* 5 *

I wiped the condensation off the foggy window with a pajama sleeve.
It was still dim outside, but I had an unbroken view of the snow-covered town.
From how the sky looked, it should have been rather cold, but my young body was warm. Kid's bodies are great like that.

It was still early morning, so there wasn't anyone outside, nor was there a sound.
All that was even moving out there was the snow, drifting down at a fixed rhythm.
It made my own breathing and the rustling of my clothes seem unusually louder.

As I rummaged through the paper bag, it woke up my little sister sleeping on the bottom bunk, and I heard her crawl out from under the down quilt.
I grabbed onto the bed frame and peered down at my seven-year-old sister.
She drowsily turned to a teddy bear beside the bed and shouted “Yaaay!” with a slight delay.

Long hair like lacquered silk, round mouth, big eyes with just a light touch of color.
Oh yeah, my sister used to look like this, I thought nostalgically. Always walking a few meters behind me, going "Big brother, big brother!"
I guess in a way, I'd say this was when she was cutest. 'Course, she was still a great little sister ten years later, that didn't change.
But thing is, as she grew older, she didn't need to rely on me anymore. Good for her, but makes you wonder if your little sister can ever be too capable.

I dropped off the bed onto the carpet and sat down on my sister’s bunk.
As she sat entranced by her teddy bear, I said to her “Hey.”

"Your brother’s come back from ten years in the future."

Still sleepy, she laughed “Welcome back!”
I kinda liked that response and said “It’s good to be back,” rustling her head.
My sister being my sister, she looked down, smiling wordlessly, and did the same with her teddy bear.
I didn't do this kind of thing much when I was ten, so it might've been new. So I wondered how I should respond.

I wanted to open my heart to someone about the brilliant plan I’d devised.
I just had an itch for somebody to hear my strange notion, my dare to re-enact my first life. And my sister seemed like a good pick for it.
She was little and wouldn't understand whatever I told her, and she'd soon forget all about it.

I said this to my sister, sitting before me with a teddy bear on her lap.

"I know the mistakes I’m going to make, and I know what it is I should really do. Tell the truth, starting right now I could be a prodigy, or get super rich. Heck, I could even be a prophet or some kinda messiah.

"...But you know, I don’t want to change a thing. It’ll be fine by me if I can just live the same life as before.”

She stared absentmindedly at me, holding her teddy bear.
"I don’t get it," she replied honestly.

"Suppose you wouldn't," I said.

Chapter 6

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