With a grunt, you manage to fit the last of your luggage in the back of your car. You close the trunk and take one last look at your home. The thought alone brings forth many feelings. All at once you feel scared, happy, excited and sad. You’re not really sure you feel this way, you’ve known you were going to be leaving ever since you got your college acceptance letter. You briefly wonder if anyone else ever felt like this when it was their turn to leave the nest. Did your parents ever feel like you do now? With a sigh, you head back inside to say goodbye to your family. The first thing you notice when you enter the house is the sudden drop in temperature.
“Are you feeling ok?” Recognizing your mother’s voice, you turn to face her and your father. You smile and hug them both, feeling the familiar warmth of your father and the cold from your yuki-onna mother.
“I’m feeling fine mom.”
“Are you sure you’re ok?” she asks as you break the hug. “What if you’re catching a cold? You should stay here till we know you’re…”
“You’re worrying too much,” your father interrupts. “He’s a grown man now. I’m sure he can take care of himself.” He pulls your mother in close and squeezes her tight as she looks away with a blush on her face.
“I-I know that,” she pouts. You all stand there in silence for a moment before your mother looks you in the eye and says, “I know you’ll make us proud, but don’t forget to have some fun too… Not too much fun though! Oh! And don’t forget to call!”
“Don’t worry,” you assure before turning to face Shinju, Yasu and Chou, your three yukiwarashi sisters. No, that’s not quite right. Shinju’s a yuki-onna now. The eldest of your little sisters, Shinju was wearing a stylish white sundress that clung to her developing frame. She always did have an eye for fashion. That, combined with her good looks and outgoing personality were going to make her very popular once she got into high school. You walk up to her and give her a hug. “Hope you have fun at school Shinju.”
“Thank you nii,” she says coolly. That’s odd. Shinju’s usually more expressive than that. Ending the hug, you face Yasu. Unlike your other sisters, Yasu took more after your father and had long black hair. She didn’t really take much care of it and almost always looked like the wind had blown her hair every which way. Today she was wearing her favorite Gray Fullbuster t-shirt with icicle decorated gray sweatpants.
“Here,” she says as she hands you a DVD boxset for some anime you’ve never heard of. “I-I already finished watching it so you don’t have to worry about…” You strain your ears to try to catch the rest of her sentence as Yasu devolves into a mumbling mess. Like Shinju, you find Yasu’s behavior to be quite odd. Sure she wasn’t exactly a social butterfly, but normally you’d be having problems keeping her quiet. You recall how she’s almost always talking to about some new anime she found, why subs were better than dubs, how Gray was her husbando, and other such foolishness. You accept her gift and give her a hug.
“Thanks, I’ll be sure to start watching it when I get moved into the dorm. And you better believe that we’re going to talk about it when I get back,” you reassure.
“Th-thanks aniki!” Ending your hug with Yasu, you turn your attention to your youngest sister, Chou. Wearing a sky blue kimono decorated with white butterflies, Chou almost looked like a miniature version of your mother. You can’t help but notice that her usually beaming smile is missing. She also doesn’t seem to have her usual boundless energy. Seriously, who is this imposter and what have they done to Chou? You approach her and kneel down so you can look her in the eyes.
“Hey Chou, you doing ok?” You wait for Chou to respond, but the only response she gives you is to look away from you. “Are you upset that I’m going away?” You wait again, this time Chou answers you with a nod. “Oh Chou…” you say with a sigh. Without warning, you lift her up and hold her close, eliciting an excited squeal from the yukiwarashi. You feel Chou cling to your neck.
“Please don’t go oni-chan…” whispers Chou. You smile and lightly peck her cheek.
“There, there. I’ll be back before you know it,” you assure. “And when I get back we’ll play twice as much as we usually do.”
“Really?” she asks, sounding a little unconvinced.
