When I was still a brat in elementary school, carrying a backpack bigger than I was, I had indeed said back then that “I must have been born in this world by mistake, and I should have been born in a different world instead.”
But really, that was just the delusion of a kid. It was a popular manga and anime setting back then, that’s why I’d gotten really into it as well. Because I was also bullied a bit at the orphanage I grew up in, that’s why I had wanted to escape from reality.
I had felt like I shouldn’t have been born in this world, and I should have been born in a happier and more fortunate world instead.
It was just a childish dream. Or should have been.
In the first place, me thinking that “I was born in this world by mistake” was because I didn’t have any parents. I was left in front of an orphanage as a baby, so the orphanage took me in. Apparently my girlish sounding name, Seiren, was stitched into the clothes I was wearing as a baby.
Also, I guess it was supposed to be a protective charm of some sort, but I had a baby ring come with me on my finger? It’s a ring with a blue stone embedded in it. Since it’s too small for me now, I wear it around my neck in a handmade pouch. ……I made it myself, is that wrong? I’m good at sewing my clothes and patching up my shoes, this is nothing to me.
Oh, the orphanage director gave me his last name of Shikino. That way, to others it would seem like I was Director Touya Shikino’s son, Seiren, I think. Well, I don’t really know why though.
And, I’ve stayed here at the orphanage and I’m currently 18. I didn’t really have to worry too much about money issues, and I went to ordinary elementary and middle schools and graduated with average grades. The director took care of my needs, and other than that I don’t remember much else. I pretty much didn’t have any friends at school, nor did I participate in any club activities. With my free time I just worked part time jobs, to save up some money for myself. I figured that after I graduated high school, I would continue working at the nearby factory that I’m currently working at part-time, and make a living like that.
Since the orphanage director had treated me so well like I was his actual son, I wanted to pay him back someday.
“Alright, Seiren. I’m going to go back first and prepare for your graduation party, so you should come back without taking any detours today.”
“Got it, director. I don’t have anywhere else I need to go today.”
After taking a commemorative photograph of me for my graduation ceremony, the director patted my head. His hair is completely white now, and his wrinkles make him look older than he actually is, but he’s only in his upper 50’s right now. He also looks beefy and has wide shoulders, and I’m envious of that as I’m slenderly built and have a girlish face.
Because of my face, I was bullied a bit in school as well, but because the director always told me to pay them no mind, I was able to keep doing my best. Although, since I have some strength for my size, I couldn’t help but get angry and fight back a few times as well.
Even though I’m half a head taller now than the director, I’ll always see myself as his son. I don’t think anything will ever change that.
“Ah, but since it would be bad if you came back before the preparations are ready, go ahead and take your time coming home.”
“Ohh, thanks for letting me know. Otherwise, I would have rushed back eagerly!”
The director slapped me on my back with a hearty laugh as he hurriedly left on his bike. I waved my hand at him as I watched him leave. I watched him until he disappeared around the corner, before I started walking back to the orphanage as well.
I stopped at an intersection about five minutes away from the orphanage on my way there. I bought some hot cocoa from a vending machine, and took a little break.
Although I think it’s slightly girlish, I think that sweet things are able to calm my mind. It’s not like I really love sweet things or anything like that. I mean, foods like chocolate and cakes, are supposed to be good for the brain, right?
After I finished drinking it, I threw the can away in a recycling bin. I started walking leisurely again as the can rattled in the metallic bin. Like the director said, I’ll give them enough time to prepare the party for me, so I’ll walk back slowly.
I imagined the brats at the orphanage preparing for a party all sparkly-eyed and squealing. I remember that I helped prepare parties for the older boys and girls when they graduated as well. …… But, I don’t really speak to anyone there much, other than the director.
Normally it’s a 15 minute walk for me from high school to my home, the orphanage, but this time I took 20 minutes. At the entrance, I heard bustling voices. Since everyone will get to eat a lot of good food at my graduation party, I bet they’re all looking forward to it.
Alright, they’re probably ready, so let’s go in.
I raised my voice, and opened the slightly heavy door.
Suddenly, everything was spinning around me. The moment I let go of the door, it felt like I had no strength in my body, and I was teetering. Uh oh, this is bad, I can barely stand.
I tried to catch myself against the door, but my hand slipped right through it. It’s as if it was just an illusion.
In the distance, I could hear the director calling for me, as I disappeared from that location.
“Master, Madam, it has succeeded.”
I suddenly heard an old man’s voice coming from above me, and I shouted out in surprise with an “eh!?” Oh, my dizziness is gone.
Then, I noticed my surroundings.
I seem to be in a really large room for some reason. At least I think so, because I seem to be sitting on a really plush carpet, and the light from above me is coming from a chandelier rather than the sun.
No wait, I should have been at the entrance to the orphanage? Then, why would I be in the middle of a place like this?
“I finally get to see you again! Ohh, my cute daughter!”
Besides, what’s with all this? Why is this old lady I don’t even know suddenly hugging me?
Come to think of it, did she just say daughter?
I’m a guy…… but, I feel something strange on my chest.
There seems to be some sort of cushion stuck between my chest and the old lady’s chest while she was hugging me. No wait, it’s not a cushion, this, is.
Why, do I have boobs!?