“Good morning, Nyan ……, Shinjo? You look kind of tired, don’t you?”
“Oh, Pome ……, Shinozuka, I’ve got some stuff going on.”
I arrived at school a little later than usual, and as I was leaving the house, I bumped into Shinozuka, who was wearing glasses.
I see. She’s a little later than me, I guess.
“Well, I’ll go on ahead then.”
“No, no, no, wait. I’m coming with you.”
Shinozuka made a similar dumbfounded voice as Saeko-san.
Well it’s not like it’s a bad thing they are sisters after all. They look exactly alike.
“Then hurry up come quickly, else I’ll you leave behind there.”
“I know, but ……, if you go to school with me, ……, even you.”
There are already bad rumors about me at school and a lot of students have seen me with Shinozuka.
“It’s a little late for that. I don’t care about …… rumors. I’m in the mood to …… go to school with Shinozuka by the way, those glasses–“
“Nyan…ta? …… Okay, Shinjo, I don’t care what happens to you.”
She ignored me about the glasses, then we both headed to school.
I ignored the confused Shinozuka and had a normal conversation with her.
I also told her what had happened after we went on our own ways yesterday.
I couldn’t stop talking. I was able to keep it natural.
“I see, Shinjo-kun is going to live alone. I’m jealous of you. ……, I’ve been having trouble in the shopping court lately, too, because some strange people talk to me when I’m alone.
Pomeko ……, no, Shinozuka also had a natural expression. I’m not sure why she wore glasses today, but she didn’t have any wrinkles between her eyes. …… Could it be that the wrinkles between her eyebrows were just …… invisible?
There was nothing scary about it and she has a beautiful face anyway.
“It just so happens that I’m going to be living alone, but …… I’m not ready at all.”
This morning, with trembling hands, my stepmother handed me the keys to my grandfather’s house, …… and a New Year’s gift that she hadn’t used before.
“…… I guess I wasn’t a good mother for my children. I’ll talk to your father and face you one day. Come back anytime okay? You can come home anytime. …… You’ll have to cook your meals, okay? You have to clean the house and do the laundry. Don’t waste your money. …… You’ll be fine, right?.”
My stepmother had a look of as if she lost something important on her face.
My stepsister was eating breakfast with a messy face as usual.
It was a strange feeling. It was a peaceful morning, as if yesterday’s events were a lie.
“It’ll be hard to move alone, isn’t it? I mean, it’s your grandfather’s house, so it’s fully furnished, right? Then we can go right away!”
The house is fully furnished and has all the appliances. I have all the furniture and appliances, and there’s even an old computer in the house.
But there are still some supplies that are missing, and I need to go buy them today.
“I’m going to start living at my grandfather’s house this evening. …… honestly I never thought this would happen.”
“Hmm? That’s good, isn’t it? We can both have time to think, you know, write as much as we want.”
“Yeah? What’s wrong?”
“No, no, so you’re not coming to the food court anymore? I don’t need to go home now so …….”
I don’t want to go home. That’s why I was in the food court.
The truth is, it was fun to talk to Pomeko, no Shinozuka-san. Those times were special for me.
Suddenly, I felt the eyes of the students on their way to school.
It’s a little different from malice ……. It’s more like a look of curiosity.
“I’m sure you’ve heard of them. Isn’t …… the haircut and uniform different?”
“Glasses ……, oh my god, that’s cute.”
“Yeah, cute. ……, too cute.”
“She’s smiling? She looks beautiful.”
“You’re the guy I heard about, right? The confession killer”
“Wow, you’re really sparkling today!”
“I’m not going to lose. …… I’m going to confess!”
“I’m going to confess! That’s what those girls said!”
What the hell is this?
It is true that Shinozuka is wearing glasses. I’m the same as always.
Shinozuka was also confused by the reactions of the people around her.
I didn’t care anyway, so I kept walking.
