[Shizuka Miyazaki Pov]
I, Shizuka Miyazaki, have a lot of regrets.
Makoto, who I had been good friends with since childhood, became the bad guy because of me.
Now I can say, “That was just a joke,” but I couldn’t say such a thing in that atmosphere.
Anyone who defended Makoto was an enemy of the class. Such an atmosphere drifted in the air. Children are simple and stupid, but they have their own cruel view of the world. It’s an atmosphere that you would never understand as an adult.
Even in junior high school, Makoto remained in the dark.
…… I tried not to look at Makoto’s existence.
I knew that if I touched him, I would hurt myself. Because I was the only one who could have stopped it. …… I was just a bystander …… and left it at that.
I heard all kinds of rumors. He attacked Saito-san. He rejected a girl who had confessed to him. He beat up a friend that her friend brought to him.
I don’t know if any of them are true or not. ……, but if it were the old Makoto, he would never have done such a thing.
It takes a lot of effort to get around in a group of girls. The club activities and classrooms are full of caste.
At the graduation ceremony, I saw Makoto alone.
I was so nostalgic that I found myself calling out to him.
“Makoto~! Long time no see, congratulations on your graduation! Are you going to the class launch after this?”
I was so happy, I felt like I was back in the old days.
….. But something was wrong with Makoto.
“…… Congratulations, Miyazaki-san. Now if you’ll excuse me.”
It was definitely a smile. But it was a …… smile that gave me chills. I couldn’t feel any emotion. My mind had flown off to some distant place.
I was shocked. Somewhere in the back of my mind, there was a part of me that was expecting to be able to talk like I used to.
My heart was more damaged than I expected.
I could not speak any more. I was afraid to speak.
As I watched Makoto’s back, I thought to myself.
–We’ll be in high school together, and if we talk more, things will go back to normal, right? …… Yeah, let’s do that when we enter school!
I really was an idiot at this point. Makoto is my first love. I was so blinded by reality that I forgot about it.
“So, Saito-san and I met in front of the station. He was also walking with a beautiful woman, Shinozuka-san? If remembered it correctly.
This is Saigeria, located near the school. It’s a reasonably priced family restaurant that is friendly to students. In a seat for four, there are three people sitting: Saito-san, who is in the same class as Makoto, Haruka-san, who is his stepsister, and me, who is his childhood friend.
” Yes, she looked super beautiful. I mean, Shinozuka-san looks like a yankee, but she’s cute, right? From Miyu’s point of view, I’m super jealous of her because she has beautiful skin~”
We had never talked that much to begin with.
We had one thing in common. When I entered high school, I tried to be normal with Makoto, but he never took me seriously.
–I felt a pang of regret in my heart.
“Huh? The Yankee girl is called Shinotsuka-san. Mumu, she’s the one who came back with Onii-chan”
Haruka and I didn’t know much about Shinozuka-san. When we ambushed Makoto that morning, Shinozuka-san got involved with us. I heard she was an old friend of Momo-chan’s, but—-
Momo-chan is not here. She’s not a bad girl, but she’s got a tough personality, so her presence would complicate things.
“What kind of girl is she, Saito-san? …… if any really bad rumors get out.”
Saito-san replied while playing with her permed hair with her hands.
“Hmm, I’ve been told she’s a yankee, but ……, frankly, I don’t know. she is all alone in the classroom. In fact, I don’t think she ever pretended to be close to Makoto. But, at that time, he seemed to be enjoying talking to her. ……”
Yes, they were chatting very happily in front of the station when we saw them.
That was very shocking …….
” Hey, hey, hey, Kisaragi was looking for Onii-chan just now, you know? I gave her a random answer! …… Hmm, to be honest, it’s not something Haruka could say, but ……, Kisaragi and Nanako are a bit …….”
Kisaragi is unassuming, but she is incredibly popular with certain boys.
She has a reputation for being kind, listening, and very nice.
The guys around her always treat her as a princess.
Saito’s lineage is different from the boys around her.
“But, Onii-chan, he was so nice to me this morning! He even accepted my Kusamochi!”
“He was kind ……?”
Haruka, Makoto’s stepsister, is famous for being silly and natural.
However, she sometimes says decent things. But she is basically an idiot. I don’t really understand what Haruka is thinking…….
It seems that she was also rejected by her brother.
Haruka shook her head with great vigor.
” Yeah, yeah, that smile wasn’t as scary as before! …… Maybe it’s because of Shinozuka-san? Or maybe it’s thanks to my underwear?”
I knew this girl was watching me closely ……, silly though she is. …… By the way, underwear?
After a few moments of silence, I took a deep breath and looked at them.
“Hey, we all had a crush on Makoto, right? I had my first love, Saito-san had a faint crush, Haruka-san……”
“I love my Onii-chan!”
“But we made a mistake–“
Everyone fell silent when I said those words.
I can’t help but remember that feeling. I am plunged into a deep valley of regret.
But I have to move forward.
I looked up.
“I really regret it. …… I still care about Makoto. But …… it’s all my fault. If only I had apologized sooner, if only I had spoken to him sooner, all I can think about is how much I can’t take back.”
They look at me in silence.
