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FAQ/Walkthrough by hooi
Version: 1.0 | Updated: 07/17/01
========================================================================== Sony Playstation Sentimental Graffiti ~Yakusoku Complete Guide Version 1.0 Chia-Hooi Lim email@example.com ========================================================================== Sony Playstation's Sentimental Graffiti ~Yakusoku is released on March 29, 2001 by NEC Interchannel. It is not actually a game, it is more like a text novel with voice-over about what happen when the girls first met the protagonist during childhood. NEC Interchannel refer to it as Digital Novel. There is only one CG for each girl and the background is just the place where the conversation or action takes place. All the characters, except the protagonist, have voice-over. Each characters has about a 30 minutes of story. By just reading the translation, you will not know who is the one talking, as I will follow the same format, as in the "game". So, please use the translation with the "game". Please support the original game by buying ORIGINAL copy of Sentimental Graffiti ~Yakusoku. Please remember that I broke up some of the sentences into several short sentences because the sentence is way too long. SPOILER ALERT: There are spoilers everywhere about the original Sentimental Graffiti game. However, some of the story are not very consistent with the original game. ========================================================================== KEY CONFIGURATIONS ========================================================================== Direction Key : Guess :P SELECT Button : To view the High Quality version of background. Normally, you see the Low Quality version. Only work, after you press R1 Button. 'O' Button : Decide Button. 'X' Button : Cancel Button TRIANGLE Button : Click this button on the story select menu and you will see the High Quality of the CG for that story. SQUARE Button : Not Use. L1 Button : Skip voice and message. R1 Button : All the message gone, so you can view the background clearly. ========================================================================== MENU TRANSLATIONS ========================================================================== MAIN MENU: ---------- Mokuji (Table of Contents): Choose one of the girls' story. Settei ( Setting ): Change the setting. Ro-do ( Load ): Load your saved information. MOKUJI MENU: ------------ STORY 01 : ADACHI TAEKO - OSANAJIMI (CHILDHOOD FRIEND) STORY 02 : NAGAKURA EMIRU - TAIMU KAPUSERU (TIME CAPSULE) STORY 03 : SAWATARI HONOKA - KOUKAN NIKKI (EXCHANGE DIARY) STORY 04 : MORII KAHO - CHIKAI NO HACHIMAKI (THE SWORN HEADBAND) STORY 05 : AYASAKI WAKANA - ORUGO-RU (MUSIC BOX) STORY 06 : YAMAMOTO RURIKA - OTOKONOKO ONNANOKO (BOYS AND GIRLS) STORY 07 : NANASE YUU - MABOROSHII TENKOUSEI (PHAMTOMIC TRANSFER STUDENT) STORY 08 : ENDOU AKIRA - SAIKOU NO ENSOU (THE BEST MUSIC PERFORMANCE) STORY 09 : HOSAKA MIYUKI - SHIMAWARETA TANMONO (TANMONO THAT WAS KEPT AWAY) STORY 10 : HOSHINO ASUKA - NAMIDA NO CHIKETTO (TICKET OF TEARS) STORY 11 : SUGIHARA MANAMI - MIENAI TSUBASA (THE INVINSIBLE WINGS) STORY 12 : MATSUOKA CHIE - SAIGO NO YAKUSOKU (THE LAST PROMISE) SETTING MENU: ------------- Messe-ji ( Message Speed ): Message speed Saundo ( Sound ): STEREO/MONO Onsei ( Voice ): Voice Volume Koukaoto ( Sound Effect ): Sound Effect Volume BGM (Background Music): BGM Volume ========================================================================== INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO USE THE DIGITAL NOVEL ========================================================================== Start Instructions: ------------------- As the game begins, it will read the memory card for the settings of the game and darken all the story that you have finished already. Mokuji Instructions: -------------------- Using the direction keys, you can select the story of your choice. Press 'O' Button to select the story. After you finish one story, the story's Japanese wordings are darkened. With that, you can press TRIANGLE Button to see the High Quality Event Picture of that story. Press 'O' Button to return to the Mokuji Menu. Load Instructions: ------------------ It will read the memory card for the setting sand darken all the story that you have finished already every time you start the game or select the LOAD option in the main menu. It will only save the settings and the story you finished after you finish a story. When you finish all twelve stories, you will get an ending songs by the Sentimental Graffiti Girls. ========================================================================== JAPANESE CULTURE THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND THE STORIES ========================================================================== As you know by now, I am not a Japanese and probably made wrong assumptions about Japanese Culture. However, I can relate a bit of my country's culture with Japanese culture, as it is similar in several ways. Education System: ----------------- Schools and the first school term start in April in Japan when the Cherry Blossoms (Sakura) blooms. They have six weeks of Summer Vacation, starting at the end of July and ending at the last week in August. Then, the second school term begins. They have two weeks of Winter Vacation at the end of December, just before the Christmas week. Then, the third school term begins. Lastly, they have two weeks of Spring Vacation at the end of March and the next school year begins over again. The school system is divided into Kindergarten, six years of Elementary School, three years of Middle School, three years of High School and then, College or University. During the end of Elementary, Middle and High School, there will be an entrance exam to determine which next level of school you are going to. Basically, at the end of the sixth year of the Elementary School, you will have an entrance exam to determine which Middle School you can go to. The better reputation, the harder it is to get into that school. Of course, there are exception to this system, the so-called "elevator" school. Basically, the school itself have all or at least of the followings: Elementary School, Middle School, High School and University in it, so they do not have to take entrance exams. It kinda take away the entrance exam's stress away, as it is very competitive in Japan. Most students goes to cram schools to get help on their academic skills. Roles in School: ---------------- When I referred a teacher as "teacher in charge of her class", it meant that the teacher is the one who is in charge of the class's welfare and activities. He/she is in charge of taking attendance, giving out class duties (he can assigned that job to the class representative), and etc, etc... When I referred a student as "class representative", it meant he/she is appointed by the teacher or by popular votes to lead the class. In my country, the student is called a "class monitor". However, it seems to me that there are some differences between my country's class representative and Japan's class representative. It would appear to me that the student in charge of the class duties have more responsibities. Anyway, he/she is the one who is in charge of saying the greetings when a teacher arrived in the class and probably is the one who will ask the class to be quiet. He/she is also the one who probably will go to the Teachers' Office to call for the teacher if the teacher is late. It appeared to me that the "people in charge of class duties" are also doing those jobs. So, I am still a bit confused about how it actually work in Japan. And it also seems to me, different schools in Japan have different systems of doing it. In my country, the "people in charge of class duties" are the students who are in charge of cleaning up the classrooms, like sweeping the floor, erasing the blackboard, etc... In Japan, they do more than that. They also help teachers to bring class material to the class. The class representative is also the one who run the show. He/she runs election to choose the athletics for the Sport's Day, is the team leader to set up things for Cultural Festival (Bunkasai), etc, etc... As you entered the school entrance, you will see the shoe lockers, where the students changed their shoes. One pair of shoes to be worn in school and another pair to be worn outside school. ========================================================================== INTRODUCTION : THEME OF SENTIMENTAL GRAFFITI ~YAKUSOKU ========================================================================== OBOETE IMASU KA? WATASHI NO KOTO... OBOETE IMASU KA? ANO OMOITE... SOSHITE, HATASENAKATTA ANOHI NO YAKUSOKU WO... DO YOU REMEMBER? ABOUT ME... DO YOU REMEMBER? THAT MEMORY... AND, THE PROMISE ON THAT DAY THAT NEVER COME TRUE... ========================================================================== STORY 01 : ADACHI TAEKO - OSANAJIMI (CHILDHOOD FRIEND) ========================================================================== [TRANSLATION NOTES: ] [- 'Adachi Husband and Wife' == 'Mr. and Mrs. Adachi'. Basically, ] [ the husband is the one adopting the wife's family name, just like ] [ the way Taeko's father did, when he married Taeko's mother ] "We will be going!" Two children ran out out of the Alcohol Shop energetically with their black and red backpack on their back. "Hey, Jun! You are not going with them!" A smiling madam says that and grabs hold of a four or five years old boy, as he is about to chase after the two of them. "You two, please be careful!" "Suuuure!" Saying that, the two of them energetically run out. The same thing happened in the morning for the past four years already at this Adachi household. Actually, recently, there is a little change. "Hey, wait! Wait, I said!" Taeko said angrily at the boy who is walking quickly in front of her. Taeko, whose hair got messed up after she started running to catch up with the boy, looked angrily at the boy "W, what?" "Why are you walking so fast? Do you hate walking together with me?" "N, no, that's not the reason..." The boy looked troubled, as Taeko demands some answers from him. Taeko family has been running an alcohol beverages business, ever since the time of her great-grandmother in Aomori. Adachi Alcohol Store is very popular among the locals. Adachi's family is a lineage of female. After all, Taeko's father was married into Taeko's mother's family. In addition to that, her family's house has a lot of rooms due to the fact that it was built long time ago. Because of that and that it is too wasteful to leave those rooms without any use, so with Taeko's mother suggestion, they started to rent out one portion of the second floor. The boy's family came from Tokyo and rented that place four years ago in Spring. Ever since then, under a single roof, under the care of Taeko's mother, Taeko, the boy who is of the same age and Taeko's brother, Jun, grown up together like brothers and sister. Of course, they had been going to school together since they entered Elementary School. However, currently, the boy is a bit reluctant to go to school together with Taeko. "You hate other people making fun of us?" "Y, yeah... Kind of..." Actually, recently, the two of them were given a nickname. And the nickname is "Adachi Husband and Wife". Even though they are halfway through Elementary School, it is strange time for the children who started to realize about the opposite sex. They don't know how to treat the opposite sex, so they first start by teasing the others. The two of them are the perfect image for the children's target. "Yo! Good morning! Adachi Husband and Wife!" "Eh?" "You two are hot! Even though it is morning!" The two pranksters from their class hit the back of the two of them, and ran away. "Hey! You two!" "Just let them go..." The boy stops Taeko who is getting angry. He knows it well that if they get mad, they are giving the pranksters pleasure in doing it. They should just ignore the pranksters. But, Taeko just cannot cool herself down. "But! They just make me mad! Those two!" Taeko really hates that nickname "Adachi Husband and Wife". She felt that they are making fun of the way her father is married into the family. In actuality, it's also because the boy's family is renting the second floor of Taeko's family's house. In addition to that, Taeko is just like her mother who likes to take care of people and therefore, likes to take care of the boy. So, that's why from outside, it looks as though the boy is under Taeko's control. That's probably how that nickname comes about. The boy came from Tokyo to here, Aomori. Because of that, to Taeko, compare to the boys who is borned here, the boy is much weaker than them. More specifically, to her, who had spent a lot of time together with the boy, she knew very well that the boy can be better described as too gentle, instead of too weak. "Hey, let's hurry!" "I understand..." With the urge from the boy to hurry, Taeko started to walk faster along the wide path to their school. Their school is between the shopping district and the mountain. Around it, are paddy fields. In the season like this, the frogs are making a lot of noises. In addition to that, the electric train tracks are parallel with the wide path that they are using. The children look forward to challenging the electric train for a race every morning. There is a reason why children able to challenge the electric train for a race. The rail track from Aomori to Tokyo have a big curve near this wide road and therefore, naturally, the electric train needs to slow down for the curve. It is the speed where the passenger in the electric train can clearly see the children running along this wide road energetically. "Good morning, everyone!" "Ah, Tae-chan!" Not too long after Taeko entered the classroom, several of her good female friends gathered around her with faces that suggest that they got something to tell her. "What's the matter?" "See that... Daigo and his gang did that..." "Eh... Ah!" Taeko's best friend and the class representative of their class, Tomoko, told Taeko that. And when Taeko looked at the blackboard, Taeko is lost for words. It's because on the blackboard, a big umbrella is drawn with the wordings, "Adachi Husband and Wife", around it. In addition to that, there are heart marks and snow flakes decorating it. "Hehehe." Most likely the boy, who is called 'Daigo', is the one behind all of this, as he is laughing happily seeing Taeko's reaction. At that moment, the boy enter the classroom a bit later than Taeko. "What is this..." The boy also lost for words, as he saw what is on the blackboard. "Hey! Boys! Don't overdo it!" Taeko got mad, walked to the side of the blackboard, hit the blackboard with both her hands and screamed out. "I do not think any thing special about him! He is just my childhood friend!" Saying that, Taeko takes a peek at the boy's face. The boy is smiling, but for a moment, it seems to her that the boy look a bit lonely, different than his usual self. "That's right! Stop giving troubles to Taeko!" The boy approached the blackboard, took the blackboard eraser and started to erase all the drawings on the blackboard. Taeko did not understand why her chest hurts so much when she looked at the back of the boy who is erasing the blackboard. "You are giving me troubles! I do not like him!" Opposite to what she felt in her heartt, she spit those words out. "I am sympathize with you, you got dumped by her!" Daigo said that, as though he is sympathized with the boy. "That's not what I said, right?!" Hearing him said that, she exploded, took the blackboard eraser from the desk and threw at Daigo as hard as she can. -->[There are more than one erasers.] PASHI-N. -->[Noise hitting the target] The eraser hit directly at Daigo's face. "Ouuuuch! What are you doing?! Adachiiiii!" Daigo is completely covered with the chalk powder, but his rage make his face red. He jumped at Taeko. At their age, there are no differences between boys and girls. Even the opposite is a girl, a boy can still hit a girl without hesistation. "Stop ittttt!" "Eh..." At the moment Daigo jumped directly at Taeko, the boy protected Taeko and jumped at Daigo. That is the first time their classmates ever saw the boy got so angry. "Y, yooouuuuu!" For a moment Daigo was stunned, and then, he started to hit the boy back. The two boys wrestles with each other. "Wait! Please stop it!" Taeko anxiously screams at them. She could never imagine the boy to jump at Daigo like that. (He is going to get beaten badly! After all, he never gotten in a fight before!) However, as though betraying what Taeko thought to be the outcome of the fight, the boy actually manage to hold off Daigo very well. It was a good fight. "HEEEEEYYY! What are you two doing?!" Until the teacher in charge of their class break them up, the two of them fight without any signs of anybody winning. Even that, Taeko really glad that she had Tomoko, the class representative, to go and ask the teacher in charge of the class to come here. "You two come to the teachers' Office after school!" "Yeaaaah." "Y, yes..." The two of them, with their hair completely messed up, have a guilty look on his face. "He is so slow~" Taeko is sitting on the steel bar in the central garden waiting for the boy to come out from the school entrance. The boy asked her to go home first, but she felt responsible for what happened in the morning. "I really said something really cruel today..." Taeko regretted what she said. No matter how mad she was, she shouldn't have said such a thing. "I do not like him!". The words are betrayed by time. Especially when you are young and you probably don't know how to express your feelings very well. "Anyway, I should apologize to him..." That's what Taeko thought. She has to do that at the very least. In addition to that, Taeko learned about one more thing today. And that is, it appeared that she has fallen in love with the boy. After all, she probably got mad because she felt that they were making a fool out of the boy, when the boys called them "Adachi Husband and Wife". As it is the same as other childhood friends, Taeko felt that the boy is part of her. Because of that, she got mad because she felt that her own flesh and blood is being made fun of. Before, it is probably like that, but now, it's different. "Fu~u...." In the morning, when the boy protected her, she felt heat in her chest. That was the first time she ever felt such pain in her chest. With the constant teasings from her friends, for the first time, she realized her own true feelings. While thinking about that, she continued to stare at the school entrance. Finally, the boy came out of the building together with Daigo. Somehow, they are talking happily with each other. "...Hehhhh, is that so?... Hmmmm" "Huh? Taeko? You still had not gone home yet?" "Y, yeah, I got something to do..." Taeko lied. (Ahhhh, why did I said that? I intend to apologize to him as soon as possible, after all...) In her heart, she said. But, probably because they are too close as they are childhood friends that she ended up saying such uncute things. Childhood friends' relationship might actually be quite similar to the relationship of husband and wife. Especially, as boys and girls, they cannot be honest with themselves in front of their opposites. (For sure, we will be made fun of again...) Even though she is thinking of that, unexpectedly, Daigo did not say anything. "I see, then, I go home first..." "Ah, it's okay, I will be going home with you..." "But, didn't you say you got something to do?" "I am done with that already!" "Then, let's go home together, the three of us!" Daigo said that unexpectedly, and Taeko was trying to adapt to the situation. Somehow, it's not like Daigo's usual self. The three of them starts walking on the wide road in the opposite direction of the direction they used when they walked to school in the morning, side by side. "Ah, I am going this way." Halfway, Daigo uses the right road when the wide road split into two, and that place has a nickname, "Ippon Sugi". Here, the road to right goes to the mountain and the road to the left goes to the business district. "Right, see you!" "Heeeey! After you go to the other school, don't lose a fight to anyone!" Daigo said that to the boy, as he ran from where the boy and Taeko are standing. "Eh?" Taeko stares at Daigo as he left without knowing what is going on and then, continue walking home. "Hey, just now, he said, something about you going to other school..." "Right... You don't have to worry anymore, people are not going to tease you anymore!" "W, what are you talking about..." "I am going to transfer to another school." "Eh... Transfer school? ... You are going to move away?" "Y, yeah..." "Y, you can't be saying that..." After that, they quicken their steps home without saying anything. At the end, Taeko cannot bring herself to apologize to the boy that day. (What should I do...) Taeko is lost in thoughts, while sitting on the swing in the nearby playground. It has already been a week since the boy told her about him moving away. And as for the apology that she wanted to say to the boy, she cannot even bring herself to talk with the boy. She heard from her mother that the boy's family is going to move away tomorrow night. But, she did not talk much with the boy even in the farewell party that her mother held for the boy's family. Because of that, Taeko is strangely attracted to the boy. Something changed inside Taeko's heart after she found out that the boy is going to be gone soon. The feelings for the boy has grown so much that she cannot bring herself to look at the boy's face. Because of that, she is anxious all the time around him and cannot talk to him. "Fu~u..." In front of her, her little brother, Jun, is enjoying himself, playing house with the girls from the neighbourhood. "Well, I take on the role of a mother, and Jun-kun, you take on the role of a father." "Okay!" (Come to think about it, I also played house a lot too when I was younger.) Ever since the boy's family moved into her house, Taeko immediately became friends with the boy and played together almost every single day. When she was younger, she wanted a playmate. Normally, no matter how close you are with that person, when the sun sets, he or she has to go home no matter what. But, because the two of them live in the same house, so it is normal that they became good friends in no time. "Pin-po-n! I am home, Taeko!" "Yeees! Ah, darling~, welcome home! Do you want to take a bath first? Or eat dinner first?" "How about eating dinner first?" During that conversation, Taeko opened the invincible door, welcome the boy in, prepared a sand rice immediately and poured in dirt water, as though it is Miso Soup. "Ehehe, today's dinner is your favourite Miso Soup. I had made a lot... so, please eat as much as you can, okay?..." When they played house, Taeko's best cooking is always Miso Soup and rice. There was a reason for it. "Sorry for bothering you... Mrs. Landload." "It's okay, two or three persons are the same." Taeko's mother liked to take care of other people. Because of that, ignoring the boy's parents' concerns about bothering Taeko's family, the boy often treated to have dinner with Taeko's family. The boy especially likes the Miso Soup that Taeko's mother made. He likes it so much that he often asked for seconds. "Is it really that delicious?" "Yes!" "I am glad to hear it. Please eat as much as you want!" Taeko's mother was really happy to see the boy acting like that too. Then, one day, Taeko innocently asked the boy a question. "Hey, when we grow up, will you make me your bride?" Taeko had decided that she wanted to become the boy's bride. But, the boy did not immediately gave his answer. Instead, he gave out a condition. "Okay! But, only if you can make delicious Miso Soup like Obasan, okay?..." -->["Obasan" --> a polite way of referring to an elderly woman. It might be an insult to other women, but we do not need to concern about that.] "Ehh? Reallly? If I can make delicious Miso soup, I am qualified?" "R, right... After all, my father often said this. You have to find a wife who is good at making Miso Soup..." "Ahahaha, well then, Taeko, you have to start training how to cook Miso Soup, right?" Taeko's mother laughed while saying that. The boy was a bit embarassed about it that he lowered his head. "Right! I will do my best! I will do my best, foooorrrrr suuuuurrreee!" Taeko smiled innocently happily. She started to feel embarassed when she thought of that. But, even though she was brave enough to say such a thing when she is younger, now she cannot even bring herself to apologize to the boy. Taeko started to understand what it is like to be an adult. Taeko wanted to be the boy's bride in the future at that time no matter what. When she is younger, everytime people asked her what she wanted to be in the future, she always answered she wanted to be a bride. Soon after, the boy she wants to marry to appear... find the boy... become the boy's bride... that's what she always thought as the steps of courtship. (I was really innocent then~) Seeing Jun with his friends playing like that, it reminded her of the way the boy and her played long time ago. It makes her feel a bit sad and nostalgic. Taeko believes that if they were not given the nickname "Adachi Husband and Wife" and were not made fun of, they will probably stay ignorant. -->[I am not sure whether "ignorant" is a good word to use here. Maybe "innocent" is a better word for this.] "You are so unorganized. Here, I will button your shirt for you." "It's okay. I can do it myself~" Taeko enjoy taking care of other people so much that she took care of the boy. Ever since she was