Kazoku 01: New Family

I take several deep breaths to calm my nerves as I adjust my bag back to resting on my shoulder. Excitement, anxiety, fear, and anticipation are all swirling up inside of me. All my mixed emotions are rising to the surface as I slowly reach my hand for the doorbell. I stop my finger just as I'm about to push it and take out a small portable mirror from my pocket.

"My hair isn't messed up is it?" I ask myself rhetorically as I glance at myself. My brown straight hair stops just before my green eyes. Despite being sixteen my face is as youthful looking as someone who is twelve. "First impressions are everything. I don't want to disappoint them after they've been searching for me since I was born." Finally satisfied that my appearance is fine, I reach for the bell once again, however the door suddenly forces itself open.

"Ah, your here, Kazuya!" Says a man with brown hair like mine and a neatly shaved beard. A huge smile surfaces onto his face.

"Nice to meet..." I begin but suddenly stop as the huge man suddenly wraps his arms around me with tears in his eyes.

"Welcome home, Kazuya," he says soothingly.

"Yeah," I reply, I don't know what would be the best thing to say in this situation.

Eventually he lets me go and pats my shoulder whilst wiping his tears. "Come in. I'll introduce you, everyone has been dying to meet you."

"Excuse my intrusion," I say reflexively.

"Your not intruding," he says over his shoulder as he guides me through the hallway, "This is your home," he opens the door at the end of the corridor, "And we, are your family."

Just last week I learned that the life I lived was built on a lie. I didn't know what to think, what to believe, or where I truly belonged. Everything started on that evening.

One week earlier.

My mother's funeral had just ended. I never knew my father so she was all I had.

The other day when I was at school I had been called to the principle's office where a policeman told me the horrifying truth. "Your mother has been shot dead." He told me. I couldn't believe it, I didn't want to believe it. But when I was asked to identify the body, I had to believe it.

I sit silently at the table that was made for two, now with only half of its original occupants. My mother's cheerful smile as I left for school that day, the day I thought would be the same as any other, was the last time I saw her alive. A stray tear leaks from my eye.

*Ding dong!* My house's doorbell, I wipe my eyes and rush to the door.

Upon opening the door I see a middle aged man wearing a grey hat and overcoat. The man takes off his hat in a polite gesture to reveal his slightly balding head as he bows down. "I am deeply sorry for your loss, Kazuya-san." He begins with a sympathetic voice, "However, I was hoping you would allow me some of your time. I have something I wish to speak with you about. May I come in?"

The man definitely looks sincere, but I can't just let someone I don't know into my home, "Who are you?" I ask.

"Oh," The man slaps the upside of his head, "How rude of me, I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Shirogane, I am a private detective." He states as he shows me some kind of badge with his photo on it.

"A private detective?" I respond in shock, is he here to ask about the shooting. Either way, we can't talk at the doorstep, "Come on in," I say after mulling it over for a few seconds.

I lead him into the kitchen and direct him to take a seat as I take the opposite one.

"I apologise for coming without an appointment, Kazuya-san." He states as I pour him a cup of coffee.

"Don't worry about it, but what do you want to speak with me about?" I ask anxiously.

"For the past sixteen years my employer has commissioned me just for this moment. I know after the shock of what just happened you probably don't want anything else weighing on your mind. However, this is something I feel you should hear."

Noticing the seriousness in Shirogane-san's voice I gulp before uttering, "go on," anxiously.

"I am going to get straight to the point, Kazuya-san. You are not Megumi Himereya's real son." He states.

"What...What are you talking about!?" I ask in confusion.

"Sixteen years ago, Megumi-san had a miscarriage and in her despair she stole a newborn from the hospital and fled. She raised this child that she had no blood ties with as if he was her own, that child was you, Kazuya-san." Shirogane-san explains as I tighten my grip on my mug.

"Do you have any proof of that?" I ask.

