This was some time ago.
Specifically, it was when I was in the first year of junior high school.
I was on my way to school when I found Himari and called her.
In junior high school, Himari was as energetic as she is now.
She was a little small, but she was a strong-willed girl who didn’t mind what was said to her.
“Let’s go to school together.”
In the past, I used to be able to interact with people in a natural way without putting on a mask.
I didn’t think about the right kind of relationship with people, nor did I think about it.
I arrived at school and separated from Himari.
I was in a different class from Himari.
Even so, we always go to school together and leave the school together.
That’s how close I was with Himari.
Morning chime rang and the first period started.
“Oh, what a pain in the a**”
I grumbled something like that.
Then I was lightly poked from behind.
“It can’t be helped, can it? It’s class.”
The one who called out to me like that was Kisaki and Yota, who were my best friends in junior high school.
The poke was quite forceful.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”
Despite the fact that I said I didn’t wear a mask in the past, I was able to show my true and genuine self in front of Yota.
Yota’s attitude seemed to be different when he talked to me than when he talked to other girls.
Of course, when he talked to me, he seemed more genuine.
Thinking about it now, Yota might have been a good person from that time.
In fact, in the beginning, I imitated the way he treated me.
But Yota transferred to another school soon after that.
The fourth period class was over and lunch was finished.
Since I was a junior high school student, I took my friends out to play in the schoolyard.
There was no playground equipment in the schoolyard.
So we always played tag or dodgeball.
That day we decided to play tag.
We decided who would be the devil by rock-paper-scissors and everyone ran away at the same time.
I won the game and ran away.
Eventually, the ogre noticed me and came running.
I ran while laughing.
I run through many students in the schoolyard.
Turning around to see if the ogre is nearby, I ran.
I heard a sound, and the impact knocked me onto my butt.
When I looked ahead, I saw a student I didn’t recognize bleeding from his knee.
I must have hit the student in front of me when looking behind.
“I’m sorry! Are you okay?”
“Was it you?”
“I asked if it was you who bumped into me.”
At that moment I was blown backwards.
I was hit on the cheek.
“You, you’re a junior, you shouldn’t have hit me.”
Apparently, this student was a senior.
I acted out of anger.
This time, the upperclassman was blown backward.
Then the senior student, who was not used to being hit, ran away with tears in the corners of his eyes.
“What the hell?”
It was anticlimactic.
When I was in junior high school, I often acted on my emotions and got into fights easily.
So I was a strong fighter in my own way.
“Oi! Are you okay?”
A classmate called out to me.
I was proud of myself.
“Yeah! I hit him back.”
I said with a laugh.
The next day.
I was walking to school with Himari as usual that day.
We arrived at the school and went to the shoe box.
I took out my shoes from the shoe box and put them on, stepping on the heels.
When I looked at Himari , I saw that she had not put on her shoes yet.
“What’s the matter? Aren’t you going to put on your shoes?”
Then, Himari laughed like she was in trouble.
“Uhm, you know, I don’t have my shoes.”
“Did you forget them?”
“No, that’s not what I mean”
What is she talking about?
“I think someone’s hiding it.”
“Hidden? You’re saying…”
“Don’t worry about it, Yusei!”
It’s probably bullying.
Himari didn’t seem to be in dispute with his classmates.
After thinking about it, I had an idea.
That guy who hit me yesterday?
After thinking about it, I ran to the upperclassmen’s classrooms.
After looking for a few classes, I finally found him.
He was alone.
“Hey! It was you! The one who hid Himari’s shoes?
The guy looked surprised at first, but after a while he grinned.
“You shouldn’t have hit me, should you?”
There were many questions.
How did he know Himari?
Why did he target Himari?
Where did he hide her shoes?
But now I was so angry at the enemy in front of me that I couldn’t think about such things anymore.
I stifle my voice and speak.
“I am a very high ranked student in my class. I could make someone else bully you, you know?”
I tried my best to hold back my body, which was about to move to punch him.
“….Why did you stop”
The guy smirks.
“Come to the back of the school building alone after school.”
After school, I did as I was told and went to the back of the school building.
“There he is.”
He was already there.
“Well, you. Put your hands behind your back.”
I did as I was told and put my hands behind my back.
At that moment, I felt a shock in my abdomen.
I was kicked in the stomach.
“Ah, that feels good.”
He said that and kicked me again.
From then on, he also punched me.
After a few minutes, the guy was satisfied and left.
Then I thought.
Was it wrong that I had hit him?
If I hadn’t done that, Himari wouldn’t have been bullied and I wouldn’t have been hurt.
Ah, I see.
I should not have showed my true self.
Just be a good person.