very young, she took care of her little brother, Jun, that she acted the same way towards the boy, as though the boy is also her little brother. If she see the buttons are not buttoned properly or the shoe laces are not tied properly, she cannot leave them alone that she tell the boy about them and offerred her assistance to fix them. Then, one day, something happened at school that caused their classmates to make fun of them. "Somehow, I feel a bit cold..." To the boy who told her that he is not feeling well, "Do you have a fever?" Saying that, as though she is classical conditioned to do it, Taeko put her forehead on the boy's forehead to compare the the temperature between hers and the boy's. "Hmmmm, just I thought, it feels like a fever is coming, I guess?" "Ta, taeko..." "Pyu-pyu-! You two are hot~!" "Yo! Adachi Husband and Wife!" Their classmates immediately started teasing them. To them, it's a very impactful scene. Ever since that day, the nickname "Adachi Husband and Wife" were borned. "But, that will be over soon..." Taeko said that with loneliness. After tomorrow, all the memories with the boy will never be the same anymore. As she thought about it, she felt lonely. It was really a big shock to her. When she start to think that the boy will be gone soon, she feels a part of her has been taken away from her. In addition to that, she didn't want that bad memory with her to remain in the boy's heart. It has been four years since they first met. The first half of it was fun and filled with a lots of great memories. However, the second half was painful and filled with empty, painful memories. "Just as I thought, I should be honest and apologize to him... I don't want any hard feelings between the two of us at the end..." Finally, she decided, smiled and called out to her brother, Jun. "Hey, Jun, it's time to go home!" "Oneechan, let me play just a little bit longer..." -->[Onee-chan==Big Sister] "No, it's time for dinner! Everybody, please go back to your home, okay?" "We understand, Taeko-oneechan." After talking gently with the other children, Taeko hold Jun's hand and hurried home. The next day... Not the same as usual, Taeko walked home alone. She felt a bit lonely without the boy beside her, but from tomorrow onwards, this will be normal. The boy did not attend the school today. He was packing his stuffs to be ready for the night departure. "I am home!" "Hey, Taeko! Bad news!" "Eh?" "They already left!" "Eh? Who?" "What do you mean by who? Of course, I am talking about the people living on the second floor! They already moved!" "Y, you can't be saying that... After all, they supposed to leave at night..." "The scheduled was changed, you see. They left an hour ago..." "It, it can't be true!" Taeko could not believe what her mother just said that she thrown her backpack to the ground and ran up the stairs to the second floor. "Ah..." However, when she slide open the sliding screen, the familiar house furnitures are not there and only fresh marks that were left by those furnitures. Taeko looks at that, stunned. This is probably the first time she felt she lost completely something she dear. "Huh?" However, at the next moment, Taeko saw paper lying on top of the freshly made mark. The paper is the paper from the calendar that the boy used to hang besides his desk. It's his final message to Taeko. "T, this is..." Probably, he didn't have much time to write it carefully, as the writings are very rough. There were only the words, "Please forgive me, Taeko... Good bye...", written on it. "Urg, urg..." -->[Crying...] Seeing that, she cannot stop herself from expressing the emotion that she had been keeping inside her. Somehow, her tears cannot stop flowing out. Even it is just a short sentence, it shows how much the boy care about her until the very end. "If I leave now, I might be able to make it..." For a moment, she rebounced, stood up, crunched the letter from the boy and ran out of the room. At that moment, she knocks into her mother who is worried about her. "Ah, mother! Please move aside! I will go and see!" "Wait, Taeko, where are you going?!" Taeko only said that in a loud voice, ran downstair and ran outside of the house. She just cannot stay there without doing anything. She probably still might be able to make it, and it is better than just crying about it. That's what she thought. In her mind, no matter what, she have to apologize to the boy. "Okay! To Ippon Sugi!" Taeko runs as fast as she can to that wide road that she always used to go to school. Even she leaves now, she will not be able to make it to the Aomori Train Station in time. Right, the only way to see the boy off is that one and only wide road. "Hah, hah... Please! Let me make it there in time!" Taeko is holding onto her chest, which feels like it is going to burst anytime soon, with her right hand, and runs as fast as she can. Probably, this is the first time she ever runs like this in her entire life. Taeko finally arrived at Ippon Sugi. She saw no signs of the train, whether she already missed it or the train had not passed by yet. "Hah, hah..." Taeko stretched her ears to listen. But, just as expected, she cannot hear the sound of the electric train. "I wonder if I miss it already..." At the very moment when she is about to give up, she heard the screeching noise of the rail tracks. She looked at the direction of where the noise come from anxiously. At that moment, she saw that familiar looking train coming in her direction. "Ah..." Taeko started to run again along that wide road, parallel with the electric train. She doesn't know if the boy is riding that electric train, but it is her last chance. "Please, be on this train!" Praying, she looked at the train that is slowing down. She saw a glance of the boy in the middle of the train through the window. It's as though it became slow motion. The train is quite far away from her, but there is no mistake that that is the boy. Probably, the boy, who did not manage to say farewell to Taeko, is praying for this last chance to say farewell. He is thinking about the same thing as Taeko is. "Pleaaasseee, waiiiiitttt!" Taeko screamed as loud as possible towards the electric train that the boy is riding in, while running and waving her hands. (Taeko!) The boy noticed that Taeko is there running. Taeko can see clearly that the boy's lips is moving, as though he is saying that. -->[Taeko!] "Hah, hah..." Taeko runs as fast as she can to chase after the electric train. But, the distance is getting further and further apart. She used a lot of strength to run here that she is unable to run any more. The boy cannot stay still that he runs towards the back coach inside the train. Then, finally, Taeko's feet has reached their limit. When the boy reached the back of the electric train, he met eye to eye with Taeko. The boy is smiling at her and is waving his hand at her. "Sorry for being so stubborn! I, I really love you~!" Taeko screaming that at the top of her lung while waving her hand, as though to reply him. Soon after, with the echoes with her scream remaining, the train with the boy disappeared into the shadow of the mountain. Taeko could not even wipe her tears. She just stood there, continue to look at the direction where the train had disappeared into. With the setting sun shinning on Taeko's face, the tears are glistening on her cheek. However, she looked satisfied. After all, she saw the gentle eyes of the boy, even though she doesn't know if her love confession has reached the boy or not. "For sure, we will meet again, right?... When that time arrive, it is okay for me to listen to it, right? Your answer..." Whether the boy heard what she said or not, she find out that answer when they grown up and meet again. Taeko hold the boy's letter close to her chest, as she thought of that. ========================================================================== STORY 02 : NAGAKURA EMIRU - TAIMU KAPUSERU (TIME CAPSULE) ========================================================================== "Nice to meet you!" "Nice to meet you..." After the end of lecture for the day, a group of children gather around the boy. The boy just tranferred school to Sendai today. To the Elementary School Student, they are welcoming a new friend to their class and it's an important event in their everyday school life. "I can feel that we are destined to meet each other~!" "Eh?" Getting through the people surrounding the boy, a girl's high-pitched voice is heard. "Ehehe, I am Emiru... Nagakura Emiru! Nice to meet you!" With both her hands holding behind her, she is smiling while turning her neck to the side a bit. She has two pony-tails with cute bon-bon tied to them. She has a big red backpack on her back, which looks pretty heavy. One look at her, you might think she is much younger than an Elemntary School Fourth Year student. However, hearing that, everybody surrounding the boy started to laugh. "Emiru's sickness starts again!" "Ah~ah, this time she is trying to spread it to the transfer student!" "That's not true! It's the result of my fortune telling!" "Your lousy fortune telling, it cannot predict anything right, right?!" "Ya-i! Lousy fortune telling, lousy Emiru!" With a couple of boys teasing Emiru, she left the group with a face that looks as though that she is going to cry. "How sad..." Seeing that, the transfer student said that. "No, no, you should be careful too, or else you will catch Emiru's sickness!" "But..." Well, it seems that in this class, the boy with dark tanned with a large built, Suzuki, is the boss. So, the transfer student stops saying anything more. It would appear that the reason why there is a distance between the girl named Emiru and the rest of their classmates is because of this boss's doing. Though, in the first place, it's true that the girl is pretty individualistic. "Hey, wait~!" "U, uwaa! Ah... You are the girl from this morning..." The boy, who is changing his shoes at the shoe locker, was taken by surprise when somebody suddenly talked to him. Emiru is smiling mischiviously at the boy, as she appears from the shadow of the shoe lockers. "Ehehee, sorry for surprising you like that! It's Emiru..." "Yeah, it's Nagakura-san, right?" "Don't call me that, just call me, Emiru~." There are no other students around the area. It's very quiet. Today is the first day as a transfer student. After school, the teacher in charge of his class asked him to come to the Teachers' Offce. The teacher in charge of his class informed him of all kinds of things about the school and because of that, he went home late. Even that, it did not deter Emiru from waiting for him. "What is it? Could it be that... you are waiting for me?" "Right!" Emiru nods her head energetically. "After all, you are the person of my destiny!" "Eh? Person of your destiny?..." "It's okay... You will understand it from now on... Ehehee..." No matter how you look at her, she is clueless to what is happening around her. This type of people is usually the target of a bully. She does not know it herself, she is too childish. Everybody dreamt at least once of being an Anime Hero or Heroine and admire things out of the ordinary when they are young. Because of that, Occult and SF stuffs are borned. However, children from Elementary School Fourth Year and above usually are making fun of if they still have those childish thoughts. Because of the fact that they are making fun of, they stop trying to act like the Hero in the television and stop playing house, even if they still think it is interesting and feel like doing it. With that thought in mind, Emiru is probably just too innocent. The boy felt like he understood why the class is staying away from her. At the same time, he felt a bit closer to the girl. The boy is the type of person who will not conform to the crowd and is the type of person who will say that he likes it, if he likes the thing. With that kind of thoughts, a person has the tendency to become a wolf easily. -->[Don't ask me, I am still pretty confused how they come up with that kind of conclusion.] "Well, what's the matter? Do you have something that you want from me?" "Yes, I am thinking of going home with you... do you mind...?" Emiru looks a bit embarassed that her voice trailed off at the end of that sentence. "Sure, it's fine with me! Let's go home together!" "Really~? You really willing to go home with Emiru? Greaaatt!" With that, Emiru happily jumped and hugged the boy. The boy's heart skipped a beat because of what the girl did. "Ranrarararan." With that, the two of them walk side by side, as they exit the Elementary School. Emiru is so happy that she is skipping because she is able to walk home with the boy. Showing her happiness with her action show how uncomplicated she is. -->["uncomplicated"... I got this from Marmalade Boy.] "Hey, from now on, will you go home together with me everyday?" "Yes, sure." "Yeeeeeeeessssss! It's a promise then!" Because of what happened that day, the two of them become good friends immediately. Everyday, Emiru and the boy walk home together. However, strangely, Emiru did not talk to the boy during school recess. She just stayed a distance from the boy and observed him. "Hey, why didn't Emiru play with us? In addition to that, you didn't even talk to me in class..." One day, on the way home, the boy asked Emiru. "W, well... of course, I want to play with you all, but..." Emiru looks down and continue. "For sure, I will get you into trouble. So, it is enough for me that you are walking home with me..." Saying that, Emiru looked lonely from the side of her face. Emiru knows that if their other classmates, especially Suzuki, the boss, found out about their relationship, they will get mad. If they found out about their relationship, they will, for sure, try to break it up. "Well then, before I came to this school. you always play alone?" "Yeah... But, it's pretty fun, playing alone... Ehehe, I played at my secret home and I am the only one who knows where that place is." "Secret home?" "Right! Do you want to know about it?" Saying that, she mischieviously show her tongue. She is very cute when she does that. "Y, yeah..." "It's fine with me! I will tell, only because it is you! Ah, but you cannot tell anyone else about this! It's a SE.CRE.T between the two of us..." "I, I understand." The boy looked a bit embarassed, when Emiru wink at him. "Well then, let's go! Follow me!" "Right..." Emiru dashes out of there. The boy follows her from behind immediately. The two of them went around the school ground and headed to the hill area, north of their Elementary School. In the shadow of the concrete school building, there is an old, wooden school building standing there. Due to the fact that it is in the shadow of the concrete school building, it is not noticeable. It is a very ominous building. He is a boy. He can feel his adventurous blood boiling, when he saw the building. "Here is my special place..." "It's great! Emiru! Hehhh, it is an old, abandoned school building." They stand in front of that old school building, after getting through the long weeds that reached their backs. Long time ago, it is very common to see wooden school building and it is very rare to see a concrete school in Sendai. However, at this time and age, it is exactly the opposite, even in Sendai. The boy is getting more and more excited, as he felt as though he has time-slipped into the past and saw the old-looking, wooden building that he had only seen before only on the television. Seeing it at close range, the darken wood of the school building wall is showing the age of the building and it looks very ominous. However, because it is made of wood, it has the warmth sensation that seems to welcome the two of them. "Ehehe, this old school building is not used at all currently~!" According to Emiru, this old building was built before war. After the current concrete school building was built, they stopped using this building. And somehow, the building was not taken down and were left alone. -->[I assume, "war" refers to "World War II".] Even though, according to the teachers, this place is used as a storage building, they leave the building alone without using it at all. Probably, the teachers said that to let the children think that the teachers actually go there. It is an excuse to scare away the children from going to the building. "Hmmmm, I see..." The boy looked all over the old school building with interest. No matter how you look at the building, it is more correct to say that the building were left alone than to say that the building is still being used. "Ehehe, inside the building, there are a lot of treasures~!" Emiru said that proudly. To Emiru, who wants the boy to have fun playing with her, she had never been so happy before in her entire life. "Eh? Then, Emiru, you had been inside the building before?" "Of course! After all, I always played inside the building!" The boy were surprised. Looking from outside, the school building entrance is completely sealed off with woods and even the windows are sealed with two woods crossing each other, like the letter 'X'. He cannot find any way for them to enter the building. "This way! This way, this way!" Saying that, Emiru ran from that spot where they are standing. The boy follows her, soon after. "Here it is~!" "I see..." A bit further at the side of the old school building, several pieces of west hallway wall's woods are broken. It is impossible for an adult to enter the it, but it is enough for a kid to enter the building. "I was playing alone around here. By accident, I found this entrance~!" "That's how you found it..." "Hey, let's go in! Ehehe, I will show you around~!" Forcing the wood in to force the entrance to widen, as though she is used to it, she enter the old school building. "Ah, look out! Emiru! That nail is..." PIRIIII. The boy did not manage to warn Emiru in time, Emiru's skirt was torn by the nail. "Noooooo! My clothes is torn~!" "That's what I was trying to warn you about..." "Buuuuu..." "Are you alright?" "Yeah! Oh, well, forget it! I will show you around! My secret place~!" Emiru is a bit sad when she saw her torn skirt, but almost immediately, she smiled and said that. "Hehhh, it's great..." Inside, the boy was impressed by what he saw and said that. Just as expected, there are holes in the walls and in the floor. In addition to that, it is very dusty. However, it is not as dark inside as expected due to the small holes in the windows. It can be described light dark. Of course, it's due to the natural light. If the sun set, the place will pronbably consume in darkness. "Ah, there are holes here and there, so please be careful, okay?" "S, sure..." With the floor creaking at every steps, the boy and Emiru immediately investigate inside the old school building. "L, let's forget about this area..." However, unexpectedly, Emiru said that in front of the door that is labeled 'Science Lab'. "Eh, Emiru? Are you scared?" "Y, yes." "But, you like occult and mysterious things very much, right?" The boy did not expect her to say such a thing. "I like that kind of stories very much, but in actuality, I am really afraid of seeing them!" Emiru pulled the boy's arm and said that guitily. "I see..." "Please? Let's go back?" "S, sure." Knowing that Emiru likes occult stuffs very much, but yet afraid of actually seeing them, it makes the boy feel like smiling. The old school building is a single storey building, with both left and right symmetry like the word in Japanese 'Ko' in Katakana. In the east west hallway, there are classrooms at the side. In the middle north area, there are Teachers' Office and the Preparation Room. -->[ _ ] -->['Ko' in Katana is like this, _]. ] According Emiru, due to the fact that there is a science lab in the central area, she hadn't been to the other side yet. "See, this classroom is my secret place..." The two of them return to the west side of the hallway, and enter a classrooom labeled, "First Year 'i' Class". It would seems that this classroom is Emiru's secret home. "Hehhhh, there are all kinds of stuffs here..." The boy's eyes light up as he saw Emiru's treasures. There are deck of cards, their senpai's leftover toys and the classroom's chalks. It would appear that Emiru had been exploring around the old school building alone and those are the things that she found. -->['Senpai', in this case, are people who graduated from the same school, as the one that the boy and Emiru goes to. Supposedly, this wooden school and the current concrete school are the same school. It's just that they moved to the the concrete one.] "But, why? Why didn't the other children come to this fun place?" Finally, the sun is setting and they are hurrying home. On their way home from the old school building, the boy asked Emiru that. The boy find that it is weird that the other kids will not approach the place. After all, it is such a fun place. If the other boys in their class found out about it, they will surely come to explore this place. No matter how the teacher tries to prevent them from going there, the boys with adventurous spirits will surely venture into the building without heeding what the teachers said. "You see... it has a strange rumour... it's probably because of that, I guess?" "Strange rumour?" "Ehe, it will appear, the ghost..." "Eh?" "It's a rumour! Rumour!" It would appear that there is a rumour that when it get darker, people can hear children having fun inside the building which supposed to be empty and in addition to that, with the moon light shining on the windows, children's shadows can be seen. "Hmmm, so that's why..." Hearing that, the boy finally understood why children rarely went near that place. However, that rumour is probably created by the adults to scare away the children from that old school building. "Pl, please forgive me..." "Eh? Why?" Emiru's face is darkened. "That I kept to myself about the rumour of the ghost..." "Oh, that. Don't worry about it, but why did you keep quiet about it?" "Because, I don't want you to think that I am weird, as well!" Hearing that from Emiru, the boy sympathized with her. "Hey! Emiru, when you played at that old school building, you never ever met with the ghost, right?" "Right! But, I went home before it gets dark and as I told you earlier, I never went any further than the science lab..." "I see... Then, it is going to alright, right?" "... From now onwards, will you play together with me there again?" Emiru looked worriedly at the boy. "Of course! The place is very interesting, after all! Let's have a lot of adventures there together!" "Sure! I am so glad~!" From that day onwards, the two of them went to the old school building to play almost everyday amd went home before it gets dark. Then, one day. "Ah, those two went into this kind of place." "You are right!" That day, as usual, after school, Emiru and the boy went to that old school building. That boss of their class, Suzuki, gathered several boys from their class to follow those two secretly from behind. They are trying to find the transfer student's weakness because the boy ignored their warning to stay away from Emiru and they are not happy that the boy kept spending time playing together with Emiru. "Entering haunted school building, just like Emiru." "Well, what should we do? How about telling the teachers about this?" Hearing that suggestion, Suzuki, the boss lost in thought for a while with his arm crossed. He started to grin when he thought of something. "That is too boring! Much better than that is..." The three gather closer and start planning something. On the other hand, Emiru and the boy, who do not know what is going on outside, are exploring the old school building, as usual. "Nooooo, just as I thought, I am too afraid to go there..." "It will be alright..." No matter how hard the boy tries to convince her, Emiru keeps shaking her head. The boy wants to explore the whole old school building, but no matter what, Emiru is too afraid to go beyond the science lab. "Because, see, the skeleton is looking at us..." -->[The skeleton in the science lab, I assume.] "It's just a decoration..." "Let's abort the plan, I have a bad feeling about this~!" This conversation is repeated over and over again, but Emiru would not listen to the boy, no matter what. In addition to that, she will not allow the boy to go there alone. "Hey, let's go back! When we go back, we will play cards in the classroom!" "S, sure..." Even though Emiru do not look like it, she is actually pretty stubborn. At the end, they also played cards in Emiru's favourite classroom that day as well. When it is going to get dark, something happened. "You cannot open it?" "It's weird, there is something blocking the way on the other side!" When the two of them try to get out of the building, they noticed that the entrance is blocked. Looking at it carefully, it would appear that there are barricade of chairs and desk blocking the entrance. "Waaaah, we cannot get out, what should we do?" Emiru started crying immediately. Of course, this is the work of those boys. They chose to imprison them inside the school building over telling the teachers about the two of them going to the old school building. "It is going to be alright. For sure, it will be opened." The boy tries to push aside the barricades, while trying to calm Emiru down. However, the three of them put a lot of chairs and desks that the boy could not even move them a bit. "It's useless, it's useless! It will not open!" "Right, right, it's your own fault! After all, you did not listen to our warnings!" At that moment, the two of them heard the familiar voices from outside. "You guys! You better stop this at once!" When he found out that it is the work of those boys, the boy shouted out at them, while kicking