At the forest school, I saw Onii-chan getting along with his classmates.
I am very happy.
Onii-chan accepted my pine cone.
This is all thanks to Shinozuka-chan.
They don’t seem to be dating, but they already have the air of a mature couple.
Every time I see Onii-chan smiling, I regret my past mistakes.
No matter how much I apologize or how much Onii-chan forgives me, my past sins will never disappear.
But that’s okay. I have learned that this is how human beings grow.
I am who I am, past, present, and future all rolled into one.
“Haruka, what’s wrong?”
“You’re quiet today. Isn’t that unusual?”
I’m talking with Miyazaki-san and Saito-san after a long time at the forest school.
I was drinking canned juice at the end of the recreation room in the girls’ wing after I finished taking a bath.
“No, Haruka is fine! Saito-san, I’m so happy for you! You and Onii-chan are getting along so well.”
“Thanks, Miyu is happy.”
Earlier, Saito-san told me about the events on the bus and the exchange in the kitchen. She seemed very happy.
Of all of us, I think Saito-san has changed the most.
Not only in appearance, but she has lost her gyaru-ish personality and has become the kind of girl who would fit in well in the library.
I heard that she is now working part-time at a bookstore.
I think that gal-like personality was overworked.
Now Saito-san seems very innocent on the inside.
Boys in my class are talking about her. She’s getting a lot of confessions and she’s become very pretty.
“I see. Everyone is amazing. I haven’t been able to do anything.”
Miyazaki-san looks a little depressed.
“That’s not true.”
I said without a second thought.
I knew that this was how Miyazaki-san would like to be told. I choose those words and say them.
It is true that Miyazaki-san has no contact with Onii-chan at all, but she actually seems to be enjoying school the most.
Miyazaki-san is in the same class as me, and she is extremely popular, the pinnacle of the rear class.
She is friends with everyone in the class, is very communicative, kind, cute, ……, and easily swept along.
No offense to her, but she often makes enemies.
The reason she got into trouble with the good-looking Nikaido-kun and the others for nothing is because Miyazaki-san’s friend Kurosawa-san was about to do something strange to her.
…… That handsome Nikaido-kun gives off a strange vibe. I wonder what it is?
I have a chance to talk to him for various reasons, but he is definitely not normal.
His head is screwed up. I can’t feel normal emotions.
The little boy I was with……Ninomiya-kun is small, cute and very popular with the girls.
But I know. I know that Ninomiya-kun is a super secret otaku who loves anime and ecchi games.
He’s in the same class as Nanako!
He always comes up to Nanako when I’m talking to her.
I’m sure he likes Nanako!
“That’s not true! Shizuka is doing her best. Right?”
“I see. Thanks you two. ……”
I was thinking about Nikaido-kun and the others, so I didn’t really listen to what she had to say. I’m sorry, Shizuka.
A voice calls out to Miyazaki-san from a different part of the recreation room.
“Hey, Shizuka! Let’s play ping-pong over here!”
Saito-san smiled at Miyazaki-san.
“Shizuka, why don’t you go play?”
Miyazaki-san said to Saito-san and me, “Sorry,” as she left.
Saito-san let out a light sigh.
“Somehow…..Seems like a lot of work when there are a lot of socializing going on, doesn’t it? Do you think Shizuka will be okay?”
“Yeah, I think she will be fine.”
Miyazaki-san is enjoying a game of ping-pong with her classmate Momo Kurosawa.
She looks like she’s having fun, but I can’t tell if she actually means it or not.
No, it is obvious to me that she is wearing a mask. Why is that?
I’m a little bit uncomfortable with Miyazaki-san.
The three of us get together less and less often.
Onii-chan and Shinozuka-san were getting lovey-dovey, and I thought it would be better if we didn’t move any more strangely.
For some reason, I was getting along well with Kisaragi and Nanako.
Why is that? Was it because they were easy to understand?
They are both unique, especially Kisaragi, who has a strong personality, but I never get tired of being with her.
It made me think that even someone like me has someone I’m not good at.