“That’s it. You can’t write in that food court because you’ll have trouble with men picking up on you . If you want, you can always come to my house for a visit and of course we can still go to the food court alright?”
What the hell am I even saying? Are these the words that this mouth spits out?
Sure, there were many people who talked to Shinozuka at the food court even if I was with them. I just brushed them off, but I was worried about Shinozuka being alone.
Shinozuka let out a curt voice.
“What? eh? inside your house?. …… Hey, hey, hey, I’m not lonely okay! I’m not……. It’s true that lately it’s been troublesome to talk to people in the food court. It’s nice to have a place where I can …… and write. ……Hey, are you sure you’re okay to do that? You’re not going to get in my way, aren’t you? I mean, we’re not friends!”
I didn’t expect to hear any positive feedback.
Shinozuka also thought that time was important to me.
It was strangely cute that Shinozuka wanted to come even though she was hesitant.
“It’s not like we’re friends. ….. so you can come write with me.”
I looked at Shinozuka, who replied honestly.
It was certainly different from the norm, and I had never really paid attention to how she was dressed.
Her hairstyle had changed. Her wavy blonde hair was neatly combed and tied back. …… Huh? Come to think of it, does Shinozuka have any black hair at all? Is this her natural hair color?
Looking at her face, now that she had stopped wearing so much make-up, her facial features was almost like a normal face without make-up at all. It’s a cute face suitable for her age.
And now she wore proper uniform.
…… Is it still the same person? It’s so different that it makes you wonder if it’s the same person. To put it simply, she is a beautiful girl.
She may be more beautiful than the heroine of the novel I’m writing. She doesn’t have cat ears, though.
But for me, Shinozuka is Shinozuka, Pomeko-san, Shinozuka, …… mine – what are you saying? Are you insane?
…… I don’t care what it looks like.
Shinozuka said to me happily.
“So let’s go to the new shopping center on the way home and buy what Shinjo needs! I’ll show you my girl power!”
“Oh, yeah, what is girl power, ……?”
“Oh, shut up! Let’s go!”
I didn’t care about what other people thought.
We went to school in the morning, talking together as usual.
There are many students at this time of day.
So I didn’t think she was talking to me.
“Wait a minute? Makoto-kun, why are you with that person? I’ve …… been waiting to hear an answer from you for a long time now…….”
Umm.., Kisaragi-san? Is that right?
Maybe she is.. I still don’t remember much about her face.
She stared at Shinozuka with eyes as if she was looking at something dirty.
“Why are you with that woman and not me? Makoto-kun, you’re going to be deceived. That girl has …… been involved in violent incidents, a girl with a sugar daddy, …… and is full of bad rumors. Hey, there will be bad rumors about you too, Makoto-kun.”
I’ve erased Kisaragi-san from my life after she lied to me.
I don’t care what she says anymore.
Because I’ve heard it before.
When I was in junior high school, I was going back to the classroom to get something I forgot.
“I mean, Kisaragi’s amazing, he was really in love with you, right?
“Yeah, yeah, he’s been texting me a lot.
“Thanks for believing in me, huh? Thank you for trusting me?”
“He only had a good face, you know. He was really looking forward to the date.”
“That was super funny! That was so funny!
“Maybe you can do it again. If I cry and say, “Oh, that was different! I’ll tell you.”
I couldn’t go inside the classroom.
Who am I supposed to believe? What is a friend?
I no longer cared about forgetting anything.
There was nothing to be hurt for anymore. I left the hallway without anyone noticing.
You can’t understand the human heart. You can’t communicate with words alone.
I don’t care what they say about me.
Kisaragi-san looked at me with flirtatious eyes.
There was something I couldn’t forgive. It’s because they assume that the rumors about Shinozuka are true.
“Hehe, Makoto, do you want to go on a field trip with me? Let’s hold hands and have fun together. …… I’m the only one who believes you, Makoto.”