at the barricade. Then, there is noise, as though something is crushing down. "Uwaaaa, it's dangerous!" It would appear that the barricade crushed down, and for a moment, the boys outside screamed with surprised. "I was planning to let you out, after you start crying and apologize to us. Now, I don't care about you guys anymore!" "It's, it's not our fault!" "It's all your fault!" Saying that, the boys ran away. They planned to scare the two of them at the beginning, but with the barricade completely crushed down and the entrance is completely sealed off, they got frightened. Soon after, the two of them cannot hear the foot steps running away anymore, and it is completely silence. "Somehow, it will not open..." "Please do your best..." After that, for the next one hour, the boy continue to try to open up the entrance, but at the end, it will not open. Then, it's night time. "Hikku... Hikku..." -->[Crying] Because of that, with the moonlight lighting up a little the dark hallway, the two of them stay close together, waiting quietly for somebody to come to save them. Emiru is crying without holding back. "Emiru... are you alright?" The boy tries to cheer her up. He thought that he should protect the girl no matter what because he is a boy. "Please forgive me... It's all my fault..." "Eh?" "I knew about it. They told you, not to play with me anymore." "Oh, you knew about it?" "Yeah..." Emiru looks down, looking lonely. "That's why they did this to us, right?... Please forgive me... It's all my fault..." Saying that, Emiru starts to cry again. She cannot help herself from feeling sad because she got the boy, who she likes very much, to be involved in this. "Don't cry! It's not your fault at all! It's those kids' fault!" "But... Hikku..." "In addition to that, doing this to us is useless! It will not stop me from playing with you again!" "Eh?" "After all, I promised you when I came to this place for the first time, didn't I? That I will play with you forever..." "Really? You really will continue to play with me? And you will not hate me?" "Of course! So, don't worry... Hey, and wipe your tears..." Saying that, the boy gently hit Emiru's back. The boy did not say that to cheer her up, he just said what he feels from the bottom of his heart. "... Thank you... Ehehee... I am glad..." Emiru finally started to smile. Then, she thought of conveying her feelings now. She blushed and leaned over to the boy. "I... like..." "Eh?" However, at that moment, the mood is destroyed. They heard something is making the noise, 'WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO'. -->[Sound like a wolf call.] "Uwaaaaa! I, I was so surprised~!" "It's a dog wailing, right?" "It's a wolf, no?" "That's impossible... Or are there wolves in Sendai?" "Hmmmm, I don't know~." "Hmmmm, I see..." "... there is nobody coming to save us... Papa and Mama are probably worrying about me right now~." "That's true... Are you alright, Emiru? Are you scared?" "Eh? No... I am completely fine! I am not scared at all! After all, you are here with me!" SHIYUIIIIIN. -->[Sound like a glass bottle is rolling.] "Hm?" "W, what is that? The noise just now~?" When the mood becomes good again, a sound destroyed the mood again. It sounded as though it is a sound make by a wind chime. There is a metal like sound flowing at the opposite side. It was from the direction of the science lab. "I wonder what kind of noise is that." "I don't like it, I am scared..." "It's from the central area, let's go and see..." The two of them head for the central area to find out what makes that noise. The two of them walk towards the central area from the west hallway. They reached the area where the hallway turns right. "I think, it's from here..." When the boy looked back, Emiru screamed. "Yaaaaaaa! I, I am scared! J, just now, something is shining~!" "Eh? Where?" "Ah, there!" The boy quickly heads there to see. At that moment, the boy saw something shining for a moment. "C, could it be... f, fireflies?" Emiru hold on tightly to the boy and is trembling violently. "Let's go and see! We have to find out what it is!" "Eh? Are we really going to go there and see it?" "If you are scared, you can wait here! I can go there alone..." "Noooo waaaaay, let's go together! Don't leave me alone~!" No matter what, at a situation like this, of course, it is better to stay together than being alone. "The thing entered the science lab, I guess?" "Nooo, let's go back~!" The two of them followed the shining thing nervously. They are currently standing in front of the science lab. They are frozen, when the thing started to move. SHIYUIIIIIIN. At that moment, there is the sound again and the shining thing move towards them and out of room. "Uwaa!" "Kyaaaa~!" The two of them were scared and ran away from there. As though making fun of them, the shining ball started to roll away from them. "It's, it's shining... is, is it fireflies... or, or is it... just as I thought..." "Hey, let's chase after it!" "S, sure..." The boy pulled Emiru and chased after the shining thing. However, the thing disappeared when it is about to hit the wall. "Huh?" "Where did it disappear to?' The two of them nervously approached the area where the thing disappeared. When they turned right again, they will be in the east hallway that they never been before. The shining thing continue to move along the east hallway, as though it is leading them somewhere and it finally stops near a window. "Ah, it stopped under that window..." "Okay! Emiru, you wait here!" "Are, are you going to be alright? Please be careful!" The boy releases Emiru's hand and walks toward the shining thing alone. He is scared, but it is nice knowing that the moonlight through the holes in the windows brighten up the east hallway. "Ohhhhh! I seeee!" "What is it? What is going on?" The boy raised his voice, when he is just beside the shining thing. He is on his knees looking at something. Then, as though he is inviting Emiru to go there, with a smile, he offered his hand. -->[Don't know how to describe it right. Anyway, it's like he is offering a shakehand, but with palm facing up.] "Eh? W, what is that?... Lemonade Bottle?" "Right? This is the thing that was rolling around!" "I seeee! The bottle is shining..." "Right, ahahaha." "Ehehehe, it's not a ghost... I am glad~!" The two of them started to laugh. The true form of the ghost is the lemonade bottle. It's appear that with the moonlight reflecting on the lemonade bottle, it looks like a ghost. "Huh? But, come to think about it, this window is strangely bright..." The boy stood up from where he is and observed the window that the lemonade bottle stopped at. It's true that compared to the other windows, this window appear much brighter. GARAGARAGARA... "Ahhhh? The window is opened!" "I see, there is no woods outside to block this window from opening. That's why, it is brighter than the others!" "Greeaaaaat! We can go out then? Wa~i!" Mysteriously, there are nothing blocking that window for reason unknown to them. The two of them spent all their time in the west hallway, so that's why, of course, they didn't know that this window is open. "Yoishotto..." -->[Raise heavy weight. In this case, his own body weight.] "We got out successfully!" With that, the two of them got out from that window without any problem. Outside, you can hear the insects singing and the full moon is extremely beautiful, somehow. "But, it's weird, isn't it? That light, it's as though it is trying to tell us about this entrance." "Yeah, ehehe, see, I brought it out here!" "Eh?" Emiru showed the lemonade bottle to the boy. "Ehehe, I will never forget what happened today! This lemonade bottle is going to be our treasure! After all, it's our saviour!" "Right, that's true... We have to be thankful to it... Huh? Did you hear something just now?" "Eh?" The boy look back at the old school building under the bright moonlight. Somehow, he can hear sounds of children laughing. "It's probably just my imagination, right?" "No, for sure, I heard it..." Just as he thought, Emiru heard it, as well. "Ooii! Is somebody there?" The two of them turn back. This time, for sure, it is an adult voice. "Somebody is searching for us!" "You are right~!" They heard voices from the concrete school building, searching for the two of them. An elementary school student has no reason to stay out this late, so if they did not go home, people will start to get worried. The two of them are drawn back to the reality suddenly. "Let's keep what happen today to ourselves!" "Sure! After all, nobody will believe us, if we tell them!" "That's true..." "But, it's fine with me! After all, I got a wonderful memories and a treasure today..." The two of them turend back several time to look at the old schoool building, before heading towards the source of the adults' voice Half a year passed by. "Hey, Emiru! You are not going to see him off?" "Yeah... I already said my farewell to the boy..." "Hmmmm, then, we are going to see him off now~." The boss of the class and several other boys run out of the classroom. Every since what happen that day at the old school building, they no longer treated Emiru like an outsider. At the end, Emiru and the boy did not tell the adults about those boys trapping them inside that old school building. They did not expect to trap Emiru and the boy completely inside the old school building in the first place. They thought that they will surely get scolded by the adults and were preparing for it. So, they were really thankful to those two for not telling the adults and they stopped bullying Emiru. "But, how did you get out of there? Please tell us!" "The old school building occupant saved us~." "Cooool!" In addition to that, among the children, spending a night at the old school building and left the building safely, makes the two of them heroes. "Well, I have to hurry..." Emiru heads towards the old school building alone, while holding that lemonade bottle towards her chest. Inside it, there are the promised letters that the two of them wrote. When Emiru found out that the boy is going to move away, at beginning, she started to cry badly, so the boy say this to her. "It's going to be alright, we will meet again one day... When we grown up and able to move around freely on our own, we will play together again, for sure!" "Right, for sure! It's a promise!" "Yes, I swear! It's a promise..." The boy gently said that. At the same time, no matter how muchthey hate the parting, as children, they know that they don't have any abilities to do anything about it. "Then, let's put the letters inside that lemonade bottle and make it, our time capsule~." -->[I hope, you guys knows what a time capsule is.] "I see, time capsule, huh..." "For sure, when we grown up one day, we will dig it up together, okay?..." "Okay..." Yesterday, the boy and Emiru made that kind of promise. Then, the boy left the decision up to Emiru to where they are going to bury the time capsule. She thought of all kind of memories-filled places, this is her conclusion at the end. "Just as I thought, I will hide it in that old school building... in that memories-filled place..." Emiru headed towards the old school building in the middle of the cold March's Sendai wind. While wiping away the tears on her cheek. ========================================================================== STORY 03 : SAWATARI HONOKA - KOUKAN NIKKI (EXCHANGE DIARY) ========================================================================== Somewhere in the hospital's waiting room, since a while back, a girl has been repeatedly coming back and forth. She looks as though she is trying to decide on something, as it can be seen that there is some hesistation on her face. Her name is Sawatari Honoka. She just became Elementary School Fifth Year, this spring. Her hair is soft, long with a ribbon tied to it and she is holding a bouquet of flowers in her hands. "What should I do... Maybe, I should not do it." It looks like she came to visit somebody, but she seems to have trouble deciding whether she is going to visit that person or not. "What's the matter?" "Eh?" A white-dressed angel talked to Honoka. She looked at Honoka, and smiled gently at Honoka. It is a nurse, who is more to cute than beautiful. On her badge, she is Nakayama from the children section. (She looks like a kind person... I am going to try asking her.) Honoka instintively thought of that. "Excuse me... Yesterday, the boy who broke his leg... Ah, saving a girl fallen off the horse." "Eh?" Honoka's words is a bit abrupt that it seems as though the explanation is not enough. But, the person standing there is the nurse from children section, after all. She thought for a while, and immediately, found an answer within herself. "Right, the boy at Room 302... You are visiting him?" "Y, yes... In a way..." Honoka's face is reddened. To her, this is the first time she visits the hospital. Because of that, she is a bit nervous. But, she has a reason to why she has to come here no matter what. Yesterday, Honoka's class was having a field trip. Even though, this field trip happens only once a year, the distance to the destination was a short one. Anyway, the destination is a normal Hokkaidou Elementary School horse ranch, and they were challenged to a horse ride. "Well, anybody wants to ride a horse?" A well-tanned, short ranch helper took them in front of a white horse. The horse is named "Pure Eye", probably because of its big, clear eyes. (It is cute~) Honoka felt attracted to the horse, the first time she layed her eyes on the horse. Her father is a Hokkaidou University Professor in the Vetenrinary Department. Because of that, Honoka loves animals and horses since long ago. In addition to that, she has several experiences, riding a horse. "Y, yes!" She brought out her courage to raise up her hand. She is not the type of person who stands out a lot, or more specifically, she hates standing out. However, she thought it is better for her to ride the horse, instead of having the violent boys from her class to ride and bully the horse. "Well, then, you, the girl over there!" "Yes." "Cheh..." As expected, hearing that, several boys grumbled with displeasure. Actually, Honoka had been worrying about the boy prankters since long before this. They fed the horse with things, other than the horse feed. When they were about to pull the horse tail, she stopped them angrily. Honoka, normally is very quiet, but when it comes to animals, she becomes a totally different person. (Really, I cannot stand boys. Animal cannot defends themselves with words, so I cannot believe that they will do such a cruel thing!) Honoka thought of it that way. She hated the boys. Boys bully animal for no reason, pull girls' hair, do pranks, only hateful images appeared when she thinks of them. But, for male, she preferred adult male. Honoka's father and his male helpers are all kind and gentle. Honoka saw so many of these adult males that all the boys in her class felt like children to her. It probably mainly because of her feelings towards them. She cannot imagine that those boys are going to grow up like his father. That's what Honoka always thought. To her, they are just completely species than his father and his helpers. But, among the boys, there is a boy who is different from the others. Different than those noisy prankster, he is always cheerful and gentle. Though, he doesn't seems like a top student or a bookworm. When he is playing with the others, he is always cheerful and very adult in nature. It's probably beause he is a transfer student that she thought of him that way. Anyway, Honoka, currently, is a bit interested in the transfer student. "Hey..." "Sure..." Honoka, before riding the horse, looked at the two prankters, and somehow, it made her feel anxiety. "Well then, step on this, go up slowly." But, there is somebody on the horse almost immediately. "Right." "Hehhh, girl, you are pretty good." It's just like her, Honoka is already used to riding horses. She slowly got onto the horse, while making sure that the horse were not frightened. Then, she gently ride on the horse back. "Then, try walking the horse a bit." "Sure." Honoka smiled happily. She loves horses. When she becomes the person on the horse, the view is different and it felt smooth. Hihihihihi-n. -->[What's this? Hear the sound effect yourself.] But, at the moment when the horse started to walk, it suddenly stood up on two feet, while shaking left and right. It seems like it is trying to make Honoka fall off. Honoka did her best to hold onto the horse, but she reached a point that she cannot hold it any longer and fell off the horse. "Kyaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" Honoka screamed, as she fell onto the ground. The ground is getting closer. She thought that she is about to hit the ground hard, but instead she felt a soft cushion underneath her. It was a mysterious feeling. "Ah..." "Ugh... Ouchhh...." The role of proteting her from hitting the ground hard is taken by a boy. Right, it is that transfer student. "Girl, are you alright?" The worried helper came by immediately. Immediately, the transfer student and Honoka were surrounded by their classmates. "Sorry, we didn't expect the horse to become so violent!" The horse became so violent because the pranksters pulled the tail of the horse. But, currently, the pranksters look a bit pale and timid. "This is bad, it is broken..." After examined the boy's right leg, he said. Hearing that, Honoka is stunned. She got off without a single scratch because of the boy, and the boy has a broken leg. "Here it is!" The nurse opens the door and invites Honoka in. "Y, yes..." "It's your friend, isn't that great, boku, having such a cute girl coming to visit you!" -->["boku" is a term for "me" or "I", normally used by boys.] The nurse led Honoka into the boy's resting room. "Ah, well... this... flowers..." Honoka quickly gives the flowers to the boy. "Thank you." The boy smiled, while receiving the flowers. As expected, the room was filled with visitors' gifts. Today is Sunday. Probably, in the morning, their classmates came to visit him. Honoka deliberately avoided that time of day to come to visit. "W, well then... Good bye..." "Ah..." Saying that, Honoka quickly left the room. It was just a couple of minutes, short visit. "Hah...." On the way back from the hospital, Honoka let out a sigh. There were a lot of things that she wanted to tell the boy, but at the end, only a couple of words came out of her mouth. "I cannot believe this. What am I doing?" "You got hurt because of me, sorry... thank you for saving me..." At least, she thought she should said those words. After all, the boy took the pain for her. But, when she entered the room, at the moment she saw him, Honoka's head became blank. The boy's left leg is cast and he looked at Honoka with his gentle eyes, as usual. "Anyway, I will continue to visit him until I can say my thanks." Honoka decided. "But, he is cool, right?" "Right, right, to protect Honoka, he sacrificed his body..." During lunch break, the girls is talking happily around Honoka. Of course, they are talking about that incident. Recently, the class had been talking a lot about the incident, and they referred to the boy as a hero. "Hey, Honoka, did you go and visit him?" "Y, yes..." Saying that, Honoka blushes a little. "Even Honoka also, after this, will probably start liking boys, right?" "T, that's not true..." "But, because of this, the two of you will realize your love for each other!" "I can't believe this, stop it, that's not true at all!" "Yes, yes." Honoka got a bit irritated that they stopped talking about it. All the girls in the class knows how much she hates boys. That shows how popular it is about her hating boys. Honoka always got left out, every time the girls started talking about boys that they like. To her, cheerful and gentle boy who came to her rescue and like her father is her ideal. But, the actual boys are violent and cruel only. She cannot get herself to like them. It is impossible for an Elementary School boy to fit that kind of requirement. "But, I don't think it is something that anybody can do!" "Do you really think so?" The boy protected Honoka knowing that he will get hurt. In television drama, there is a lot of stories about boys saving the girls, but in actuality, it is not something that occurs very often. It's not just words, the boy who acted it out is very rare. Honoka thought. "Compare with the other boys, he is different, somehow..." Honoka began to think that way. She started to think of the boy, as a special person, but of course, the boy himself did not know about this. "Are you going too today? Visit him?" "Y, yes..." "Do your best!" Hearing her friends rooting for her, Honoka felt uncomfortable about it. Of course, after the day she first visited him, Honoka went to visit him several times. More specifically, after school everyday, she went to visit him. But, she still cannot talked with him very well. As usual, she could not say her thanks. "H, how are you?" "Yes... I am already getting much better." "I, I see..." As usual, after a short conversation, Honoka cannot stands the silence that she left the room in a hurry. Even that, she continued to visit him every single day. "You are lying..." "It's the truth, he is really looking forward to you coming to visit him. "...." That nurse who is looking over Honoka and the boy with a smile on her face, one day, told her that. That, even though Honoka said a few words during the visits, the boy really looked forward to her coming to see him. Hearing that, Honoka felt as though something is burning inside her body. "Ah, excuse me... nurse..." Honoka had decided to talk about her troubles with the nurse. About how she is doing her best, but still cannot talk to him very well. About how she is not used to being alone with a boy and that she doesn't know what to talk about when she is with him. About how much she wanted to thank him, but cannot manage to tell him that... "... So, that's it..." The nurse listened to Honoka seriously, smiled kindly and patted her head. Honoka cried a bit after confessing her true feelings. "I also had that kind of experience. I have a lot of things to say, but when I am in front of that person, I cannot bring myself to say anything to him..." "Eh... you too?" "Yes... But, come to think about it now, I realized that it is because I really like him..." "Is, is that so?..." Honoka looks down and starts thinking about that. It's true that she probably likes the boy. "Hey, Honoka-chan. I got something good to tell you, okay?..." "S, sure..." "When you cannot use words, you can use writings to convey your feelings." With that, the nurse winked at Honoka and left. "Use writings to convey my feelings..." Left behind alone, Honoka muttered to herself. "Making writings as words...." After leaving the hospital, Honoka thought about what the nurse said. Then, she finally realized what she can do. "That's right! I am going to do that!" She wanted to use that idea as soon as possible. With a smile on her face, Honoka naturally started to run. "You came today too. Thank you..." "S, sure..." The boy welcomed Honoka. Recently, he can use stretch to help him walk. More specifically, he is doing his rehabilitation and is in the middle of practising to walk. "How is it? Your condition?" "Yes, I already fine mostly." "I, I see..." As usual, the conversation stopped that way. "Th, then, I am coming again tomorrow, okay?..." "Ah, o, okay..." Normally, after saying that, Honoka would just left. But, this time she stopped halfway, returned to the boy and handed him a notebook. "P, please read this..." "Eh?" "S, see you! Bye, bye!" At the moment she turned away from the boy, she started to blush and she ran out of the room. Honoka thought of having an exchange diary with the boy using the hint given by the nurse. "I wonder if he will read it." While walking home, Honoka started to worry about that. Honoka first wrote honestly how thankful she is. When she was saved by the boy, she was really very happy and very thankful from the bottom of her heart. In addition to that, about making the notebook an exchange diary, though she cannot described it too well. "Ah, excuse me... Can I enter?" "Go ahead..." The next day, Honoka nervously visit the boy's room. (I wonder if he read it or not.) Worrying about that, Honoka cannot bring herself to face him. "..." "Ah... that... I read it..." After a moment of silence, the boy said it shyly. "I, I see..." Honoka is trying her best to stay calm. "Don't worry about it... I am already fine now, after all." "Really sorry... It's all because of me..." "It's fine already, I understand how you feel..." "O, okay..." Hearing it from the boy, Honoka felt relief. "Right, hey, eat some candies!" "Eh? it's okay... It's too much of a trouble..." "I got a lot! You will see, just wait a second..." The boy tried to reach out to the box above the shelf. "Ah, look out!" But, at the moment when the boy is about to lose his balance, Honoka instinctively hugged the boy's body from behind. "S, sorry... I got a bit careless..." "Are you alright? I am so glad~" Honoka's heart was beating so fast that it felt as though it will never stop at all. "Well, you don't owe me anymore. This time, Sawatari, you saved me." "Don't say that..." Kachaa. At that moment, that nurse entered. "Ah, sorry! Am I bothering you guys?" Seeing them like that, she felt like teasing them. The two of them turned completely red, and immediately separated from each other. "It's, it's not what you are thinking, Nakayama-san." The boy is trying his best to explain the situation. "I, I am going home now! I, I will come again tomorrow..." "O, okay..." Honoka nervously grabbed the Exchange Diary