Yuki entered her house, limping. The battle had gone well aside from the moment where she missed the monster and her knee collided with the sidewalk harder than she liked. At least the injury could have been worse, and something more worrisome should her mother see it. She decided it would be best to just relax and place some ice on the future bruise. “Mom, are you here?” she asked.
“Welcome home. I'm in the kitchen, dear,” came the response from down the hall. “Do you need anything?”
“A bag of ice,” Yuki replied. “And some tea and cookies. But I think I could get those last couple of things myself.” Well, that was a big lie. “Now that I think about it, I'll be in the living room. I'm tired.” She walked into the living room and sat down in her favorite chair. She cringed slightly as she placed a pillow under her aching knee.
“I'll get that for you,” her mother said. “You were gone for quite a bit, so you deserve rest and relaxation.”
“Thanks for doing all of this for me.”
“You're my daughter and I'll always do anything I can to make you feel better.”
Yuki smiled. Her double life always felt like such a burden, and she wanted to tell her mother. But that could be a big mistake. There was always a chance the enemy could find out who she was, and then she'd just be putting her family at risk. She did not want that. She closed her eyes, trying to push the bad thoughts out of her mind. She could hear footsteps approaching.
“Your things are here.” The sound of her mother's voice snapped Yuki back to attention.
“Oh dear, did you hurt your knee?”
“Yeah. I tripped, and I think it's going to bruise.” Well, that was true. At least she didn't have to lie about her injury, unlike almost everything else.
“You just relax. I'll make you dinner and you can eat in here.”
“You are the best.”
“You're my only child, and at the moment I'm your only parent, and you're injured. I'm doing what's best for you.” Yuki's mother handed her daughter the ice and put the tea and cookies on the table next to the chair.
Yuki barely smiled as she placed the ice on her knee. She breathed a sigh of relief as she felt the healing cooling spreading across her knee. She was now even more conflicted inside about revealing her secret. Her mother had been her support ever since her dad had moved overseas for his new job. She was angry at him for leaving them. But she met her friends because she'd stayed in Japan. “Mom, I have something to tell you. Something big.”