At first I thought it was because I was jealous of Onii-chan’s childhood friend.
After talking to her I realized that she was a very nice person.
That impression is still the same today. I think she is a good person.
But there are times when I feel scared.
I can’t explain it in words.
To be honest, it would be easier to understand if she had a bad personality like Kurosawa.
“I’m going back to my classmates! Fufu, I had fun talking with you, Haruka-chan! Next time, tell me how Makoto-kun is doing in the classroom!”
“Thanks! Haruka’s going to Nanako! Good night!”
Saito-san leaves the recreation room.
I saw her off and got up.
“Kyahaha, you really suck at this, don’t you? If you lose, confess to Hayakawa.”
“Hey, Momo-chan, don’t say that.”
The group playing ping-pong gave a clear sense of caste. The teasing character of the group has a drawn out smile on her face.
Not much I want to see. ……
What should I do?
Miyazaki-san stopped Kurosawa with a troubled look on her face. But she only stopped as long as she didn’t run out of control.
The student disparity within the class never ends.
Unlike other classes, a strange atmosphere clings to me and won’t go away.
I am alone in the dark woods in the early morning looking at the grass.
I know that my classmates make fun of me. They all look down on me.
I can do sports, but I can’t study.
Even if I get a good score on a test, it is always dismissed as a fluke.
I am a character that everyone in class teases.
They make stupid remarks and make fun of me. No one takes me seriously.
I thought it couldn’t be helped. Even I think I’m crazy.
I love Onii-chan.
That’s fine, but I don’t think I had empathy for people as a child because I forget things that don’t matter, I say stupid things, I have a loud voice, I can only do sports, I think other people don’t matter, and I don’t think I had empathy for people.
I didn’t care as long as I have Onii-chan.
…… I wanted to kill myself for being mean to Onii-chan.
I became a fool by reasoning that I was a stupid person and that’s why I did what I did.
–Difference in consciousness of right and wrong.
I didn’t think it was wrong to be mean to Onii-chan.
I didn’t think I was hurting him until “that moment.”
That time, when we stopped at the park after shopping alone after a long time, we had a conversation. The cold-eyed Onii-chan said to me in honorifics
[Please don’t call me Onii-chan now–]
I pretended not to understand what he meant.
I thought it would be all right if I pretended to be an idiot.
But then, my thoughts spun fast in my head and I reconstructed my memories of Onii-chan from birth to that moment.
So I understood everything.
I was wrong.
I knew that he hated me and wanted me out of his sight.
Those words pierced deep, deep, deep into my heart and became thorns that I still can’t get rid of.
I will never forget the look on his face, the weight of his words, and the vibration in his voice.
I thought something was broken.
Onii-chan ran away, but I couldn’t move from that spot for more than an hour.
I fooled myself by pretending that I didn’t understand so that the shock wouldn’t break my heart.
At night, I still remembered and thought about it all night. Like I was reinstalling everything about myself, I abandoned the far I had been.
I think that thorn gave me a human heart.
And I began to study the human heart from that day on.
I read difficult books, I observed my classmates all the time. I kept thinking about what was wrong, what was good, and the subtleties of the human heart.
That is why I didn’t study for tests. I didn’t listen to class.
I was the idiot, and I was the one calmly looking around me.
It was as if there were two of me.
“I-is that you, Haruka? Where, where are you? A-answer me. I’m sure you’ve been invited for a morning walk by Ninomiya-kun? I-it’s awkward to be alone.”
I emerge from the bushes.
“Muuuuch, Nanako, you startled me too much! Good morning! Then let’s go together to the meeting place that Ninomiya-kun said!”
I don’t know why I feel so natural when I’m with Nanako.
Kisaragi is the same way. I know she has a bad personality, but I know that she is working hard behind the scenes to fix it.
“Mou, Haruka, don’t surprise me. ….. Let’s go quickly. If Haruka-chan doesn’t come, you will never get started.”
“What? I’m just an extra.”
For some reason, Nanako let out a sigh.
“Hah……, Haruka-chan can understand so many things about us, but you can’t understand about yourself.”
