The sky was blue, sometimes grey, sometimes with white spilled across it in splotches. When she took the time to notice it, she thought it beautiful and said as much. But those times were few and far between, so Gojyo drank them up like the wine he couldn't wait to taste.
He'd sit in a corner of the yard, pulling up strands of yellow grass- yellow, though the few books they owned always said it was green. He'd sit and watch as she would hang out fresh washed linens, never a lot because they didn't have much. Just enough to create curtains in the air for him to run through.
And he could pretend someone was chasing him in some pointless game, lost in the folds of white and blue and yellow, even though he knew no one was. Pretended he was simply a step ahead.
Mother would humm and sing softly from a far few feet away, nonsense rhymes and sometimes laughter. Rarer and rarer to find, so he'd tip his head to the side and listen, sweet words instead of the poison normally given. Took it all in, cherished it and pushed aside other sounds that came from her.
Pushed them aside until there was no more sweetness, then cherished those as well.
He'd run towards the sound but stop before he got too close, wary and young and guilty for something he didn't understand. Gojyo wasn't the smartest boy but he could learn.
So he watched from behind a torn sheet, red eyes standing out too much against pale linen.
Watched her hair curl around her like smoke in the breeze, inhaled and smelled the medicine she took. The medicine Jien was angry to find until he started to bring it home himself.
Gojyo loved the smell, loved to see smoke escape from the living room and welcome him from the shadows of their house, allowing him to stand so close and be happy.
Loved to see that hazy look in Mom's eyes because it meant she wouldn't notice his.
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