"Papa, why is the sky red..?"

"Because, my love, Papa has to go back to the war soon..."

"Papa, why is the sky so grey...?"

"Because, my darling, the sky is sad. Soldiers are dying over there..."

"Papa, why is the sky so bright today...?" Akira asked of her father, holding his hand tightly with her little fingers. 

"Because, my dear... The sky has your mother now..." he responded quietly. "Someday, the sky will have papa too..." his voice was soft, saddened by the fact he had to leave again, and wouldn't return, even though she didn't know that. He couldn't bear the thought of harming her. 

"Don't let it, Papa.." she hugged his hand tighter. "Don't leave me 'lone with Yuki... He doesn't play right..." she pouted, looking out at the ocean, the waves moving back and forth. 

"You'll just have to teach him. Okay...? Promise me." he looked down at her, his eyes gleaming with a warmth that she rarely saw in them. 

"I-I will, Papa..." she said quietly, meeting his eyes with her own young ones, not understanding. 

Sometimes, she wondered if it had really happened, or had all been just a dream, imagined by her mind while she slept. 

      Promise me... 

The End

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