“Do you even know what you’ve done?” (Soccer Sensei)
The angry voice of the soccer club advisor echoed behind the tent, away from prying eyes.
Both the homeroom teacher and the grade level coordinator for the second-year students wore stern expressions.
In normal circumstances, it might have been the homeroom teacher’s responsibility to handle this situation, but the advisor understood that it was due to internal conflicts within the club. There were many witnesses. If this were a soccer match, it would have been a straight red card offense. It was not the kind of issue that could be swept under the rug, no matter how much they wanted to downplay it.
One male student hung his head, looking out of place at what should have been a fun sports festival.
To bring the situation under control, I decided to intervene.
“Who are you? No, more importantly, what are you…?” (Soccer Sensei)
“I sha sha’d my way in.” (Yuki)
“Why did you use a sound effect in your sentence…..” (Soccer Sensei)
The teachers looked bewildered, their expressions clearly showing that this was not the time for playful behavior.
I’m really sorry.
“I brought Takahashi to the infirmary. Fortunately, it seems to be a minor injury.” (Yuki)
“Oh, really? That’s good. You brought him…?” (Soccer Sensei)
“He might not be able to come back today, but I think he’ll recover soon.” (Yuki)
The teachers breathed a sigh of relief. The second-year male student also patted his shoulder in relief.
“More importantly, what are you planning to do, Sensei?” (Yuki)
I asked the soccer club advisor. He seemed to understand the implied intent behind my question.
Punishment was not something that could be decided so easily. Moreover, the advisor also bore some responsibility for the internal discord within the club. It was about accountability for his management.
“For now, Kimura will be prohibited from participating in club activities for a while. He’s suspended.” (Soccer Sensei)
Kimura senpai accepted it without any objections, quietly. He must be reflecting on his actions; regret was visible on his face.
“Now, I’ll go and apologize to Takahashi. Depending on the situation, we might need to contact his parents as well.” (Soccer Sensei)
At that moment, I conveyed a message from Takahashi.
“Takahashi doesn’t want to give any punishment. He said he wants you to handle it somehow. It shouldn’t be a big deal.” (Yuki)
“I see. Kimura, you’ve been saved by him.” (Soccer Sensei)
He said those words, but Kimura senpai still looked seriously downcast.
Perhaps, there wasn’t such deep resentment between Kimura senpai and Takahashi after all.
Feeling a strange sense of incongruity, I decided to propose a solution.
“If you’re going to suspend him from soccer club for a while, why don’t him leave it to me?” (Yuki)
“Kokonoe, sorry for causing trouble.” (Kimura)
“Do you know me?” (Yuki)
“Well, you’re famous, so…” (Kimura)
I headed to the infirmary with Kimura senpai to apologize to Takahashi.
Along the way, I asked about something that had been bothering me.
“I heard that Takahashi took your regular spot. Is that really all there is to it, senpai?” (Yuki)
Kimura senpai remained silent. After a brief pause, he spoke with a heavy heart.
“By the way, you’re the counselor for people’s problems, right?”(Kimura)
“I really didn’t want to be it, but for some reason, people from all grades come to me with various problems.” (Yuki)
I’m not a missionary or a preacher; I’m Yukito Kokonoe.
I’d like to close that window of opportunity right now.
“…I had a girlfriend until a month ago. But she broke up with me because she fell for someone else. If it had ended there, I might have accepted it. But…”(Kimura)
Kimura senpai bit his lip in frustration.
I learned that Kimura senpai had been dating a classmate from another school since junior high. However, she broke up with him when she fell for someone at our school. But apparently, that person was just playing around, and after having a physical relationship, she broke up with him too.
She contacted Kimura senpai crying, wanting to get back together, but Kimura senpai couldn’t sort out his feelings.
“I really loved her. So when I heard she liked someone else, I wanted to support her. But isn’t this going too far?” (Kimura)
He chuckled self-deprecatingly, but he looked severely worn out.
The stress from these emotional struggles, including losing his spot as a regular, seemed to have erupted.
“Do you know anything about that person, senpai?” (Yuki)
“Oh, yeah. He had a terrible reputation from the start, and he’s in the soccer club. I warned her about it, but…” (Kimura)
When Kimura senpai told me the name and school of that person, I furrowed my brow.
And at that moment, I couldn’t ignore it any longer.
In any case, since I had gotten involved to this extent, I couldn’t just leave it alone.
“Senpai, there’s a reason why Takahashi suddenly improved so dramatically.” (Yuki)
“What? Do you know something? Well, actually, you do, that’s why you’re here.” (Kimura)
In a way, this might work out conveniently for me.
“Senpai, you need to improve just as much as Takahashi, if not more.” (Yuki)
“But I’m done with the club… I’m probably quitting.” (Kimura)
“I won’t let you do that. That’s why I took over.” (Yuki)
I firmly grabbed Kimura senpai’s shoulder and spoke with a serious expression.
“Senpai, would you like to join me in avenging your regret?” (Yuki)