and left the room. That night, after returning home, Honoka sat in front of her desk looking at that exchange diary with her heart beating very fast. This is going to be the first time. Wondering what he wrote to her is making her heart beating noisily. "Huh?" But, after she turned open the page, nothing was written. Seeing the blank page, Honoka was disappointed. Then, she thought that he might wrote at the other pages, so she turned every single page from the beginning to the end, but just as expected, there were no message from the boy. "Hmmmm..." Her forehead twitched a little, as she was troubled. But, she immediately back to her energetic self. Anyway, she managed to tell her about how thankful she is. That is not a complete lost for her. That's how Honoka put it. From that day onwards, every day she visited him, wrote on the diary about what happened in school that day and left the diary with the boy. "Just as I expected, he didn't write anything too today." But, even though it is called an exchange diary, the only person writing anything in it was Honoka herself. Everytime, she brought home the diary, she always got disappointed looking at the blank pages. "Okay, I will point it out..." Then, one day, Honoka decided to tell the boy about this. "Here, today's diary. I am leaving it here, okay? Hey, if possible, please write something as well... It is lonely if I am the only one writing in it." "S, sorry... I did not write anything because I didn't know what to write... Okay, from now on, I will try to write something..." The boy shyly smiled and nodded his head. "I will come to visit you again tomorrow, so until then, I will be counting on you, okay?" Honoka cheerfully smiled and left the room. It's true that after she started writing on this diary, she had started to change slowly. Well, you can say that she got friendlier with the boy, or you can say she can talked to the boy more naturally. Comparing to before, the nervousness that was always in her words had disappearred. "Ufufu... He wrote something, he wrote something..." Honoka's request is fulfilled. From then on, the boy also wrote in the diary. Because of that, it has finally became a true exchange diary. However, on the boy's pages, the boy only wrote a sentence or two. Though, Honoka always felt her heart beating very fast everytime she turned to the boy's pages. When she read the writings, somehow, she felt her heart hurts mysteriously, but at the same time, she felt very happy. Then, this continue until one day. "Hey, you are leaving the hospital today?" Honoka entered the room energetically and said. Yesterday, it was written on the diary that the boy was going to leave the hospital today. "Yes, they said I am completely recovered!" "I see, I am glad..." (Huh? What's the matter with me? Why do I feel so lonely? I supposed to be happy...) Opposite to what she said, she felt loneliness in her heart. It is due to the fact that the time they spent just the two of them will be lost. From tomorrow onwards, the boy will go to school, but with that, they cannot spend time like they used to. Honoka felt lonely because of that. "Hey, Sawatari..." "Eh?" "If possible, why don't we continue this? The exchange diary..." It's as though, the boy realized how Honoka felt and shyly said that to her. Honoka, of course, smiles to it. "Sure! From now on too, and if possible, let's continue this forever!" "That's right... forever..." At that moment, for a moment, Honoka noticed a dark look on the boy's face, but she didn't worry too much about it. "Hey, is it true that you are moving away?" One day after school, on the way back from school, in front of Sapporo's Oodori Park's fountain, Honoka asked the boy. "Y, yes... T, that's true..." The boy felt a bit bad about this, and handed her the exchange diary. Ever since after the boy left the hospital, they had been exchanging the diary at this place. They did it to avoid being making fun of in the class. "W, when?" Honoka looked serious. Usually, this is time she always looked forward to, but currently, she is filled with sadness. "Next week's Sunday... The details are written in the diary..." "Why! Why didn't tell me until now?" Honoka hugged the diary and asked him. Today, Honoka heard from her female friends that there was a rumour floating around about the boy transferring school. Honoka thought that... he should tell her as early as possible. "Somehow, it's hard to tell you, sorry..." Saying that, the boy shoulder crumbled. Seeing that, Honoka felt pain in her chest suddenly. "D, don't, you don't have to apologize to me though... So, it's true... that you are moving away, huh?..." "Yes... Thank you for everything... It was really fun..." "... Snow Festival... You will not be able to see it?..." "Right..." Just a while back, in the exchange diary, Honoka wrote about Sapporo Snow Festival. The boy showed some interest in it that Honoka made a promise with the boy that they will go and see it together next year for sure. Currently, it is not even October yet. It looked like the promise will never come true. -->[Snow Festival... My favourite date in SG1] "There is nothing you can do about it, right?... I want to show you all kinds of Snow Sculture here in this park." Honoka stretched opened her arms widely, while lonelily said that. After that day, they stopped exchanging diaries. It's not that anybody suggested that they stopped writing, but Honoka didn't know what to write to the boy and that's why she stopped giving the diary to him. "The day has finally arrived, tomorrow is my last chance... I have to give this to him tomorrow." Honoka hugged the diary, layed down on her bed and made that decision. Actually, she already wrote her reply in the diary, but she cannot managed to bring out her courage to give it to him. "I have to do my best to give this to him, otherwise I will surely regret it..." After finding out that the boy is going to move away from Sapporo, she found out the reason why her chest hurts so much, everytime she was thinking about him. Then, as her last confession to the boy who is going to move away, she is going to tell him her true feelings. She thought to tell him by writings. After she finished writing it, she kept thinking that she will give it to him tomorrow, she will give it to him tomorrow. Tomorrow is Sunday, the day when the boy moved away. There will not be any more tomorrow, after this. But, she really in need of the courage to give him the diary. Inside that diary is Honoka's true, pure feelings towards the boy that an Elementary School Fifth Year girl wrote to convey her feelings in writings, as good as she could, after all... But, the next day. Honoka did her best to chase after the moving truck that the boy rode in. When Honoka finally managed to bring out her courage and went to his house, it was already time for the moving truck, which the boy rode on, to depart. "W, waitttttttttttt! Hah, hah... Noooooo! I did not get my chance to say my farewell!" Honoka shouted as loud as she could. But, the distance from the truck to Honoka is getting wider, every second. "Ah..." Finally, Honoka tripped and fell down. At that period of time, the truck and Honoka got further apart and slowly became smaller and smaller. It was already too late, completely. "Uh... Good bye... I love you..." After the truck disappearred into the Sunset, Honoka continued to cry looking at the direction where the truck disappeared to. While hugging that exchange diary onto her chest... ========================================================================== STORY 04 : MORII KAHO - CHIKAI NO HACHIMAKI (THE SWORN HEADBAND) ========================================================================== "Ready, go!" At sunset, a girl is doing dashes, while dragging along the long extended shadow. Since a while back, the girl have been repeating the dashes, coming and going. It appears that she is practising how to start her dashes. "Hmmm, something is wrong. Again! Ready, go!" While leaning her neck a bit, she hit the ground with the legs coming out of her gym wear to get a grip on the ground. Then, on the signal of her own voice, she runs. The girl's name is Morii Kaho. She looks like the type of girl who enjoys sport with short cut hair and a big pupil. It's probably because that all the other kids already left school that there are no signs of anybody else around. Kaho is alone on the big ground of an Osaka Elementary School, as though she got left alone. But, Kaho continues to practise. "Hey, you, why are you running?" "Eh?" After doing unknown number of dashes, Kaho walked back to the start line, still puzzling over what is wrong. Then, she was called by somebody and she turn suspiciously to the direction where the owner of the voice is. "Hey, why are you running?" The owner of the voice is a young boy, who somehow have a gentle atmosphere surrounding him. At one glance, Kaho concluded that he is just a kid because of the way he dressed up, wearing Y-Shirt and all. This is the street of Naniwa, Osaka. So, it is very rare to see someone dressing up like this. "What do you mean by 'why'? I am obviously practising running." Kaho answers it as though it is very obvious about what she is doing. "Why do you run as though that you are enjoying it very much?" "Enjoying it? Not really... It just feels great, that's all." "Hmmm, it just feels great, huh?..." The boy looks as though he is impressed by the words. (Is he making fun of me?) No matter how she looks at him, he is a strange person. Kaho got a little bit irritated. "Will you stop bothering me?" "Ah, s, sorry..." The boy bow his head, while apologizing, and he left. "Ready, go!" After the boy left her alone again, Kaho continued to run as usual. The next day. It can be seen that the class is very noisy about something. "Hey, Takuya, how did it go?" "Right, just as I thought, he is coming to our class!" The boy named "Takuya" informs the class that. He just ran and came back from the teachers' office quickly. There was a rumour that there is a transfer student coming to Kaho and the gang's Fifth Year. According to the Takuya, it seems like the transfer student is coming to their class. In addition to that, the transfer student is coming today. "Great! What kind of person he is?" In the middle of the the conversation about the transfer student, Kaho, who sits near the window at the last row, is thinking about another thing. (Just as I thought, Takuya is fast.) The distance from this classroom to the teachers' office is about a hundred meter. With that distance, Takuya only took 30 seconds to come back to the classroom. Taking into account the time he stands there to listen to the teachers, he ran 50 meters in about 6 seconds. (Somehow, I have to convince him~) "Hey, what are you all doing?! Return to your seats!" As the teacher in charge of the class came in and scolded them, the kids quickly get back their own seats in a spiderly like fashion. "I am going to introduce you to a transfer student. He transferred from Hokkaido to here, Osaka..." "Ahhh!" When Kaho saw the face of the boy who the teacher is about to introduce to his new classmate, Kaho gave out a loud cry without thinking. After a moment, the class starts to become noisy. "What is this, Morii, you already know him?" The teacher jokingly said that, and the boys in the class got noisy. "Pyu-pyu-! You two are hot!" "Wait, stop it!" Kaho is doing her best screaming at them. Once this kind of rumour started, it will never seems to stop. Of course, there is a reason to why Kaho was so surprised, when she saw the boy. That's right, that transfer student is that strange boy that called out to Kaho while she is running yesterday. Probably, yesterday, he came to see the teacher, and on the way home, he saw Kaho and called out to her. "You are Morii-san, right? Nice to meet you." "S, sure." Saying that, Kaho replies. But, as predicted, from that day onwards, Kaho and the transfer student are considered as a couple in their class. "Hey, wait a second!" "What is it? You are very noisy!" Kaho chased after her classmate, Takuya. "Stop running away and listen to me!" Kaho runs in front of Takuya and turn to face him. "I already said, it's no use! I am not competing in the Athlete's Competition!" "Why's that?" "We are going to be Six Year students next year, my mother is going to be mad at me if I don't go to the cram school." -->[There is an entrance exam to go Middle School, so it's normal ]<-- -->[for children their age to go to a cram school to prepare for it.]<-- "Takuya, you also have that bad experience last year, right?! That time, you swore that you want to win in the next competition, did you forget that?" Kaho was doing her best to convince Takuya. There is not too much time left, before they start deciding on who is going to participate in the Athlete's Competition. For the straight four years until last year, Kaho did not manage to win even once in the relay. Especially, last year where they lost at the very last moment, making it a regrettable memory. And, at that time, the class representative for the boy athletic was Takuya. "You are so noisy! Anyway, I am not going to compete in it!" "Don't say that..." "Kaho, you should also worry a bit more about your studies! Ah, right, after all, you are going to inherit your family's Restaurant, so you don't have to worry about it, right?" Kaho lost her temper, as she heard Takuya making fun of her. "What is that! Jerk! I am not going to ask you any more!" Kaho used all her energy to kick Takuya's back, and then, return to the school ground alone. "Ouch, what are you doing, stupid Kaho!" No matter, how loud Takuya shouted at her, his voice cannot reached her ears. "Ahhh-ah, I am so pathetic, relying on such a person!" Kaho is so angry that her face is all red. Why the kids whose family is running a business, always jokes about things like that. Even though it is just a light-hearted joke or they are just kids, but it really hurts. Kaho's family runs a Okomiyaki Restaurant. Kaho hates people who jokes about it more than anything else. "But, what should I do, if Takuya cannot... the others..." Kaho hug her own head. For the girl's, she is the candidate, but there is no candidate for the boy's. No matter how hard Kaho tries, in relay, the other member is still really important to win. At the very least, our class should try not to pull the other class down. "Hmmmm, this is troublesome." No matter what, to Kaho, who has worked very hard, this is an important time to decide who is going to compete in this year's competition. "Then, it is decided that Morii-san for the girl's. Is there a candidate for the boy's?" The class representative asked. On the blackboard, it is written "Athletic's Competition Competitior, girl, Morii Kaho", and for boy, it is still empty. (Just as I thought, no one else... If it comes to this, I will suggest Takuya.) It would have been better, if somebody, who really wants to compete in it, volunteered himself. Thinking like that, Kaho was a bit hopeful, but no one did. "Then, we will open to suggestions." "Do you have anybody you want to suggest?" "Yes!" But, before Kaho raises her hand, Takuya shouted out loud. For a moment, Kaho thought that he is going to volunteer himself, but Takuya grinned at Kaho evilly. "I think, the transfer student is the best choice! The only one person who should pair up with Kaho is him, right?" "W, wait..." "Pyu-pyu-, that's right, that's right!" The person who Takuya suggested is that transfer student in the rumour with Kaho. Kaho angrily stand up in the middle of the class, while hitting her desk. "How can, how can you decide like this for the boy representative! Please be more serious! If we do this, we are going to be a burden for the other class. With that, the whole class is silence. The class representative nervously take over. "Is there anyone else?" But, at the end, there is no other suggestion, and it is decided that the transfer student will represent the boys. "I will never accept this kind of decision!" Kaho shouted that, while straining her eyes, as her tears are coming out. Then, she ran out of the classroom. The next day, after school, in the classroom where everybody is preparing to go home, Kaho called out to the transfer student in a cold voice. "I want to talk to you." "Eh? S, sure..." "Oh..." Several boys by the side heard it, for a moment, are going to make fun of them, but stop halfway. It is most likely because they saw how forceful Kaho is. It's as though that there is an angry aura coming out from Kaho's body. (This is not a joke! I will not allow this!) Kaho was practising every day for the past one year for the Athletic Competition. Her anger looked like it will not reside anytime soon. Actually, yesterday, after that, Kaho complained to her teacher in the teachers' office. Hearing what Kaho said, the teacher sympathized with her. Probably, the main reason is because the teacher thought that the class is trying to bully the boy because he is newly tranferred here to this school. Anyway, the teacher promised that he will talk to both Takuya and the transfer student. "Why didn't you resign?!" "Y, yes..." Kaho is facing the ground fence with her back facing the boy, asked him. Today, she heard from her teacher that the boy did not refuse to represent the class. Kaho asked him because she wants to know the boy's true intention. "They suggested you for fun! How come you are not mad at all?" She turns to face the boy and continue. "Or is it because you have some experience in Athletics? Or relay's experience?" "I don't have any of those two, but..." "Then, why?" "I suddenly feel like running!" "Eh?" Hearing what the boy said, Kaho is a bit surprised. "Seeing Morii run, I feel like running too. It's because you looked like you really enjoy yourself, when you are running. Somehow, you are shinning." "Wh, what is that..." Hearing him saying that, Kaho is lost for words. Somehow, she felt embarassed that her cheek started to blush on its own. The boy said that he felt like running because he saw how she ran. Of course, this is the first time she heard someone said this to her. "That's why, I will not resign!" The boy convincely assert that he will not resign. Kaho realized that the boy really wants to run, somehow, it makes her very happy. "I understand! Sorry that I have to put you up with this." "It's okay, don't worry about this." "But, if you want to do it, you have to train very hard so that you will not let the others down." Kaho is back to her old self again. "Yes, I understand! I will do my best with Morii! I am in your hands!" "I am also in your hands! From tomorrow onwards, it is going to be tough, okay?" The two of them shook their hands. "Yes! Five more rounds to go!" "R, right..." From that day onwards, the two started their tough training. The boy is not running very fast. He is doing his best just to follow Kaho from behind. "Oh-oh, you are under your wife's thumb." -->[Under your wife's control.] "Pyu-pyu-" Seeing them running like that, Takuya and his friends jeer at them. But, the two of them completely ignored them. There isn't too much time left before the competition, so they are not free enough to talk back to them. More than that, practice! (He is pretty hard working~) Actually, Kaho thought that the boy will probably start whining almost immediately. But, unexpectedly, the boy continue to do his best in his training. Kaho set up a very tough training program for the boy, but the boy did not have any problem with it and sticked closely with the program. "Oh-oh, they are still doing it!" "..." The boys from their class continue to tease them, but the two of them just ignored them. As days passed by, the teasings slowly toned down. At the beginning, Takuya was the one leading the teasing, but recently, he just watched them and quickly went to his cram school without saying anything. "Fight, fight! Hey, there are only three rounds left!" "R, right." With that, the two of them continued practising every single day. At one point, there was no one left to tease them any more. More specifically, they cannot teased Kaho and the boy any more. At that point, the other representatives from other classes started to join them. The after school training has became the talk of the school. "Good morning, Morii!" "Ah, good morning!" The boy greets Kaho who is doing warm up in front of an Okomiyaki Restaurant called "Otafuku". Their training not only takes place after school. Before going to school, they agree to meet like this, and together they jog around the nearby ground. "Good morning! You two look energetic!" "Good morning!" No matter it is a rainy day or snowy day, everyday, the two of them continue to run. They are very popular among the adult joggers. It shows how much they trained in the morning. After that, they arrive at school, attend the lectures, and practise until it gets dark after school. "Hey, he is sleeping again..." Due to the harsh training, the boy got tired and slept a lot in class. But, mysteriously, the boy never got scolded by the teacher or got punished standing at the hallway. "Wake him up." "Right, hey, wake up!" It is because the boys in his class worried about him and helped him. They worked together to help the transfer student out. Without knowing it, the boy's hard work has made the people arounds him kinder. (Ufu, it's weird... Even Takuya is worried about the boy...) Seeing how the class changed made her felt good. The boy probably has some mysterious charm in him. Recently, she started to think like that. After all, Kaho is the first one who see his charm. The two continue training weekdays and holidays. Everyday, they ran around the ground and practised sprinting. Every single day. But, because of that boy, she knew how fun it is to run together with somebody. Before that, she used to run alone. Compared to then, no matter how harsh the training is, it still feels enjoyable mysteriously. (It's really mysterious. When I run with him, the plain scenery comes to life, always...) Kaho, without knowing it, started to feel attracted to the boy. "Do your best!" "Do your best, okay?!" In front of the two of them, there is a young couple running and the couple called out to them like that. At the very moment after the couple had passed by, the boy smiled at Kaho and said. "Hey, it would be great to run like that when we get older, right?" "Y, yes... you are right..." Saying that, Kaho's heart is beating very fast enough that she is surprised at herself. "Mother, can I borrow your needle and thread?!" "There is a sewing box besides the television, right?" "Ah, I see!" Kaho take out the sewing box from the brown chest drawer beside the television, and go to the second floor. "Ouch~" At her own room, she starts sewing, but immediately let out a cry of pain. A person who is better at running than anyone else, she is not good at this type of domestic job. "Good, I did it!" Kaho struggled, but managed to sew up two headbands. That's right, she always wore headband at the Athletic's competition. Every year, she always had her mother sew her a headband, but this year, she wanted to sew it herself no matter what. -->[Hm? To create a headband, you only need to cut, right?] "You really work very hard. With your current condition, it is enough!" The next day, after the training is over, they took a rest sitting on the ground looking at the setting sun. The competition will take place in one week. "I really enjoyed myself running, and it is also due to the fact that Morii is always running beside me, so that's why I am doing my best..." "I, I see..." Saying that, the boy smiles. It was really a very dazzling smile. Somehow, it made Kaho's heart beat very fast. "Ah, that's right! Here!" "What is this?" "Just open it and see!" Kaho gave a small wrapped bag to the boy shyly. "Head band..." "Yes, it is a pair with the one I have, I sew them myself!" "I see, you are great, Morii, able to sew like this." "What is that, even though I may look like this, I am still a girl, you know." To say those words, yesterday, Kaho has been doing her best practising it. It is still very new. It is much longer than the one he used in the gym class, and the boy smiles happily. "Thank you! Okay! From tomorrow onwards until the competition, I will wear this everyday to the training!" "Isn't that so? It makes you excited, right? The competition is just around the corner!" "Right!" Kaho wanted to give the self-made headband to the boy as a present. Actually, she wanted to add "This is my appreciation for working so hard until now", but at the end, she cannot get herself to say those words. "I am going to be the first one there to give the baton to you, then, you just need to maintain the lead until the goal!" "Right! I will do my best!" "That's the spirit! That's the spirit! For sure, we will get first prize! Let's be the first one to cut goal tape!" "Right!" The sun is setting. The two of them held onto the new headband, looking at each other and swore to fight. Then, on the day of the competition. That day has the clearest sky this year in Osaka. But, Kaho is not on the field, instead she is waiting at the competitors' passage way alone. Opposite to the clear weather, her face is dark. "He is late, what's the matter with him?" She already dressed up in gym uniform and tied that sworn, long headband on her forehead. Passing Kaho are the competitors that are going to compete in the next relay. They ran up the slope to the tracks. "Really, what's the matter with him?" Kaho is really worried. The boy has been working very hard until now. He is not supposed to be this late after all that. Did he meet with an accident on the way? That kind of thoughts keep appearing in her mind. Kaho, mysteriously, didn't