I really didn’t understand what Nanako meant.
I walked behind Nanako, tilting my head.
Nanako’s back is stronger than before.
Since the incident at the gymnastics festival, she looks refreshed.
Kisaragi is the same way. She has stopped pretending to her club mates and is going her own way.
But I know.
Kisaragi is being talked about behind her back in class, and it’s hurting her badly.
Nanako is still being harassed.
It’s not as big a bullying as before, but she is still hated by the girls in her class.
As Onii-chan said, if you interfere in a quarrel between girls, it becomes more complicated.
But I never read the air.
Saito-san and Miyazaki-san are my first friends, but–
Nanako and Kisaragi are my first friends.
I am not kinder than Onii-chan.
So I show no mercy to my friends’ enemies.
“Haruka-chan? Are you listening? Ninomiya-kun wants to walk with us on today’s climb.”
“Ababa! I said I heard! Oh, it’s a beautifully shaped pine cone! Would it make Onii-chan happy if I gave it to him?
“Mou, you can’t give it to him, there’s a bug on it. Oh, Ninomiya!”
At the exit of the forest, Nanako’s classmate, Ninomiya-kun, was standing there.
Like the main character in the manga Nanako likes to read, he is a boy who looks good in shorts that still have a boyish look to them.
Nikaido-kun is also there beside him for some reason. He is as handsome as ever.
He is smiling, but his eyes are not.
Nikaido-kun looks at me with a penetrating gaze.
He looks like an honor student, he is popular, he seems to have a good personality, but there is something different about him.
I had the opportunity to read a number of novels, and I could sense a thick, dark mass of consciousness.
“Ninomiya, go ahead. I think I’ll go to ‘Shinjo-kun.”
“Y-yes, thanks for seeing me off. Nanako-san, Haruka-san, thank you for coming.”
The look he gives to Nanako is passionate.
The eyes that are directed at Nanako are very passionate. I’m sure they will start a wonderful love.
I do not avert my gaze from Nikaido-kun.
“Haruka-san, aren’t you looking at me too much? Don’t worry. I want Shinjo-kun and the others to be happy.”
Unexpectedly, my heart voice leaked out.
“Muki-ee! Something doesn’t sit right with you! Don’t you dare flirt with Onii-chan!”
“Well, he’s very attractive, so that’s difficult. Besides, he’s a fellow novelist, so we have plenty to talk about.”
“I-I love Onii-chan the most! He accepted my pinecone!”
It was thrown though.
“Hahaha, you didn’t come here today to talk to me, did you? Look, Ninomiya’s looking at me with those amazing eyes. I can’t let him get jealous. I’m going.”
Saying that, Nikaido-kun slapped Ninomiya-kun’s b*tt with a bashin’ sound and left.
It sounded pretty good. …Not bad.
I too can switch emotions when I slap my b*tt.
I think it’s a kind of trigger.
I think as I watch Nikaido-kun’s back as he leaves.
I will never make Onii-chan sad again.
I really feel that from Nikaido-kun, that he will never make Shinozuka-san sad again.
That’s why I won’t let Onii-chan and Shinozuka-san be exposed to the bad atmosphere at school.
I will laugh at all the bad feelings and accept them.
I’m the only one who has to suffer the pain of being hated and ridiculed.
“Don’t look so sad, Haruka-san. …… I’m worried about you. I’m afraid that you might break down.”
Before I knew it, Ninomiya-kun was beside me.
Hohe …… Nanako, you?!
Nanako stepped away from me and looked at us smiling.
“Mou, Haruka-chan you don’t know yourself any more. The person, Ninomiya-kun, isn’t interested in me. I’m just being consulted.”
I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t understand the situation.
If I look closely, I can see that Ninomiya’s face is bright red.
“I-I want to be with Haruka. L-Let’s go for a walk together …….”
I can feel my face getting hotter. What is it? Why me!?
O-Onii-chan, Haruka is in the biggest pinch of her life!
I never thought I would be involved in a love affair. ……
Help me, Onii-chan!