Posted July 14, 2024 at 12:00 pm

"But now I see I got overexcited."

"No, Shinobu--" Yoshi sighed. "I AM happy for you, really. Your study is going to be great. Only..."

She paused for a moment. The photo was now resting face-down on her chest, her hands linked loosely over it.

"I don't remember my mother very much anymore, you know?" she murmured finally. "And I know you've always said she loved me, and that she didn't leave me on purpose...but it still hurts, no matter what the reason was."

"Of course," Shinobu agreed, almost embarrassed. "Of course. I should know this."

The long-ago version of herself that had sat at the end of the farm watching Michi leave DID know this, after all.

"You just did not think about it," Yoshi said, not in an accusatory way, just as a statement. But Shinobu shifted her great head around on her crossed paws, and turned her muzzle towards Yoshi.

"I did not think you would feel so strongly about it," she replied. "Truly."

"...You didn't think I would miss you?"

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