Translated and Edited by: ynlucca.
-san: A polite suffix, but not excessively formal.
-kun: A common suffix among friends and younger people.
-chan: A common suffix among people you’re close with, mostly used for feminine nicknames and girls, since it’s cutesy and childlike.
-senpai: A common suffix and noun used to address or refer to one’s older or more senior colleagues in a school, workplace, dojo, or sports club.
Shuri Aizawa is my sister.
She’s gifted, talented and literate, and has easily won the trust of everyone around her since elementary school. I’d learned this morning that she’s also a member of the student council, but oh well, that shouldn’t surprise me.
I’m proud to have her as my sister, but I still avoid her.
Why? Because she hates my guts. That’s why, in order not to annoy her and garner even more hatred, I try not to talk to her more than I have to. It’s a bit extreme, but it’s the safest way to do so.
We used to be good friends back in the day, but soon our relationship devolved into what it currently is. It all started with something very trivial, so I just don’t know how it snowballed into this….
My apology for being late only made her more anxious.
“Ah, it’s not that Tatsumi. I was just worried something might’ve happened to you since you were late, I’m not mad…”
“I just said sorry for being late. In any case, there’s still some time left, so what do you want?”
She waited until her cheeks were rosy from the cold. Maybe she was early due to some work she had to do? After she did a small pondering gesture, she smiled.
“We can’t go all the way around now, but… I’ll give you a tour of the school.”
“No, I’ll do that later with the staff—”
“N–No, no, no. It’s important to get an opinion from a students that’s been here for quite a bit, right?”
… Indeed. Though, haven’t the teachers been here for years and years? Uh, well, I guess some things can only be seen from the student’s perspective. She has also been waiting for quite a bit, so refusing would be heartbreaking. I’ll just take her word for it.
“… Got it. So, can you do me a favor then, sis?”
“… Uh, can I just check my class for now?”
“I checked it just now, it’s class 1-B.”
The bulletin board is just past the school gate. Class assignments for all grades were posted there, so I checked it as well.
Class 1-B, attendance number 1, Aizawa Tatsumi¹. Since my name was at the top of the class roster, it was quite easy to find.
“Last names come in handy at times like this.”
“Well, I’m usually first. More importantly, make sure you know where your seat is, okay? It’s been a few years since they arranged the desks randomly instead of by name.”
“Hmm? Isn’t it more exciting that way, or something?”
“Oh, yeah, I’m sure it’s exciting…”
“Right? See, student input is important, too!”
I definitely think it’s for some other reason. Besides, I’m a freshman, so what does it matter if it’s random or not? To be honest, I’m not telling since it’s be troublesome.
Ah whatever, I’m a bit excited. What kind of students would sit next to me? Will there be someone interesting? I wonder if I can make some friends.
… Oh, and I prefer to sit in the back, preferrably by the window. It’s easier to procrastinate that way.
“… Did you just think something flippant?”
“—! No, no, just normal old thoughts, very normal indeed.”
“Okay then, fine…”
Even though she said that, my sister still eyed me suspiciously. It seems she just saw through me like I was some piece of glass. Y’know what, I’ll just stop thinking bad stuff in front of her.
But I wasn’t lying. Any healthy student would think the same exact thing… I mean, not a serious student.
Though this conversation, as uninteresting as it is, is novel to us. It might’ve been the first time in several years we had such a trivial talk. While we conversed, she smiled as though she had returned to our childhood, and her voice was hearty.
I’m glad. Seems I can talk normally…
That normalcy has been long gone from our family, and I honestly thought I couldn’t talk to her like this anymore. However, for some unknown reason, my sister came up to me and we started talking…
Could we start over? And if we did, could our relationship become what it once was?
“Tatsumi, what’s wrong?”
“… Nothing. I was just thinking, y’know…”
“Hm? That’s fine… Though let’s get going. If we don’t hurry, we won’t be able to walk around.”
She pulled my arm, trying to hurry me along. To do that, she turned to face me. However, I felt her once happy expression turn cold, and that smile became a scowl — Shuri was looking right behind me.
… What is it?
I try to turn around and follow her gaze, but—
“—Let’s go!” She sounded impatient.
—she pulled my arm with more strength than before, blocking my head from turning around in the process.
What was that? More importantly, was it…
Out of the corner of my eye, just before I was pulled along, I could only steal a glance. It was only for a moment, but I could swear I saw someone with familiar chestnut-colored hair, standing in front of the school gates amidst dancing cherry petals.
1 — In Japan, the last name comes before the first name, but I try not to do that when translating. He’s on the top of the board because his surname starts with “A”.
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