Even though I didn’t do anything particularly tiring, I felt exhausted by the time I arrived home. Even after parting ways with Todoroki and Mio’s sister at my house, the two of them left together as if they had known each other forever.
They’re way too energetic… Well, it’s a good thing for Mio’s sister to make friends, especially since she’s not good at socializing. Todoroki seems like a straightforward person too, so she’s probably a good guy. No need to worry about anything strange.
As I opened the door, my older sister, Shion, and my little sister, Tsumugi, were waiting for me at the entrance, almost as if they had been lying in wait.
“Ah! You’re back! Welcome home, Taiga!”
“Welcome back, Onii-chan!!”
For some reason, they were in a cheerful mood, but I replied to their greetings indifferently. Feeling tired, I quickly took off my shoes and tried to ignore them as I headed to wash my hands.
However, as if they knew exactly what I was thinking, Shion and Tsumugi pulled me back.
“Now, now, don’t make such a scary face.”
“Both of us really regret doubting you. We’re truly sorry.”
It doesn’t matter. I just want to go to my room and relax.
Shion’s grip was surprisingly strong, and my resistance was futile as they dragged me to the living room.
On the table in the living room was an oversized cake, the appearance of which couldn’t be described as skillful. It had “I’m sorry” written in cute letters with chocolate sauce.
“We made this together, you know? I didn’t know how to reconcile with you, so I talked to Shion, and we decided to make your favorite cake together…”
“Both Tsumugi and I secretly left school early at lunchtime… Of course, we don’t expect to be forgiven just because of this, but we thought it might be a chance for the three of us to talk and get along again…”
I couldn’t really focus on what they were saying. I was just looking at the homemade cake with a cold expression. Even if it’s my favorite, when I know they made it, I have no appetite for it.
Maybe I should try to be a bit kinder? Smile and say, “I understand your feelings,” and go back to being the close siblings we used to be. Maybe that’s the right thing to do.
I know. That’s probably the correct answer. By doing that, everything will go back to normal as if nothing happened.
But I can’t forgive them that easily.
Shion, who hasn’t spoken to me properly since the day I said I hated her. My older sister, who didn’t believe in me.
Tsumugi, who sided with Rena Saito, someone she’s known for only about a year, over me. My own little sister, who didn’t believe in me.
It’s natural to feel awkward and uneasy after being falsely accused. Moreover, I was suspected of a sex crime. In the midst of adolescence and with a maiden’s way of thinking, it’s only natural for Shion to feel disgusted. Tsumugi might not even have much knowledge about sex, but if she heard that I did something awful to her admired Rena Saito, it’s only natural for her to doubt me. But…
I just wanted someone to be there for my heart that felt like it might break at any moment. Is that such a strange thing?
[I don’t need it. I don’t want to eat something like this.]
In a voice filled with frustration, I blurted it out. My cold words brought their conversation to an abrupt halt. After what felt like hours of silence, my older sister forced a smile.
“Don’t say that, Taiga! Tsumugi has been looking forward to playing with you again all day, you know?”
“I don’t know anything about that. I never asked for it.”
Tsumugi cried and tried to stop her sister, who seemed on the verge of getting angry.
“It’s fine… Onee-chan… It’s my fault… Ueeeeeeeeeehhhh…”
“Don’t cry. It’s annoying. Always crying… Do you think everything will be forgiven if you cry?”
I had never hurt Tsumugi with words before, and seeing myself now, spewing such merciless words at my sister, surprised me. I felt a sense of fear about whether I really was the “Taiga Yagami” I used to be.
Is this really me saying these things? To Tsumugi? To the little sister I loved so much?
In the past, that would have been unthinkable. If Tsumugi cried, I would have shed tears too and comforted her until she stopped crying.
Despite doting on Tsumugi so much, I couldn’t even find her pitiable as I made her cry with my own hands.
“What’s wrong with you?! You don’t need to say such harsh things! Tsumugi said she wanted to talk to you that day too! And… me too!”
What’s the point of saying that now… I should stop, but the anger that had been sleeping inside me welled up, and my true feelings spilled out.
“Cut it out with your nonsense!! How many times did I try to talk to you guys?! You ignored me all this time and never even tried to believe me… Don’t say such things now… And… I don’t need this crap!!! Stop doing unnecessary things!!!”
Overwhelmed by the intensity, I swung my hand forcefully, causing the cake my sister and Tsumugi made to fall to the floor and turn into a mess.
Seeing the state of the cake, Tsumugi cried even louder, as if mirroring the current situation between us.
“It’s awful… You’re terrible, Taiga… We were scared too… Hey, can’t we even have a chance to atone?”
Under the forceful manner I displayed, tears also welled up in Shion’s eyes.
I’m well aware of my own immaturity. I know that the root cause lies with Rinto and Rena Saito.
Yet, I still can’t offer warm words to these two. It’s precisely because I trusted them that I’m afraid of forgiving them easily and being betrayed again if something similar happens.
“Did you two give me a chance?”
Unable to answer, the two break down in tears. Unable to forgive, I end up saying something cruel and heartless.
Leaving the two behind, crying and unable to respond, I head to my room. On the way, a faint voice filled with despair whispers, “I’m sorry.”
Once alone in my room, I can’t help but recall my sister and Tsumugi’s faces for just a moment, and my heart twinges with a hint of pain.