concern too much about the competition. More than that, the boy is much more important. "You are the competitor from Sasamine Elementary School, right? Please get to the field, as fast as you can!" Finally, the organizer of the competition talked to Kaho. It finally reached the time limit. "Sorry, he still..." "Please wait a moment! This is Sasamine Elementary School!" At the moment, when Kaho is about to give up, she heard a loud voice. "Ah, teacher!" The owner of the voice is her teacher. "Kaho!" "Takuya! What's the matter? C, could it be..." Behind the teacher, Takuya appearred in his gym uniform, she is prepared for the worst. At the same moment, it felt as though all the energy has just left her body. "Sorry, I am the teacher from Sasamine Elementary, this is an emergency..." "Yes..." At the moment the teacher talked with the organizer, Takuya explains the situation to Kaho. "Kaho, that guy, transferred away from our school!" "T, transfer away? N, no way? When?" When Kaho thought that something had happened to the boy, she is shaken up, but when she heard that the boy transferred away, she was very surprised. If the boy transferred away, she probably won't be able to see him again. "This morning, the decision is made suddenly." "I, I, am going to see him off!" Kaho could not believe what she just said. That means that she is going to give up on the competition. Until now, she could not imagine that she ever do such a thing. But, Kaho thought it is fine to give up on the competition to see the boy off. That is how much she liked the boy without knowing it. "Idiot! If you do that, you are going to get the other class in trouble! That wouldn't make him happy!" "B, but..." Hearing such strong words from Takuya, Kaho was surprised. Come to think about it, why is he here anyway? Takuya is so reluctant to come to the competition. In the first place, when the boy cannot compete, they should be automatically forfeited. Takuya do not need to come and compete. "That guy begged me! In his place, please run with Kaho!" "Eh..." "He bowed his head several times to me, you know! That's why I am here! That is his last wish before he transferred away, it's a promise between boys!" "Takuya..." "See, here, this is from him, he wants me to give this to you!" "To me?..." Kaho received a bag from Takuya. "Ah..." Inside the bag, it was that sworn, long headband. Seeing that, Kaho cannot hold back and starts to cry. But, when she unfold the headband, Kaho immediately stops crying. "Kaho! Run!" On the headband, with a magic ink, a strong supportive message was written. Kaho's heart fired up. "What are you going to do? This is an emergency situation, they will allow the change of competitors! Do you still want to compete?" "Yes! I am going to run! With all of my heart!" Turn to her back, she smile and asserted that. The uncertainties are gone from her face. "Let's go, Takuya! We are going to run on his behalf, okay?!" "Kaho, that's the spirit!" Saying that, both of them ran down the long hallway towards the field. (I have decided now! Today also, also from now onwards, I will continue to run! Until the day I hand you this baton... I will be alright! We will get first place, for sure! It's also for you who had worked so hard...) Kaho tightened her grips on the boy's headband and while holding the baton on her right hand, she swore that in her heart. ========================================================================== STORY 05 : AYASAKI WAKANA - ORUGO-RU (MUSIC BOX) ========================================================================== "... You have to return the book within a week. Please return it to the Librarian." After school, a girl is explaining to a boy about how to borrow a book from the library. The girl's name is Ayasaki Wakana, beautiful, organized long black hair, which reaches until her waist area and have ribbon tied at the end of her hair. She is wearing a completely white blouse and a skirt. For a girl her age, she maintains her body shape well that it shows how strict her family is. "Ayasaki, what kind of books do you read?" "Eh? Me? I..." For a moment after she was asked the question, she lost in thought, and immediately, smiles. Then, she reaches out for several books from the bookshelf and shows them to the boy. "I love these kinds of adventure story books. Somehow, it made my heart beat very fast..." "Hmmm, I didn't expect that..." "Eh, why's that?" "For a girl like Ayasaki, I thought, you read encyclopedia, books that are useful for studies." The boy said that happily. He just transferred to this private school today. The teacher in charge of the class asked Wakana, who is the class representative, to show the boy around the school. "Of course, I also read those kind of books..." "Eh? Is that so?" "Yes, I read all the books in this library before I reached Elementary School Sixth Year..." "All the books? All of these?" The boy looks around the library a with surprised look on his face. There are more than a thousand books there. "I seldom went outside to play... That's why, I always have my adventures in the books only..." Wakana looks lonely, as she said that. "Hmmm, but, if you play outside, there are more and better adventures than the ones in the book though..." "Is that so?" Wakana asks the boy with admiration on her face. The boy looked a bit embarassed by it. "Y, yes... But, why didn't you go out and play? You are not feeling well?" "No, that's not the reason... Ah, I have to go home now..." As though Wakana is trying to avoid answering the boy's question, she said that and the two of them left the library. "Thank you... for showing me around until this late..." "Don't, it's my duty as a class representative..." "But, Wakana, the way you talk is very polite, right? Could it be that every girl in Kyoto talk like that too?" -->[The Japanese words that Wakana used are VERY POLITE!] "I, I don't think so..." Wakana looks down and said that. "Huh?" "Sorry... Just as I thought, is it very strange? The way I talk?" "No, that's not what I meant..." "It's okay... I know about it already... But, my family was very strict about the way I speak... Of course, now as well..." The boy thought that he said something that hurt her feelings. He starts to panic. "S, sorry, I didn't mean it that way... Hey, how about walking home together with me? I will walk you home halfway..." "Eh? Where is your home?" Wakana asked in return. The boy was relief that the topic of conversation is changed and told her that his home located beside the Takadai Temple. "Then, I will send you home on the way..." "Eh?" Wakana ran outside the school gate. The boy followed her from behind, clueless to what she meant. There, he saw a big black car park by the side of the road with his eyes wide open. "Well, please, come in!" "O, okay..." Even though he said that to Wakana, the boy still stand there motionless. "Please come in." "Y, yes." In front of the boy, standing beside the door, a white-haired driver talked to the boy. By looking at the driver, the boy concludes that he is a honest, kind old driver. The boy prepares himself, before getting into the car. "... You always have a car to pick you up?" When the car starts to move, the boy asks Wakana in a low voice. "Yes... Always since kindergarten..." "I, I see... " Hearing that, he remembers what Wakana said in the library. She is always being watched over like this. That's probably why she can only experience adventure in the books. "Here, it is pretty lively around here, isn't it?" As the car approaches the Kiyomizu Temple, the boy said. "Yes, I heard that it is because there are a lot of gift shops and interesting dry good shops with a lot of visitors visiting them..." "You heard?... You never went there before?" "Yes, I only can watch it from inside the car like this..." "Hmmm...." "Ah, if you get a chance to go there, please tell me what kinds of things that are available over there." "Y, yes, if that is what you want..." "It's a promise then." Wakana said that with a smile. She really wants to go there and sees it for herself. "Ah, you can drop me off just after that temple..." "Yes, I understand, Bocchama." -->[Bocchama is a VERY polite and respectful way to refer to a boy.] The car stopped a little bit after Takadai Temple at a four way junction. The boy's home was further inside. Actually, the boy is not comfortable staying in the car for too long and wanted to get out of it as soon as possible. It's the first time the boy is referred as "Bocchama" that he is not comfortable about it. "Thank you.... That... for taking me here..." "Don't... I enjoyed myself with you... After all, I always went home alone..." "I see..." "Well, see you tomorrow at school... Be well..." "Bye!" The car that Wakana rode in moved away just like that. The boy, who they dropped, continued to look at the car for a while. He got the feelings that Wakana and him lived in a completely different world. "Hmmm..." But, the boy cannot seems to get rid of the lonely looking image of Wakana, when she said that she was always alone. On the other side, after letting the boy off, Wakana talked with the old driver in the car. "Ah, excuse me... Nakajima-san..." "Yes, Ojousama..." -->[Ojousama is an extremely polite and respectful way to call a girl] "Please don't tell my grandfather... about today." "Yes, I understand..." "Thank you..." Hearing that, Wakana was relieved. "Anyway, you looked like you really enjoy yourself, didn't you? This is the first time I see you smiled so happily." "Is that so? Ufufufu, that person, is a transfer student. It seems that he had been to Hokkaidou, Touhoku and recently, he was in Osaka... Somehow, it is so cool, moving here and there like that..." Wakana looked far away. If she say that she wants to go on a trip, she probably can go anywhere around the country. However, she will be watched closely by the adults. She wishes that she can go on a trip alone without the supervisions of the adults around her. That's what she thought. It doesn't necessary need to be far away from here. Just walking alone in Kyoto should be enough for her. But, for a normal person, it is normal to walk outside, but for a person like Wakana, it is a farfetched dream. "Hey, have you guys heard about the new gift shop at Sannen Zaka (Three Year Hill -->[NOTE THIS!!!])?" "Yeah, yeah, it is introduced on the television, right?" During one break, the class started talking about the new gift shop around Kiyomizu Temple. It was because it was introduced on the television by a talent, who was popular among children. "Hey, how about everybody going there together and see it after school today?" "Wah, I want to go, I want to go!" "Yes, I agree, I agree!" More than half the class raised their hands. The boy, of course, joined them too. Then, he faced Wakana who was sitting there with loneliness, listening to the conversation and called out to her. "Hey, Ayasaki, how about going there with us?" "Eh?" Hearing that, everybody including Wakana looked surprised. For a moment, the whole class was completely silent. "Ah, sorry, I will pass." "I, I see..." Wakana broke the silence and said that. As usual, she looked lonely. "Hey, let's go to Kiyomizu Temple too." "Okay, okay." Forgetting about Wakana, the rest of the class continues their conversation. Somehow, it felt as though they tried to maintain a distance away from Wakana. That's what the boy thought. That was what the boy had felt vaguely just after transferring here to this Elementary School, but what happened just now confirms his suspicion. "Hey, why do the whole class treated Ayasaki differently?" "Eh? Well, you..." After school, on the way back from Sannen Zaka, the boy asked one of his classmate. It appearred that Wakana's family is very religious, so they trained the children of that family very strictly that they thought that Wakana cannot have a pleasant time playing with her classmates. Because of that, Wakana and her classmates could not go out together. "Hmmm, I see..." The boy started to think of some way that he can do for Wakana seriously. Then, the next day. "Ayasaki, let's go home together!" "Ah, sure... if you want me to take you there..." The boy called out to Wakana who has just changed her shoes at the shoe locker. It appeared that the boy was chasing after Wakana. "Well, let's go!" "Eh?" At the very moment when the car stopped in front of the them, the boy said that and grabbed Wakana's hand. Wakana, for a moment, could not understand what is going on. "Let's go home together!" "Eh, yes... but..." The boy said that, and pulled her hand. Wakana looked troubled. "Well, let's go!" "S, sure..." But, Wakana just let the boy pulled her away without thinking too much about it. It felt as though it is a runaway scene from a movie. "Ah, Ojousama! Where are you going?" The two ignored what the old driver said and ran as fast as they can away from there. "Hah, hah, w, where are we going to..." Wakana said that, as she worried if this will get them into big trouble afterwards. "It's the place that Ayasaki wants to go to..." Even though Wakana was worried, she smiled at the boy. The two ran through the winding road and finally, they reached their destination. "This is... Sannen Zaka (Three Year Hill)..." The two headed for Kiyomizu Temple, got through the crowds amd reached that Sannen Zaka. There are a lot of visitors and students on school field trip here. In the first place, this place is the place in Kyoto, where a lot of people visit. The old driver will never find them here in this crowd, even if he chased after them. In addition to that, the boy came here before yesterday with his classmates, so he knew the exact location of their destination. "...I was really surprised... We suddenly ran out of there after all..." "Sorry... But, that is my only choice... I want to come here with Ayasaki..." Wakana is thankful from her heart that the boy brought her here, knowing that she wanted to come here. "Thank you... For doing it for me..." "Hey, this way, this way." "Eh?" "That shop that everybody is talking about! Go inside and see!" "Yes!" Wakana felt like her chest was screaming so loudly that it cannot be repressed because she had never tasted such an excitement and never got impressed so much before. Currently, she believed that what she is doing now is kinda like a big adventure. "Waaaaaaahhhhh, it's wonderful~" That shop is more like a dry goods shop than a gift shop. There are a lot of things girls like, cute things and fun thiings. But, Wakana is more interested in a small jewelry box like music box. "Do you like music box?" "Eh?" "Because you look like you really like it." "Yes, I love it... Both looking at it and listening to it." "Hmmm" "When I was young, I found one in my home's storehouse. It's an old music box... Ever since then, I am completely in love with music box..." "So, that's why..." Wakana smiled as she nostalgically said that. After they left that shop, they also went to look at the other gift shops. It was fun. "Well... I have to go back..." When the sun is setting, Wakana said that reluctantly. She have to go home now, otherwise there will be more trouble. In addition to that, she doesn't want the gentle old driver who she likes so much to be blamed for this. "You are right, we have to go home... Ah..." Saying that, the boy tripped, as he was going down the Sannen Zaka (Three Year Hill). "Look out!" Immediately, Wakana stopped the boy from falling down by hugging him. "S, sorry... I, I am fine, I just tripped, that's all..." "Please be careful! If you fall down on this hill, it is said you will die in three years. -->[Hmmm... well, if he fell down, it would explain his future death in three years. :P] "That is just a superstition..." The boy cheerfully replied, but stopped halfway. It's because when he looked up at Wakana's serious eyes, her tears were on the verge of coming out. "S, sorry, I will be careful... I, I am fine already..." "Eh? Ah! S, sorry..." Wakana's cheek reddened. It's because she did hug him very tightly. When she thought about it, it made her felt embarassed. The boy was feeling the same thing. The visitors around smiled, as they thought that they are looking at a young couple. "Welcome back, Ojousama..." The old driver called out to them, when they were about ten meters away from Ayasaki Residence. He looked serious. "S, sorry... Nakajima-san, I..." When Wakana was saying that, the boy stepped in front of Wakana. "It's all my fault. I wanted to walk home with Ayasaki, that's why I..." The boy did his best to explain the situation to the old driver. Seeing that, she felt pain, as it made her heart contracted. "I understand! Just as I expected from Ojousama's boyfriend, you are very straight-forward!" Expecting the old driver to get angry, but instead, he smiled at them. "Let's keep this a secret among the three of us..." "Thank you, Nakajima-san..." "On one condition, please tell me about this beforehand from now on, I was really worried, you know..." "Yes, I am sorry..." The two of them gave in to Nakajima from their hearts. "No matter how many times I came here, I still think that this garden is very big..." "Is, is that so?..." The boy and Wakana were walking at the several thousands square feet garden in Ayasaki Residence. After coming back from the big adventure at Sannen Zaka, the boy came to visit Ayasaki Residence like this occasionally. Ayasaki Residence are well-known even in the old city of Kyoto. The buildings and the plants are several hundred years old. "Here is it..." "This storehouse?" "Yes..." The two of them were standing in front of the storehouse at the west side of the Ayasaki Residence. Wakana was somewhat not very happy. Actally, yesterday, suddenly, the boy told her something. Because of his family, he is going to move away tomorrow. Wakana was so sad that she didn't know what to do. Because of that, her heart is in the state of confusion. However, she did her best to hide this from the boy by standing calm as much as she can. Kacha. -->[Door open] They unlock the heavy lock and enter. The light from the ceiling window and the opened door naturally gave light into the storehouse. There are no electricity in the storehouse, which were used by her ancestors. In the past, when Wakana did something bad, she would be locked here in this storehouse for sure by her grandfather. That's why, to Wakana, this is a very scary place. "Hehhh, this is cool, there are all kinds of stuffs here." The boy was impressed. Inside the storehouse, it was overflowed with painting and rare articles. There were also real armor and swords. For a boy, this was a very exciting view. But, Wakana looked depressed as usual. (When tomorrow comes, I have to part with him...) That thought filled her head. To Wakana, the boy have become an existence in her life that cannot be replaced. While walking at that Sannen Zaka, Wakana said this to the boy at the end. "...I will never forget about today for the rest of my life! After all, this is a big adventure to me..." Because of that, the boy, who invited her to the adventure, is very special for her. But, he will leave Kyoto tomorrow. When she thought that, she became depressed. "Hey, let's start searching for it!" "Eh?... Ah, yes..." Wakana returns to reality, after the boy talked her. Today, the reason Wakana asked the boy to come here is to ask him to help her search for that music box that she found when she was locked here in the past. But, that is not the real reason, Wakana wanted this chance to have the pain her chest cured no matter what. -->[I think, it implied that she wants to get the thing off her chest. Basically, to confess.] "I cannot find it~." "That's weird... I know that I found it inside this storehouse..." But, the time had passed by mercilessly without them finding the music box. Finally, the day started to get darker. "I cannot stand the fact that we cannot find it~." "Sorry, after all, you are busy..." "Don't say that, I want to spend more time with Ayasaki even though I don't have much time left." "Ah, thanks..." Wakana blushes a little. She felt like she can tell him her true feelings now. Right, that one sentence, "I love you". But, at the next moment, something that they had never expected happened. "Hey! You two! What are you doing here!" "Ah, g, grandfather!" Suddenly, an angry old man in Japanese clothings, carrying a wooden sword came into the storehouse. Of course, he is Wakana's grandfather who is known for being strict. Wakana forgot that the old man always came around here at this time to check on things. "W, wahhhh~" "Hey, get out!" "W, wait please! This person is..." "It's no use explaining! This jerk!" The old man continue to aim his Kendo stick at the boy mercilessly without listening to Wakana asking him to stop. The boy was chased out of the Ayasaki Residence. "Grandfather, please forgive me! I, I am the one in the wrong!" "You are no use, stay there for a while and repent!" "Please forgive me! Please... Grandfather..." So, as a punishment, for a night, Wakana was locked in the storehouse. "Sorry... Sorry..." The day was gone. Wakana continued to cry alone inside the completely-dark storehouse. She was crying because she parted with the boy without telling the boy about her feelings. "This is the worst way, right?... The way to part with him..." The boy did not do anything wrong. Wakana is really sad. "...? Is there somebody outside?" At that moment, she heard something moving outside. Wakana is frightened, as she thought that it might be a thief. After all, Ayasaki Elder is so strict that when he said he will lock Wakana for one night, he will not let her out halfway. "It's me... Are you alright, Ayasaki?" "Eh? Did you come back for me?" Wakana heard the familiar voice and happily said that. She felt like she can feel his warmth through the heavy, wooden storehouse door. The voice, of course, belonged to the boy, who came back to Ayasaki Residence because he worried about Wakana. Imagining the way the boy sneaked through the night street of Kyoto under the bright moonlight for her sake makes her chest feel hot. "I will get you out now, okay?..." "It's, it's impossible... The key is with grandfather..." It sounded like the boy trying to open lock, but it ended in vain. In the first place, it is not a lock that a kid can break. "It's no use... Hmmm... Ah, right! Wait for a while!" The boy said that after thinking for a while. At the same moment, Wakana heard him running to somewhere. But, after a while, the boy still has not return. Being locked in the storehouse and cannot do anything except imagining things, Wakana cannot stop herself from feeling uneasiness. After all, if her grandfather saw him again, he won't let go of him that easily again. But, the boy still has not returned. Garagaragaradoshan. -->[Listen to it, yourself!] "Kyaaa" Wakana screamed in surprised. Something big fell down from the ceiling window. "Ouchhhhh" The boy is the one that fell down from the ceiling window. Quickly, Wakana covered her own mouth. This is going to be bad, if somebody heard her. The boy hit the ground with his bottom. When Wakana saw the boy, she becomes happy. "A, are you alright? I did not expect you come from such a high place..." "There is no other entrance, you see?... Ehehe, ah, right!" Looking at the surprised Wakana, the boy triumphantly rubbed his nose with his finger. Then, he took out a sack from his backpack and offered it to her. "Here, I am giving this to you, Ayasaki! You are hungry, right?" "Eh?" Wakana opened up the sack, there was a big Onigiri inside it. -->[Onigiri is Japanese rice wrapped with seaweed, I believe.] "Ah, onigiri! Thank you.... I am very hungry! Thank you for the food!" "How is it? Is it tasty? This is the first time I made it. Sorry that the shape looks so weird." The boy looked at Wakana eating the onigiri worriedly. Hearing that, Wakana became more and more happy until she started to cry. "It's very tasty... After all, your kind heart in it..." Wakana's heart is shaking excitingly. To comfort Wakana, the boy came back here travelling through the night street. In addition to that, he brought that warm Onigiri that he made by himself for the first time in his life. "Sorry... You are really busy, right? With all the preparation to move, right?" "No, it's okay! Kid like me cannot help much anyway. More importantly, I am glad that I am able to see you for one more time..." "Eh?" "Because I felt kinda sad parting with you like that, and in addition to that, we did not manage to find that music box... Huh?" The boy stopped his sentence there. "Ah, huh? Was there such a thing before?" "Eh? Ah! That is!" With the moonlight shinning, they can see an upside down box on the floor. It appeared that the shock from the boy dropping down there somehow make it dropped down from somewhere. The two immediately approached that box. "This is it! There is no mistake about it! It's the music box that I found in the past..." "I see! I am glad! We make it in time, right?!" "Yes, thank you..." "How about listening to it?" "Sure." After the boy turned the screw and let go of it, a very beautiful music started playing from the music box. "What a beatiful music... somehow, it is mysterious..." They don't know the title of the music, but the music touched their heart. "Today, this is the first time in my life that I found out that... the moon is so bright..." Wakana sat beside the boy. "Wakana..." "Just for a little bit longer, please let me stay here like this... Just for a little bit longer..." "Sure..." The boy smiles gently, and just looks at Wakana quietly. From the ceiling window, the moonlight shines onto the music box and at the same time, gently cover over them. Somehow, it looked an illusion and something that can only occur in a dream. "... Thank