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A Not-So Stranger

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Milk. Eggs. Rice-was it..? Thought Karin Usui as she went over her grocery list for the third time in the last 5 minutes. It was Fall and the leaves flew against her pale legs as she was walking in the direction of the heavy breeze. She was heading towards the local corner store to pick up a few things since she didn’t have the time earlier to do so. It was getting dark out as she dragged her feet against the pavement that would lead her to her destination. She’d have to be quick or else her husband would be worried.

Husband. She was still getting used to it even after 5 months-so far of happy marriage. She was glad to be an Usui. The name just gave her a sense of hope. It gave her a sense of belonging. She never knew her real family and there was a good chance she never will. Her previous name Maaka would be a forgotten name along with a forgotten family. Even though she never knew her real parents Fumio treated her with such love and kindness that Karin considered her to win the title ‘The Best Mother on Earth’.

An accidental stumble pulled Karin out of her thoughts as she looked up to see a younger or perhaps almost middle aged woman in her path. The woman had hair the color of pale pink roses with eyes the color of blood. She also looked to have a sharp toothed-almost wicked grin resting upon her lips.

“Oh dear I’ve just been so clumsy today, haven’t I,” the woman spoke lightheartedly while twirling her umbrella between her fingers.

“Oh, no miss,” Karin objected, “It’s my fault I wasn’t paying attention, I’m sorry.” Karin said as she started to regain her composure.

“Tired I see,” The lady began again. “You youngsters and working yourselves to death.” Karin laughed lightly in response. “Well, I’m sorry about wasting your time and tipping you over, you must have a husband to be getting back to,” Karin’s eyes met the direction of the woman’s, which were gazing at her wedding band. “Must be a fine boy if he has a girl like you.”

“Yes he is,” Karin said lovingly as memories of her and Kenta swept across her mind. She couldn’t even begin to imagine a world without him, because he was her world. As all thoughts went returning to the woman in front of her. The lady was walking closer to her and proceeded to tilt her head so that her lips would be near Karin’s ear.

“My, My,” she whispered softly. “It seems like you have a little-one on the way as well.” Karin’s eyes grew wide as blood began to fill her cheeks.

“Wha-wha-what did you say?” Karin somehow managed to sputter out. All she got was a playful laugh from the woman in return. The woman stepped back and readjusted her umbrella on her shoulder. Karin knew it was a possibility-but she didn’t think it would happen so soon! She mentally slapped and reminded herself that she should not jump to conclusions so soon.

The woman raised a finger to her lips and giggled, “Our little secret,” as she started to walk off, “..for now.” And just like that she disappeared into the darkness. Never to be seen again.

Karin stood in shock. Who was that woman? Was she crazy or something? I’ll probably never know... Karin started to walk towards the store again after pondering the woman’s words for a few minutes. She hurried quickly upon entering the store. She felt somewhat anxious and excited. Her shopping purchases included Milk, eggs, rice, butter, and a soon to be positive pregnancy test.