Disclaimer-These characters are not mine, but were created by the Queen of Manga, Rumiko Takahashi.^_^
(She’s so cool!)

Photographs 

by Yui Miyamoto

Chapter 3- Kesshite.

Since I couldn’t go to sleep, I went downstairs to sew a bit so that I would wait until I got really sleepy.

But usually, after finishing my dinner, I would always go to the living room to sew in order to occupy my time. 

I laughed while thinking to myself.But when Ranma was here, I could hardly do that… 

I think that’s why I put that picture of his father and him trying sitting across each other with their legs crossed as they sat in the living room.It looked like any other ordinary picture, but I cherished it the most because of the moment it contained.

Genma’s trademark bow of the head and crossed arms were captured as well as Ranma’s determined look: the look that would keep him from ever being defeated.

But of course, it was always about food.It just happened to be rice balls in this one...

“Mama! Mama!”Ranma called out to me repeatedly as he kept on tugging on the hem of my kimono.“Mama!Mama!”

I knew he was not annoyed or anything because he was actually singing while saying that.And his head moved from side to side while pulling on me.If he was mad and trying to get my attention, he’d get up and walk out of sight so that I would go and chase him all over the house.

I would just smile down at him as he clapped his hands and continued to pull on my kimono.But then, he pulled harder than he had been doing and so I looked down to find him pointing to his mouth.

“Oh, you’re hungry, Ranma?”I wondered and wondered for a long moment.

“How about apple sauce?”

He gave me a curious look.For someone who had just turned a year old, he was pretty sharp.

I patted his head and sat down on the table with him on my lap.“Okay, apple sauce it is.”

He looked at it and he looked at me.He shook his head and pointed at what I was trying to make.

“Rice balls?”I shook my head.“It’s not done yet, Ranma.Mommy still has to wrap them.Can you wait until mommy finishes?Later?”

“No,” he answered as he pointed at the rice balls.

“Please?”I began to sniff and fake crying.“Will you please eat this first until mommy makes it?”

He tilted his head and looked at me as he nodded his head as he patted my head.

I smiled.“Okay, then apple sauce it is!”

“He can’t eat these, Nodoka,” Genma said as we sat in the den.

Ranma was sitting across him determined to steal it away with his eyes hungrily on the rice ball.

“But I made it especially for him, Dear.He was looking so forward to at least eating one.”

Genma started to laugh.“Taking after your old man’s stomach, huh?”

Then, he said to Ranma, “If you want this, you’ll have to pick which hand it is in.”

He held out his hands out and mixed it up the direction until Ranma got dizzy on where to watch the rice ball was.

“You just want it for yourself.”I folded my arms.“Shame on you, Dear!”

“Heh heh.”He pushed up his glasses sly with a serious look on his face.“Ah, but this the start of our martial arts training.He has to learn how to get this on just observing something just once.”

I clasped my hands and kissed him on the cheek.“Oh, that’s a great idea!”

I sat there and then got a picture.It was just to tell him someday that his first real food fight with his father was an actual exercise.

Then, I got up to take a bath and get ready for bed.I came down the stairs to still find them there.

“You guys aren’t doing anything.”But I sat down on the couch anyway and smiled.“Ah, but I think you’ve met your match Genma.”

“If he knew where it really was, he’d get mad at me.”

Finally, Ranma changed the look on his face.He sniffed as he pointed at his father’s mouth.

I eyed Genma.“I knew it!I knew it!”

“Uh, let me explain, Dear.He took so long and there was one left...” he trailed off.“Might I say it was one of the best!”

“Genma I can’t believe you!I expected it, but ooh!”I sighed.“Never mind.”

I took Ranma up and smiled at him as we touched head to head.Then I looked at both of them.“You’re very smart, Ranma.Very good!”

But he was still sniffling because his father had eaten his rice ball; moreover, it was the one he had waited patiently to have all day.

I kissed his forehead and still held him in front of me.“Don’t worry.I know you’re dad is smart but I knew he would do that.I know him too well.”

“You stay here.”I put him down on his high chair and brought out a rice ball to his table.“I saved some for you.”

“There’s more?” Genma questioned me.

“They’re Ranma’s, Dear.”I smiled back and kissed the top of Ranma’s head.

Click.

And that’s how I ended up having a frame of kissing Ranma after the rice ball incident.It was right next to the picture I had taken.All three of us together…

There were many similar incidents like this through the years but from that moment Ranma had pointed to where the rice ball had gone, I knew he would be smarter than his father.

It wasn’t the time Ranma learned martial arts, the day he was born, or even the first time he said ‘I love you’ to me.This memory and these photographs became the most precious to me not because he had outwitted his father (though it was a very amusing experience I must tell you)…

It was because at that very moment, for the first time, he put that determined expression on his face that he would always wear throughout the rest of his life.

Even if this seemed as the most unlikely of being my favorite memory, it was.It was through that very moment I knew my son had great potential.

I was overjoyed and relieved that he would be persistent through adversity...

As I walked up the stairs, I smiled to myself.“Stubbornness is a Saotome’s weakness...but also their strength.”

“Never.”

It was what I vowed the day they left.

I would rather die than go against who we were.It would be the same as a shame of a defeated scar to not believe in them.

“No, I will not stop believing,” I softly reminded myself with no tears in my eyes.

That’s why I wouldn’t give up on looking for them…

I looked once again at the frame of my son and his father by my bedside and kissed their pictures.

“Never.”

Owari.

--

Author’s note:This chapter was originally supposed to be chapter two, but I found that this was much stronger in meaning in opposition to the emotional second chapter that I had put instead.

And why should I have made this short instead of going through the many memories of Nodoka?Simple.Don’t you know that three means, “I love you?”^_^

Thanks for reading!* bows humbly *And write to me.^_^

Yui

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