you very much... Because of you, I managed to have a lot of adventures... Thank you very much..." Currently, Wakana told the boy what is in her chest. Though, she did not manage to say "I love you". "I am going to make this music box, my treasure, okay?..." Wakana said that. While wishing that this night will continue on forever like this... ========================================================================== STORY 06 : YAMAMOTO RURIKA - OTOKONOKO ONNANOKO (BOYS AND GIRLS) ========================================================================== "Wait! This way, we will not be able to get past this bend!" "Ah, s, sorry..." While carrying the two-meter long rolled item, the two children on their way walking down the stairs from the second floor to the first floor. They were having trouble getting around the bend. The boy carries the front and the girl carries the back. "I can't believe you. Good! This time it seems like we can go around the bend!" Opposite to what she said, she smiles cheerfully. The girl's name is Yamamoto Rurika. She deliberately make the end of her straight hair uneven that it makes her looks like the active type of girl. A girl with a cute smiling face. "Fuuu... We finally arrived." On the door in front of them, it is written "Society Preparation Room". The two finally managed to finished carrying the big world map that was used in the lecture. Even though it is rolled up, it is still difficult to carry it. "Nice job!" Rurika pats the boy's shoulder. "Please continue to do your best from now on! After all, since I become a Sixth Year Student, I finally got you as my partner." "Eh? Then, until now, Yamamoto had been doing class duties on your own?" "That's right! There is nothing I can do about it. After all, the number of people in our class was odd in number." "Hehhhh, you had been carrying this big thing alone..." The boy looks surprised. "Of course not, right? You talked as though I am a monster, ahhhh, I am hurt~." "S, sorry..." "I am just kidding! I didn't do it alone! At that time, there was always somebody who will come to help me out." Rurika smiles beautiful, and runs up the stairs. She is really cheerful and always smiles. The boy transferred to this Nagoya's Elementary School two years ago on an autumn day. "That's right, then, I will have you doing the class duties together with Yamamoto-san." "Grrrrreeeeaaaatttt!" Hearing what the female teacher in charge of the class said, Rurika jumped with joy. "He is so lucky~" The other boys said that with tone of jealousy. The boy didn't know what was going on at that time, but as days passed by, he finally understood. To describe it in a sentence, Rurika is extremely popular in her class. Even during break times, the person who will start interesting things to play was her. Especially in sports, she always is the only one who will join the boys. More specifically, they played Baseball and Dodge Ball, the sports that girls had little respect for. Because of that, all the boys' eyes were on her, and Rurika enjoyed the popularity in her class alone. "Hey, hey, transfer student, let's play baseball together!" "S, sure..." At the beginning, the boy also got invited by Rurika, naturally got accepted into the crowd in the class. Though, at his first bat, he made an embarassing record of 3 balls 3 strikes with Rurika as the pitcher. -->[Three balls strike-out.] "It's okay, I can carry it alone!" "No way! I am also in charge of the class duties, you know!" The first time the boy did the class duties with Rurika, she scolded him suddenly when he was about to go to throw away the trash alone. Rurika hated the idea of inequality between boys and girls. Words like "Because I am boy", "I am a boy, so I carry it" and "Because Rurika is a girl" were prohibited to be said in front of her. The boy immediately knew that. Without realising it, the boy looked forward to this class duties, which took place once every month. Doing this alone with the girl made his heart beat very fast mysteriously. Above that, he enjoyed having Rurika smiling at him alone, even if it is a smile that she showed to anyone. That day, it's the class duties for Rurika and the boy. "Hey, what is your dream for the future?" Rurika asked the boy. "F, future? I still haven't thought about it! After all, we are still in Elementary School Sixth Year, right?" "You are useless, it's better that you start thinking when you are Elementary School Sixth Year!" "Eh? Why's that?" "Because, soon, we have to write about it in our graduation year book, right? It's better that you decide it now." "I see! Come to think about it, it's true." The boy also nods his head. "If you wait until the moment to think about it and write it, you might find yourself regretting about it later!" "That's true... Then, Yamamoto, have you decide what you are going to write?" "Of course! Do you want to hear it?" "Y, yes...?' "The first Japanese Female Pro Baseball Player!" Rurika imitates a pitching suddently. "B, but..." "What?" "Girls cannot enter Pro Baseball, right?..." "That's why, I said I am going to be the first!" "I see..." It might really happens one day when they are adult. The boy, who always got strike out by Rurika's pitching, thought that. "It's weird, isn't it?! There are a lot of boys who cannot hit my balls... Right?" "Ugh... T, that's true..." The boy finally put the words together. He cannot stand it, but it's true that Rurika's balls are fast. "You also better think about it carefully..." Saying that, Rurika started to show her smile again. "Ah... Here, here~" "Yamamoto, did it go well on your part?" "Yes, perfect!" Rurika saw the boy and whispered out to him. Currently, Rurika and the rest came on a Elementary School Trip to Kyoto. The two met at the inn's garden, and from then on, they will be heading to the convenient store to buy ice. "Let's hurry! The next surveilance will start in just fifteen minutes!" "Right!" During the day time, in the bus, they played trumps. Rurika and the boy lost, so as a punishment, they had to go out on this dangerous night shopping. "Somehow, this is exciting, right?" "Right..." The two smiled at each other, as they ran towards the convenience store. The distance from the inn to the convenience store is no more than 100 meters, but to the two children, it was a big adventure. "All the boys wants Garigari-kun, right?" Rurika, as the person in charge of buying the ice cream, asked. Garigari-kun is an ice soda that is very popular among the boys. The boy, who is in charge of looking out, of course, shows a big sign of a circle with his two arms. It's a convenience store that doesn't care too much about Elementary Students hanging around there at this time of night. "Okay! The shopping is done without any problem!" With a big vinyl bag in her hands, Rurika comes out of the shop. Inside it, there are supposed to be about thirty ice cream. It's pretty heavy. "Good! If we go back now, we will make it well ahead of the schedule! Let's go!" "Right!" The two run through the night street with their heart beating very fast. To the two Elementary Students, going out at a time like this is a big adventure. In addition to that, the whole class is waiting for the two of them and they are hoping that this plan will be a success. But, when they arrived back at the inn, the plan was in a big pinch. The teacher's surveilance started much earlier than expected. "This is bad.. It's already starting..." "What should we do?" "Okay! Let's go around the teachers' room!" As if to cheer up Rurika who had a troubled face on her, the boy suggested that. During the surveilance, the security around the teachers' room should be very loose. In addition to that, expecting something like this to happen, they already ask their friend to cover up for them, if they do not come back before the surveilance begins. For sure, at the very moment, their friends probably use their sport bags to pretend that Rurika and the boy are still in their own room. At the same time, their friends are having some activities to avoid suspicions. "Shiii!" -->[BE QUIET!] Rurika signals the boy to be more quiet. Walking in the hallway of the inn is making some creaking noises. It's really making them nervous and wonder whether the teachers can hear the noises or not. In addition to that, to reach their rooms, they have to pass the teachers' room. They are walking on their toes. "Just a little bit more..." But, at that moment. A black thing walks in between their legs. "Kyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" "Y, yamamoto?" Suddenly, Rurika screamed loudly, the boy was taken by surprised. "Nooooooooooooo!" Rurika screamed in panic, and wrapped her arms over the boy's neck, hugging him. "It's, it's hard to breath... Yamamoto..." "No, no, w, what is that just now?" Rurika's feet touched something and it felt warm and soft. She hugged the boy so hard that the boy is having trouble breathing, and she said that while pointing to the front. "It's, it's alright! See, it's just a cat..." "Eh? Ah, s, sorry!" It's a cat with three hair. It seems like a cat that is raised by the inn. Finally, Rurika quickly let go of the boy. She blushes. There is an awkward atmosphere flowing around the two of them. "Hey! You two! What are you doing there!" "Ah... Sensei..." In addition to that, they don't have luck. Hearing Rurika's scream, a teacher rushed there and saw them. It's their gym teacher standing there angrily. Rurika quickly hide the vynyl bag that contained the ice cream behind her back. It is very cold, but there is nothing else she can do about it. "Yamamoto! You return to your room!" "S, sure..." Saying that, Rurika looked at the boy and returned to her own room. Somehow, the ice creams are not going to be discovered. The boy is relief. "You, sit on your knees until tomorrow! Okay?!" -->[Look at the CG that is coming out soon.] "Sure..." Saying that, he sat on his knees. "I am going to survey around again! Don't make yourself comfortable!" "Sure..." The teacher left to survey the area again. The boy continued to sit on his knees at the empty hallway. "Are you okay?" "Yamamoto? You came back? Did you get the ice creams to them safely?" "Yes, perfectly! Sorry for giving you all the trouble..." Rurika looked sorry, and sat on her knees as well beside the boy. "Yamamoto?" "I also accompany you until morning, I guess?" "Don't say that! After all, he let you go, right?" "But! It's weird, isn't it?! Both of us got caught, but only you got to sit on your knees, while I can go back to my room! Just because you are a boy and I am a girl!" Seeing Rurika angrily puzzling over all this, the boy smiled. "But, Yamamoto, you are a girl after all..." "Eh?" "Because, just now, you were so nervous that..." The boy stopped there. It's because he noticed that Rurika was getting more and more angry. He realizes that he had said the forbidden words. "What is that! Making fun of me! I will not lose to a boy!" "S, sorry..." "... It's fine already, after all I did get you into trouble..." Saying that, Rurika looks a bit lonely. "Just now, I was really happy. I felt as though that Rurika was relying on me... that's why, I slipped those words out... But, for sure, I am not making fun of you." "I, I see..." Thinking about what happened, Rurika suddenly became embarassed. "But, Yamamoto, why do you hate being called a girl so much?" The boy asked her that. He always had been meaning to ask her that. "... Because, if I accepted that, I felt that I cannot play with boys any more..." "Is, is that so?" "To me, there is no such thing as boys and girls, only friends." "I see..." "That's why, I, for sure, don't want to lose to a boy...." Rurika was surprised at herself for saying that. This is the first time she told anyone about this and the boy is the first one to whom she felt like talking about it to. Rurika was worried whether she had conveyed her feelings well enough, though. "Thank you for telling me about it, I feel like I understand Rurika more." Hearing that, somehow, makes Rurika happy. "Hey, you better get going, the teacher is coming back..." "Right..." "Good night, Yamamoto..." "Good night... Sorry..." Rurika obediently returend to her own room. When the boy was alone again, he smiled with satisfaction. Because of Rurika, everybody managed to get their ice creams. More than that, it felt as though, Rurika had became much friendlier than before. The memories-filled school trip ended without another incident. The long life as an Elementary Student is coming to an end soon. One day, something big happened that the two will never forget. That day, the two were in charge of the class duties. "Today is our final day for doing the class duties, huh?..." "We are going to graduate in March, so there won't be another one." Hearing what the boy said, Rurika replied heartfully. Recently, when thinking that this is going to be the last thing in the Elementary School, it somehow makes them began to miss it. All the things that they hated, like homeworks and drill, mysteriously, they began to miss all of that. -->[You mean, there won't be any in Middle School? :P] "Well, people in charge of class duties, I am counting on you to clean up, okay?!" "Sure." After the science period, the teacher assigns some duties to the boy and Rurika. The two of them replied energetically. But, as the teacher is about to leave the classroom, the teacher realized something, and came back. She gave a warning to the two who had already started to clean up. "This Ammonite Rock is very heavy, as a boy, you should carry it, okay?!" "Sure." When the boy replied, he smiled as he saw the painful look on Rurika's face. "Sensei, I will carry this! I can carry this kind of weight! Yoishotto..." -->[Yoishotto==when starting to carry some weight.] Rurika pouted and started carrying the rock. It is really heavy. "Ah, ah, be careful! Then, when Yamamoto-san is in trouble, please help her, okay?" The teacher looked worry and said that to the boy. Just like a teacher in charge of their class. She knows about how much Rurika hate to lose to anybody. "How about letting me carry it?" "I am fine! I can carry this on my own!" After getting into the hallway, Rurika won't listened to the boy. She knew that she is being stubborn, but she cannot make herself give up the stone. "Be careful, okay?" The boy watched over Rurika with worry. (Just a little bit more...) The Ammnonite stone is much heavier than she thought. She felt her arm becoming numb. (If this keeps on, it is going to be dangerous.) Thinking that, for several time, she thought of asking the boy for help, but her stubborness get the best out of her. (I will not lose to a boy, for sure!) There is another Rurika in her that cheered her on. With that in her heart, she finally reached in front of the door of the room that said Science Preparation Room. "Yamamoto, just a bit more!" The boy is cheering her on beside her. He knew how Rurika felt, that's why he did not offer to help her. "... Uh, uhh... Ahhhhh!" "Yamamoto!" But, a sad thing happened. At the end, Rurika cannot stand the weight of the rock anymore and drop the stone. Slipping off her heavily sweated hand, that important Ammnonite Rock felt onto the floor and broke into two pieces perfectly. "Ah..." "....." The two of them stand there, stunned, looking at the broken Ammonite Rock. In front of them, the reality is harsh. "It, it's broken! W, what should I do! The teacher is going to get mad about this!" "Yamamoto..." She was not like her usual self, screaming like this. The cheerful smile that she always showed, no matter what, has disappearred. "Wh, what should I do?..." Rurika is shaken in front of the broken rock. Tears is coming out from her eyes. The boy looked at Rurika's face, thought of something and suddenly, stood up. "That's right! Wait a minute!" The boy ran to somewhere. She thought that the boy went to report it to the teacher. She can do nothing about this. After all, it's all her fault. "Yamamote, here, this!" "Eh..." But, the boy returned alone. In addition to that, in his hand is the bond used for making maps. "Ehehehe, they won't find out, if we used this!" "B, but..." The boy calmly console Rurika by cheerfully said that and started to smear the bond onto the rock. Of course, after joining them together, they put it back into the preparation room. "They will find out for sure!" "It will be alright, don't worry, I have a plan..." To Rurika who opposed to the plan, the boy gently gave her a wink. But, of course, this kind of plan did not go well, as expected. At the next class's science period, the rock is used and immediately, it was found out that the rock is broken. "The person who broke the rock is Yamamoto-san, right?" "Ah, well... let's see..." That day, the teacher immediately accused Rurika. The teacher, who always had a gentle voice, currently had a very strict voice. When they left the classroom, Rurika was the one seen carrying the rock, so there is no reason why they shouldn't suspect her in the first place. "... I... I...." Rurika, for a moment, struggled for words. At that very moment... "It's not Yamamoto! It's me, who broke it!" "... Eh?" The boy suddenly stood up and said that to the teacher. The boy smiled at Rurika, who looked at him with surprised. As though, he is trying to tell her not to worry about it... "I see... So, it's you. But, why you kept it from me? I am very disappointed with you. I am not angry because you broke the rock! I am angry because you kept it a secret from me! That is something that you shouldn't do!" "S, sorry..." The teacher's lecture continues to stab the heart of Rurika. (The person who broke the rock is not him! It's me!) Rurika screamed the truth out loud inside her heart, but she cannot get herself to say it. "Well, it's good that you admit to it now... But, please don't do it again! The same goes to everyone! You all soon will become a Middle School Student, after all..." After that day, the boy and his classmates stopped hanging out together. The boy did not join them in their games, and watched over them. "I don't want to play!" Rurika also stopped playing with the boys. She is guilty about the fact that the boy stand up for her and kept thinking about him. She felt pain in her chest. (What should I do...) Everyday, she was distressed by it. Due to her guilty feelings, she cannot bring herself to talk to the boy. Why didn't she tell the teacher the truth at that moment immediately? She always had that attitude that she didn't want to lose to a boy that, at the end, she let the boy covered up for her. What should she do? She is worried thinking about that. In addition to that, Rurika had another thing to distress about. (I am in love with him...) Rurika realized that she had fallen in love with the boy. She realized that when the boy took the blame for her. That also is causing pain to her heart. Having the one she loved misunderstood by their classmates and teachers. When she thought about it, she regret about it badly. She kept thinking about this so much that Rurika got a fever and forced to rest. Because of that, she cannot attend the award ceremony for being in Elementary School for six year. Rurika felt a bit guilty about her disappointed mother. (Just as I thought, I cannot continued to bear this kind of feelings in me forever! Tomorrow, when I go to school, I will tell everyone about it! That I am the one who broke the rock...) During her recovery period, she decided. At least before she graduates from the elementary school, she have to do it. She thought of that. Telling everybody the truth, and then, she will confess her feelings to the boy. Rurika decided. "Good morning! Everyone!" "O-su! Are you completely recovered?!" It has been a while since she greeted anyone cheerfully in the morning that, for a moment, the whole class came alive. Come to think about it, it's have been a while since she greeted the class like this. Today, with that decision in her heart, she finally had gone back to her old self. "Everyone, there is something that I want to tell you all..." Saying that, she looks for the boy, but the boy's seat is empty. She is puzzled. A boy realized that, and said. "Ahhh, if you are looking for him, he already transferred away!" "Transferred away? It's a lie, right? When?" Rurika grabbed hold of the boy and asked him seriously that the whole class was taken by surprised. "W, well, yesterday! You see, Rurika, you were absent..." "It, it can't be true..." Rurika finally understood what the boy meant at that time when the boy told her that he has a plan after she broke the rock. The boy knew that he was going to transfer away soon, so he accepted all accusations, took the blame for Rurika and left this school just like that. Rurika ran out of the classroom. She still cannot believe it. No, she didn't want to believe it. After all, she had decided to tell everything today. Without the boy, it is all useless. She felt her heart hurts more and more. Rurika arrived at the teachers' office. "What's the matter? Yamamoto-san?" "Sensei!" With a look at Rurika, the teacher felt something wrong, and gently talked to her. "Are you alright? Please tell me what is going on..." Rurika do not realize that she is crying. Tears are flowing down on her cheek, as she flown into the teachers' office. That's why it's normal for the teacher to be surprised by it. "Actually, I am the one who broke the Ammnonite! He took the blame for me... and then..." Rurika told the teacher everything. "I see... That's how it is..." "I did the worst thing ever... I let the person that I love, carried that guilt with him just like that..." Rurika continues to cry. "Don't blame yourself too much, after all it is my fault too..." "Eh?" "I did not realize at all that he would take the blame for Yamamoto-san... I am not qualified as a teacher..." "Sensei..." "Listen carefully, Yamamoto-san, when you grow up, apologize to him... Then, for sure, he would understand... After all, he did take the blame for you... it shows how much he care about you..." "B, but, will I be able to meet him again?" "It will be alright, if you continue to think about him, one day, you will meet him again..." "I, I understand..." The teacher gently pat Rurika's back and finally, she stopped crying and sworn in her heart that one day, she will apologize to the boy. ============================================================================ STORY 07 : NANASE YUU - MABOROSHII TENKOUSEI (PHAMTOMIC TRANSFER STUDENT) ============================================================================ [TRANSLATION NOTES: ] [- Perseus Shooting Stars, Perseid Shower ] [http://www.pacpub.com/new/news/8-7-98/star.html ] [http://chandra.cis.brown.edu/astro/skyscrapers/articles/1999/perseids.html] [http://www.skypub.com/sights/images/perdis0.jpg (Picture) ] [- "Maboroshii no Tenkousei" - Personally, I cannot think of a good English] [ phrase for this. I literally translated it to be "Phantomic Transfer ] [ Student", but it just doesn't fit it. "Maboroshii" has the meaning of ] [ illusion and "Tenkousei" means "Transfer Student". So, take note of ] [ that. ] [- The description at the beginning said that Yuu is wearing T-Shirt ] [ but she seems like she is those so called "one-piece" in the CG. ] [- 'Fu' or 'Fuu'... giggle? laugh? You tell me. :P ] BEEP! Inside the dimmed-lighted room, the answering machine's replay sound is being sounded. "... Yuu, are you doing well? We are currently leaving to London, and tomorrow, we are heading to Vienne tomorrow... Well, just don't overdo anything... I will call you again..." "Fuu...." A girl switches off the telephone, and smiles with a bit loneliness. The girl's name is Nanase Yuu. There are drops of water dropping down from the end of her shaggy, short hair. Actually, she just took a shower. While drying her hair up with a towel, she dives face-up onto the sofa and stretches her legs out as far as she can. She is not wearing much on her. However, she does not feel that it is dirty to be like that, probably because to her, it is more natural to be like that. In this house, there is nobody else besides Yuu. Both her parents are famous musicians. They live affluently. However, since they have a lot of performances outside the country, Yuu is often left alone in the house. PACHIN. Yuu uses the television remote controller. She forgot since when that she doesn't care about being alone anymore. When she was young, she used to be sad everytime her parents travelled away from home. However, when she is in Middle School, she is fallen in love with being alone so much that she is glad that she is borned in this family. "As usual... it's boring...." Yuu keeps changing the channels on the television. At the next moment, one of the channel is showing the weather report, one of the section of the news report, she jumped up suddenly. "With this weather, I can see it clearly for sure!" Suddenly, her face becomes cheerful. She started dressing herself up with Safari-like short pant and T-shirt with Parka on top of it. After that, she put a small backpack over her shoulder and ran out of the house. "... Oh no, I should lock the door at the very least..." She came back to lock the door unwillingly, after she rushed out halfway. If she doesn't do it, the house cleaner is going to get mad, when she comes tomorrow morning. To Yuu, it's not a big problem, but to the adults, it is considered a very big problem. She has peculiar point of views. She has been like that, since she can start to think for herself. Take for an example, something that happened in the past. "Huh, Yuu-chan, why's that? The color of the Sakura?" -->[Sakura=="Cherry Blossom"] The topic of the art class was to draw a Sakura flower blooming. Yuu was really proud of her drawing, but her teacher