The next morning, we were in front of Kaho’s house.
It was Amane-nee-san’s suggestion.
After all, the suspicion of blood relationship between me and Kaho could not be solved without asking her mother, Akiho-san.
That is what Amane-nee-san said.
It was a sound argument, but neither I nor Kaho had the courage to ask.
The Sasaki house is quite a magnificent home.
It is a large Japanese house with a garden, though not as large as Tomi’s mansion.
The gate was an old-fashioned brown color.
The building next door was a modern building made of concrete, and it was a large hospital called the Sasaki General Clinic.
Akiho-san is the director of the clinic.
The Sasaki family has always been a family of medical professionals, with Kaho’s father, Shinichi Sasaki, also a doctor, and his wife, Akiho, a doctor herself.
“Well, let’s go in.”
Amane-nee-san calmly rang the chime beside the gate.
In this small town, we all knew each other.
I knew Akiho-san and her family, and Amane-nee-san was also close to Akiho-san.
After a while, Akiho-san showed up.
I told her in advance that we were going to visit her.
“It’s been a while, Haruto-kun. And you, too, Amane. Have you come back from overseas? I’m so glad you came.”
Akiho-san smiled beautifully.
She was still in her late thirties and was a beautiful woman who looked like a grown-up version of Kaho.
Her long black hair was neatly tied up and she wore elegant clothes in the manner typical of a widow of a prestigious family.
“I’m sorry it’s been so long.”
Amane-nee-san also answered happily.
I remember that the two of them had been close for a long time, more than just because of our family relationship.
Akiho, who lost her husband, and Amane-nee-san, who lost her parents, may have found something in common with each other.
“That’s right. I was so surprised when Kaho suddenly said she was going to sleep over at Haruto-kun’s house.”
Kaho looked at her with a startled look on her face.
I had talked to Akiho-san on the phone beforehand, so I thought it was okay, but when I asked her again, she said that she had not given her proper consent after all.
Well, even though we are childhood friends, she would not actively agree for Kaho to stay at a guy’s home.
Kaho was dissatisfied with the idea.
“Mother doesn’t like me and Haruto getting along, does she?”
“No? Not at all.”
“That’s a lie. Mother didn’t look happy when I went to see Haruto recently.”
That’s new news to me.
But if Kaho is my sister, it’s not surprising that her mother would be opposed to me being with her.
This would also be circumstantial evidence of my suspicions of a blood relationship between Kaho and me.
“The reason why mother was against me and Haruto getting together is because…”
Then Kaho hesitated.
She was probably afraid to ask.
However, Amane-nee-san quickly asked.
“Did you have an affair with Uncle Kazuya, Akiho-san? Is Kaho’s real father Uncle Kazuya?”
Akiho-san’s eyes widened.
“Who told you that?”
”It was Fuyuka-san, Akiho-san’s sister-in-law.”
Hearing this, Akiho looked up to the heavens and sighed heavily.
Then, she looked at me and Kaho.
“So that’s why Kaho has been acting strange lately.”
I unintentionally prompted Akiho-san to answer.
She looked straight at me with her beautiful eyes.
“I suppose it wouldn’t help if I lied to you. I bet you won’t be convinced. The answer is only half true.”
“Yes. I thought it would be a shock to Kaho, so I kept quiet about it… Actually…”
She was painfully silent, and then finally opened her mouth again.
“I’ve always liked your father … Kazuya. You know that Kazuya and I were childhood friends, right?”
“We even dated in high school.”
That’s new to me.
I’ve never heard that from my dad.
“But I was dumped. He said he found someone he liked better than me. That was your mother.”
“So that’s how it was.”
“I finally gave up and married Shinichi, but he died in an accident. Leaving me and Kaho behind. Whenever I see Kaho, I remember Shinichi-san and it makes me bitter. So I thought. I thought, ‘I’m going to raise Kaho as if she were my and Kazuya’s child’.”
Both Kaho and I froze.
What did she mean by that?
“Kazuya was kind to me after I lost my husband. But it was only kindness as a childhood friend and as a friend. It may sound childish, but I didn’t like it. So I had a fantasy that suited me. I don’t know if I would have done it now, but at the time it was really hard for me.”
“But then, why did Fuyuka-san say that Kaho was my father’s child?”
If the story is nothing more than Akiho-san’s personal desire, why is it coming out of Fuyuka-san’s mouth?
“When Kaho was small, there was a lot of pressure from the Sasaki family to hand her over to them, especially from Shinichi’s parents. So the best way to solve it was to spread a rumor to the Sasaki family that she was not Shinichi’s child. Of course, I didn’t name Kazuya, but Fuyuka must have done her own research and found the name of a man who was close to me at the time.”
The story is complicated, but I am beginning to understand it.
Could it be Fuyuka-san’s misunderstanding?
“I never intended to oppose Kaho becoming friends with Haruto-kun. But when I look at you guys now, it’s like looking at the old me and Kazuya, and I’m scared. I was afraid that one day Kaho would be rejected like me and get hurt. So maybe that’s why I subconsciously let that kind of thing show on my face. I’m sorry.”
Both Kaho and I fell silent.
She and my father had been childhood friends.
The relationship between the two may have been similar to the one we have now.
Amane-nee-san clapped her hands.
“One last thing. What blood type?”
“Oh. So Shinichi was type O and Kaho is type AB. That’s because…”
“That’s because Akiho-san is type CisAB, isn’t it? Am I wrong?”
A little surprised look came to Akiho-san’s face.
Then, as if impressed, she said.
“You are indeed a brilliant person who went to an American university. You know a lot of things, don’t you?”
“If both A and B genes are carried on the same chromosome, a child with type AB is born even if one parent is type O. That is the CisAB blood type. As a doctor, I am sure that you know this.”
“Yeah… I was going to tell you when Kaho got older and got married. But i should have told her earlier if it was going to come to this.”
Akiho-san’s eyes clouded over apologetically.
But now all the problems are solved.
Both my father and Akiho-san denied the allegations of infidelity, and there was no more reason to doubt the blood relationship between me and Kaho.
Amane-nee-san said in a lively voice.
“Hey, Haruto-kun. With a little courage and knowledge, the problems can be quickly solved, can’t they?”
“Why were you so confident that Kaho and I were not related?”
“One reason is that I had heard many stories about the past from Uncle Kazuya and Akiho-san. I am older than you guys. So I had a general idea of what to expect. For another, I trusted Uncle Kazuya.”
Kaho, on the other hand, was stunned for a while, but eventually came to her senses and smiled with genuine happiness.
“I see. I’m not Haruto’s sister.”
“That might be a little disappointing.”
“But if I’m not Haruto’s sister, then what am I supposed to be to him?”
“I want to be … Haruto’s girlfriend.”
Kaho said quietly, her cheeks tinted.