet.”
“Huh, really? Did you do that back at the Home too?”
She had no idea. Even though they’d always slept in the same room, she had never found out until this precise moment—what a shock.
“Of course you wouldn’t know. I never told anyone.”
“Yuki-nee, it’s probably normal for there to be things even your family doesn’t know.”
“It’s true.” He paused. “I mean, I don’t know Yuki-nee’s weight.”
“Girls won’t like you if you say things like that.”
When her brother started snoring, Yuki played with his hair.
In the end, they might not have been able to see the birds at the sea, but if Inaho had something to remember, then she was more than satisfied.
Before she fell asleep, a hazy image came to mind.
Pure white birds crossing pure white clouds.
That was what Inaho’s heart felt like to Yuki—a bird in a cloudy sky, invisible to the untrained eye. Once you did see it, though, you would never miss it again.
“I wonder… I wonder if one day Nao-kun will watch the birds with someone special…”
I wish for that person to make my little brother happy…
As that tiny wish swirled in her mind, Yuki closed her eyes.