The man was happy as he held his child for the first time.
The child was small, weak, and light, but despite that, he could clearly feel the weight of life from him.
The man said to himself, “I will protect this child. I will raise this child to be a good kid.”
With his wife, he raised the child until he was about 10.
He would change his diapers even though he wasn’t used to it. And when he cried, he would comfort him to ease his fears and pain.
He watched him grow by the day. It was a touching sight. And when his name was called for the first time. Although it was with a lisping voice, the sound of that voice was something he would never forget.
But the man was the main pillar that supported the family.
He couldn’t just raise the child. He had to work too.
So for the sake of his family, he worked harder than ever.
Because of that he had less time with his family.
He was lonely, but any man would work that much if it was for the sake of his child’s growth.
If there was one problem, it would be that the child grew up to be a momma’s boy.
But that’s alright, the man thought. It was good for a child to be spoiled by his mother.
That way, as the child’s father, he could be strict with him.
He wanted to leave some words to his child even though he was busy with work.
Even though his child was pampered, he still wished that he would turn out to become a good person.
“Don’t do to others what you don’t want them to do to you.”
“You mustn’t act violently. No one likes to get hurt, right?”
“If someone’s troubled, you should save them.”
“Treasure your mother.”
—Yeah. I got it, dad.
He would become the big brother once his siblings were born.
He wanted him to be a good big brother.
So he gave him advice to help him fill the role of the eldest child.
“You’re the big brother, so protect them both.”
“It’s okay to be weak, but no matter what happens, your spirit must never falter. Remember that.”
“No matter what happens, you must always be their ally.”
“Help your mother and watch after them.”
–Sure. I’ll do my best!
His child nodded to those words of advice, so the man believed he had fulfilled his role as his father.
Unfortunately, in some sense of irony, it was only when his son disappeared that he realized he was mistaken.
When his son vanished, he tried everything he could to find him.
Not a moment passed where he didn’t think of him. And it was in those days that it finally hit him.
He taught his son many things, or at least intended to, but…
Did he ever ask him for his own opinion?
In the end, he just took for granted his son’s obedience and pushed his own ideals into him.
He didn’t even know what his favorite food was.
When the man realized this, he was shocked.
For it was only after the child disappeared that he realized that he knew nothing of his own son.
“You don’t even know anything about him!”
The words of his ex-wife suddenly felt so heavy. She was right.
Even though he didn’t know anything about his own child, all he did was hate her for giving up on him.
He didn’t even realize how much of a burden that was to her.
Even though at that time he should’ve kept his cool and dealt with things logically instead of trying to deny reality because of his emotions…
As a result, their marriage ended in divorce. This was a result no different from taking his son’s mother away from him.
On top of that, the responsibility of the younger children was pushed onto her even though she had become emotionally unstable.
Of course, at the time, the man only felt his own children were taken from him.
But the time he realized his mistake, an unbridgeable rift had already formed.
Why was he so pathetic?
So pathetic that he ended up arguing with her again in front of the very son he’d searched for so long?
Just how should he approach him? What kind of face should he make?
He didn’t know. Did he even have the right? Someone like him who never even tried to know once? Could he really make the face of a father now?
His current wife told him this.
“Then why don’t you just find out from now on? You can start listening today.”
Author’s Note: 02-02 has already been posted, so this one is 02-03.