When I got home, I was feeling intensely sleepy from exhaustion again, so I decided to get some sleep again.
Before going to bed, I checked my LINE message box to make sure this was the only thing I needed to know. I had not given my passcode to my childhood friends, Mio and Rinto, nor to my family.
So, I thought LINE would be the quickest way to send the false accusation video and pictures to me. Or maybe, if I follow the history…
I threw my pillow against the wall without thinking. It seems that the culprit was not that stupid after all. All of my messages with friends and family had been deleted.
I give up, pick up the pillow, and half-heartedly lie down on the bed.
Well…what am I going to tell my sister? I had no regrets about my choice, but I didn’t have time to think about what would happen next.
I had a lot of things to think about, but sleepiness wouldn’t allow it, and I fell asleep surprisingly quickly.
“Mom! Where is Taiga! I need to talk to him!”
Loud voices from downstairs woke me up. It was around 16:30, and I had apparently been asleep for more than three hours.
While I’m sleepily checking the time, I hear footsteps pounding up the stairs.
There was no mistaking the voice. It’s my sister. She has a crystal-clear voice that is perfect for a vocalist. The loudness of her voice and the speed at which she climbs the stairs make it clear that she is extremely angry, even though I am not seeing her.
Damn, I haven’t thought of what I’m going to say yet. I need to at least get my head together before I meet with her.
My sister is basically a very caring and kind person, but she’s also a very direct and straightforward person. I know she’s supposed to be smart, but in both good and bad ways, she’s a simple person, and when she gets an idea, she goes straight to it.
I could hear my sister’s voice in front of the room as my mother stopped her.
（It’s over. I have no choice but to give up.)
The door was opened with a strong bang. With Mom, my sister, with her long black hair that reached down to her waist and white mesh, entered the room with a devilish look on her face.
“Shion! Wait a minute!”
“Taiga! You…! You’re disgusting! Why did you do that! Because of you, I’ve had to listen to all kinds of people say terrible things to me today!”
That’s the first thing she says. It’s a bad habit of my sister’s since long time ago. When she gets angry, she can’t see what’s going on around her, and she’s convinced that I’m the culprit.
But the way she got angry this time was crazy. She was about to slap me, but my mom was trying hard to stop her.
I didn’t know she could make such a scary face when she gets really angry.
“Wait a minute! Sis! Please calm down! I really didn’t do anything!”
“Lies! Uhm, that, I heard there were testimonies about… explicit photos and videos!”
“I’m being set up! Someone sent the photos and videos to my phone and tried to frame me as a criminal!”
Hearing my story, my sister stops her hand that was about to slap me. After a few moments of silence, she lets out a gut-wrenching voice, wondering where all the energy she had just gained had gone.
“Eh? Is that so?”
She looks at me with a twinkle in her eye. Then she immediately turns to her usual cheerful face.
“Ahaha! Sorry, sorry! I knew it! I was so quick to make a mistake!”
“I was so surprised when you suddenly tried to hit me…”
“I’m sorry. I hate sex predators more than anything else in the world, so I couldn’t help but get upset. I know that Taiga would never do such a thing, but when I think about my brother committing the crime which I hate the most, well… you know my bad habit, don’t you?”
“No, I’m sorry that you had a bad time at school because of the misunderstanding about me. I’m really sorry too.”
The one who should be apologizing is definitely me. I bow my head sincerely to my sister, who looks up at me apologetically, as if embarrassed.
I hate sex predators the most in this world, huh? I felt a prickle in my chest when my own sister said those words to me. Even though I didn’t do it, I made the decision to bear the stigma of being a sex predators.
I agree with my sister. I hate it as much as murder, the most serious crime in this country. I really wonder how it came to this….
My sister is a lover of pure love novels and otome games…how should I put it…she is a sexually innocent person. She has never shown any signs of having a boyfriend in real life. She is a pure person who believes in fate and princes. That’s probably why she can’t tolerate any impure behavior.
“But even so, for Sis, you were quick to listen to me and agree with me this time.”
“Because the details are the details, you know! Like I said before, I knew in my head that brother, whom I know very well, is not the worst person to do such a thing! Also, for sis, it’s too much! Ok! ay! You’re always saying one too many words!”
She was always very critical of me, just like any sibling would be, but she seemed to fundamentally believe in me.
Like Mom, the bond I have formed with my family has been genuine. I am very glad for her feelings and words.
“So, when are you going to the police? The sooner the better, right? If you’re worried about going alone, I’ll go with you.”
I guess that’s what everyone does. My mother’s face turned pale.
“W-What’s wrong with you two? Eh? Of course you’re going, right?”
“I decided not to go to the police. But sis, I didn’t really do it! I’m willing to put my life on the line! I know it’s unreasonable, I know, but… it’s impossible…”
“What? What do you mean? I don’t understand at all! If you didn’t do it, why don’t you just go to the police? Or perhaps…..I hate to say this, but there must be a reason why you can’t go to the police!?”
What she said is quite reasonable. “I didn’t do it, but I can’t go to the police,” sounds like a criminal excuse.
But I can’t tell her the truth. If I told her, she would sacrifice herself. She is a kind person at heart.
I thought I had made up my mind. But when I’m being hit with such a fierce anger from my beloved family, I feel like my heart is about to break.
“Shion… you know what? Taiga is…”
“It’s okay, Mom. It’s going to be okay.”
My mother must have felt the same way as I did. I manage to stop her from talking to protect me.
“What!? Does mom know something? Are the two of you hiding something from me? Aren’t we supposed to be an important family that supports each other in times like this…? What am I to the two of you…!?”
She was probably sad that she felt she was the only one excluded from the family, and she shed tears.
You got it wrong. It’s because it’s important that I can’t talk about it. There are things that I can’t talk about because they are important.
I have never seen my sister cry because she was sad since she grew up, so it hurts me a lot.
I can’t find the right words to say to her.
“You! You didn’t do something terrible to Reina-chan, did you?!”
“What do you mean…? Did Onii-chan do something terrible and bully Rena-chan?”
This was the worst possible situation. Perhaps I had spoken too loudly, and my younger sister Tsumugi, who had just come back from elementary school, came out of her room.
Rena Saito had been close to our entire family, but especially to Tsumugi, whom she played with and adored like another older sister.
Tsumugi looked at me as if I were some kind of monster.
She was still in first grade, and may not have fully understood the meaning of “terrible things,” but she must have thought that I had unilaterally bullied her beloved “other sister.”
“Onii-chan..! That’s not true, right…?! Please tell me it’s not true!”
“That’s right, Tsumugi! Onii-chan didn’t do anything! Please believe me!”
“That’s right, Tsumugi! Onii-chan didn’t do anything to Rena-chan! So please believe in him, okay?”
Mom pats Tsumugi’s head and tries to convince her, but my little sister starts crying at last.
Aah, it can’t be! I didn’t do anything! So don’t look so sad even you….
“…….! What’s wrong with you! I’m not the one at fault here!! It’s wrong for Taiga and Mom to treat me like an outcast!! I hate both of you!! If you say you’re falsely accused, I won’t talk to you until you prove it!! Come here, Tsumugi, to your big sister!!”
After hugging Tsumugi, my sister pulls her hand and flutters out of the room.
Mom’s face is stained with despair, and I crumble to my knees with guilt at the sight of it.
I’m so sorry……. Why…why did this happen?
I didn’t commit any crime, so it’s not my fault.
And yet, I blame only myself, and if I could, I would like to disappear from this world.
It seems that because of me, the family that has been living in harmony and supporting each other is falling apart…and I can’t stand it.
I couldn’t seem to move from that spot for a while.