Chapter 56: Welcome home
Himari’s eyes lit up when she was given the game console, but when she started playing it, she went crazy. It was probably because she couldn’t get it to work the way she wanted it to.
She could barely hold a spoon in her hand, so there was no way she could do anything complicated. Even moving on from the title screen was a challenge.
“Himari! Stop throwing!”
Himari cried as she was hit by Sensei.
“Himari, it’s like rehabilitation. We’ll get better at it little by little, okay?”
I picked up the game console that had fallen on the blanket and handed it to Himari.
“But this seems like a good rehabilitation program, right?”
“Yes, it’s good for exercising the fingers and stimulating the brain as well.”
Just as they had said, Himari’s motor functions began to improve remarkably after she started playing with the Black Iron Warrior.
She can now eat with a spoon and wipe her own buttocks.
Even her physician was surprised by this.
“Finally, I’m free from taking care of Himari.”
“We’ve aged so much since then, right?”
Himari glared at us as we laughed hysterically.
Her speech function has not recovered much yet.
“If you can get into a wheelchair on your own, we can discharge you.”
We were overjoyed to hear that from the physician in charge.
“That’s great, Himari! You’ll be able to go home soon.”
Hearing this, Himari seemed to be on fire with excitement.
The next day, she began to work harder and harder at rehabilitation.
It had been three months since Himari had regained consciousness. Finally, the decision was made to discharge her from the hospital.
It was already November. Summer had already passed and winter was about to arrive.
“Welcome home, Himari-chan.”
It’s been more than five months since I’ve seen her with a smile on her face, with Shino pushing her wheelchair.
” Himari-chan, welcome home!”
“Oh, you said it well. Great job.”
Himari’s language skills had recovered considerably and she was able to communicate more easily.
Well, that didn’t stop her from saying, “I hate you.” to me
“I’ve prepared a feast to celebrate your release from the hospital!”
“Kooky, I want some!”
“Don’t worry, there’s plenty to go around, okay?”
The Rurikawa family’s dining table came back to life.
I felt very lonely in this house without Himari.
“It’s nice to have a meal with five people after all!”
“Yeah, we’re basically mute. We don’t talk much when Himari is not around.”
Especially me and Sakurako-sensei, we’re the type of people who eat in silence.
It was almost as if only Shino and Tsumugi were talking.
“I am glad to hear that.”
Himari gobbled up her treat, her mouth all gooey.
When Tsumugi saw this, she laughed and wiped her mouth. It really made me smile.
After the meal was over, I took Himari to her room.
Himari is staring at the pictures on the wall.
I’m particularly interested in the picture of the time when I was chosen as the representative of the inter high team and they congratulated me.
In the picture, Himari is standing right next to me. She has a huge smile on her face.
“——Is that me?”
Himari turned around and asked Shino.
“Yes, it is. I’ve shown you this before, haven’t I? You’ve always had blond hair, Himari-chan.”
“‘You want to dye it again? I’ll do it for you.”
Himari thought about it for a while.
“I like it black.”
“I don’t know.”
“Then let’s keep it black.”
Sensei smiled at her and patted Himari’s head.
“It’s got that person’s face on it. Take it off.”
“Mou! Not that person, it’s Yagami-san!
“Take it off! I don’t want it!”
Himari never calls me by my name.
But that’s okay.
“Okay, okay, I’ll peel off all the pictures with me in them.”
I peeled off some of the photos.
Come to think of it, there are no two-shot photos of me and Himari.
That’s what our relationship was like, I thought to myself.
“Are you going to throw away the photos?”
Himari is troubled. –Good. I’m glad she didn’t say “throw it away” right away.
“Put them away.”
“I see. I’ll put them in the desk drawer.
Sensei smiled, took the photo from me and put it in the second drawer from the top.
“I want to play games!”
“Let’s go to the living room.”
Shino walked Himari to the Black Iron Warrior cabinet.
Himari moved from the wheelchair to the cockpit by herself.
“I’ll show you how to use it.”
Himari fastened her seatbelt and activated the generator.
“Oh, how well you remembered.”
I’m pretty sure she only played it once.
Is it because she has a good memory for strange things?
Himari called up the Kaiserschnitt and started the training mode.
It seems that the levers are easier to handle than the cumbersome controls on the handheld game console. The movement is not that bad.
“Heh, I’m really impressed. You might be able to win against a novice.”
“Yes, ……, but I don’t think you can make it to the world championships. ……”
Shino is right.
With Himari’s current skill level, she was sure to lose the qualifying round.
To be honest, it would be nearly impossible for her to fulfill her promise.
Himari hit the cockpit with a bang.
I guess she was frustrated that she couldn’t do it well.
“Himari-chan, you’ll break it!”
“Don’t worry, you’ll get it.”
I patted Himari’s head.
Himari swatted my hand away. Yare yare.
“The Kaiserschnitt is designed for experts. Let’s make it more manageable.”
I created a balanced aircraft and switched to it.
“Try it, Himari.”
Himari started the training mode again.
She’s moving even better than before.
Himari laughs happily.
Seeing this, we smiled.
After playing the game for a while, Himari started to write something on a piece of paper.
I don’t know what she’s writing, because she gets really angry if I peek at her.
“I think it’s probably a letter. Himari-chan can convey her feelings better in writing.”
It takes Himari a long time to come up with words, so she can’t hold a conversation well.
But with letters, she can take her time and express her feelings.
“It looks like you’ve finished writing.”
Himari glanced at Shino.
“Did you finish it, Himari?”
“Yes. I want to go to the bathroom.”
Shino takes Himari to the bathroom
The letter was left behind. I wonder if I can read it.
“Do you want to read it?”
Shino comes back and the three of us read Himari’s letter together.
Thank you, everyone.
Thank you all for taking care of me, I’ve become a fool.
Thank you, Sakurako.
Thank you, Shino.
Thank you to the man and his sister.
But I hate grown-ups.
Just looking at his face makes me sad.
Why is that?
I feel like I’ve lost something very important.
But, I feel like I’ve woken up in order to play games with that person.
I want to become more skillful.
We read the letter over and over again without uttering a single word.
First, Shino started crying and left the room.
Sensei was next.
I stayed until the end, and read it again and again by myself.
“Himari……, let’s definitely go to the world championships……”
April 6th I receive a curse.
April 7th – First day of work. I was beaten up and joined a gym.
15th Joined the track and field club.
20th A meteorite falls on my house.
28th. Became a member of the Inter-High School team.
29th Date with Shino
30th Confronts Ryoichi Saotome in an underground arena
May 1st, catches Doi and gets 1 million yen
Concludes with Shogo Kito on the 6th
May 15: East-West Championship match
29th Eating a bowl of parfait with Himari
30th Himari gets into an accident.
June 21st: Flees to Hokkaido with Shino
July 9th Ball game
10th: Go to the beach with Sakurako
August 1: Wins the Inter-High School 1,500m Championship
August 3rd: Wins 5,000m. Himari regains consciousness.
November 7th Himari discharged from hospital.