"Hey—you said that you wanted a little sister, right?"
The night of a certain day near the middle of summer vacation. Toujou Basara heard his father say that so resolutely. It was during their dinner—just as Basara stood up to get a second serving of curry.
"I didn't say that. Did the spice get into a bad place of your brain?"
Basara said so wearily over his back, then opened the lid of the rice-cooker.
"Such a weak reaction...it's a little sister, you know, a little sister. It's something guys want so bad that they start drooling."
"I'm afraid that a little sister doesn't fill my stomach."
Like he would go along with his father's antics. He had a great appetite. The stomach of a high school boy wasn't to be underestimated. Once he finished loading his plate with the rice, Basara moved in front of the pot with the curry on the stove. He poured the substantial sauce over his rice, then returned to his own seat.
"Huh? Where are the pickled vegetables?"
The bottle filled with the curry's relish had disappeared from atop the table. In front of him, his father that sat across of him held the bottle with the pickled vegetables in one hand and said with a triumphant look on his face,
"Hey, let's talk a bit more enthusiastically about a little sister."
He showed a smirk. Basara made a sigh of resignation and looked at his own father—Toujou Jin. That father at a good age, tried to discuss the merits of a little sister with his son over dinner. Putting it into words was quite painful. He felt a slight killing urge.
"Enthusiastic...actually, did I really say I wanted a little sister?"
"What...you don't remember?"
Jin said astonished.
"You said 'I want a little sister', which sounded like a light novel title, with sparkles in your eyes—about ten years ago."
"Like I would remember that!"
Ten years ago, Basara was still 5 years old. Without a doubt, it had only been childish nonsense. However, Jin put up a hand with "Calm down".
"A little sister is nice, cute, kind and soft. She'll wake you up in the mornings."
"Well, that might be..."
"Yeah. Besides—you can do all the perverted stuff you want."
"Don't tempt your son into crimes! Actually, it would be scary instead if there was such a little sister!"
Such a little sister only existed in 2-D.
"What's up with you, dad...? You wanted to talk about a little sister that's likely to fall under the metropolitan regulation that bad?"
"I wasn't really talking about fiction. Though the perverted stuff was certainly a joke."
Jin forwarded the bottle with pickled vegetables by sliding it over the table.
"Well, in short, what I want to say is: Do you like or hate a little sister?"
"What kind of survey is this? Well...a little sister from a drama or manga aside, I heard that a real little sister isn't all that great. Like they're cheeky and crude."
"Then, in other words, you would be fine with a cute little sister."
"Well... Guess so. —Actually, where are these questions leading to here?"
On Basara's words, Jin replied shortly with, "Yeah, well", then showed a suggestive smile. And then, he spoke the words that would change Toujou Basara's fate.
"Aren't you glad—to get a cute, little sister?"
Blue, wherever you looked. That was the colour of the sky on that day. The weather was nice. The cicadas were chirping like a scream of the heat, as the temperature reached a new record high in history. It was an early afternoon in midsummer. Basara had come to a family restaurant in front of the station with Jin.
"I mean, seriously...?"
Toujou Basara mumbled in a still doubtful tone.
—Last night, Jin brought up the topic of a little sister. That was a flag for his second marriage. Because he had picked, "If it's a cute little sister, I like her," from the choices, they came to meet her right away today.
"Stop sulking... When I called them, they said they wanted to meet and greet you as soon as possible. Besides, I asked you if today would be fine with you."
Certainly. Basara had told Jin, who had asked with his cell phone in one hand, "I don't mind," as he still couldn't comprehend the situation and was going with the flow. However, after taking counsel with his pillow, he ought to think about it once more after all. Jin getting remarried meant that Basara would get a new family. And not just a little sister, but he might also get a mother.