“I’m sorry! There’s a big bee!”
Takase suddenly appeared behind a huge water container near the rooftop entrance. It was not far from where we were standing.
“Takase-san, right, we’re in the same class?”
Taiyo is still very proactive. Even in such an unexpected situation, he immediately takes the initiative in communication.
“Yes. Uhm, eeh”
A yellow, noxious wasp, which seemed to be a threat to Takase, made a buzzing, eerie sound and flew away via me. Takase was just fidgeting about, combing her hair and worrying about the hem of her skirt.
I could never see such behavior in the classroom, and it made my heart beat wildly against my will.
“Sorry, um, I’m sorry, anyway, I’m sorry.”
Taiyo seemed to understand the meaning of this unnatural apology, though I, a dullard, could not understand the reason for it and felt uncomfortable.
“Takase-san, how long have you been there?”
Ah, I see. That’s what it means. …… Convincing is apparently not the case.
“You see” Takase stammered. “From the beginning.”
“You mean from the beginning,…….”
I can hear the sound of the Taiyo swallowing its spit.
“Yes. I listened to the whole conversation, from how high school freedom should be, to why you like chests and legs, and also to the fact that Kanzawa-kun has a destiny. I’m really, really sorry!”
My mind went blank like a water truck spraying white paint.
God, hey, God of Fate. If you’re out there, answer me with top priority, my mind screamed.
–What is this?
With my mind blank, only Taiyo and Takase’s conversation flowed in.
“Takase-san, the way you’re talking, this isn’t your first time, is it?”
“Well, I’ll tell you the truth. I’m on the Discipline Committee, and I was told to warn some students about being on the rooftop during lunch break.”
“Oh, it’s against school rules, isn’t it, the rooftop?” to which Takase replied, “Yeah, it is.”
“And?” Taiyo turns the water on Takase.
“So, I first came here to warn you. At first I thought Hayama-kun and Kanzawa-kun were having a fight.”
“Wait a minute, Takase-san. If you think we were fighting, that means ……”
Taiyo and I looked at each other without either of us saying anything.
“Yes! I’m not just talking about today, I hear it all. I’m sorry, I really am. I’m sorry.”
I manage to get my confused brain to work and think back to what Taiyo and I talked about a few days ago. All the information I had talked to Taiyo a few days ago was not something I wanted the opposite sex to know.
“Does that mean you know how I got into this high school?”
Taiyo’s question made Takase nod her head in a very uncomfortable manner.
“Not only that, but also the reason why Yusuke was distrustful of people, his past, the fact that he works part-time without telling the school, how he is struggling with his life, that I play the drums, and also the fact that Yusuke is a muscular, skeevy guy with a leg f*tish, right?”
What is the need to reiterate that last point, you b*****d Taiyo?
“That last one is bad for Kanzawa-kun.”
Takase smiled bitterly and made a gratifying follow-up remark. I was about to thank her, but she quickly continued.
“At first! I really meant to warn you!”
Takase took two or three steps toward us.
“But the two of you were arguing about something so seriously that you didn’t even notice me when I showed up on the rooftop. I got kind of scared and hid there. Once things calmed down, I was going to warn you. Then I went…… and listened to your conversation. Both of you had various problems and clashed with each other, but in the end, you understood each other. To be honest, I thought it was amazing. I was surprised to find someone in my class who is the same age as me, but thinks so much about life.”
Rather than understanding, Taiyo made me his friend in the end, half-heartedly.
“From the next day on, I started coming here as an individual, not as a windbreaker. I figured if I hid there again, I could listen to the two of you. That’s how I’ve been eavesdropping for the past few days. But really, every story was interesting. I mean it? Except for the ones about chests and such, which are a bit …… different.”
I felt as if Takase had just given me a little kick in the nuts. I’m going to have to be careful about vulgar conversation from now on.
“And, and! I know this is out of the blue, but I have a favor to ask of you both.”
Takase’s eyes were filled with something like a strong determination. The dignified look in her eyes was so noble and beautiful that it made my heart flutter.
Taiyo and I looked at each other again. What is she asking us to do in this situation? What in the world?
“Please let me be one of you two.”
I couldn’t believe my ears.
That Takase is asking to join us?
“Takase-san. What do you mean by that?”
Taiyo quickly answered my question.
“I want to change my life in this high school. The way things are now, it’s not good as it is, that’s for sure.”
Takase’s face is dark and gloomy, and I am surprised to see it. This is something I had never seen in the classroom.
“But I didn’t know what to do, even if I said ‘change’ in one word. Deep down, I knew I had to change, but in the end, what I did in high school was the same as in junior high. And I realized that it was already May. That’s when I was impressed by your stories.”
Takase continues, looking firmly into the faces of Taiyo and me.
“If I stay with you people, I might be able to change something. I began to really think so. Of course it took a lot of courage for a girl to ask two boys to do such a thing by herself, but I thought it was something I really needed to do, regardless of gender or anything else.”
Still, what exactly does Takase want to change? Like Taiyo, Takase is surrounded by many friends in the classroom, and she never stops smiling. What is she missing or dissatisfied with?
I decided to talk to her for the first time, feeling nervous as Takase was so close to me that I could touch her if I reached out my hand.
“Takase. Watching Takase in the classroom, she seems to be leading a very fulfilling high school life. I don’t know what is really going on, but I can’t say for sure. I mean, what in the world do you need to change?”
“Yes, it’s not good enough. You said, ‘It’s not good enough as it is.’ …… Takase-san, you’re doing a lot of things very well.”
