I sigh as I exit the ticket gate of the station closest to my parents’ house. I wish that the hazy feeling in my chest would leave with my breath, but it didn’t work out that way.
I stopped and thought about it in a place where I wouldn’t disturb other people.
The last time I was here was during Golden Week, so it must have been …… about three months ago. When I think about it, it seems like a long time or …… a short time. I feel like the scenery has more color than it did then. Is it because it’s summer?
When I look at the sky, it is a deep blue color with white clouds floating in places, and a presence of iridocumulus clouds stands in the distance. And the sun is strong, burning my skin. It’s already summer. ……
……Well, I think it’s time to go.
A little while later, I tried to turn my feet toward the road leading to my parents’ house like in the old days, but my legs wouldn’t move at all. When I try to walk, my knees just move in a shaky way.
Eh, eh? …… Give me a break, ……. ……I should take a rest for now.
Honestly, I’m pretty upset, but that’s all I can do.…… Aah, I wonder if I shouldn’t have refused my mom’s offer to pick me up if this is the case. No, that is that and this is this…..
I crouched down for a while and then got up and managed to walk.
I’m a little off my scheduled time and I need to hurry. …… Haa…… I can’t wait to see what’s ahead of me. ……
As I get closer to my parents’ house, my legs get heavier and heavier, and my breath catches. It feels a little cold even though it’s the middle of summer and I would love to stop and rest, but if I do that here I will never be able to move. My parents’ house is close by, and I have a little more patience.
I looked at my watch and saw that it was five minutes after the time I had told them. …… I left the house much earlier, though.
I thought that I could have come this far, so I stopped and drank a little tea from my water bottle. Then I took off my glasses, which I always wear outside.
To my left is my parents’ house where I lived until just about five months ago, and to the far right is Sumika’s house. I would like to think that there is no way I will run into Sumika, but if I stay here, that possibility will increase. I had to get in there as soon as possible.
I enter the property and take out a different key from the one I usually use from my bag. With slightly trembling hands, I slowly insert the key into the keyhole, take a deep breath, and turn the key.
I open the door and go inside.
These words, which I had decided to definitely say first when I got home, sounded as if they were about to disappear.
I thought my voice was so small that I was sure no one could hear me, but my expectation was wrong and I got a reply.
“Welcome home, Onii-chan”
“! …… Haruka.”
I was surprised that my sister came from the bathroom because I had thought that my mother would come out from the living room if she was coming.
After saying that, Haruka walked toward the kitchen.
Then, when Haruka looked into the kitchen and told mother that I had come home, I couldn’t hear the sound of cooking that I had been hearing, and mother came out.
“Shota, welcome home.”
“I’m home. ……”
“It’s hot and you must be tired. Do you want something to drink?”
“…… No, I’m fine. Thank you.”
I just had a drink a few minutes ago. ……
“…..Uhm,……, dinner will be ready soon.”
After saying that, Mom went back towards the kitchen.
I grabbed my bag and followed behind Haruka to my room, which is next to hers.
When I entered the room, the inside was just as clean and tidy as the last time I was back.
Let’s just get one of the purposes of my return accomplished …….
I opened the closet and took out a cardboard box in the back. Then I took out the box containing my diary from inside the cardboard. There, of course, were my diaries, and only the diary from the previous year, which I had opened a little the last time I came here, was placed on top of the diaries in the line.
…… Huh? I thought I had lined it up properly. …… …… Oh, that reminds me, I had to put it away in a hurry because Haruka came in suddenly.
I took the box out of the closet and put it in the bag I had brought.
……There you go. I wasn’t sure if it would fit in the bag, but I guess I was able to fit it in with a lot of room to spare.
Looking around the room, I found various things from junior high school. A clock I’ve been using since I was little, and a felt ball with a cat’s face sewn on it that I made in home economics class in junior high school. There was also a certificate from a badminton tournament I won in club activities, and a three-dimensional puzzle in the shape of a horse that I received as a birthday present in the fifth grade.
I picked up one of the cat balls.
I think I’ll take it home with me. Miyamoto-san said she likes cute things, and I think this ball is quite cute, if I do say so myself. She wanted to come back when she came to visit my house the other day. ……
I put the ball in my bag and also put a 3-D puzzle of a horse that I had left next to it. I thought this one was called a crystal puzzle and I thought it was beautiful and depending on how you look at it, pretty.
–conconcon …… gakk.
“Ah, is it time for dinner?”
“Dinner is ready.”
The door opened and Haruka mumbled something small, and then I heard my mother’s voice.
Haruka reacted to Mom’s voice and turned her head toward the voice, but then she glanced over at me. ……? She seems to be trying to say something.
Haruka replied to Mom and went off to the living room. ……What was that?
……Dinner huh? It’s been a while since I’ve had Mom’s cooking.
The plan from now on is to stay here today and visit the cemetery tomorrow with the whole family. Dad will be back at night. At that time, if possible, let’s have a talk with the whole family. Talk about what happened in middle school, and this time, don’t run away.