After the break, Kitami was absent from school.
(Glad we made up.)
The email I received mentioned that Kitami was taking a day off from school and that there were developments in his family relationships.
(It seems he’ll come to school tomorrow, I’m relieved.)
He’s using today to prepare various things, like rearranging his residence and what to do with the rented room for living alone. I feel reassured if that’s the reason for his absence.
Well, how should I put it? I feel a bit lonely not being able to see him…
“Good morning, Maika.”
“Yeah, good morning.”
I exchanged greetings with my classmates, and the everyday routine flowed. At least the problems related to me seemed to have settled down. There were no more attempts from Emi to exclude me, and except for not talking to Emi anymore, everything else went back to normal. Naturally, there must be various thoughts running through everyone’s minds.
(Does that mean Kitami won’t do anything…?)
Emi, of course, and now even Shirakawa and Shino know the situation to some extent. At least Shirakawa and Shinohara should be aware, so I doubt they’ll do anything reckless anymore.
So maybe everything will go back to how it was.
(I guess… that’s fine with me.)
Of course, there are parts I don’t agree with, but ultimately it’s up to Kitami to decide what to do.
Unless he says something, I don’t need to say anything. Of course, I’m prepared to side with him if necessary.
Emi is also coming to school. According to Mizuki, convincing her was impossible. I feel bad for Mizuki, but honestly, I had a feeling that would be the case.
She seems fine on the surface. If her inner self is actually down, it would still be a pleasant surprise for us.
But still, calling it a surprise would be an overstatement; it’s just something she would never do.
“Hey, can I talk to you for a moment?”
“What do you want?”
During lunch break, Shirakawa approached me. Shinohara wasn’t around, and he spoke to me as soon as I was alone. Judging by his demeanor, it was undoubtedly a troublesome matter, and it was clear that it was related to Kitami.
“I want to change the location.”
Honestly, I’m curious about what he wants to talk about, so I follow Shirakawa without arguing. The place is an empty classroom where Kitami and I used to talk.
“Take a look at this.”
Saying that, he handed me his phone, showing a well-known SNS platform, with this sentence posted publicly.
“[Name] from [oo High School’s] soccer club bullied a male student from the same school!!”
Such a post had already been public for a whole day. There were not just a few reactions, and even if he were to delete it now, it was already too late; it had spread.
“Do you think Kitami did this?”
“It’s definitely not him.”
I was convinced. If he wanted to do something like this, he would have at least told me, and I can’t imagine Shion-chan giving the go-ahead.
“Of course, you’re right.”
It seemed that Shirakawa was already anticipating my response, as she didn’t show any surprise.
“So, why did you come to me for confirmation?”
“Well, if you knew, I thought it might be Kitami, and… I wanted to apologize.”
“For everything. The trouble I caused Kitami, everything.”
I could think of a few things, like the sudden confession, but he said everything.
“Trying to lessen your guilt?”
“No, that’s not it. I meant that if Fukumura won’t forgive me and wants to express the pain I caused, I’ll willingly accept it. The same goes for Kitami. If this becomes a big issue and requires judgment, I’ll take that too. To be honest, I’ve already given up. I’ve accepted the consequences of what we did. Apologizing won’t change the fact that we did something wrong.”
Shirakawa confessed with a distant expression. There was no sign of deception, at least not that I could perceive.
“Then why bother apologizing in the first place?”
If he’s okay with not being forgiven, there’s no need to offer an apology. I’m well aware that apologies can sometimes stem from self-satisfaction, selfish actions.
“Why? Well, I guess it’s because… it’s certainly a good question. Maybe it’s a sense of duty? No, that’s not it… Ah, I see. It’s guilt. I felt guilty and thought I had to do it to ease the guilt.”
I was sure that was it. That’s what she, Emi, lacked.
She probably doesn’t exist on the level of being forgiven or not, because she doesn’t think she’s done anything wrong.
That’s why he can do this.
“Well, I’m sorry for that too. I’ll leave the decision up to you. I won’t resist anything. I even thought about turning myself in.”
“That’s… wait a moment.”
“True, it all depends on what Kitami wants”
He then mentioned the possibility of the situation escalating, like being questioned by authorities. Shirakawa assured that if it came to that, he would be completely honest and not hide anything. He believed that if someone wanted to crush them, they would undoubtedly succeed.
Shirakawa left the classroom after muttering something about possibly being ‘killed’ by everyone. Now, only I remained in the vacant classroom.
(For Kitami, this must be good news. But still…)
I felt uneasy. There was a sense of unease and a vague conviction that it wouldn’t end so easily.
And the person who spread the information – most likely Emi. It seemed like Emi had finally made up her mind.
Now she had betrayed Shirakawa and the others. What kind of fate would await her?
I didn’t know. But first, I had to report this to Kitami. Even though he might be troubled by this news, there was no option to keep it a secret.
(Wait, he did say he would show up at the shop in the evening.)
If that was the case, then I should talk to him directly.
In reality, it was just a convenient excuse, but that was a secret.
I had decided not to lose. So, it should be okay to be honest with myself.