Midorima Shintarō walked home from school along the path he always took. It wasn’t the most direct route home, but it was the one he was most comfortable with.
There was something to be said for continuity. There was safety and familiarity in profoundly ingrained habits and a certain reassurance in retracing one’s well-worn steps.
He walked beneath the shade of the saffron ginkgo trees that lined the wide streets of the quiet residential neighborhood and was careful to avoid stepping on the cracks in the sidewalk.
His home was the one at the end of the block. The house itself was deeply ensconced within its large, lush lot and protected from prying eyes by a tall stone wall.
Still, the cobalt blue roof tiles of the two-story structure revealed their beauty as they came into view when Shintarō approached the property.
Some of his classmates stopped at the konbini on the way home to share a popsicle, others stayed behind to shoot hoops at the park by school,
but Shintarō made sure he headed home straight from practice. It wasn’t like any of the other kids ever asked him to join them. Besides, he was a big brother now.
He had a baby sister he wanted to play with before he did his homework and practiced the piano and did everything he needed to do to prepare himself for the next day.
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