I'm thinking of Aoko today. And I'm thinking of my secret. I always wonder how she'd react if I told her that certain something…but I don't wonder—I know. And it's enough to convince me, for the sake of my physical well-being, not to tell her.

But Mom knew about Dad.

She must've. After all, secret rooms are awesome and everything, but after living in the same house for almost twenty years, you're going to realize that there's an amount of space between the living room and the kitchen rather larger than a wall.

That, and the fact that the first Kaitou Kid disappeared the night my father died.

That, and I like to think that Dad trusted her enough to tell her.

So when Kid reappeared, she must have seen through the mask and monocle immediately. She must have guessed the truth. She must have been terrified when she saw my face on the evening news.

She hasn't said a word to me about it, though. On the surface we pretend we're a normal one-parent family with a really, really thick wall between the kitchen and the living room.

But no teenager is kissed good-bye so ardently every time he leaves the house. Mom looks at me, usually so strong but in that moment trembling—Mom never perfected Poker Face like Dad and me—and she says "be careful." She used to say "be a good boy," but now that point is moot.
"Be careful, Kaito."

And then I smile at her, not with Poker Face—because Poker Face doesn't work on the wife of Kuroba Toichi—and I say "I will, Mom."

Since becoming Kid, I've never left the house without spending five seconds on this tiny conversation. I guess I've gotten it in my head that the day I don't promise my mother I'll come home is the night that I don't come home at all.

I can't tell her, but I want her to know. She's the humanity behind the mask.

Thanks, Mom.

Now if only Aoko could be like my mother…