As I sit here, pondering about the future and what it may hold for me, one thing that comes to mind is the idea of motherhood. The thought of passing down my love for music to a new generation fills me with both excitement and apprehension. Will I be able to instill in them the same passion and dedication that drives me every day? Only time will tell.

In a country like Japan, where the population is rapidly declining due to low birth rates, the prospect of starting a family takes on even greater significance. It feels almost like a duty to contribute towards reversing this trend. And yet, as much as I value tradition and societal expectations, there's also a part of me that longs for something different.

Kumiko has always been by my side through thick and thin. Our bond goes beyond mere friendship; it's something deeper, more profound. We understand each other in ways no one else can comprehend. And so, we've made plans - unconventional ones perhaps - but plans nonetheless.

We've talked about registering fictive marriages with men who would serve as biological fathers while we raise our children together as two mothers. It's not ideal by any means given Japan's laws on marriage equality but sometimes you have to make do with what you have.

I envision us sharing our musical knowledge with our children - teaching them how to play instruments just like we did at Kitauji High School Band all those years ago. Watching them grow into talented musicians would be such a rewarding experience.

And then there are moments when Kumiko wraps her arms around me in an affectionate embrace or leans her head against mine during quiet evenings together... Those simple gestures mean more than words could ever convey.

As uncertain as the future may be, knowing that Kumiko will be right there beside me gives me hope and strength to face whatever challenges lie ahead.