"Your biological family has had me searching for you for the past sixteen years. I have picked up several piece of evidence that point to this theory. However, if you grant me permission we can run a DNA test to prove beyond all reasonable doubt." Shirogane-san states, his eyes are deadly serious, I know he is telling the truth. I nod my head in assent.

"Thank you, Kazuya-san, I shall take my leave for now." Shirogane-san says as he walks back to the door, but just before he opens it he turns back to me, "By the way Kazuya-san, my client, your biological family, they have requested that you come home to them. With everything that has happened I'm sure you are very confused. But please consider the option." I stare blankly as he opens the door and bows to me again, "Good night," he says as he shuts the door.

"Is what he said true?" I ask myself, "Mum, are you really my mum?" I stare at the photo on the altar. "Was everything that I believed in all nothing but a lie?" Tears flow freely from both of my eyes. "Mum, what should I do?" I hold my shaking arms against my chest as I lean against the wall to support my disorientated body.

A few days later and the result of the DNA test came back to me. They stated that without a shadow of a doubt Megumi Himereya has no blood connection to me. This proved Shirogane-san wasn't telling a lie. In addition it also concluded that with one hundred percent accuracy I was blood related to Shirogane-san's client.

Remembering what Shirogane-san said, I accepted the offer and decided to return to my biological family. I want my life from now on to be the truth, not lies.

I step into the spacious room that has a group of women sitting together on a sofa in the far corner. Several framed photographs are hanging down from the walls depicting several girls who appear to be the same people at different stages in their lives.

"Okay Kazuya, this is your oldest sister, who just turned twenty this year, Sanae," The man explains as the girl called stands up from the sofa, her waist length brown hair flows down her back like a piece of art.

"Hello, I finally get to meet my cute little brother." She says with a smile.

"It's nice to meet you," I bow, as Sanae-san chuckles slightly.

"This is Mira, she's a year older than you," The man continues.

"How do, little bro, remember to call me Onee-sama," A tomboyish girl with shoulder length red hair salutes me casually with two fingers.

"Will you settle for Mira-san?" I ask, Onee-sama is a bit much I feel.

"I was joking, just Mira is fine." She smiles as she hops from one foot to the other energetically.

"And this is your ten year old, younger sister, Suzu," The smallest girl stands up.

"He...llo..." The little girl with small brown pig tails says meekly before sitting back down again. I can only smile at the reaction.

"And this beautiful lady is your mother, Estelle." The oldest lady who looks to be in her thirties stands up.

"I finally have my little boy back," She says with tears as she runs up to me and wraps her arms around me, well if nothing else I can say that they are a very affectionate family.

"And finally I am Reiji, your father." All the girls slowly walk to me and circle around me as my father opens his arms wide and shouts, "Welcome back to the Kazoku family, Kazuya Kazoku!"

The contagious smiles on the faces of my true family slowly infects me as I drop my bag onto the floor and say, "I look forward to being with you all." My anxiety and other negative feelings have all but disappeared from my family's welcoming reception.

(Perspective: Shirogane)

"The reason for Megumi Himereya's murder is definitely this," I say to myself as I look at the piece of paper in my hand that I am suspecting the killer didn't know existed, "All assets that I possess are to be frozen until my son Kazuya reaches the age of twenty at which point everything I own shall belong to him. Only those required for living expenses can be taken out prematurely." I read the will to myself aloud.

Kazuya-san was probably unaware just how rich his 'mother' was, she was raising him in a ordinary household after all.

Normally if a person dies, unless stated otherwise in a will, the assets will go to the relatives. Kazuya-san had no blood relation and was taken forcefully, if it wasn't for this will the assets would have probably fallen onto the other members of the family. Megumi Himereya was trying to ensure that Kazuya-san would be financially protected in case something happened.

"But Megumi-san, if they were willing to go as far as to kill you for your money, then just what kind of situation does that put Kazuya-san in?" I can only pray that I am over thinking this.