gave her a poor review for her painting. "What is this color? Sakura is pink in color, right?" "..." Yuu, who is very sensitive, often got hurt badly by the inconsiderate comments made by the peers. Yuu just drew the painting based on her own feelings and what she saw. -->[She must be color blind. Just kidding :P] "But, Sensei, you said that I should draw what I saw." "That's right! But, there is no such thing as a green colored Sakura flower, right? Please draw it again!" To Yuu at that time, the Sakura flowers really seems greenish white. More than pink color, it is more to that color inside her heart. If there is a true artist there, he/she will probably praise her work with word like "wonderful". However, she is not that lucky to have such a person around her. No matter what the teacher said, Yuu did not redraw the painting with pink color. Yuu led a life trusting her own feelings without any change. Ever since she became a Middle School student, because of that, she seldom go to school. Yuu really hates words like "normal" and "abnormal". Each person has his or her own views of what is normal and what is not normal, but to everyone else, it seems that there is only one kind and they often disagree with her. The people includes her teachers, the world around her and her one time friends. "If nobody understand me, that is okay with me..." She always thought like that. No matter what the other people said to try to talk her out of it, it's useless. That's how she lived her life staying a distance from the others. "Hmmmmmm..." She take a deep breath of the summer air. The street in day time looks exceptionally different, when compared to the street at night time. Yuu loves to walk alone at night. It's not that it is habit of hers or she likes to party at night, it just that night time felt like it has a different kind of warmth when compare to the day time. That's her belief. Yuu knows it very well that it felt great to walk under the starry sky and it is way much better than staying at home. "Fuu... It's going to be a great night..." She looks up in the sky. There are a lot of shooting stars in the night sky. While looking up at the stars, she slowly climb up slowly to the high ground, north of her residence. "Actually, I want to go to the cape, but this year, I will endure it..." -->[It means that she wants to go, but she is not going.] However, when she is approaching the high ground, she felt the presence of somebody there. (There is somebody here.) She begins to look unhappy about it. The last time she came here at night, there were also somebody there as well. A man and a woman were making out there. It's not that she is disgusted by their public display of emotions, she went home quickly, brought a bucket of water and poured on top of them. Because of that, the couple left. She could not forgive the woman for littering the ground with the cigarette butts. (Hm? It seems like there is only one person...) Well, it seems like there is only person there and the person is probably looking at the stars, as he is looking up at the night sky. At the same time, he sighs several times. "Who are you?" "Eh?" Yuu asks him suddenly from behind. That person was surprised and turned to look at Yuu. "Even though you said that, I..." "Hmmmm... Well, it's okay..." By examing the person, he looks like he is of the same age as Yuu. (Huh?) Yuu was confused, as she felt a mysterious feelings about him. When she saw the pupil of that person, she felt that this is not the first time she met the person. It felt as though she has known him since long ago. It's the so-called "deja vu" feeling. In the first place, it's the first time that Yuu felt a person's presence even though she has not arrived at that place yet. "Sorry... Could it be that this ground belonged to your family?" "That's not it... It's just that this is my favourite place..." "I see..." Yuu felt that it is destiny that she met this boy. The reason for it is that her heart is pounding very hard. "Ah... I don't mind... if you are here..." Yuu said that, as she noticed that he is about to leave. "Thanks. But still, there are a lot of shooting stars, isn't it?... Is it always like this in Hiroshima?" "Eh? You are not borned in Hiroshima? "Yeah, I just move here recently..." "Hmmm, I see..." Yuu is a bit disappointed, but at the same time, she is happy. The boy does not know much about the stars, it was out of a wimp that he came here in the first. For some reasons, it makes Yuu very happy. "When I looked out of the window, I was surprised to see so many shooting stars that I came here. I thought that I can see the stars clearer if I go to the high ground..." "I see... then, you are the same as me..." "Eh?" "Tonight is the night once in a year that you can see the Perseus Shooting Stars clearly. I always looked forward for this time of year..." "I, I see... T, that Pegasus..." "Perseus Shooting Stars!" "R, right, Perseus Shooting Stars are wonderful! They are so beautiful, aren't they?! "Yeah..." The boy's pupil is twinkling. Yuu is so happy that her heart is beating very fast. She feels that it has been a long time since she met anyone who would actually said how he or she felt honestly. "Hey, do you want to know a better place to see the stars?" "Eh? Is there such a place?" "Yes, what do you think? If you want, I can show it to you." Even Yuu is surprised at herself for saying such a thing. She already thought of giving up on going to the cape before. Normally, she would never invite anybody to go anywhere herself, but she felt that the boy would come to understand the stars based on her first impression. "Okay, let's borrow this one?" Yuu ride onto the bicycle that is parked there at the road side. "No! You can't do that!" "Eh?" "This bicycle belongs to other people, right?" "That's true, but... it will be fine, if we return it when the sun rise, right? We are just going to borrow it..." "... Even that... it's not good to do it..." "... I see..." "Ah! Where are you going?" Yuu got off of the bicycle, and ran quickly away from there. "I must have made her mad, I guess?" The boy said that when he is being left alone there. He thought that she must have gotten angry at him. When the boy thought of going home, he heard the sound of something braking just behind him, and he turned around. "Ah..." "... If we use this, you don't have any problem with it, right? You don't have to worry, this belong to me..." She went home to get her own bicycle. The boy smiles. "Right!" "Well, ride on it!" "Is it okay with you?" "You better hold on properly! Because I am going to pedal very fast!" Yuu smiles at the boy who is getting on the passenger seat of the bicycle and starts to pedal with all her strength. At first, the boy was confused whether he should hold onto her, but because of the extreme speed, he is forced to hold on Yuu's waist. The boy's heart beat very fast, but it looks like Yuu is not concern about it at all. "Are you alright? Do you want to change?" The boy finally said it, as he cannot stand it anymore. He is too embarassed about it. He is sitting there without making any efforts. "I am fine, I am fine! More importantly, don't fall off, okay?!" However, Yuu continues to speed up and they are on their way to the beach. From where they were to the cape, it is a long slope down the hill. Even if she do not pedal, the speed will continue to increase. "U, uwaaaaaaa!" "Hey, hold onto me properly, so you won't fall off!" When they curving around, they nearly hit the car coming in the oppposite direction. It felt as though they are riding on a Jet Coaster. The boy's embarassed feelings at the beginning is gone that he started holding onto Yuu's waist tightly. "Hey, we arrived..." After an hour or so, they finally reached the beach. The boy is still a bit stunned and is still holding onto Yuu. "... I don't mind, but can you please let go of me?" "Ah! S, sorry!" "Fu..." Yuu felt that it is funny seeing the boy blushed and anxiously let go of her. "From here onwards, let's go there by walking on the sandy beach!" "Okay..." The two of them park their bicycle at the parking lot near the beach, and they start walking down to the sandy beach. They can go there by bicycle, but since they are on the beach, they should at least walk on the sand. "Fufu... It feels great..." "You are right... It feels nice and cool..." In the middle of the blueish white moon light, the two of them walk with the waves hitting their bare feet, while holding onto the sneakers in their hands. The wave which hit their foot, redrew and disappeared under their feet. -->[Hopes you see a wave in the beach before :P] "Lighthouse, huh?" "That's right!" That cape's lighthouse is Yuu's special place. There won't be anybody there at the lighthouse at night. Of course, she had been here several times already, but recently, she was caught by the police and was scolded. So, she stopped coming here. "Are we going in there? It said that trespassers are not allowed..." "Fuu... If you don't want, you don't have to go in..." Yuu looks lonely. She is a bit sad, when she thought that the boy is like the others who is restrained by normality. -->["normality"... I am not sure there is such a word. Basically, it means "what is normal".] "For sure, the stars, that we are going to see from the top of this lighthouse, are going to be very beautiful, right?" But, the boy smiles mischieviously. "Of course! The best in Hiroshima! I can guarantee that!" Yuu was nervous. She was really happy to hear the boy said that. "Here, hold onto my hand... it's dangerous!" "S, sure..." The boy offered his hand halfway up the dark, spiral staircase. Yuu gave him her hand. Yuu remember how loud her heart is beating. It's true that it is dangerous to walk up the stairs, but it had been a long time since anybody worried about her. "Hm? What's the matter?" "No, nothing at all!" (It's not like me at all. My heart is beating very quickly...) Yuu thought of that, as she felt the boy's warmth in her hand. Soon after, when the two of them reached the top of lighthouse, they saw a lot of stars, as though are they falling into the sea in the night sky. From here, it can be seen how beautiful the starry sky is, without anything to block the view. "It's, it's wonderful, isn't it?..." "Yes..." After that, they did not have anything to say to each other. However, even though the two of them are not saying anything, they both trembled with excitement. "Isn't that my Middle School?" "Eh? Is that so? At the end, the two of them watched the stars together until the break of the day. In the bright summer morning sun, they started walking home while pushing the bicycle. The trip back took a long time that it felt as though it will never end at all. "Hehhh... I see..." When Yuu heard from the boy that he is going to transfer school into the Middle School that she is going to, she becomes more and more happier. To Yuu, the stars guides her to her first meeting with the boy. It's true that meeting under the shooting stars make it more mysterious. With this, because of that day, the two of them spent the rest of the summer vacation together. Yuu asked the boy to call her 'Yuu' and the boy asked her to call him 'kimi'. -->["Kimi" means you. It's the way that Yuu referred to the protagonist in SG1, and everyone else too, I believe. :D] "Eh? You want to show you around the town?" "Right... Nanase... No, I mean, Yuu, I thought that you might know some interesting places." One day, the boy asked Yuu to show him around Hiroshima. "Interesting places?" "Well, for example, that lighthouse... Since it is Summer Vacation, I want to have some adventures like that! Ah, of course, only if you are willing to..." "Fufu... It's fine by me! But, you are really weird, aren't you?..." When the boy said the word 'adventures', the boy smiled embarassedly. Seeing the boy like that, she becomes happy. She feels that she has found someone whom she can share all the excitement with. The two of them spent their time together almost every single day. During the summer, the two of them walked around Hiroshima. It doesn't matter whether it is day or night. "Hmmmm, then, you have been travelling here and there in Japan, right?" "'Travelling here and there' sounds cool somehow, but actually, it's because of my father's job..." "I see.. But, I am jealous of you..." "Jealous of me?" "Yes, because, you knew various kinds of sky that I don't know about." "Sky... I thought, they are the same no matter where you are, right?" "That's not true. I believe that each place has its own sky." "Is that so?... I never thought of it that way, but now that you mentioned it, it does feel different, other than the temperature and the town." "Just as I thought..." Yuu is more convinced, after hearing what the boy said. Actually, in the future, she secretly planned to travel around Japan. Ever since them, they visited ravine valley that splitted the middle west of the Japan's mountains. They even walked until the Onomichi to see a stage show. Overall, it was a very fun experience every single day. One day near the end of the summer vacation. Yuu invited the boy to go to her Middle School. "...Ah... Please hide!" "Eh?" "Just hide..." In the Middle School during the summer vacation, other than the people here for sports' club activities in the field, there are not too many people around. Especially, inside the school building, there are nearly nobody in there. Knowing that, the two of them are walking alone the hallway without worrying about it. Then, in front of them, they saw a male teacher dressed up like a judge, and anxiously hide in the shadow of the lockers. The two of them are praying, while waiting in the tight space for the teacher to leave. They realized that they are staying so close that they can feel their breath on each other, that it becomes an awkward situation. "It's safe now! It seems that he left." "Right... Sorry, that is the school counselor. If he saw me, we are going to get into trouble..." Yuu is smiling bitterly. Of course, Yuu is marked by that teacher for missing school. "Here it is! This is my classroom..." "Hmmmm..." The boy look around with interest. Yuu is sitting at her own seat, while swinging her legs. "I wonder where are you going to sit. I will be very happy, if you sit beside me..." "That would be great... Ah, but... It is not decided whether I will be going to this class or not, you know?" "Fuu... It will be alright! For sure, we are going to be in the same class..." Yuu replies with confident. "Why do you think that way?" "Because we are the special two who met under the night sky full of shooting stars! For sure, it is destiny that we met that way..." "I see... Hearing you said that, I also beginning to feel that way too." "Meeting by chance is something that is changed by destiny through time, you know..." Saying that, Yuu smiles. "Yoishotto..." -->[Sound of people using a lot of their energy.] The two of them climbed up the fence, east of the school central garden, to go outside of the school. This fence is much lower than the others. In addition to that, the fence is just in front of the school entrance, so it is much nearer than the school gate. One word to describe that is shortcut. "Hey? It is nearer, isn't it?" "Yes... You always use this way to get into the school?" "That's right! It is the most convenient way, you see..." (While wearing skirt?) The boy wanted to ask that, but he stopped himself. He feels that it is meaningless to ask that question. After all, Yuu doesn't seems to care about it. "I am looking forward to it. From the second school term onwards, I will studying together with you." "R, right... If that is the case, it would be great..." "It will be alright! That is going to be the case..." "No, I am not talking about that..." -->[Yuu is thinking about being in the same class, and the boy... well, you will find out later...] "Eh?" "No, nothing at all!" The boy did not explain what he meant and laughed, trying to avoid the topic. Then, finally, it is the final day of the summer vacation. The two of them came to visit the lighthouse at that cape again. The boy invited her to climb up the lighthouse again to look at the stars. Yuu was really happy about it. These past few days, she doesn't know why the boy was acting so strange and she did not meet him for a couple of days in a row. From tomorrow onwards, the second school term begins. When it begins, they cannot spend time like this anymore. "Hmmm, just as I thought, this is the best place to look at the stars, isn't it?..." "Yeah..." "I will not forget... this starry sky..." "Eh? What are you talking about? Just tell me if you want to see it again! No matter what other people say, I will accompany you here..." "R, right..." Hearing Yuu said that, the boy is somewhere in the sky. Looking down, he looks like he wants to say something. But, at the end, he did not say anything and continued looking up at the sky while putting his elbow on top of the round handrail of the lighthouse. "Hey, Yuu... That shower of shooting stars, what is it called again?" "Eh? Oh, you are talking about Perseus Shooting Stars?..." "Y, yeah, when can we see that Shower of Shooting Stars?" "In summer, that's right, it has been more than a month since we first met... time passes by very quickly, isn't it?" "Yeah..." "We went to a lot of places, is this the place that you like best?" "Eh?" "After all, you are the one who said that you want to come here again." "Y, yeah, kind of..." "That's right! Let's watch that Perseus Shooting Stars again together next year!" Yuu cheerfully said that. She wanted to cheer up the boy who is looking very down. "I want to see it... but..." "Eh... Ah, sorry! It is no use making such a promise now, right? After all, there is no guarantee that our relationship will stay like this until next year, right?" "That's not it... That's not it... I have a lot of fun with you. That's why, if possible, I wanted to stay together with you, but..." "You don't have to say anything! Thank you! You are really kind..." Yuu doesn't feel like listening to what else the boy wanted to say. Somehow, she has some bad feelings about it. The first day of second school term. Yuu shows up at school for the first time in a long time. Until then, Yuu liked to be alone and always skipped school. However, ever since she met the boy, she changed. Having fun together with the boy and feeling the mysterious warmth from the boy, Yuu started to feel like going to school a bit with the boy around in school. Because of that, she feels more cheerful in school. "Transfer student? He probably is not coming to our class, I guess?" "I, I see..." But, in Yuu's class, she did not see the boy around. In addition to that, at the end, she walked passed every other classrooms, but she did not see the boy anywhere. "Excuse, it's Nanase... there is something i want to ask you about..." Finally, Yuu decided to go inside the Teachers' Office to ask about the boy. It appeared that the boy suddenly forced to transfer school again, even though he did not even go to the school once, and moved away to somewhere else. "Ah..." Hearing that, Yuu finally understood it all. What the boy is trying to tell her that time... The teacher wanted to know how did Yuu know about the transfer student, but the words cannot reach into her ears. While the teachers gathered around her due to the fact that she is out of place, she is stunned after she found out about the boy becoming the Maboroshii no Tenkousei. KINKONKANKON. -->[School Bell ringing] At that moment, the school rang. Yuu feels that she was saved. "If you don't want to talk about it, you don't have to, but you should hurry back your classroom! Home Room is going to start soon!" "... I will take the rest of the day off..." "Hey, Nanase! Please wait!" Yuu ran out of the Teachers' Office. She didn't feel like going back to her classroom anymore. As the Home Room began, Yuu is walking alone in the school hallway. Yuu felt the pain of going back to her lonely self again. After that, Yuu who skipped the school, climbed up that lighthouse alone. Somehow, going up the lighthouse, she feel that the boy is there. KACHAA. -->[Door open] She went out in the open, after opening the lighthouse's steel door at the top. "Hey, you are here, right?" But, the boy cannot be seen anywhere. Only the autumn colored sky and a bit cold sea wind patting on Yuu's cheek. "Maybe it's all just a dream..." Yuu said that. For a moment, she thought... maybe the boy and the time she spent with the boy in summer are just illusions. Come to think about it, the boy came during the night of the shooting stars shower, and when the summer is over, he disappeared in front of her. A good way to describe him is Maboroshii no Tenkousei... Somehow, it is so cool that she hated it so much. "He should at least said farewell to me..." Lonely and alone, Yuu looked at the setting sun. Then, Yuu noticed some writings are carved on that round handrail of the lighthouse. SORRY... YUU... GOOD BYE... "Ah..." Yuu immediately knew that the message is from the boy. Right, it is just like the boy, saying farewell like that. "Thank you... Fu... One day, we are going to meet again, right?... One day, for sure... Maboroshii no Tenkousei-kun..." Yuu, without knowing it, back to her old, calm, cool self again. She was happy. Because of that message, she knew for sure that the boy is not a dream or an illusion. After all, she now can remember the time she spent with him during the summer days without the need of worrying whether they are real or not. "Good bye! Let's meet again, okay?!" Yuu screamed as loud as she can towards the sky. So that the message can reach the boy... -->[Basically, she believes that the sky connect her and the boy.] ============================================================================ STORY 08 : ENDOU AKIRA - SAIKOU NO ENSOU (THE BEST MUSIC PERFORMANCE) ============================================================================ After school, violin performance can be heard from the music classroom, which supposed to be empty. Inside the room, a girl is concentrating on playing the violin. She could not play the violin like the way she wanted to, so the tormented look appearred on her face. "It's not good! It's not good! It's completely not good at all." The girl stopped performing and looked up at the sky. The girl's name is Endou Akira. She has white hair band used to fix her bright colored loose hair. Because of the fact that that she has a good sense of using that white hairband, she can be described as a person who care about her outlook. By school regulation, it is not allowed for a girl to wear such a big hair band which really stand out in crowd. But, because she said that she needs the hair band for her practice, she is specially given the permission to wear that big hair band of her. That also shows how much the school expects from her. Endou Akira is a genius violinist who is very well-known in that world. Akira, who has started playing violin since she is very young, has been receiving awards within the Nagasaki area and also around the Kyuushuu area. She has been long called a genius. "Why can't I play well?! Ahhh... It's making me mad!" Even after she starts playing again, she still fails at the same point. It looks like she has been repeating this for several times now. Akira, who is called a genius, after entering Middle School, knocks into a big wall, and currently in a slump. Though, it is pretty normal that a first class musician faces such a thing. "Wait a second, who is there?" Suddenly, Akira called out, it can be seen that there is a human shadow through the door clouded glass. Gacharii.