“Really, really.” You try to put her down, but it turns out Chou has the hugging power of an amorous yeti and refuses to let go. With a bit of effort, and a little help from Shinju and Yasu, you manage to escape from Chou’s clutches. You give her a pat on the head before heading to the front door. You turn to your family and give them one last goodbye before opening the door to head outside. However instead of the cozy late summer weather you were expecting, you are blasted by the icy cold of a freak blizzard. The strong winds make closing the door rather difficult, but you manage it after some struggle. Cold and wet from the snow, you turn to face the three most likely culprits. All thoughts of reprimanding your sisters are lost however when you see them rush towards you. All three cling to you while crying and refuse to let you go.
“Don’t go oni-chan!” cried Chou after wrapping herself around your leg. “Don’t leave Chou all alone!”
“You can’t leave aniki!” Yasu shouted desperately. You couldn’t help but notice that she was holding your arm as if you were going to run away at any second.
“Please don’t…” muttered Shinju as she cried into your shirt. Perplexed, you look to your parents hoping that they’d be able to help you. Your father, finding your situation amusing, is watching your situation with a beaming smile plastered on his face. No help there… Your mother doesn’t seem a likely savior either as she tries to keep from crying as well. Unsure of how exactly you should proceed, you look back down at your sisters.
“C’mon, I really need to go,” you gently plead.
“You can’t,” whimpered Chou. “Chou wants to play with oni-chan lots and lots! Chou can’t play with oni-chan when he’s gone!”
“I-I can’t wait for you to come back to talk about anime!” Yasu manages to say between sobs. “You’re the only one I can talk about it with!”
“And who’s going to show me around the high school? Or help me with my homework?” added Shinju.
“Or help me with my cosplay?”
“Or buy Chou ice cream when she’s sad?” You stare dumbfounded at your sisters. You knew that this was possibly going to be emotional, but you never expected anything like this!
“You wait for them to calm down before saying, “I’m sorry, but I have to do this. It’s time for me to set out on my own, so I need to go.”
Chou sniffles and asks, “Does that mean you don’t like us anymore oni-chan?” You look at Chou and smile before patting her head.
“Of course I like you Chou! You’re all my adorable little sister! If I could stay with you all I would, but I can’t. I will come back though, as often as I can manage. I promise on my honor as a big brother!” Hesitantly, your sisters begin to detach themselves from you. They don’t look happy, but they at least seem to understand. You hope…
“I’m sorry nii,” Shinju apologized dejectedly. “As the eldest sister, I should have kept my cool a little better…”
“Yeah,” Yasu agreed. “Just remember to come back. Don’t go getting yourself a succubus girlfriend and forget about us!”
“Chou will be a good girl and wait for oni-chan,” concluded the teary eyed Chou.
“Thanks. I’ll be back before you know it,” you assure, a smile forming as you do. You once again turn to the door to leave, and are greeted with another blizzard as you open the door. This one even seemed to be worse than the last one! Annoyed, you look to your sisters again. “Girls?”
“It isn’t me nii,” Shinju states before coolly looking at Yasu.
“Don’t look at me! I’m not doing anything,” Yasu defended, incensed at the accusation. You all turn your attention towards Chou.
“Chou didn’t do it either!” pouted Chou. With a dawning realization, everyone looks to your mother.
“Honey?” your father tentatively asks.
“B-but he’s my baby! He isn’t ready to deal with the world on his own yet! It’s like what Yasu said! What if he meets up with a succubus? Or an orc? Or a dragon? Or a holstaur?”
“Besides the girls are going to miss him sooo much and-“ Your father cuts your mother’s rant short by kissing her. Outside, the blizzard dissipates. You realize your father’s plan and quickly give your final, final goodbye before running outside, your sisters following close behind. The wet snow slows you down, but you still manage to reach your snow covered car. You get inside and turn the ignition before turning on your wipers to to clear the snow from both your front and rear windows. You look at your home longingly for one last time. You see your sisters tearfully waving goodbye while your father further distracts your mother by unwrapping her kimono and groping her breast. You wave back, before you turn to face the road. You put your car in drive and attempt to leave as quickly as possible. Your car fishtails, but you manage to keep control until you leave the yard. With your wheels firmly on the road, you begin your journey to college. You briefly wonder if all of your visits are going to be ending like that from now on…