I finish my morning post and held the bag with the Mookie stuffed animal on it.
The sight of Mookie reminds me of that field trip day.
It’s a feeling I thought I’d never get back ……. It’s a special day when I was clearly aware of my own heart.
“Okay, we’re all set. Let’s go.”
I left my grandfather’s house.
As I walked through the residential area, I soon saw her house.
I made eye contact with a mother who was cleaning the front of her house. ……
She looked so young that I couldn’t believe she was a mother.
“Shinjo-kun, good morning. You’re a fresh boy today, aren’t you? –Wait a minute! Anri-chan~”
“Well, refreshing ……, oh, good morning.”
The mother went to the front door, opened it and called out loudly for Anri.
There was a rattling sound from behind the door.
“Shinjo-kun is here. Oh, my, don’t be so sloppy. Look, your ribbon is bent. ……”
“Ugh, ugh, I’m so embarrassed. Oh, Mom, I’ll be writing at Shinjo-kun’s house again today.”
“Oh, did you eat?”
“No, I’ll eat when I get home.
Anri came out of the front door.
She was a little out of breath, probably in a hurry.
When she saw me, she gave me a big smile.
“Hehe, good morning, Makoto! – “I’m off, Mom!”
“Pomeko your …… hair.. its..frizzy.”
“It’s okay, it’s okay, I don’t care!”
Her mom then spoke to me with a smile and a wave of her hand.
“Shinjo-kun, please come to dinner sometime! Have a good day!”
I bowed to her and decided to head to school with Anri.
“Oh, she wants to talk to you, Makoto. I can see her teasing me about it.”
Since the day of the field trip, Anri and I have been going to school together. When I walked past Anri’s house, her mom stopped me. Then, Anri came out of her house.
As we kept doing this, we decided to set a proper time and go to school together anyway.
“I don’t mind going to your house, but ……, do I need to bring you any souvenirs or anything?”
“Eh? What? You don’t have to be so formal! It’s just like me going to your house.”
“Oh, by the way, Anri calls me Shinjo when you’re in front of your mom, right?”
“Oh, that’s ……, because …… is embarrassing. ……”
“Is that how it is?”
“That’s how it is!”
Anri scratched her own head in embarrassment.
After Destiny, Anri had returned to her original yankee-like attire and tone of voice at school. The clothes are more mature than before, but …….
It seems that I’m being talked to by a student that I don’t understand and it’s giving me trouble.
When she was alone with …… me, she spoke in her normal tone.
The distance between us has shortened. At that moment in Destiny, our hearts were indeed connected.
“Hey, hey, isn’t that your childhood friend? Isn’t she in some kind of trouble?”
Anri pointed to the front of a convenience store in the distance.
In addition to the two, there are also a number of other people who are in the same boat as you, including my stepsister, Saito-san, my childhood friend Miyazaki ……, Kisaragi, and a girl whose face I can’t …… make out – the plain girl who was with my stepsister at the horror house.
And then there was Miyazaki’s friend somehow, Momo, …… and the big boy who was admonishing the other students in the Destiny parking lot.
……They’re all together.
My stepsister “Abba, abba, abba! No way! Nanako is a creep, but–” the only thing I could hear was her loud voice.
“…..Can I take a little detour……? I’m not sure I want to go through there. ……”
“Haha, it’s so messy ……, well, it’s not like we’re fighting, so what does it matter?”
“Yeah, it’s totally none of our business.”
When I tried to change my path, I was approached from the side.
It’s a female student from …… the same class. Her …… name is …….
“Good morning! Shinjo-kun! …… What? Maybe you don’t remember my name! I’m Sangetsu! Please take care of Mitsuki!”
Since Destiny, more and more students have been talking to me.
Many of them are girls, but it’s very annoying.
I’m not going to use honorifics and build a wall like I did before, but …….
–I’m sorry, but I still don’t trust anyone except Pomeko and Puggy.
I can tell by the quality of their voices. I can understand them by their air.
The language is light. It was a familiar feeling.
I’ll avoid trouble. Still, there was no need to make enemies unnecessarily.
“Oh, Mizuki-san, ……, excuse me then.”
I looked at her friends beside Mitsuki. They don’t want to get involved with me.
I’m sure they don’t like trouble either.
“What are you doing? I’m–“
“Sorry, Shinjo-kun, I’ll take you to March!”
“I’m sorry to interrupt you too, Shinozuka-san! Mizuki is an idiot!
Mitsuki was taken away by her friends.
“‘…… I’m kind of tired. I’ve been rejecting her. …… Oh, by the way, I’m glad I’m always with Anri so I don’t have to be called out by anyone anymore.
“Haha, me too. I rarely have boys talk to me. I just ignore them.”
“School is a pain in the a*s.”
“…… Yeah, there are all kinds of people.”
It’s a real pain in the a*s.
I just want to spend a quiet time with Anri. It’s okay to talk to boys from time to time.
The more you go out with someone, the more landmines await you.
One wrong move and both Anri and I could be attacked again.
“Yeah? What’s wrong, Makoto-kun?”
I don’t want to see Anri’s sad face.
–It’s okay. I’ll protect you.
“Oh, it’s nothing. I don’t want to take the long way to …….”
“Shin-kun? –What? There’s a student here!”
I squeezed Anri’s hand gently.
“I’m sorry, but if you don’t want to–“
“I’m sorry. …… Well, that’s okay. Maybe it’ll make people less likely to talk to me! Yeah, that’s right! Come on, Makoto, let’s go!”
We began to walk hand in hand, proudly.
Ignoring the eyes of the students on the street, we headed towards the school.
There was a moment of silence as we passed by a convenience store.
My stepsister, Saito-san, and Miyazaki all kept their mouths shut.
School is a troublesome place.
But it was the place where Anri and I first met.
So it would be nice if we could spend a quiet time together.
“Oh, Makoto, it’s this weekend, right? You’re going to my sister’s place?”
“Yeah, it’s Saturday. You’re working at …… on Saturday, right?
“Haha, I hear it’s a lot of work. Hey, me too.”
“I’ll pick you up at home. Don’t be late.”
“…… Oh, yeah! Of course I will!”
It’s not too late for us to regain our youth.
The two of us can make many memories together.
“Hey, hey, let’s go to …… karaoke afterwards!”
“Karaoke, ……, I’m certainly interested. Okay, let’s go afterwards.”
We may have been clumsy, but that day in the food court was the beginning of our youth.
I squeezed Anri’s hand tightly.
Anri answered me with a smile.
“Do you want to go to karaoke?”
“Yeah, I’ll let you know.”
I’m sure we’ll be fine.
No matter what happens, we’ll get through it.