After entering high school, Miyazaki, Saito-san, and my sister-in-law – all tried to get involved with me.
I’m sure they must have had the courage to come and talk to me. It didn’t resonate with me, but now I understand that …… they were serious.
It’s a far cry from Kisaragi’s fake attitude.
I stopped Shinozuka softly when she tried to say something back.
The students looked at us as we stopped in the middle of the road.
I was talking much louder than I thought I would.
“Kisaragi-san, you made me fun of me in front of everyone with your false confession! And to top it off, Kisaragi-san who talks about Shinotsuka-san’s bad rumors as if they were true! What do you want?”
“Uh..eh ……, Makoto, you misunderstood me! and you’re talking too loudly……”
“Why is Kisaragi-san laughing at the e-mail I sent for you with your friends, and why is it supposed to be that I did something terrible and dumped you? That was just you laughing at me for making a false confession!”
“I didn’t, I didn’t lie to you! Don’t get me wrong! and, yeah, I’m afraid you’re about to be deceived by a bad woman, so I’m helping you–“
I remembered some feelings that I had covered up in my mind.
It doesn’t matter what happens to me. I just don’t want people to think badly of Shinozuka when they think badly of me. Besides – she had turned her ill will against Shinozuka.
I remember feelings that I had forgotten.
The emotion that comes to mind is anger.
The students around me began to buzz.
“False confession? Seriously?”
“I mean, Kisaragi is the princess of the literature club, ……it’s possible.”
“What do you think about him? There are bad rumors about him being a confession killer, too.”
“I heard the rumors about Shinozuka-san are false.”
“Yeah, a guy from another class suddenly got up on the podium and started talking about how the rumors about Shinotsuka-san and Shinjo were false.”
“Oh, mine too.”
I put my body forward as if to protect Shinozuka.
I don’t care about the rumors about me.
“I don’t care about myself. Shinozuka is my important friend. You don’t even know her, so don’t go on talking like that!”
Kisaragi’s face became distorted.
It was the same face I had seen that day.
“Wh-What? I don’t get it. Why Is it my fault? You’re a dark-skinned guy, and When I went out with you? You’re the one who cheated on me.”
The students’ murmurs grew louder.
The murmur of the students became even worse.
“I …… actually received a false confession from Kisaragi-san.”
“Shinjo, you’re a prince!”
“Hey, I’m sorry… Oh my God, Kisaragi, you’re out of control! Let’s stop her quickly!””
“Shinjo-kun, you’re so cool. …… You look like a knight protecting a princess.”
“Ugh, let’s quickly isolate Kisaragi-san.”
We have nothing more to talk about.
I turned around and took Shinozuka’s hand, which was frozen, and said.
I stared at Shinozuka hoping to get my intention across.
“I can’t say that I believe in ……. I don’t know anything about Shinozuka yet. I’m not sure what to say, but I’m sure you’ll understand. Will you stay with …… me?”
“Shinjo ……, ugh …… that’s a foul! …… fine!, okay. Here we go!”
I could see someone’s shadow, but all I could see was Shinozuka.
The students were cheering loudly, but it didn’t matter to me – I’m sure.
I could hear Kisaragi-san swearing, but it quieted down after a while.
We started walking again, not looking back.
As we walked in silence, I felt embarrassed and let go of her hand.
“I mean, it’s so embarrassing! Nya-nyanta, we are not friends! We’re not friends! …… Well, but we’re writing …… buddies …… precious …….”
“Oh, Pomeko. By the way, didn’t I say something very embarrassing? I asked you to stay with me. ……”
“A*****e! Oh, don’t remind me! Classroom. I’m going to class to read my book!”
“Yeah, that’s right. ……”
Pomeko-san looked at her own hand, which she was holding with mine.
Something about her soft smile pierced my heart.
It’s not a bad feeling, I’m not in a bad mood, either.
Tilting my head at the strange feeling, we headed for the classroom.