[Maika Fukumura’s PoV]
I was not the only one who noticed that something was wrong.
It has been three days since he —- Shuya Kitami —- stopped coming to school.
To those who don’t know the details, it would seem that he has been absent a lot lately, and his absence from school is even more noticeable than I had imagined.
It is somewhat disconcerting to say that it is officiall, but anyway, in the short time he has been away from school, people have noticed.
They realize that he is not in poor physical condition by any means.
Or if he is unwell, they are dimly aware that it is due to something.
He was never brought up for discussion. At least not around me.
It is no secret that I had contact with him. I guess they are afraid of getting involved on that basis.
If I do poorly, I will be the perpetrator. From an uninvolved person’s point of view, just touching him is dangerous.
And above all, if this was bullying against him, the main culprits are obvious. Shinohara and Shirakawa.
These two are the so-called upper caste. Even if it was just a rumor, just imagining that it leaked out and the target would be him would be the worst thing that could happen. It would be like asking a god not to be touched.
I’m sure Shirakawa and the others can read that kind of atmosphere. And it would be hard for them to move. They can’t spread rumors as easily as they have in the past. Because now Shirakawa knows. And Shinohara must have heard about it.
And, by all rights, it should have ended like this. With time, the rumor fades away and disappears naturally. The appearance of things are back to normal without incident.
This must have been the end of Kitami’s goal.
—But he has transformed… In other words, he changed.
By the words of that girl, Shion Sakakibara.
I wonder if he himself is aware of that.
I couldn’t tell if the change was a good thing or not.
Of course, in his relationship with his family, the change is definitely a pleasant one.
How wonderful it would be to be able to talk honestly with his estranged family.
But for the rest of us, true feelings are a deadly weapon.
Bare words have a strong impact on people’s hearts.
Sometimes gently, sometimes harshly.
And it almost always comes back to you.
He was prepared for that. I cannot measure whether that determination will have a positive impact on the school stage.
The countdown had begun.
At that time, I was anxious.
So I thought.
I will be the only one on his side until the end.
In retrospect, this was probably the decisive moment.
At that time…
—-I wished for it