The “What if” Question

the what if question

For the first few years, at least, the Natsume household goes about its day to day life peacefully. The house is small, but it’s warm. Though his mother passed away soon after he was born, Takashi is happy living with his father. Throughout his childhood they often sit on the porch admiring the flowers his mother planted before she died; they bloom year after year, lighting up the garden with their color, a constant reminder of the love of the person they both lost. Sometimes he misses her presence, but keeps it to himself, silently treasuring the picture of his parents his father gave him.

As Takashi grows older, he starts taking greater notice of the small monsters that have been a constant part of his childhood. His father doesn’t doubt him when he tells him about them; if he does, he doesn’t let on. When Takashi goes to school, his father helps him learn to keep his ability a secret so he can try to live a normal school life; it’s not always easy, but Takashi is content with someone believing in what he sees.¬†Though his father worries when he sometimes sees Takashi come home with his clothes dirtied or when he startles at something only he can see, he always welcomes him back with a smile, no questions asked.¬†Eventually, Takashi’s father tells him Reiko, Takashi’s grandmother, and about her own ability to see what Takashi can. Sometimes, when he feels particularly alone, Takashi will think back to her, wishing that he had had the chance to meet the person who could understand him the most.

Despite his small bouts of loneliness, Takashi has learned kindness and is happy with the people he has come to know, friends and family alike. He doesn’t hate the monsters he sees and will sometimes try to help out the ones that approach him, though he’s also learned to be weary having been attacked more than once. He’s not the strongest person, so he lives his life quietly, treasuring the memories he makes with others, knowing that there may come a day where he won’t come home. He’s afraid of hurting those around if that day comes, but, until then, he’ll try to live happily and return the happiness he has been given.

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