” We can’t really try to apologize for what we have done. He won’t believe us when we say nothing but selfish things.”
Yes, we were truly forcing our selfishness on him..
“Well, what should Miyu do? I understand what Shizuka-chan is saying, but ……, can’t we apologize?”
“I-I want to apologize too ……. But Onii-chan has a wall …….”
It was all our fault.
We’ve changed Makoto. It’s not in our power to change him back.
“We have no choice but to act. …… We will definitely restore the gentle Makoto back And then we’ll apologize.”
“Action ……, yes, Miyu do her best!”
“Haruka too, Haruka too!
“No, we should never try to work against Makoto. I mean, we should never get involved with Makoto……”
Saito-san sounded dissatisfied.
Haruka is listening to the conversation silently with a serious face.
“Buuu, Miyu wants to be friends with Makoto-kun~”
Haruka-san’s face lit up, as if her eyes were filled with intelligence.
” Uhm, yeah, I know. We hurt …… Onii-chan, and that’s a fact we can’t take back. If that were true, we would not even be allowed to get close to him. …… So, we should never enter Onii-chan’s personal space! Regret is a lukewarm word, and we have no right to like him. –However, it’s not the only way to get the job done!”
A dumb voice leaked out. I didn’t expect Haruka to tell us everything I was thinking about …….
Saito-san stares at Haruka with her mouth hanging open.
“……Haruka-chan, that’s so great. ……Yes, the scars of the past will remain,…… and yes, I will push my feelings down,…… and this time, Makoto. –“
” Y-yeah, I’ll do my best to help Shinozuka-san and Makoto get along!
Thus, we decided to support Makoto-kun and Shinozuka-san to get along. I don’t want Shinozuka-san to make a mistake. I don’t want to hurt Makoto any more. Shinozuka-san is the one who filled up Makoto’s heart, even if just a little, and I’m sure she’ll be fine.
This is not a game. This won’t erase the sins we’ve committed. The guilt won’t go away.
Even so——–we must move forward.
“So let’s move on to the specifics. The first thing we need to do is to make sure that we don’t get in the way of the excursion ……, and we need to stop Kisaragi-san and Nanako-san in their tracks …….”
A secret time for just the three of us.
What is it? It’s inappropriate, but for the first time, I think I might have a friend I can talk to without worry.
” Babababababa! By the way, Haruka, Onii-chan told me not to call him Onii-chan! What should I do, what should I do?! Ummm…umm…okay! I’ll just be silly like I always have been!”
…… I’m a little nervous about the future, though.
It’s a lonely food court as usual.
We sit in a lonely food court, juice in hand, talking about novels.
We don’t talk about school at all. The only ones here were Pomeko and Nyanta.
“What is it, Nyanta!”
“What’s the matter, does Nyanta have a cold? Do you want me to change your drink to something hot?”
“No, I’m fine. Anyway, Pomeko-san, have you seen the movie “To the Man Who Ate My Liver”?”
“Yes! The way the story is written and developed is amazing! I wish I could write a novel like that.”
” Right? That was good ……. I can’t believe I was moved that much.”
What we are writing is a novel. However, novels and novellas are full of the author’s life.
The news, movies, game videos, general books, picture books, and even the little stories of your neighbor’s aunt can be used for the novel.
It’s a short life, but I put all of it into writing a novel.
I found myself naturally pursuing a variety of stories.
At some point, I wanted to create my own stories, so I started writing novels.
“Well, my sister is late …”
Pomeko operated her phone to check the message.
“…… Nyanta, sorry. I heard she’s going to be a little late for work.”
She took the trouble to make time out of her busy work schedule. I’m totally fine with a little bit.
” It’s okay. …… Oh, by the way, about the field trip, what do you want to do?”
The field trip was to an amusement park called Destinyland.
I don’t know how to enjoy an amusement park. If Pomeko-san is prepared to take a day off for red marks, then I need to take a day off too. I guess there’s no need for a high schooler to force herself to go.
For some reason, Pomeko was upset.
“Y-yeah, Destiny Land. Why don’t we just go around?”
“Uun, Mookie the Rat, right? That mascot is a little scary, isn’t he?”
Pomeko glared at me.
“What? It’s not a mouse! You idiot! That’s a chinchilla! Isn’t it cute! Cuteness is justice. Nyanta, don’t make a mistake!”
I see now that Pomeko loves Destinyland.
“Then you must not miss the field trip. Pomeko, enjoy your time there.”
Pomeko looked unhappy.
“…..You, I—fuun, Nyanta has not seen the depths of Destinyland. I’ll teach you all about it!
“Don’t be ridiculous!
It’s not often that we talk about anything other than novels.
But I didn’t feel bad about it.
There are two feelings in the back of my mind…… the feeling of fun and …… the feeling of what if Pomeko betrayed me.
I consciously try not to remember it, but as the distance between us grows, it comes to the fore.
Pomeko-san said to me with a furrowed brow.
I’ve learned something recently. When she frowns, it’s usually because she’s embarrassed.
“——Listen, Nyanta, enjoy the …… field trip. Do you understand! Fuun.”
Pomeko-san turned away.
She was talking in a scary tone, but with a terribly cute expression.
That sealed the thing in the back of my mind – again.