The school festival is over, and things have returned to their usual routine, as if the festivities of the past few days were a lie.
Perhaps it’s because I’m tired from the weekend, but I’m currently taking a Japanese class, trying to hold back the sleepiness that’s coming over me.
However, this Japanese teacher is quite a tricky one, and her unique way of speaking without inflection, combined with the volume of her voice that makes it difficult to hear, is famous for inducing sleepiness.
That’s why I tend to fall asleep when I’m not paying attention.
When I looked around, I saw that I wasn’t the only one who had fallen prey to his spell-like sleep attacks, but there were quite a few others.
As I fought against my drowsiness, I was poked from behind with a pen.
Of course, it was definitely a poke from Shi-chan, who was sitting behind me.
But I couldn’t look back in class, so I had to ignore the tickle.
“Takkun, don’t fall asleep!”
Shi-chan whispered to me from behind.
She must have been watching me from behind as I was rowing the boat.
I thanked her for trying to wake me up.
Thanks to her, I woke up and started to write down the information on the blackboard in my notebook.
It’s going to be difficult to surpass Shi-chan this time, but as her boyfriend, I have to study hard in order to get as close to her rank as possible.
–I was able to concentrate, but Shi-chan kept poking me with her pen.
That’s when I noticed.
I realized that Shi-chan was just playing with me, rather than trying to wake me up.
Every time she poked me on the back, I couldn’t help but feel my body jerk, but I guess she was enjoying watching my reaction.
I was troubled, so I pulled the chair forward and sat back down.
In order to get out of the range of Shi-chan’s poking and prodding attack, I had to physically distance myself from her.
What do you think, you can’t reach me now.
Just as I was thinking that Shi-chan should give up and concentrate on her class, I heard the sound of a desk being dragged from behind me.
Then, I felt the impact of the desk hitting the chair I was sitting on.
Yes, as I expected, Shi-chan had filled the important gap that I had just created with the entire desk.
As a result, I was once again within range of Shi-chan’s poking and prodding, only to lose my own territory.
And just when I thought I was going to fall prey to Shi-chan’s poking and prodding again, the pen that had touched my back didn’t leave, but stayed pressed against my back.
To my surprise, the pen started to move slowly.
It slowly traced my back as if it was writing some kind of character – was this the hiragana “ta(た)”?
This is how the game of guessing the letter on the back began.
The first letter seemed to be “ta(た)”.
Ta, ta, ta… Oh, could it be Takuya’s “ta”?
As I was thinking that, the second letter was soon written.
This time it was much easier than before, and it was definitely the hiragana “ku(く)”.
I was satisfied with the cuteness of Shi-chan, who was playing a prank on me by writing my name on my back during the class, but I had no choice but to pay attention to the blackboard again.
For now, I copied the names of the poets on the blackboard into my notebook.
The names of the poets and their representative works were written down in my notebook, thinking that I should memorize them, since they would probably be on the next test.
And then Shi-chan, being Shi-chan, wrote down the last letter on my back.
But I already knew that the next letter would be “ya(や)” anyway, so I didn’t have any desire to know what she was writing, and I was just happy that she was trying to touch me like this during class.
–But here’s where something strange happens.
–The letters on my back was not “ya” in any way, shape or form.
Eh, Why? An upset spreads through me.
I didn’t say it out loud, but I was confused.
Is that the hiragana “ho(ほ)”?
No, there are too many strokes for that, maybe the last letter is kanji? Or maybe it’s two characters at once.
I had once given up the game of guessing the letters on my back, but I found myself absorbed in it.
Takuho – no, no, no, Takuhoke – what?
I turned my attention to the blackboard, worried.
There, I saw the names of famous poets written by my teacher.
Yosano Akiko, Wakayama Makisui, Masaoka Shiki, Ishikawa Takuboku… Hmm? Ishikawa Takuboku?
That’s when I finally found out what Shi-chan had written on my back.
I see, she pretended to be writing my name. For some reason, she had written the name of Takuboku Ishikawa on my back.
No, no, what? Seriously, why is that?
As I was puzzled by her mysterious behavior, the girl behind me must have noticed that I had arrived at the answer.
Leaning forward a little, she whispered to me in a voice that only I could hear.
Her voice was full of confidence, as if she was telling me a secret.
“Takkun, I’m certain that Takuboku Ishikawa will be on the test.”
It was a valuable advice from Shi-chan about the questions on the upcoming test.
So I replied to her in my mind.