Cultural Note:Japanese students go to school on Saturdays every second week, from 8:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Disclaimer: Ownership of Inuyasha does not fall to me.
Author's Note: I must thank, and then thank Wendy again, for her wonderful beta work. Really, she's amazing.
Another odd one-shot – these seem to be becoming quite common, as of late, eh?
It is Sunday, and Souta sleeps in later than usual and is woken by Mama. Eggs for breakfast, she says to him, smiling.
Souta sits down to eat with Mama and Jii-chan, and he tells Mama the eggs are delicious, but does not say that Nee-chan's were better, the ones she made the last time she was here.
And Souta goes to play Nintendo and later there is homework, and before bedtime it is bath time, but he stays in longer than he should, and comes out wrinkly.
It is Monday, and Souta walks to the bus stop alone, his yellow lunch box in his hand, swinging back and forth, back and forth, as he walks.
He drops his yen in the coin collector as he steps on the bus, nodding at the driver and taking a seat, yellow lunch box sitting in his lap. Beside him sits down an old woman, and in her lap is her walking cane.
Good morning, Souta says, and the old woman smiles with crooked bottom teeth that Souta just barely notices.
At her stop, Souta helps her stand, and hands her her walking cane.
And now it is evening, and Souta rides the bus home alone, no older woman with crooked bottom teeth or walking cane to sit beside him.
It is Tuesday, and Souta cannot find his shoes. He misses the bus even though he runs, yellow lunch box swinging as he pumps his arms, back and forth, back and forth, but so fast. He sees the bus leave, and he waves, but the driver doesn't see him.
Souta wonders if the old lady with the crooked bottom teeth and walking cane was on the bus. Souta catches another bus and is late for school.
Now he walks home with slumped shoulders, his lunch box swinging back and forth, back and forth.
It is Wednesday, and today Souta is early and on time, sitting down with his yellow lunch box in his lap, but today there is no old lady with crooked bottom teeth or a walking cane, but a man in a black suit and tie.
Souta does not say good morning to this man.
And at lunch Souta is in detention, writing lines, over and over and over: I will be on time for class. I will be on time for class.
On the bus this evening, he rides home with a friend, talking happily with many hand gestures of Nintendo games, and his friend tells Souta a joke that makes him laugh.
It is Thursday, and Souta is late to wake up, and he has to rush down the stairs but trips, falls on his face and begins to cry. But now Mama is here and is all smiles and reassurances, but Souta walks to the bus stop with tissues in his pocket.
And when Souta walks into the classroom this morning, he hands the teacher Mama's note before any detentions can be given. Souta sits down smiling.
But this evening that smile is gone, and the heavy book bag makes Souta's shoulders ache, his yellow lunch box annoying and in the way when he tries to adjust it.
It is Friday and Souta is so tired, but he walks to the bus stop with yellow lunch box in hand, swinging back and forth, back and forth.
On the bus this morning he stares out the window and does not notice the person who sits down next to him, and the world flashes by, but he doesn't seem to notice it.
And now Souta walks home, climbing up the many steps, book bag much lighter this evening. At the top Souta stops to sigh, thinking it is just another day.
It is Saturday, and Souta rushes to his window in the early dark of morning, hands pressed to glass, eyes squinting to see.
And Souta sees Nee-chan walk home, hating how she looks so tired, weary, worn, stumbling through the doorway, and Souta rushes to his door to crouch and listen, hear her heavy step, step, step, step until she is upstairs, and he does not go back to bed until her door is shut.
Later, Souta walks to the bus stop with Nee-chan, his yellow lunch box bouncing back and forth, back and forth, and he tells Nee-chan the joke he learned on Wednesday, and is so proud when she laughs.
On the bus Souta sits with Nee-chan, but he does not talk with her because she closes her eyes and tries to sleep.
And Souta gets off the bus first, waves goodbye to Nee-chan and walks to school.
Now it is afternoon and Souta walks to the bus stop and waits for Nee-chan, feet tap-tapping as he waits on the bench, reading the manga he brought in his book bag today.
Nee-chan is here almost twenty minutes later, and on the bus she sits with Souta again, and Souta is so happy to tell her about his day and his week, and Nee-chan smiles and says that's nice, and Souta smiles back.
Souta walks home with Nee-chan, not all by himself today, and he skips beside her, so excited, yellow lunch box bouncing and swinging, back and forth, up and down.
And Nee-chan smiles again, and Souta is so happy, because now she is home.
Tonight, Souta lies awake in bed and counts down the minutes to tomorrow, watches them tick-ticking away on his clock.
And he waits for it, for Saturday to turn over to Sunday, holding today as closely as possible, wishing that when he wakes up it will be Saturday again, and she will be here and not there, so that he can replay it over and over so that the day when she will leave again will never come.
Souta waits, eyes wide-awake and sleepless, wondering if he were to turn all the clocks back in the house if it would rewind time.
Souta counts, holding today tighter and tighter.
The clock turns to midnight, and it is Sunday, a week come and gone and another starting all over again.
Souta rolls over in bed, and holds yesterday as close as he can.