Mogami Saena was a professional. She worked in the business sphere and had precious little time for trivial pursuits of her own, much less those of a small child.
Her work required travel, long hours and dedication to the pursuit of perfection. Her reports were flawless, her presentations the talk of the office. Even so, an executive she would never be. She did not have the required education. Though she possessed the skills in a practical nature, on paper she would never be more than a middle school graduate from a rural setting.
Her failure was due to her own carelessness. Young, she'd thought herself in love with a man who made promises he never intended to keep. This man was reckless, with a mind full of ridiculous ideas on how life should be lived. It was his determination to follow an unbeaten path that led to his demise.
Saena remembered those days with scorn. If he had been conscious of reality, rather than remaining purposely blind, if she had done the same, she could have lived a grander life. She'd always had ambition and the fortitude to follow her desires, however, young as she'd been, her goals were of an immediate nature. She'd chosen to chase a romance with a handsome gypsy who followed no laws but those of his heart.
In his eyes a child was little more than cause for excitement. Still, Saena had thought he might grow to be a good father; surely, when faced with the realness of a new existence, the energy he put into his impractical dreams would shift toward safer, reasonable thoughts on things like apartments and grocery money.
Not so. Though he was overjoyed to see that the new person, though tiny, was nearly his mirror image he found no reason to change his ways. A harmless, compulsive fool he would always be.
She loved him anyway. His time spent roaming the streets, taking occasional odd jobs and playing guitar by the side of the road were symptoms of true greatness when observed through her rose colored lenses. She had truly believed he needed nothing but a push in the right direction to find the drive to reach greater heights.
His death both devastated her and forced her to see the truth of the man she loved.
She hadn't been unaware of his gambling habit, but had not allowed herself to delve too deeply into the truth. A few games of cards weren't much he'd told her, with assurances that no real money was lost. When the check book refused to balance, when Kyoko needed medication, money would appear in the account without explanation. There was seemingly no consequence to this continued mystery so she didn't ask questions.
It was a foolhardy mistake.
She learned of his death from the police. He had been found beaten in an alley, those responsible were never apprehended, but were identified as members of a well-known dealer organization.
With the money left in the bank she fled their tiny city dwelling for Kyoto, her hometown, and the home her parents owned.
She returned a disgraced woman, a young widow with an infant in tow and no means of income. Of course there were rumors, whispers and haughty looks from those she'd known since childhood. Some lamented her choices, saying she could have done so much better. Many scoffed at her circumstances with the belief that it served her right.
She tended to agree with both groups. Had she had foresight she would have graduated from high school and likely gone onto even higher education. As it was she was stuck in a place she'd learned to hate with a child who served as a constant reminder of her mistakes.
During her time away her father had passed and her mother was in failing health. It was only months after her homecoming that the elderly woman left the earthly realm, leaving the house to the only child.
Saena's parents had been conscious of their economic status, endeavoring to live below their means, and left behind no debts along with enough to pay for burial arrangements, though nothing else.
The first time Kyoko was left with the Fuwa's was the day Saena began going to interviews. She'd created a resume, fudging a few facts about experience, and went to an agency that placed temporary workers. After six weeks of interviews with various companies she was given a job at a call center.
Years passed, jobs came and went. Saena clawed her way as close to the top as she could get. Her determination to make something of herself came at the expense of a relationship with her daughter. It was a sacrifice she was more than willing to make.
The child served to be a reminder of her faults, of her foolishness and of the man she'd loved. Those eyes, so striking with their golden color, were just like his. She could hardly stand to look at her.
It wasn't until Kyoko's last year of middle school that Saena saw anything of herself in the girl, a realization that was forced upon her.
Kyoko had run away to be with a boy.
Saena gave no response to the Fuwa's revelation, though internally she seethed. Her errors were being repeated in the most disturbing of ways. Perhaps it was punishment. Not only had she been made to endure being a single mother, but her progeny had inherited her worst traits.
She made no effort to find the girl. She was as good as grown and Saena had no feelings of attachment to send her on a recovery mission. What little she did know of Kyoko led her to believe that she would be fine. She had always worked for the approval of others; if nothing else this would be enough to get her even the most menial of occupations.
Saena was not so detached from the general population that she was unaware when Sho began to find fame. His CDs flew off the shelves and eventually he took the number one spot on the music charts.
There was no mention of Kyoko in all of this, yet still Saena was not concerned. She stopped paying mind to news of Sho, having little interest in pop culture herself, and returned to the usual routine until one day a commercial aired in which a girl with pair of distinctively golden eyes acted the part of a school girl.
She did not give it a second thought, did not care enough to ask what the commercial had been for or wonder at the profession chosen by her daughter.
Even so, for the first time in her life Saena felt something stir within, something akin to pride.