Taiyo followed my lead and expressed his doubts.
As for Takase, she seemed to be thinking about whether or not she should answer the question. Seeing her like this made my heart ache.
“I’m sorry, Takase. I’m sorry I pushed you into a corner.”
“No, it’s fine.”
Takase looked up and shook her head a few times.
“If I had to say, I’d say the future I guess”
Her voice sounded like a weak light that might go out if blown, but she certainly said so.
The moment Takase uttered the word, a shock like a high-voltage electric current rushed through my body, and the heat in my body instantly rose to its highest level. The old fortune teller’s words automatically replayed in my brain one after another.
[There is a woman in this world who is bound to you by an extremely strong bond of fate.]
–At first I wondered what was going on. Destiny.
[The thread of destiny will surely bring you and the future you together. It seems that this woman, like you, is troubled by the difficulties that have arisen in her future at the present time. And in order to solve them, she will come to you for help in the not-too-distant future.]
–Indeed, it seems that she really is here. Indeed, she has indeed come, and with a future of difficulties.
[You have already met the future you. …… Does it ring a bell?]
–I think I may have been led to my destiny from the moment I first saw her.
Looking back, not only “destiny” but “future” was an important keyword in that fortune-telling.
My future and future you.
Both of them, as they are now, are probably in a depressing world where darkness reigns. However, by meeting each other and joining hands, the darkness will be cleared and we will be able to walk toward one and the same bright “future” with light shining on it.
For some reason, Takase spends her days with the thought in her heart that she must change the future that will come to her if she does not change the current situation. And that future is not something that can be welcomed with open arms, judging from the way she speaks and the expression on her face.
Perhaps clinging to the straw, she came to us, so to speak, to ask for our “help”.
–I have no doubt.
I am sure of it.
Yuri Takase is my future you.
“Future ……, huh, haha. No matter what the circumstances are, I can’t say no to Takase-san bowing down to me like this, can I, Yusuke …… Yusuke?”
Taiyo’s call finally brought me back to my senses, and I replied with a hastily prepared “Oh.
“Haa, thank goodness! I was afraid what if you were scary people. Thank you, Kanzawa-kun, Hayama-kun.”
There, freed from her nervousness, was the fresh smile I often see on Takase’s face in the classroom. I was still excited and had a lot to talk about with Takase.
“I’m so sorry, I just got carried away. I have to go back.”
The circle of three was broken when Takase looked at her watch.
Takase, with her skirt fluttering, ran toward the entrance to the rooftop. But on the way, she seemed to notice something and stopped and turned around.
“Oh, I almost forgot! Kamisawa-kun, Hayama-kun. As a member of the Public Discipline Committee, I give you this order. Entry to the rooftop is forbidden. Please do not come here anymore. Understood?”
In a slightly theatrical voice, the Public Morals Officer said in a slightly reverential tone.
“You two need to get back soon, or you’ll be late for your afternoon classes. See you later!”
She waved her hand to us and walked away.
There was only Taiyo and I on the rooftop, and there was a brief pause.
“Well, I’m surprised. That Takase-san wants to be a part of our group. She’s a bad person, too. She was just in the shadows all along. She should have called out to us earlier. We were just having a silly conversation without realizing it. My fetish for chests is a well-known secret. Still, she’s a cute girl, right? As a member of the public morals committee, I give you an order! Just because.”
Taiyo’s words passed through my head without any substance. Even after Takase had left, the heat had not yet cooled and continued to burn my whole body.
“O-Oi Yusuke. You’ve been looking a little dazed since ……, are you okay? Your face is all red. Do you have a fever or something?”
“It’s my girlfriend.”
“The person of my destiny–the future you–is Yuri Takase.”
Takase had already left the rooftop, but the vision of her waving at us stuck in my mind.
I didn’t have time to check Taiyo’s reaction, so I just sat there for a while, enjoying the vision of Takase.
It was nighttime, and I was lying on my bed in my room, looking out the curtained window.
The moon was present in the night sky, as it had been on the night of the fortune-telling, as if to show off its own beautiful, undistorted circle.
It had been a hard day.
I couldn’t stop thinking about Takase even more than usual during my part-time job at the tavern, and I made a few blunders that earned me a scolding from the overbearing master.
I tossed and turned that word around in my head.
What kind of destiny awaits me?
Destiny could be replaced with a story, if you will.
“My story. ……”
Is it a comedy or a tragedy?
How many characters will come and go? If I am the hero, who is the heroine? Can I believe that it is Yuri Takase? And will it end with a happy ending? Or perhaps…..
I close my eyes and try to recall my past and imagine the future. But the past is heavier than I expected, and I can’t connect it to the future properly.
I get up and shake my head a few times.
“It’s been a sh*tty fifteen years. But for the next year, and the next three years, I will…..”
I can’t change the past anymore, but I can still change the future any way I want. I am given that opportunity. I have to make it a comedy instead of a tragedy, a happy ending instead of a bad one.
I lost my mother and father when I was still in junior high school, my relatives abandoned me, and I have no special skills or hobbies. I am always in financial crisis, and on top of that, I have a strong distrust of people. Who would have thought that I would find happiness?
–It’s funny, isn’t it?
As I declared to Taiyo, I’ll do as much as I can to scratch the surface. I’m going to get a happy ending that I have never seen before, that will make me look back at the people who pushed me this far.
I reached out my hand to the giant moon seen from the window, and I engraved such a determination in my heart.
TL: Im gonna put this series on hold since it’s not that popular. Will occasionally update one in a while.