Children and adults were running rampant beyond the playground.
But not Ichigo. He stood at the edge of the school property, held in only by the four foot iron mesh fence surrounding the property. If it hadn’t been there, he would have bolted home long ago, but it was. Lady Luck can be very kind, but, like now, she has also been known to turn a blind eye to the poor, tortured wretches of the world.
It is “Bring your Mother to School” day at Karakura Primary.
Ichigo wore a sour expression as he watched the other children run and play with their mothers. They laughed and held hands and hugged. Women pushed their children on the swings and aided the less daring across the monkey bars. The joy in the air was bittersweet. The air was filled with the kind of sensation that would make one want to pull a razor on themselves.
Ichigo had just curled up on the ground, his knees pulled so tightly against his chest that he could hardly breathe. He had just bitten his lip to keep his tears at bay when a shadow was cast over his crumpled form. Opening his eyes revealed a child-like form blotting out the sun in such a way that he could not look at them for fear of harming his eyes.
Then you lowered yourself to a squat and he could clearly make out your features.
A bright smile adorned your features and sweat beaded across your brow. Of course, you had been one of the children running and frolicking with their mothers. “Hi.” you said simply. With the sound of your voice added to your appearance, Ichigo recognized you as a classmate.
Ichigo’s tears threatened to spill with the new presence. He had been sure you were going to tease him, but he refused to cry. “What do you want?” he asked.
You remained silent, and cast your eyes around the area in search of something, before settling your gaze back on the ginger boy. You tilted your head slightly in wonder. “Where’s your Momma?”
He sniffled. “She’s not here.” Even at such a young age, you had known what death was, and that someone who had been gone for as long as Ichigo’s mother was likely to be so.
He had looked at you bitterly, as if your mere presence burned him, so you chose to drop the subject.
Ichigo buried his face into his knees as you stood, thinking that you were finally going to leave him to his own misery. But then, the most amazing thing happened.
Your hand came to a rest on his shoulder, bringing his gaze back to your smiling face. “Come on!” you chirped happily, grabbing his hand and pulling him to his feet. He had desperately resisted you at first, but your next words shocked him to such a degree that he found himself following you to the playground, and to your mother.
“We can share my Momma.”