“Uhm… how to say? Sorry for any misunderstanding.”
Monday after school. I was at my first part-time job in a while, as promised with Sakakibara.
As soon as the manager saw me, he apologized to me.
“No, I think it was my fault for causing the commotion, and we both agreed to let bygones be bygones…”
“…Sorry and thanks”
Apparently, the manager. He seemed to have been severely squeezed by Sakakibara by the time I arrived. There was a strong sense of remorse.
As for me, I was not surprised that I caused (have caused?) a commotion in a dignified manner.
“Geez manager!! How could you misunderstand Senpai like that! Please reflect on that!”
The manager has completely shrunk in the face of Sakakibara’s pursuit.
It was the first time for me to see the manager like this, and I don’t want to confess that I felt a little closer to him.
But the misunderstanding was cleared up, and I was back to work. I’ll do my best to earn money.
“Thank you for your hard work.”
It was closing time, and we left the office. Now we are going home together.
I don’t know the exact location, but Sakakibara’s house seems to be near here.
”We had a lot of customers today and it was tiring, wasn’t it, Senpai?”
“Right. A famous blogger? Someone who is a kind of person introduced to us right?”
”Yes, that’s right! If we get more customers, maybe we can get an hourly wage increase?”
I know it’s not going to be that easy, but I’m hoping for a little of that kind of thing myself.
“Hey, senpai, is it okay if I ask you why you were absent from our part-time job?”
As we were talking about nothing else, Sakakibara suddenly asked me such a question. I felt that her voice was a little more serious than usual.
Well, of course she was curious.
“… you haven’t heard anything from the manager?”
“I heard that an argument had broken out, and that Senpai had a very thoughtful look on your face…”
Did I look like that?
Well, I certainly gave up one thing then.
Is that what people think?
”I don’t really want to talk about it.”
I tell her how I really feel.
“All right. I won’t ask anymore.”
She withdrew rather easily.
Surprising. I had expected her to pursue the matter further.
“But I just want to ask you this.”
She then continued.
“You are okay with that, correct?”
I rightly took the meaning in those words.
She is concerned about me.
She didn’t ask me about my background or anything, just that.
I heard her words overlap with Sachi’s words.
[“It doesn’t matter”]
I found myself answering that.
“Hmmm. Then it’s OK!”
With that, she gave a quick, blossoming smile.
(i’m fine, huh)
Before, I probably wouldn’t have known. I wouldn’t even know if I was okay or not.
But now I might be able to say with confidence.
I probably know why. I’m just afraid to put it into words yet.
In my heart, there must be some support.
That person’s words and attitude.
I think the person’s words and attitude are giving me a way out.
Maybe that’s why I’m getting used to being a little more relaxed. Maybe I can afford to be.
So, I’m going to look forward a little.
It was already dark outside.
But I wasn’t left behind in the world.
But for those of us who are not left behind, it seems that a lot of things are coming our way.
I had come to the supermarket to buy ingredients for today’s dinner.
It was about 8:00 when I finished my part-time job, and I left the store a little later, so it was about 8:30 now.
Sachi has insisted on having dinner with me, so she is probably waiting for me hungry right now.
Sachi’s stay at the house was to last until the summer vacation. However, since it’s just for the time being, I can’t help but feel that she will stay in my same place without any further action.
Well, if that’s okay with mom, I guess it’s okay.
（I’m surprisingly okay with it.)
It used to be a little hard just thinking about it, but now I realize it’s not so bad.
Not everything, of course.
All the words I said to my mom back then were my true feelings, and those feelings haven’t changed yet.
Even so, I still feel a sense of composure. I was beginning to feel something like that in my heart.
(Come to think of it, it looks like Fukumura came to school too.)
As it happened, I witnessed her talking with a friend at school today.
Something must have changed during the week.
( Those guys didn’t get involved with me today either.)
I don’t know why he got involved with me (although I can guess), and it doesn’t bother me in particular, so it’s okay.
Well, if it doesn’t bother me, that’s OK. I’ll just get back to my daily routine.
The classroom has become a little less comfortable, but that’s all there is to it. I’d rather just feel comfortable because I don’t have to deal with so many people anymore.
It will probably be easier on my mind.
I heard a murmur.
The murmur seemed to be directed at me, and I turned around when I noticed it.
Then I regretted it.
”Are you perhaps… Miyajima?”
“Yeah… it’s been a while… Kitami.”
Standing there was Kana Miyajima, a former classmate and one of the group that had bullied me.
”You found me… you were looking for me?”
If so, why. No, for what reason?
Numerous questions come to mind.
“Because I really wanted to meet you and talk to you…about that time”
I knew it… Well, that’s all I can think of.
”I’m sorry for barging in on you so suddenly. So… do you have a minute …?”
Her language was polite in a way that was unthinkable from our previous relationship. What on earth is she up to?
I had a feeling that Itakura must be involved if he knew about this place. I could not let my guard down.
”I’m sorry, but I don’t have much time later today. Can we talk another day?”
It’s true that I don’t have time. There is a girl in front of me and my sister. It’s obvious which one I’m going to put first.
Maybe that’s just an excuse.
”Well then, let me at least give you this…my contact information. If you have a suitable date, please let me know…”
She then reached into her pocket and handed me a piece of paper that had probably been prepared in advance.
“Understood. Only if it suits me.”
With that I turned my back to her and started walking away. I noticed that my hands were sweating profusely.
What in the world does she want?
TL: I have started a new project: link. I won’t upload it on NU (yet) until it has more chapters.