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Right after I left the dream world, I woke up naturally. That was the good thing about waking up after having an ‘adventure’ in the dream world.
As soon as I woke up, I was overcome by a mixed feeling after digesting what happened when I saw Mother as Reinst.
And quickly following that, I felt something wet falling from my eyes.
My tears were falling even before I finished processing my own feelings.
It’s true that your body is more honest than yourself, huh?
Aaah, I see.
I actually felt sadness the most.
The impact I received to my subconsciousness seemed to be greater than what I was aware of it.
Thankfully, the tears didn’t continue to fall. I quickly wiped the trail of tears on my face and wiped my eyes so that my blurry vision became clearer.
As the field of my vision grew clearer, I saw Freyja’s sleeping face immediately. Apparently, while I was sleeping, I turned to Freyja’s side.
Then, next to Freyja, I saw Freyr, Alt-nii, and Dad. Apparently, they were all still sleeping.
I softly smiled looking at this harmonious sight before me. This was my family. The treasure I was lucky to have in this life.
When I turned around to the other side, I saw Mom who was also asleep.
I continued to stare at her as everything felt surreal.
Just a few moments ago, I was still Reinst, speaking with Mother with tension and emptiness after receiving her answer. And now, I was staring at Mom who was sleeping right next to me, as Lyra.
Mom was so close to me and I could hug her anytime and she would hug me back in return. She was the mother I dreamt I could have and now, I really have a mother like her.
There is no medicine for regrets. Lingering in regrets won’t get you anywhere.
Therefore, instead of agonizing over the fact that I wasn’t loved the way I wanted to—as Reinst—, it would be much better for me to close that chapter of my life and be thankful for what I have as Lyra.
A smile formed on my face in no time.
Suddenly, Mother opened her eyes and as a result, she stared straight into my eyes. I almost jumped out in surprise because I totally didn’t expect it to happen!
“Good morning, Lyra. You’re awake so early, that’s rare. Did you have a nightmare?” Mom asked with a low voice as she didn’t want to wake up the others.
“Morning, Mom. Mm, yeah, but I forgot what it’s about,” I lied as naturally as I could.
“Well, since you’re already awake… Why don’t we just wake the others up? It’s about time. You guys have school today, right?” Mom said as she sat up.
I nodded and sat up too.
“Freyja, wake up…,” I started to try waking Freyja up gently.
“Mmm…,” Freyja didn’t seem to wake up, she just moved in her sleep.
Meanwhile, Mom went to wake Father up so that we had an extra hand in waking people up.
It made me think that maybe it was better for me to wake Alt-nii up first, but by the time I came to that realization, Dad was already trying to wake Alt-nii, who soon woke up.
And then, the rest of us were trying to wake the twins, who were the hardest to wake up. It was natural as they were still small children.
Thus, our nice family time ended. It was such a great family time as it helped me cope with the feeling of loss after confirming the truth from my own parents in my previous lifetime.
That afternoon, during the school break…
Briar jumped to me and clung to me as soon as she saw me. Just the usual thing, but when I saw Briar today, I remembered something.
Though my condition as Reinst was still considered better than Briar’s situation, but Briar had a family who didn’t seem to favor her at all too.
Yet, I never saw Briar trying so hard to win their favor. She didn’t seem to be sad about it since I never really heard her venting about it to me at all.
“W-what is it, Aneki?”
I seemed to stare silently to Briar’s face for too long that Briar actually asked me.
“Uhm…,” I wasn’t sure how to start it. It seemed to be a heavy and sensitive topic.
“Hm?” Briar’s questioning look was still locked on me, so I said, ‘Screw it!’ inside my mind and I decided to ask her.
“Briar, can I ask you questions… about your family?”
As expected, Briar was surprised at this unexpected question.
But she kindly answered, “Sure, ask away!”
“If you don’t want to answer the question, it’s also okay for you to not answer it, okay?” I told her this precaution just in case.
Briar nodded, “No worries.”
“Uhm so… I know that you have an older sister and that your relationship with your parents isn’t really a good one. Has it always been like that?”
Briar’s usual energetic and upbeat voice turned calmed as she told me her story.
“For as long as I can remember, yes. You know, Aneki? My parents actually don’t need me at all. They already have my older sister, the perfect child of their dreams and the perfect heir to the family. My existence wasn’t planned at all,” Briar said as a preface.
As she said such a sad thing, Briar’s voice didn’t choke or waver at all. Her voice was really calm, as if she was just telling a story about another person, and not her.
