Teary Promise (Part 1)

There's something special about the seashore that's facing the Taihei Ocean that me, and some of my extended family members used to go to back when I was in elementary school between 2000 and 2006. Since middle school, I've been heading there by myself, even during the cold winter, for a relaxing time. The beach itself being a big wide open and remote area with nothing but sand and, in the horizon, nothing but the big wide ocean and no islands visible. Looking towards the nothingness for as far as I can see and with the refreshing wind and smell makes me want to seek out what is out there.

Not far from that beach along the coast, though far enough if you walk, is a town with a harbour where fishermen deliver seafood they caught out in the sea. They are quite humble in a sense that they enjoy it and not worried about competition. They have talked to me before, and they're quite nice.

Just a little over 3 years ago, which is the year 2007, my parents were actually looking to buy a house in that town. Most of the houses they looked at were quite close to the sea. They talked to some people, looked at charts and images as if confirming the place. I was really excited to be able to live near the ocean, until my parents made a last-minute decision to move to a neighbouring town that is further inland and higher up the hill, but still close enough to be able to reach via bicycle. My parents explained that I wouldn't be able to make much friends or explore much if they chose a place too close to the ocean, and is better accessible to trains towards the capital. I sensed that it wasn't the true answer for not choosing a house close to the sea, but those answers they gave me weren't false either. It's because their opinion changed dramatically when they looked at wave patterns should an earthquake happen in that area, but I never understood what it meant back then.

Before moving here, we used to live in the outer areas of the capital of a rented place. According to my relatives, they have been living there since they started staying together, even before marriage. The house we are staying in now is actually only the first house they bought since getting married. Since dad's current workplace is now outside the capital, and is between the old place and where my relatives are, he figured that more money would be saved if we moved out of the old house and buy a new one outside area as rent in the capital city is quite expensive. It was a strange experience for me when taking the entrance test for middle school as my grade 6 classmates noticed that all of my school choices are quite far away. As for mom, she's quite flexible with her job as the company she works for has branches all over the country from being so big. I have no idea how my parents met each other, and neither was I told what they were dong before my older brother was born.

So, the home we eventually moved into is a relatively new house with a western type house and a quite nicely designed plate with my family name written on it. The plate is placed above the mailbox. Since the town we live in now is higher up the hill, you could easily see the ocean if you walk to the road along the cliff at the outer edges of my town, with the neighboring harbor town in sight, but it seems quite far away. I guess it's not a bad place either.

In the family, they seem quite particular about things that might hurt anyone in earthquakes a lot stronger than the regular ones when it comes to selecting home furniture, equipment, and the tidiness of the house. There are no furniture or dinnerware made of anything fragile in the house and they got rid of the old ones from before the move. It's as if they are always expecting a very huge earthquake to arrive anytime now, but I see it as nothing more than them being overprotective of their children.

I have an older brother that's only a year older than me that mom once used to say that we looked alike, but before I knew it, I somehow grew up to be completely different from him in many ways even though we think alike and have different sets of friends. Even now, I am in the exact same class of the same school my brother was in a year ago. That's way too much of a coincidence, but I myself couldn't see how that's possible without someone else arranging it or me scoring grades within the range from my brother.

Recently, the two of us of being alike has gone further on its separate ways ever since my body unknowingly grew noticeably different. My parents said it was because of our gender differences that doesn't noticeably show up until puberty. Yes, I am a girl, but I'm kind of gender-blind about that fact, and I don't really see any difference besides what they wear, until I was starting to look more like a younger version of my mother and I was naturally behaving differently from my brother. Perhaps the most obvious things were that I thought I was growing taller than my brother, but my growth stopped at my current height, and my brother started growing taller than me even though we had the same meals and doing the same activities together. Drinking milk had supposedly help to make me me grow bigger, but instead of my height, my breast was growing bigger more quickly to the point that I had to buy new clothes as the older ones had become too tight for me to wear comfortably. That wasn't what I wanted or predicted, so I gave up on that idea. I guess it only works as what I wanted before my body reaches the puberty stage, which it already is in now. It was a regrettable mistake as it can't be reversed, I need more energy to get up because of its weight, and the feeling of being stared at by more men. I don't know why people don't see it as a cancer, and I have to live with it for life.

I don't get how my own body grows differently from my brother in ways that are becoming more obvious. I'm starting to develop feelings inside me that wasn't there as a child, but I never asked for it, and it's slowly becoming a part of the way I think. My brother quietly stopped any physical contact with me, not even holding hands together while walking home. It's almost as if I had some kind disease on me. His excuse was to not have our schoolmates mistake us as a couple, and seemed very hesitant when I demanded him to hug me as nobody has hugged me for a very long time.

Brother: "Yumiko-chan, I'm only doing this because you wanted to and the two of us are siblings. You still seem to have the same mentality from when you were younger, but you don't realize the changes between us, especially yours. I hope this one would make you think why I stopped doing it. Oh, and don't blame me if you start to develop feelings towards me: brothers and sisters don't marry each other."

It soon became apparent to me as to why he didn't want to: his taller height, and the things sticking out of my chest, are hindering us from being able to hug properly like we used to. The unwanted feeling of lust towards my brother started to develop inside me the moment the tip of my breast beneath my clothes was pressed against him. I came to realize that girls are sacred beings that shouldn't be touched by anyone, not even themselves, except for one they truly love. However,  me not having any physical contact just because I'm a young lady makes me lonely, even if I'm surrounded by people close to me. Now I understood more about myself, and why things around me seemed so different these days from what it used to be.

As explained earlier, me and my brother both attended the same schools together. We both usually head to school and return come back home together. Since we are only a year apart, there's so far been only 2 years where we went our separate ways along the way, and not meet each other until back home. This was when he's in first year of junior and senior high, and me being in elementary grade 6 and 3rd year of middle school. As time goes by, he would let me tag along with his friends and go places together on the way back from school. Since I entered high school earlier this year, my brother, and even I myself, would somehow some kind of excuse to not go home together to the extent that we go together, even with either of our friends, only twice a week. Club activities seems to be the most common excuse, but I did see him going with a girl that wasn't in his usual group of friends that also has girls. Lately, he's going out with the same girl.

As a sibling, I shouldn't interfere or eavesdrop on them, but it became obvious that we don't do the same things anymore as we used to and our relationship as siblings has grown further apart, made worse by our gender differences. Even I myself has unknowingly become less interested in him and I had let these new feelings take control of the way I think. I'm confused on what's happening to me! I find myself crying at that harbor town or beach with my bicycle right after school more often because I'm stressed up from it. Half of the time, I found myself crying at the beach without knowing why.


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