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.
I took my seat and slumped my shoulders, relaxed. After we’d gathered in the classroom we went to the auditorium and had our entrance ceremony, which happened without a hitch. We’d finally reached recess before homeroom would start.
Some groups have already been formed, and they chatted happily between themselves, laughter echoing left and right in the classroom.
“The student council president was so beautiful~”
“I liked the secretary more.”
“The vice-president seemed stern and scary, though…”
“Oh, y’know the principal’s child? They’re in the same cram school as I.”
“Was that really the headmaster? He looked very, very young.”
I overheard these detached phrases from some conversations. Sakurai, the girl whom I was friends with in the past, was mixed among them. Sometimes I noticed her shooting quick glances at me as if trying to imply something.
However, I pretended not to notice such gazes, and ultimately, I only spoke when spoken to so as to not get involved.
Hmm, if the whole student council was there, that means my sister was there too, huh…
As this thought suddenly popped up, I heard a notification coming from my phone. It was my sister… I have a bad feeling about this.
I checked her message.
“You were sleeping.”
It was one sentence long.
Honestly, I’d slept through all but the beginning and the end of the ceremony. I mean, I didn’t get enough sleep, and I felt a wave of boredom in that large auditorium.
Entrance ceremonies are usually all the same, and with this many people, I didn’t think she’d find me out. She did, needless to say.
How in the world could she find me inside that huge crowd? And even then, how did she recognize my facial expressions, ultimately finding out I was asleep?
To be fair, I was sleeping, so I couldn’t say anything. I hate this shallow thinking of mine…
Then the notification beep sounded once again, announcing another message.
From sister again? What now?
So I opened the messaging app once again, to see:
“Are you coming home today? Mom and I are gonna make a special dish to commemorate, and we’d love it if you could eat it as well.”
It was a slightly reserved text, at least from what I’ve noticed.
What should I do?
It’ll be the first time in a long time all three of us would eat together as a family, sitting at the same table. Honestly, I wanna try and go. However, there’s a lingering fear that it’ll just be awkward.
And besides, I have plans to go out this evening… I’d hate to interrupt the two’s celebration after all.
However, the conversation I had with my sister suddenly resurfaced in my mind. Wasn’t it just like the old times…? No, I couldn’t say that.
Either way, I was able to talk to her normally, which is a big step forward considering our relationship just a few days prior. Would I be able to do the same with mom?
With those hopes in mind, I decided to give my sister an okay.
“I’ll leave at night, but apart from that, sure.”
I hesitate for a moment before hitting send. Is this simple sentence enough?
Okay, what happens, happens!
Worrying would do nothing for me. F*ck it! —And with a slight slap, I pressed the reply button. Within seconds of sending the message, my phone pinged.
… Wow, how fast.
It was as if she was already in the chat room, staring at her phone’s screen until I finally replied…
Uh, I feel uncomfortable…
Shaking my head, I try to stop imagining crazy things. Regardless, what did she answer? Looking at my phone’s screen, I see:
“Really? I’m so happy! I’m gonna put my skills to the test, so look forward to it! Is there anything you’d like to eat, Tatsumi? I’ll make anything you want, even if it is a cake! You used to love chocolate cakes, do you still like them? Oh, I should also give you an entrance gift—”
I can’t help but turn off my smartphone… What the hell was that?! Her reply was five times as long as what I read, so long in fact she couldn’t possibly have written that so quickly. It was humanely impossible!
Out of the corner of my eyes, I thought I’d read some crazy words like, “I’m the present” or some things like that. I wholeheartedly hope I’m wrong, though.
“… Whew!” I looked up at the ceiling with my eyes closed, sighing.
I’ll just forget about all the crazy stuff… If I don’t, I wouldn’t be able to look my sister in her eyes. Today’s dinner would be very awkward for a new reason altogether.
As I tucked my earlier shock into my pocket along with my phone, I heard the tune of the bell reverberating throughout the school, signaling the start of homeroom just before I did anything else.
Soon, the scattered students began to return to their seats, Sakurai among them.
I had a big problem in my classroom…
The road ahead was a difficult one.
TL: I wonder what the sister and the mother did to warrant such a separation between the family? I mean, I get what the sister did, but I’m curious since we don’t know the full context of anything. Either way, the protagonist is actively trying to fix his situation, so that’s a plus.
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