Chapter 42: Shuya Kitami
I get home somewhat later than usual. I am a little anxious to hear a few words from Sachi, but I trust that she will forgive me for that.
I don’t get the greeting I usually get from Sachi. It is not necessary to go out of her way every time, but I still feel uncomfortable when I see something out of the ordinary.
“Ah, you’re on the phone, huh?”
When I looked into the living room, I found Sachi on the phone with someone. I knew I had to make sure I didn’t disturb her. Trying not to make any noise, I headed for the bathroom to wash away my fatigue.
” Ah, I’ll put Onii-chan on the phone now.”
Sachi said that and offered her cell phone to me as I came back to the living room after taking a shower.
”Eh? Who is it? Me?”
”It’s…. from Grandpa. Uhm, for now, I think you’ll understand if he tells you what he wants to talk about.”
Sachi’s face was somewhat unhappy as she said this. She looked as if she knew something unpleasant was about to happen.
I braced myself a little and took over the phone. No, I’m not scared at all, but just in case.
”Hello? It’s Shuya.”
”Oh Shuya, it’s been a long time. How are you?”
It’s been a long time indeed. I haven’t been in touch with him much recently. When was the last time we met?
”Yes. I’m fine.”
Well, I’m in a lot of mess, but I’m healthy and fine.
”… I see. Well, that’s good.”
Grandpa’s words seemed to have a hint of meaning. I felt his words were somewhat cryptic, but I wondered if it was just my imagination.
“So what’s the matter? I mean, it’s not like I have to do something, but is there something wrong?”
”Aah, about that…’
Grandpa’s voice became lower, and I naturally became more defensive.
And what I had thought was just my imagination turned out to be right on the mark.
“—Would you and Sachi like to come live with us?”
One possibility came to my mind when I thought.
I took a glance at Sachi, wondering if it might be possible.
“No, I didn’t say anything, Mom however”
Sachi quickly caught the intent of my gaze and answered. I see, then…
“I’d like to ask you why?”
I asked the semi-obvious reason.
“Taeko-san came to my house today.”
I knew it. That must be why Mom confided everything to him.
”I heard about it. She told me what kind of treatment Shuya has received in the past. And what kind of treatment you are receiving now.”
I felt caught up in those words.
”What do you mean now? Why did Mom say that?”
Whatever happened in the past, she’s not acting that way now. I’m sure things aren’t going well, though.
“To this day, Shuya is still left alone and Sachi has distanced herself from her. Did that really happen?”
That’s not true. Is what I thought. But I could only think, not say.
I’m not alone. I’m just doing what I’m doing right now. Sachi is not keeping her distance from Mom either. She’s just standing with me. This part is probably an exaggeration on Grandpa’s part.
That’s why it’s wrong. But I still couldn’t put it into words.
What came to mind instead were these words.
A small murmur that no one could hear. But it stuck in my mind deeply and profoundly.
I decided to put aside for the moment what I was going to do later. If something happens, well, Sachi will take care of it.
It’s a shameful thing to say, but it’s the best I can do for now.
“—-Yes, it’s terrible.”
Sachi looks surprised at my words, as if she has some idea of what the conversation is going to be about.
After Sachi confirmed my expression, however, I am sure it was not my imagination that she looked somewhat relieved.
That alone made me feel that this choice was a mistake or not.
I couldn’t stop spitting out the words.
”I’ve been lonely for a long time.”
The words that came out of my mouth were not of my choosing. It was as if all the things that had been holding things back were overflowing one by one.
“I regret so much that I didn’t go to junior high school properly until the end. I think there could have been a different path. I’m also really regretful that I was so afraid of the people around me that I had to withdraw.”
Maybe it was because of this regret that I was able to enter high school after being a shut-in for a year.
I could study hard because I was determined to do it this time.
But the number one reason was—
”I always thought I had to live on my own.”
