Translated and Edited by: luccayn.
-san: A polite suffix, but not excessively formal.
-kun: A common suffix among friends and younger people. Can also mean Mr.
-chan: A common suffix among people you’re close with, mostly used for feminine nicknames and girls, since it’s cutesy and childlike.
-senpai: A common suffix and noun used to address or refer to one’s older or more senior colleagues in a school, workplace, dojo, or sports club.
During our last gathering, my senior told me we’d have club activities next Tuesday. Due to that, I had Monday all to myself.
Normally, I would walk straight home after a hard day’s work, but for some reason, I decided to meander around the school grounds. I never really paid attention to the small things in my day-to-day life, but as I strolled around, various things caught my eye. A dainty flower bed that the gardening club looked after, an oddly placed water dispenser—things like that.
I found myself treading a path to the recreational area. If I turned right, I would find the plaza and the all-familiar club building, but I took a left instead, finding a willowy track. One quick glance at the booklet they gave everyone was enough to throw me in a loop. There was no mention of such a pathway on any of the diagrams, and I never saw anyone going there. With my sense of adventure as a guide, I curiously trod forward.
Contrary to my expectations, however, the twiggy road quickly narrowed and soon broke off. Let down by the lack of anything, yet still unwilling to give up, I pushed through twigs and leaves and ended on a small pavilion in a secluded spot.
Enclosed by thick trees and adjourned by flowerbeds, the scene before me was a perfect snapshot from a fantasy movie. Despite the gazebo’s simplicity, it was still capable of taking my breath away. Never would I have thought of this place’s existence.
Adding to the outré, the majestic flowers enhanced the impact of the scene. None of them, surprisingly, seemed to be wild-grown. Was the gardening club also taking care of this place as well? With this question floating around in my mind, I noticed the flowers were all from the same species, although in different colors.
While I gazed at the unblemished garden, a voice called out from behind, “Do you like the flowers?”
I turned around and saw a girl standing there. A student I recognized. “Well, even though I don’t particularly love them, I still found these beautiful. Look, this one has white around it and a tinge of red in the center, like condensed milk and strawberries. Are these all the same flower, maybe?”
She was the head of the gardening club. What was her name again…? Oh well, I just remember she looked like one of those regal ladies. “Fufu, quite the unique take, but I agree. This flower is called petunia—my favorite. In the language of flowers, this one means, ‘I am at ease when I’m with you’,” she paused. “I was watching from the back, and thought it fit you very well.”
Huh? I don’t have anyone like that, so I’d feel uncomfortable giving a flower with this meaning to my dad or my sister. Perhaps it would fit better someone in love as a gift?
“I’m sorry, I don’t remember your name but you’re the head of the gardening club, right? Is this place a part of your club as well?”
“My my, have we met?”
“I’m a freshman, so one of the seniors in your club gave me and some others a tour.”
“Oh, I see. I’m sorry, I was so nervous during that time I don’t recall much. My name is Karen Tsuchimikado. Please do remember it this time. Oh, and these flowers have nothing to do with the club. I chanced upon this place when I was a freshman, and I personally started growing these beauties because it would be wonderful to be surrounded by flowers.”
Ah, yeah, Karen Tsuchimikado. The way she spoke and her name were both elegant they would surely not escape my mind again. Still, she raised this place all by herself? I barely found it by going into the forest, so I wonder if anyone else knows about it… No, even if they did, they might not find the same beauty I did upon getting here.
“Ah, thank you for your politeness. I am Yuu Takasaki, a freshman. Would it be okay for me to come back here?”
“Sure, I may not own the place, but it’s all mine! —Funny isn’t it? I have this self-righteous and selfish feeling of ownership, yet I still want people to witness the flowers I personally grew and am proud of. Despite that, I have never seen a single person here in my two years attending the school. So, as the first person who’s found this place, feel free to use it!”
She was attached to the gazebo even though it wasn’t exactly hers. Well, eventually she’ll have to part ways with this garden, so I’ll just take her word for it and use it. This will definitely override the best place for lunch.
Ah, but I’ll have to make sure no one sees me turning left. The fewer people that know about it, the better. I would feel sorry for the senior if I ended up opening the floodgates of people.
“Then, I’ll take your word for it and do so,” I answered.
“Takasaki-kun, do you like these white and red petunias?”
“I love them, but I also like these brown ones since they’re so chic. Ah, but the white and yellow ones are also so pretty…”
“Glad you like all of them!”
Then, the senior and I had a short conversation about flowers. As she spoke about the wonders of gardening, her eyes shone. She really must love flowers… I recalled the time I went to the club, and I do remember her being shy. Despite that, she still held a passion for this hobby.
“Ah, I’m afraid I’ll be late if I keep talking like this. I’ll be sure to come back some other time, so I’ll be looking forward to seeing you again.”
“I had a nice time as well. Hope to see you soon.”
“Me too. Well, I’ll be on my way now.”
“Mhm, see you!”
Thus, my school expedition brought about some unexpected discoveries and encounters.
T/N: Best girl.
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