For some reason, that just made me sadder than if she were telling all this with a hint of sadness.
“How do you know that?” I asked.
It could be her assumption, after all.
“My parents always told me about it. About how I was born unplanned. And about how they actually didn’t need another child but still gave birth to me, so I should be thankful to them for bringing me to this world despite all that,” Briar said with her eyes cast to the ground.
I reflexively brought my hands to cover my mouth.
It was really surprising.
They actually said such a thing to Briar?!
“That’s what they kept telling me ever since I was a child. So I would behave. Sadly, it didn’t work out,” Briar added.
“What?!” I was so surprised I couldn’t hold my voice.
What kind of parents would tell that to a child…?!
That would just make the child feel more unwanted instead of actually making them feel grateful to their parents!!!
“Anyway… At first, I was a good kid who tried my best so my parents would notice me. Yes, at first, they didn’t pay me any attention because all of their attention was focused to my sister. No matter how hard I tried, they never looked my way. So I just stopped,” Briar said.
“But did you stop caring?” I asked.
“I didn’t at first. That’s why I caused lots of troubles. Because only then would my parents look at me. Despite being scolded and being told the harsh truth from them because I caused troubles, I kept at it. I got into fights with my classmates when I was in Basic Level,” Briar narrated.
“Whoa, fights, too?”
“Yeah, but I never regretted them at all, despite getting hurt and being scolded by my parents and the adults instead. Due to it, I met with Valerie and Dmitria.”
“Valerie and Dmitria were bullied back in the days because not many would believe that they were twins. I happened to pick a fight with their bullies because I disliked their ways. And the rest is history.”
Is that why Dmitria and Valerie thought of Briar as their ‘boss’?
“Being close to them and seeing how close they are with their parents caused me to envy them and there was a time where I distanced myself from them and caused more troubles at school. Pranks, and so on. But then, the twins still followed me and were great friends to me… Looking back at it, they are more of a family than my own blood family,” Briar recounted as she looked at the twins who were near us.
“I am also close to their parents and they didn’t even ask the twins to put some distance with me as I was a trouble kid. They let the twins be friends with me and they also welcomed me. I really, really am thankful to have them in my life. I’d rather consider them my family, though not related by blood,” Briar added.
Family though not related by blood.
There’s this saying about how blood is thicker than water. But that saying has another version, right?
“The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb”.
And the meaning of that saying was that the bonds that you made by choice were more important than the people that we were bound to by blood!
I guess the past me was too focused on wanting to have a ‘blood is thicker than water’ kind of a family.
So much that I ignored the others.
Just like the case with Briar, not all family are loving. Not all parents are loving towards all of their children. There are parents who are estranged from their children. It depends on our fate and luck.
But just like Briar, we shouldn’t be too focused on them, especially if we can find our ‘family’ that we made by choice.
If only back then when I was still Reinst, I had this mindset and opened my heart to the others, would I have had a happier life and had my own family by choice?
Perhaps that could have had happened.
But there’s no use thinking about that now.
Now, I am blessed with what I wanted. The ‘blood is thicker than water’ family.
And I have to treasure them as Lyra.
I hugged Briar and said, “And now, you have more friends. I’m right there too if you need anything.”
Briar’s body stiffened for a moment before she squealed.
“Aaaaaah, Aneki is hugging me! Aneki is being lovey dovey with meeee!!”
Her fangirling squeal was so loud that the others actually stopped what they were doing to look at us. By the time their eyes were on us, Briar was seen hugging me very tightly that I was almost squeezed to death by her.
“Briar, you’re killing Aneki!” Valerie warned Briar.
“Aaah, I’m sorry, Aneki!” Briar quickly let go off my body and checked on me. But when she checked on me, she shook my body and that just made me dizzier…
Upon this realization thanks to Briar’s story, I felt lighter.
I believe that I am no longer as chained to the past as before.
Though for now I can’t fully toss my entire past life as Reinst away since there’s still a question that’s left answered about it, everything seems to be good for now.
I wonder when I will find out the answer to the one and only question I still have in relation to my past life as Reinst?
About why I had to be born as Reinst first?
I hope I can come to learn about it soon.
I hope my life as Reinst wasn’t just a waste of time.
But even if I can’t understand it now, maybe eventually, I will.
What’s important now is how I need to focus on my life as Lyra!!
Yosh, do your best, Lyra!!!