Disclaimer-For all great memories shared, future and present, because of Rumiko Takahashi’s Ranma Nibun no Ichi, this is done in great appreciation for them.

Chapter 2- Bittersweet.

I wasn’t that eager or tired to go to bed so early tonight, so I got up and sat by the window of our bedroom to look up at the sky.“I wonder what they’re doing right now?”

Then, I glanced at the picture of Ranma by my bedside and took the frame into my hands.

His smiling face.Though strangely, he had tear tracks down on his cheeks.

It was such a painful reality when it came.I thought heartbroken wasn’t enough of a word for a mother who had to give up her joy for a while.

“It was very hard,” I whispered to the darkness.

And Ranma?It was already going to be a memorable thing in itself.But at that moment, he made such a bitter moment into such a sweet one...

My three-year-old was tilting his head at me as he watched me fix up his red, Chinese shirt.“It’s like this, Mommy?”

“Yes, you put on like this,” I answered.

“I know how to do that!”

“There.”I smiled and patted his head.“We’re done, Ranma.”

He looked at himself in the full-length mirror.“I really like this shirt you bought me, Mommy.”

Then, I started to pack his things.As I did so, I tried so much not to cry, but with each thing I packed, I felt myself getting heavier and heavier.I had achieved not being able to cry; but imagine trying to keep a waterfall from falling and you’ll understand how I felt...

Ranma played with his toys and glanced back at me.“Where are we going, Mommy?”

“Remember your father said he was going to take you on a trip?”I wouldn’t even look at him at that moment.“You have to go training.”

“So I’ll be a better fighter!” He shouted happily.“But, aren’t you coming, Mommy?”

I shook my head.“I can’t go with you...”

Then, I turned around and knelt before him.“This is something you have to do without me, Ranma.You understand?”

His lip quivered.“What do you mean you can’t come?”

“I have to take care of the house so that when you come back, you’ll know I’m just right here.”

“Is this going to be long?” Ranma asked, “Because my friends and I still have to do something.And then Daddy doesn’t cook well so I’ll miss having good food.”

“I don’t know, My son.”And then, I smiled.I just couldn’t lie to him and say, “You’ll be back before you know it.” 

After finishing packing, I took his hand into my own.And from that moment, it felt like everything was going in slow motion.

“This might be the last time I’ll see you in a long time, my Ranma,” I thought.

Then, we went to the front porch.Genma had everything they needed into a large bag while Ranma put on his backpack with my help.

I looked at Genma and nodded my head with lips trying to smile as much as I could.“Take care.”

Genma and I hated long goodbyes, even for the most important of things.But that was just it...

Then, I blurted, “Do you really have to take him?”

Ranma looked up at his father as they were holding hands.

Genma and I had a little talk and then, he took Ranma’s hand again.I kissed my husband goodbye.And I knelt down to Ranma and kissed his cheek.“Mata ne, my Ranma.”

They walked out, but a few seconds later, Ranma came running back into my arms and crying.“I don’t wanna go anymore, Mommy!Don’t wanna, Mommy!”

I wouldn’t cry.I refused to.

I shook my head.“Do it for Mommy, Ranma.She will be very proud of you.”

“I don’t wanna go!”

“Now Ranma.”I patted his back as I glanced at Genma.“Don’t be like that.It’s not like you’ll be gone forever, you know.”

Not forever…

“Come on, Ranma,” I encouraged.“Here, we’ll even take a picture so that Mommy will always keep it with her.”

He sniffed for a while, then finally said, “Okay.”

Click.

After the picture was taken, he again hugged me, but tighter.In a soft, sweet whisper, he told me,”I love you, Mommy!”

Ranma finally let go of me and walked to hold the hand of his father.With that certain determined look in his eyes and a smile, he finally said, “Mata ne, Mommy.” 

Well, so much for the waterfall I tried to hold inside of me because as soon as they left, I cried to no end.

My son, who was like his father, who had never been one to be able to say his feelings aloud...the one who always nodded when I said, “Do you love me?”...

...he finally said so to me.

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Author’s note:>_<I cried while I made this.Need I say more?

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