My Sister’s Funeral

My Sister’s Funeral

Original Author: 須田良志紀
Syosetsu Link: http://ncode.syosetu.com/n4228dn/
Bonus Reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_funeral

In the countryside, funerals are a grand affair.

It’s an occasion that attracts everyone in our small village.

My sister died. She was seven.

My cute seven-year-old little sister.

* * *

The funeral after the wake.

The old men that wanted to continue the wake through the night,

were currently sleeping through the monk’s rites after having completely drained their booze.

My big brother, though, didn’t seem to be in a drinking mood.

He sat next to me, and his crying could be heard throughout the night. This is what my sister’s wake has become.

Honestly, the old alcoholics in the village that are just using another human being’s death as an excuse to get hammered should just go die themselves.

* * *

I’ve spent all 20 years of my time in this world living in this village.

The ones that had talent, moved. The narrow-minded and ignorant farmers and their children were all that was left.

There really are too few children.

Looking out at the ones attending the funeral, I could only see my two cousins and the neighboring farmer’s boy. Just those three.

If you include me, that would make four. All teenage boys.

My sister was the village’s only daughter. Thus, she was treated with care.

* * *

And my sister that was this village’s only daughter was extremely favored by everyone.

But, I always thought it was pitiful.

To be born in this village.

Most likely, she would be prohibited from leaving the village and eventually forced to marry that neighboring farmer’s boy.

My sister really was cute. Sadly, it was exactly that that made her all the more pitiful.

My sister fell to her death in the water canal. While she was playing, she fell.

* * *

The funeral is over, and it’s time to move the coffin.

As always, the old men of the village who had drunk themselves into a stupor

were puking with all of their might and passing out in the gardens behind the house.

My parents were staring blankly. My brother was crying as usual. My other relatives were also wallowing in their own sadness.

My brother whispered, “Sorry.”

I wonder what for. For not being able to be by her side and prevent the accident?

Certainly, if my brother were there, my sister probably wouldn’t have died.

Once she fell into the canal, he could’ve have rescued her right away. To begin with, he could have just warned her to stay far away from the canal.

But, that’s all. In fact, wasn’t my big brother overlooking something?

My sister was young, but she was still seven years old. The canal was something that had always been close by, and our parents were already warning her to be careful around it.

And let’s say she fell in by accident.

She was seven years old. Wouldn’t she have been able to climb out of it with her own strength?

Incidentally, I wonder what my brother thought of me, his younger brother.

My brother was the oldest so naturally, he enjoyed some favoritism at home. My sister, on the other hand, was the village’s only daughter.

Caught between these two, I was, I’m sure, barely noticeable.

Don’t get me wrong, I respect my brother. And I always thought my sister was cute.

The thing I hated was this village, the old drunks in it, and my parents who gave birth to me here.

My brother should have realized my feelings.

But now, it’s too late.

* * *

My sister was killed, by me.

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