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"All of the struggles in love and life are worth a single moment of being in somebody's arms and knowing in your bones, this is where you belong."

Track 65; First Person On Earth by Robert DeLong

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On the southern side of Shikoku Island, there is a modestly-sized traditional Japanese home. It is six kilometers down the highway from the quaint city of Kochi. It is a left-hand turn through a small village with kind and generous people, and located on a private drive just a kilometer in length. There are large, pale stone walls that surround the property, ensuring its security. The main entrance is through a large gate carved out of beautiful Japanese elm. It is hand-etched with constellations that can be spotted in the sky on a clear night.

Beyond the gate is a large traditional garden. The native flowers and flora thrive in the well-tended flowerbeds, nestled cozily next to one another. There is a large, bountiful koi pond with an array of fish; their scales glint and shine under the sun. Smooth stone boulders make up the walkway around the garden and koi pond. They lead around the far side of the house, which is much larger on the inside than it looks from the outside. In the backyard there is a clothesline to hang laundry during the good weather as well as a playset for children.

If you turn to look at the back door, there is a large gray tomcat and a smaller calico feline snoozing in one of the sun rays. They live a life of luxury, having free roam of a home large enough to fit multiple generations in, as well as a bountiful amount of food in their bowls and a loving family to call their own. The Maine Coon is a force to be reckoned with, even though he's about to hit ten years old. He is still as chaotic as he was when he was a kitten, never once changing over the years and the places he has lived. This was the fourth place he's called home, and he would be buried in the yard underneath the maple tree when his time came.

The shorthair calico has always been a much gentler soul. A bit on the shy side when she had been rescued as a kitten, her companion was a great comfort to her as she figured out what it was like to be a beloved member of the family. He brought her out of her shell, and she was much friendlier now to those she didn't know. Despite that, she loved her family with her entire being. Especially the little ones...they were her favorite. Her gray brother was much more tolerable of their rough hands, and she preferred when they were gentle and kind with her.

Yoshio's head jumps from the Tatami mat he is lounging on when the floor begins to vibrate. In resonance with it are two pairs of feet sprinting through the hallways. Momo sits up in order to be prepared to avoid being run over, stretching her mottled front legs out with a wide yawn. The walls begin to shake more as the stomping grows closer. Both cats turn towards the open Shoji doors, revealing the hallway. Some of the picture frames on the walls shake and go crooked, but they are quickly leveled out by a soft, ethereal blue glow.

In the pictures are two separate families. One is of a grandmother and grandfather sitting on the front steps, their teenage grandson with a bored look on his face a step lower and in between them. The other family is of the Takami family.

The first child runs by so quickly that if you had blinked, you wouldn't have seen her. Short, ashy blond hair conceals her (e/c) eyes when she squeals with joy, sliding on her bare heels to dive around the incoming corner. Behind her is a boy two years older than her with white hair and turquoise eyes. Their conversation is incomprehensible, but it's full of laughter and competition as the two of them vanish deeper into the house.

"Hey, no running in the house!"

A maternal voice stops the two children in their tracks before they crash into the kitchen.The daughter stops first, using her hands on the wall as an emergency brake. Her older brother doesn't stop in time and runs straight into her back, knocking them both to the floor.

phoenix ✦ k.takami (hawks)Where stories live. Discover now