“S-Shinzaki! W-what’s wrong? It’s summer vacation, you know?”
Sensei says this with a slight flinch.
“Yes, I know. I came to school today to talk to you, Satozaki-sensei.”
I’m pretending to be calm, but inside I’m very nervous.
I wonder if I will be able to speak well.
Sensei stared at me as if she was trying to find out my true feelings.
“Why don’t we go to our usual place?”
The usual place, that is, the guidance room.
The teacher pauses for a few seconds before answering me.
With a rattle, the door to the guidance counselor’s office opens.
We sit down facing each other.
Sensei opens her mouth.
“So, Shinzaki, what is it that you want to talk about?”
I said the words I had been simulating all the time I had been at school.
“I want to apologize”
“Apologize? To whom?”
The teacher looked a little puzzled.
“I want to apologize to Satozaki-sensei.”
Sensei still looks puzzled.
How many times are you going to ask me?
“N-no, but you see, Shinzaki, I don’t owe you an apology…..”
“No, I made you cry.”
“No! Shinzaki! That was my fault! It’s my fault! It’s my fault for not thinking about Shinzaki’s feelings at all!”
“Sensei, you certainly weren’t thinking about me at all at that time.”
When I said that, Sensei’s elegant face became distorted.
“But I didn’t think about you at that time either”
Yes, I didn’t think about anyone else at all.
At that time, it was enough if I was the only one who was good.
I wanted to believe that everyone around me was at fault.
So I put on a mask and tried to cut off the connection with others.
It turned out to be a failure.
” Satozaki-sensei, I’m sorry I couldn’t think of your feelings.”
I bowed my head.
Then I heard a sniffling sound coming from in front of me.
When I looked up, I saw that Sensei was spilling tears from her eyes.
Eh? Why? Did I do something?
“Eh! Why are you crying?”
I called out to Sensei in a panic.
Then Sensei opened her mouth.
“I knew that one day you would end up like that, because you were so focused on others that you neglected yourself. So it was easy to imagine that you would explode from the frustration that had built up.”
Is that so?
“Yes, but I couldn’t help you.”
Sensei cried incessantly.
“I’m really, really sorry.”
Sensei bowed her head deeply.
“Please, Sensei, don’t do this.
“Regretting the past won’t help. Let’s think about the present.”
The teacher calls my name and slowly approaches me.
My body is wrapped in something soft after a nice smell.
I was being embraced.
“Sorry, Shinzaki, let me stay like this just a little longer.”
No one would think that Sensei in front of me now was that Satozaki Sensei.
That’s how far away from the normal teacher she was and the teacher she is now.
A little while later, the teacher calmed down and moved away from me.
Sensei’s cheeks turned a little red.
“I-I’m sorry you had to see that embarrassing part.”
Is what she said.
“No, I think you look cute that way.”
I told her frankly.
“Well, I’ll leave now.”
With that I left the student guidance office.
Right after I left.
I wondered if everything was okay.