Chapter Thirteen: Mother’s Role:
Anna stared with a stunned expression. “What?”
“Please,” Tsuzuki pleaded. “Our baby needs her mother.”
“She’s not our baby!”
Anna backed away, shaking her head. “I can’t.”
“What do you mean?”
Anna looked like she would vomit. “Why do you care so much about her? She’s not related to us. Doesn’t she have any other family to take care of her?” She threw up her hands. “I don’t get it!”
Tsuzuki pressed his lips together. Clearly, this wouldn’t work right away. “What’s the matter?”
Anna’s eyes widened. “What’s the matter? What’s the matter?! You adopted a kid so easily. Did you not think this through?”
Tsuzuki seemed to be pulling logic out of the sky. Her frozen eyes seemed to stab him. She wasn’t an idiot and she had a point. Kirika-chan stole his heart and now he called himself “daddy”.
“Well, yeah…” he said. Anna pressed her hand to her forehead.
“I don’t believe this.”
“Don’t!” She put up her hand and waved him off. “Just… don’t.” Anna turned and walked out of the bathroom. Tsuzuki sighed and shook his head. That didn’t go so well…
Nevertheless, Anna ended up stuck with Kirika-chan. Tsuzuki observed her for the day. It’ll be fine. She’ll make a great mom. If only he could get her to warm up to the idea.
Sadly, it didn’t work today.
Anna did take care of the child. But she seemed so cold. There was no malice as far as Tsuzuki could see. He had hoped to see a rosy glow from motherhood on her face. The day went like this:
Tsuzuki decided to be hands-off today. Anna would handle the child care. Should be easy, right? Kirika-chan awoke, crying.
“You handle her,” Tsuzuki said. Anna stared at him with big eyes.
“What?” she asked.
The shinigami pressed his hands together. “Please?”
His wife lowered her shoulders and sighed. “Fine.” Tsuzuki followed her to the baby’s room. Anna picked up the child and bounced her in her arms.
“Shhh,” she whispered. “Shhh. It’s okay, I’m here.” Anna took the baby down to the kitchen and fed her. Kirika-chan sucked on the bottle.
“There you go,” Anna whispered. She had no emotion on her face. Tsuzuki bid his time. I know you can do this. You can love her too. He had to force himself to be patient for this experiment. Maybe she could pull through for him.
Sadly, that did not happen today.
Kirika-chan was fed, bathed, and read to. However, it was of obligation. Tsuzuki betted the baby could sense Anna being distant towards her too. He himself couldn’t hold back anymore by evening.
“Anna,” he said as she held the sleeping baby that evening.
“Yes?” she asked.
“Do you… hate babies?”
“No. I’m okay with them.”
Tsuzuki tilted his head. “Then… why?”
Anna lowered her head. “It’s personal, okay.” She handed him Kirika-chan. “Here.” His wife walked down the hall.
“Where are you going?” Tsuzuki asked.
“Away,” she said. “I want to be alone.”
“Anna…” The door slid closed. Tsuzuki looked down at the sleeping baby in his arms. He shook his head.
“That didn’t turn out well,” the shinigami murmured. “But don’t worry, I won’t give up on Mama. We won’t give up.”