I had no one to rely on. I lost my friends, my family didn’t trust me, and I didn’t turn to my grandfather for fear that my mother would find out.
“I had no friends, no one to believe in me, no one I could trust, and I was kind of in the dark.”
This is just a complaint. I am not saying this because I want people to understand my suffering.
I’m just taking it out on people. However, I am sure that it is not meaningless.
I don’t think the words I said to my mother that day were meaningless. No, I can think now that they were meaningful words.
I learned that thinking of others is not the only right thing to do.
“I went through a lot of hard times. Even in high school, things didn’t go well, and even now there are so many problems and difficulties, but after all that, after all that…!”
The root of my life has not changed. My roots are in this one fact.
The hardest thing for me was that my mother didn’t believe me.
I found myself crying. The voice was uttered as if it was being squeezed out.
The school was a small matter, as was the fact that Sonoda had betrayed me.
The most painful thing was that my family didn’t believe me.
”Why! Even I was in pain! After my father died, I still had to do my best! And yet, it’s always been about Sachi!”
Once something overflows, it doesn’t stop easily.
”I really wanted to continue playing soccer. I wanted to play games. I wanted to read manga. I wanted her to take me out to play! But it wasn’t all me! It was all about Sachi!”
”Ugh… Ugh… Onii-chan…”
I was crying, and Sachi was also crying, perhaps seeing me crying. I move closer to her and she silently presses her head against my chest in a hug.
I gently patted her head. Sachi knows that I am not blaming her.
Even so, Sachi probably feels that she is responsible for the situation.
”So, why don’t we live together after all? Shuya is going to college and Sachi is going to high school.”
Grandpa was certainly right. Especially Sachi is preparing for the high school entrance exam. It would be better not to have family problems.
But my answer is clear.
This is Sachi’s —— No, let’s not look for any other reason after coming this far.
This is what I want to do. Let’s talk about it honestly.
“Sorry, I can’t do that.”
”… Why not?”
Of course, he must be wondering.
After all the frustration and suffering I’ve put myself through, one would think I’d want relief from it.
“Because I want to change.”
“Because I want to change…?”
That’s right. I want to change. I want to change this current family relationship.
And it’s not just me and Sachi who think so.
That’s right. It is enough for me.
“I’m in the middle of a fight with my mom.”
Sachi’s arm around my back tightens.
But it was clear to me that this was not out of nervousness, but somewhat out of relief.
“Mother is facing me properly. There may be various problems with the method, but I still think she is facing it. So I don’t want to run away from it. So me and Sachi have no intention of being taken care of. I’m sorry.”
I haven’t actually heard Sachi’s thoughts, but I’m sure they are the same. I’ll let the warmth I feel in my chest be my answer.
”—I see. I understand. But if you need anything, tell me immediately. Do you understand?”
”Yes. Thank you. Uhm, can I get this out of the way right away? I’m still trying to figure this out, and I’m having a lot of problems with it.”
”Of course. What is it?”
’Uh. I’ll e-mail you. I’ll talk to Sachi about it first.”
It’s not something I can decide on my own.
“Got it. Then, I’ll see you later.
”Yes, yhank you very much. Good night.”
And so ended the call with Grandpa.
”Sachi? Have you calmed down?”
“.. A little more.”
Sachi didn’t let go of me and stayed where she was, perhaps still a little embarrassed to be seen crying. Well, as an Onii-chan, it’s not a bad idea to pamper her.
”So, what did you want to talk about?”
”Ah, about that…”
And so I began to talk slowly.
From now on I’m sure I’m going to surprise Sachi.
Hopefully, she won’t object—-
3 comments »
SimakAugust 14, 2022 at 2:36 am
Thanks for the chapter.
EssaAugust 15, 2022 at 7:48 am
sachi is such a good imouto 😭
wtfchrlzOctober 12, 2022 at 9:50 am
The overly emotional monologues in every japanese WN are so f*****g embarrassing.