-->[Door opening] The door of the Music Classroom is opened, and a boy shows up. He looks very guiltily. "Sorry, I did not peek at you intentionally." "You... are the boy that recently transfer here..." Seeing the boy like that, her anger is toned down a little bit. It's because she did not expect that it is him. The boy, a few days ago, transferred to this school and to Akira's class. But, even though she recognized his face, this is the first time she talked to him. Akira seems like she did not socialize with the boys in the class. In addition to that, among the girls, she is very special that she is very popular among the boys. The girl's fan does not only consists of people from other classes, but also consists of people from upperclassmen. "Sorry... I don't have any intention of going out with anyone." No matter who make love confession to Akira, she surely said that and ignored him. It seems like she is not interested at all in guys of near her age. But, with the rumours around that she will not spend time with anybody, it can be said that she has the perfect image of an idol in this middle school. Of course, it is also to attract guys to the violin competition. Always, the music relation people try to use Akira as an image of a beauty to grab people's attention. But, recently, she herself is tired of all that. Always seen by someone, always cheered by someone and always expected by someone. That's how much pressure that she has to face up with. But, Akira, due to her attitude, hates to show her hardworking side of herself. (Look really bad, doesn't look very smart) That's what she thought. Because of that, she secretly practised after school at the music classroom without letting anybody knows about it. "I am really sorry, listening there without letting you know my presence. But, somehow, I am really impressed by Endou's performance that I fall in love with the sound..." "Eh? Impressed? By my performance?" "Right..." "Ehhhh, which part?" Akira intentionally asked the boy that mean question. (After all, he probably also say that as an excuse to ask me out, right?) Inside her heart, she thought. Until now, that what the boys did to get close to her. But, by saying this back to them, they cannot say anything in return. "I don't know!" "Eh?" "After all, I am a complete amateur in violin. That's why I cannot tell which part is good, but I am really impressed listening to how you play the violin..." "I, I see... Thanks..." The boy's reply sounded more natural than all the other replies that she got. Suddenly, Akira got interested in this transfer student. An amateur should act like an amateur, she is much more happy to hear words like this than bad praises. She cannot forgive people who acted as though he knows about violin. She hates the people who can say, but cannot do it. (To look good, you need to work hard!) That's what Akira always thought. That's why, every day, she continued to hide herself and practised playing the violin. It's because she is called a genius, she has worked very hard since long ago. Covering with blood and sweat doesn't suit with her, but that is what had supported her until now. The boy, after school, suddenly feel like taking a look around the school alone. On the way, he heard Akira's performance and drawn to this music classroom. Akira, somehow, becomes happy. "Hey, how did you manage to play like that?" "Eh?" The boy's eyes is shining with curiousity, looking at Akira's violin. It's as though he is a kid who has seen a violin for the first time. Akira felt a bit nostalgic for a moment looking at him. "If possible, will you also teach me?" "I don't mind..." "Really! Then, please show me how you play!" (What an interesting person...) Inside her heart, she thought. At the same time, the anger that is dwelling within her has somehow vanished without her noticing it. "Huh..." Akira start to perform again, in front of the boy. Doing that, the place where she has trouble until now, mysteriously work out smoothly this time. (Ufufu... This is strange. Somehow, I am doing better.) Akira was surprised at how relax she is. "Will you teach me again?" The boy said that to Akira, as they walked out of the school gate side by side. "I don't mind, but, please remember the promise that we made just now, okay?" "Yes, the one about not telling anyone about this, right?" "That's right..." Akira didn't want any of their classmates to find out about this after school practice. "I understand, since Endou say it like that..." "I cannot believe it, you actually don't understand at all! This is for your sake, you know. If people are to find out that you spend time alone with me, people will be jealous of you and bully you..." Akira say that teasingly. "Hmmm, I see... I understand, I will be heading this way. See you." "Ah, w, wait a second!" The boy left Akira alone standing there without moving. "I see... You are not going to take me home..." Akira said that with a bit disgusted. "How rude! How can he just leave me like that without taking me home at a late time like this! What should I do, if somebody attack me! I cannot believe him!" If it is the other boys, they will be willing to take her home, but that boy just left. But, opposite to what she said, inside her, she felt attracted to that kind of him. "Will this do? Or for a beginner is..." That night, Akira lined up and compared several violins taken out of their cases. No matter which one, all of them are brand name and they have deep sentimental value. When she takes out a violin from its case, she is reminded of the competitions that she used the violin for. "This should do, right?..." At the end, Akira chose the violin that she used when she started to learn how to play a violin. "Hmmm, I look like a fool! What am I doing!" She packed back all the other violin and leave only one violin on the desk, and Akira ask herself that. "There is no guarantee that the boy will really come tomorrow too!" She thought of that. "Stop it, stop it, I don't have time to think about that kind of things! I have to practise..." Akira started playing again the piece that she is going to play at the competition. After she returned home, she continues to practise... "See, just as I thought! He must have cool down!" That next day, Akira grumbled alonbe in the music classroom. At her side, besides her own violin case, there is another violin case there. This morning, before she left, she reevaluate and decided to bring it for the boy. She is expecting him to come, so that's why she feels a bit provoked. Because of her anger, today's violin practice is as bad as before. "It's all because of him! Really, he is making fun of me!" She felt as though as she is being punished a bit. The anger cannot seems to fade away. And, at that moment, the boy showed up late. "Please forgive me for being late!" "You don't have... Ehhh, you really came? It's all right, after all, I was not waiting for you..." Akira suddenly pretending to be cool. This attitude always gives guys an advantage. "Huh? This violin is? It's not there yesterday, right?" But, seeing that the boy walked towards the other violin, Akira feels a bit nervous. "Ah, yes, this? Well, in a way, I prepared this one for you! After all, I cannot let an amateur play on my violin." "I see, that's true, I probably damage the bowstring, right?" "Kinda... Anyway, open the cover!" "Sure..." Doing what Akira said, he open the violin case and take out the violin. "I will borrow it to you for a while... so how about using it for practice?" "Thank you! I will be in your hand!" With that, from that day onwards, the boy and Akira's strange personal lesson officially began. The boy, for sure, will not become very good, and really don't have the abilities as a musician, but to Akira, it is just time when she cannot help, but enjoy herself. GAGOGIGOKAGOKIGO. --->[Playing the Violin] The sound that the boy made sounded as though it is a bad Sunday construction sound that is harmful to people's ears. There is sweat glistening on his forehead. But, when he finish, he immediately smiles. "I did it! I did it! Hey, I did it!" Just that he manages to make sound with the violin, he is happy. Seeing him like that, Akira smiles. While teaching someone to play the violin, she herself is practising. This, somehow, mysteriously makes her able to perform with peace and calm. That is probably because looking at the boy's innocence, it reminded her of how she is in the past and make her feels gentle. ` "You got better a lot, didn't you?" "It is because of the way Endou teached me, for sure..." "Eh? That is, of course, the truth... ufufu..." Everyday, Akira saw the boy getting better everyday that she felt that somehow something inside her had changed. That is because looking at the boy, she reminded of herself, when she started playing violin that the pain that she has everytime she played the violin is gone and in its place, she began to enjoy playing it. Because of the boy, Akira got out of the slump. She got her confidence back. Until now, no matter how hard she practised, no matter how many she repeat the same score, and the confidence that she did not possessed is... "Hey, how about going for tea?" "Sure..." Akira invites the boy and the boy smile happily in return. The two has became closer and recently, after the practice, the two of them went to a coffee shop called "Kiara". The coffee shop's master is actually Akira's father's little brother, therefore he is Akira's uncle. He opened up his shop at the business district of Nagasaki. Among Akira's father and her relatives, he is the weird one. However, Akira really likes this uncle of hers. "Yo... Welcome, what's this? Akira, after you got a boyfriend, you often showed your face here, didn't you? "Wh, what's that... If you are going to say all those weird things, I am going home..." Akira struggles with her words, when the master said that, and her cheek blushed a little bit and she looks angry. Of course, it is school regulation that students are not allow to go to a coffee shop. "I am visiting my relative...." But, Akira used those words as an excuse. Somehow, she just take advantage of her relationship with the master. Probably because since young, she has been using this excuse to go to this shop, her popularity increased. "Here, the same as usual is okay, right?" "Yes!" The boy energetically replies. Master immediately brought a Kafeore and large number of Sandwiches. It is not listed in the shop's menu, it is a special item. In the first place, it's free anyway. "Come to think about it, Akira, you are playing very well recently, right?" Hearing him said that, Akira looks puzzled. "Why? Why are you thinking like that?" Master pointed towards the Classic Record that is playing the shop's BGM. "Before, when this music was played, you will get angry and said that you didn't want to listen to it, right? But now, you look like you doesn't seems to be bothered by it anymore..." Smile mischieviously, master returned to the counter. The boy looks at him with full interest. "What is this? In front of me, you keep looking at my uncle! How rude!" "S, sorry... But, I just thought that he is cool..." "Cool? My uncle is?" "Yes... A boy always dreams to be a coffee shop's Master..." "Hmmm, I see..." Akira said. Recently, she felt a bit weird, she wants to know more about the boy. "Hey?" "Eh? What is it?" "Is what Master said just now true? Are you playing well recently?" "Yes, it looks like I perform much better than before. Could it be..." (Because of you?) She wanted to say that, but stopped half-way. "I see! It's great! Somehow, I also feel happy for you!" But, the boy did not notice it at all, and smile innocently. (I can't believe this, thick-headed!) Akira let out a sigh. "Then, in a way, it ended today! My personal lesson..." On the last day of third school term of Middle School First Year, Akira informed the boy at the music classroom. From tomorrow onwards, it is spring holiday. During the holiday, they cannot use the music classroom. In addition to that, Akira's competition is tomorrow. So, Akira's practice also ended today. "Really thank you very much... It was really fun." The boy looked lonely and smile. When Akira sees that smile of him, somehow, it makes her feel sad. (When we are in Second Year, we are going to meet again... He is just over-reacting. Well, it's normal to feel lonely, not being able to see me... but, I am not.... what's wrong with me?) It cannot be seen on her face, but Akira actually had started to feel attracted to the boy. She can feel much more relax with him than with anyone else. It probably because for a girl who always fighting in the midth of nervousness, he is the only person she can interact with carefreely. "I see... I am glad to hear that..." (I also, thank you...) Just as expected, Akira cannot bring herself to say that. "Hey, will you walk me until my home for this last time?" "S, sure..." On the way home, Akira said that. Somehow, she wants to stay with him longer and in addition to that, there is something that she wants to tell him. The boy also is thinking about the same thing and smiles. After you finished walking up this Nagasaki's stoned hill road, Akira's house is just right there. At the top of the hill, you can easily see Guraba- mansion. Actually, once in a while, visitors got lost in this area. -->[I think, Guraba-Mansion is where you see the heart stone in SG1 Event.] "Endou, you are a lady, right?..." -->["Lady" here, as opposed to a girl.] "What is that... Don't tell me that you just realized that?" Akira likes the boy like that. "See you, I am leaving here..." "Ah, wait! Here, this..." "Eh?" Akira stopped the boy and gave him an envelope. "It contains the ticket to tomorrow's competition..." "I, I see..." "Please come to see it! I will win it for sure. I also want you to see my glory moment." "Is, is that so?... The competition is tomorrow, huh?..." "Huh? What's the matter?" Akira feels a bit uneasy seeing his lonely expression. "No, nothing at all! Anyway, do your best, okay? You will win first prize for sure, after all, it is you we are talking about." To comfort her, the boy said that and did his best to show her his smile. "Thank you! Just leave it to me!" "That's the spirit! That's the spirit!" "Ufufu, see you then..." Akira felt relief after she gave the boy the ticket to the competition. She just wants only the boy to come to see the competition, no one else. After all, knowing that the boy is sitting with the audience makes her feel calm, and therefore, she feels like she can have her best performance ever. The boy seems to have something to say to her, and she wants to know about it a bit, but that can wait until after the competition tomorrow. After that, she will talk with him about it, as much as he wants. Then, the next day. "I am Endou Akira. Nice to meet you." At the performance stage, after she said her greetings, she looked around the audience seats. She always dressed in short mini-skirt, but today, it's different. She dresses in Evening Dress for the comeptition. She also wore high heels on her feet. Wearing like this, Akira looks more adult and looks wonderful. (He is somewhere around, right?...) Akira searches for the boy as quickly as she can, but she cannot find him anywhere. (He should have sat somewhere in the front... Idiot...) She thought. But, the boy probably sit somewhere at the back. It's more like him that way. Thinking that, Akira slowly started performing her score for the competition. "He is not around." After the performance, Akira did her best to look for the boy at the hall. There is still some time until they announce the winner of the competition. She does not know whether she win or not because they haven't announced it yet, but Akira, for the first time in her life, she felt that she had performed with the best of her capabilities. She released all of her extra energy, and she felt like she had became one with the violin. "I don't care about the result..." Akira really satisfied with her performance, that that is enough for her. "Where is him?..." Akira is searching for the boy who supposed to be somewhere around the place, but cannot find him anywhere. "Endou-kun, you played well." "Your performance today is the best." All kinds of people talk to Akira. But, their voices cannot reach her ears. She had a bad feeling about this. Akira continued to do her best searching for him. "Could it be that, he is here..." She cannot find him anywhere in the hall, so she came back to her dressing room. She just want to try her luck here searching for him, but he is no where around there. "What is he doing! If he said that he did not come, I will never forgive him!" Akira pouted. But, she said it in the same way a girl said it to her boyfriend. "Huh?" For a moment, a bouquet of flowers caught Akira's eyes. Before her performance, it is not there. Akira quickly grabs the bouquet of flowers. At that moment, a sheet of message card dropped to the floor. "Akira... Congratulation on winning the competition! Good bye..." That's what that card wrote. Akira immediately realizes that the flowers are from the boy. "W, where did he go to?! What is this 'Good bye' meant?!" When did the boy left these flowers in her dressing room? Could it be that he is still somewhere around! Thinking that, Akira again goes to the hall. "Oh, Akira, that is a pretty good performance." "Ah, uncle! Do you know where he went?" Coincidentally, Akira met with Master who had came to cheer for Akira. "Ah, 'he'? The boy who you always brought to my shop?" "That's right!" Master was surprised by her strong assertion. "I see, if you are talking about him, he already left. It seems that he is transferring school again!" "Transfer school? W, when?" "He is moving today... Come to think about it, he said that he is leaving by boat..." "Boat? The pier, right?" "Akira... Could it be that you don't know? H, hey, Akira, where are you going?! The prize giving ceremony is beginning!" Akira did not listen until the end, and ran out of the place. She did not know that the prize giving ceremony is beginning. To her, it is more important to see the boy. In addition to that, she has to see him today. "This is... This is not a joke... How can we just part like this! Ah, I cannot believe this!" She cannot ran smoothly because of her evening dress and high heel. Akira immediately decided to tear her skirt, raised them up and tied them to her waist. As if it is mini-skirt, she raised her feet and take out the heels and ran with bare foot, while hugging the violin towards her chest. "This should do it!" Akira ran towards the pier. Normally, if you want to take a trip from Nagasaki, people usually used the Nagasaki airport. To go to the airport, one can either choose to go there by using the road route or by using the sea route. Today, due to the fact that he came to competition concert hall, he took the sea route because the place where the competition took place is near the sea. "... Don't, don't tell me... he already left..." She is out of breath. When she arrived at the pier, from the departure point, the people who came to see people off are coming towards her. Akira started to run again. It's embarassing to be seen like the way she is now, but she doesn't seems to be bothered by that now. "Hah, hah..." BOOOOOOOOOO. -->[Sound of the boat whistle] The boat whistle sounds echo around the lonely area. It was already several minutes, since the boat left the pier. "Id, idiot... At least, let me say my farewell! Akira shouted that, as loud as she can. The farewell paper float with the wind. The wave is moving fast becase of leaving boat. -->[Farewell paper... I don't know how to translate it well... Anyway, it's a custom when somebody is leaving using a boat.] "Why! Why!" Akira also couldn't help herself, but being irritated. In front of her, she can see the boat that carries the boy, but the distance between the boat and her is getting further apart. Of course, she cannot just jump into the water to follow it. "Can I do anything? Anything?" Somehow, she wants to let him know that she is here. Akira, at that moment, realized that she has the violin that she has been holding in her right hand. "That's right..." Akira rest the violin on her sholder, and starts her performance. To calm her heart down, she close her eyes slowly. Doing this, she can hear only the waves and the boat whistle, and slowly she feels calm again. "Please listen to my performance, okay?..." To the boy on the boat, Akira started stringing the violin's bowstring and so, her performance began. The score is exactly the same one, as the one she played in the competition. "Hoou...." -->[sound impressed] Her performance was so beautiful, sad and wonderful that it stopped the people nearby from walking away. It probably is much better than when she played it at the competition. To Akira, it was a last performance that she played for the boy with all her strength and spirit. "One day, when you came back, I will have you listen to... my violin...." Akira's hair flutter with the wind of the sea. She saw the boat off and said that with a sad smile appearing on her face. =========================================================================== STORY 09 : HOSAKA MIYUKI - SHIMAWARETA TANMONO (TANMONO THAT WAS KEPT AWAY) =========================================================================== KIMONO : JAPANESE CLOTHINGS (http://www.asahi-jc.com/vinkis.htm) TANMONO: KIMONO FABRIC (http://www.asahi-jc.com/tanmono.htm) YUKATA : SUMMER KIMONO "Eh? Next Sunday? What is that about, I already said I don't want to do it!" Even though she wears glasses which makes her looks like a role model student, she screamed at the top of her lung, something that when one look at her from outside, he or she will not be able to imagine her using such harsh words. As if to calm her, the madam wearing Kimono opens her mouth. "Calm down, Miyuki, don't say that. You are the only one whom we can count on, right?" "Why's that?! Mother, you can be the model for the Kimono, right?!" "Well, if I can do it, I will be glad to do it. However, the purpose of this is to promote our shop, so it is more suitable to use a younger girl as a model, right?" "Then, how about Onee-chan? Why can't you ask Onee-chan?" -->["Onee-chan" means "big sister". In this case, she meant Yurika-san.] "Yukari already... has plans to go out with a guy..." "She is doing it again, to get away from this..." The girl, whose name is Miyuki, had her cheek swollen. Miyuki's family runs a dry goods shop called, "Kagaya", a Kagayuuzen shop. Because the magazine publisher want to do a story about that kind of business, they requested a Kimono model from them. Miyuki's family have to select the Kimono dress and its model on their own expenses, but in return, the magazine will promote the shop. Kanazawa is a visitor's town. With that as the background, it will be a photograph session of a model in Kagayuuzen's Kimono. For a girl, it is a situatioin that they want to be at, but for Miyuki, it is something that she hates to be in, extremely. She hates wearing Kimono a lot. When she is still young, she always wore Kimono everytime she went out. "I, also, want to try wearing western-clothes with cute ribbon!" That is what she always wished then. Then, when Miyuki grown up and that she can start making her own decision, opposite to her childhood, she only wears western-clothings. However, due to the family business, the thing that happened today, happens once in a while. Until now, she always got forced into wearing Kimono and became a model many times. It's because her family lives on Kimono -->[Because of the family business] and she has the charateristic of not being able to refuse her parents. No matter how hard she tried to reject it, she always gave in to their persuasion at the end. Because of that, her parents always rely on Miyuki more than her big sister, Yukari. The role of good and obedience child is taken by Miyuki. (Onee-chan never play by the rules...) Normally, Miyuki always has something to say about her sister's attitude. But, saying that to Yukari, Yukari will say that if Miyuki hates to do it so much, she should have rejected it herself by making some excuses for her parents. As an older sister, Yukari hates Miyuki's attitude of always submitting to her parents. But, even that, the relationship between the two sisters are not bad at all. "Fu~u..." At the end, giving in to her mother, Miyuki accept the role to be a model for Sunday's photography session. Returning to her bedroom, Miyuki let out a sigh alone. In the first place, the reason why she started to hate wearing Kimono is due to a similar model photo session in the past. "What is that, that outfit! You look like you are in a play about the old days!" "You look weird~!" While she was still in Elementary School, when Miyuki wore Kimono for the photo session, the boys from her class saw her and made fun of her. "Mother, I don't want to become a model for Kimono again, okay?..." "What are you saying? You should be happy wearing such a beautiful Kimono, right? After all, you are a girl..." "B, but..." Miyuki kept quiet after that. She could not bring herself to tell her mother that her friends were making fun of her. She didn't want her parents to worry about her wearing Kimono, after all their family is running a Kimono business. Miyuki is currently Middle School Second Year Student. How to say it, in Middle School Second Year, her classmates should be mature enough and will not make fun of Miyuki, but she still resists the idea of becoming a model for this kind of photo session. (I wish that it rains on that day and the photo session have to be cancelled.) Miyuki secretly wished for that. It's Sunday a week later. Miyuki's wish did not come true and it is a perfect day in Kanazawa for a photo session. Kenrokuen Park in May is beautiful with its new green leaves, and the lake water, somehow, looks very clear. "Okay, Kagaya's Ojou-san, please smile a little bit more!" -->[Ojou-san is a polite form to refer to a girl.] "Eh? S, sure..." The cameraman has to warn her about it several times. She has been trying to make a smiling face, but without knowing it, it looks she is showing an irritated face. "Okay, nice job. We will be finished, after taking a couple more shots." "Fu~u..." Finally, the photo session takes a short break. Miyuki is relieved and sits down at a bench near the lake. Somehow, she is hurting, all over her body. (Why is it so painful to wear a Kimono?... I am beginning to hate it more and more." While thinking of that, Miyuki looks straight at the lake in front of her. There is a boy in the middle of the stoned bridge, walking across from the other side of the lake to this side of the lake. At first, Miyuki thought that he is just one of the visitors. After all, this place is one of Japan's three popular Park, Kenrokuen Park. So, it is rare that you see a person other than a visitor. "H, Hosaka? Is it really you, Hosaka?" "Eh..." Miyuki was stunned, when the boy talked to her suddenly. "You are..." "Just as I thought! Good afternoon..." The owner of the voice is the boy who crossed over the bridge to this side of the lake. Hearing him saying that, she has her concentration fixed on him, and without a mistake, he is someone she knew. More specifically, she first met him quite recently. The boy is a transfer student in her class. As a class representative, Miyuki was asked by the teacher to borrow him all her notes. After that, they have a relationship where they talked to each other once in a while. "W, why are you here?..." "Eh, oh, since I moved here, I thought I should at least visit Kenrokuen Park..." "I, I see..." "Ah, I went Ishikawa Gate just now and came here from there!" Saying that, the boy smiles without any hesitation. Ever since she first met him, Miyuki likes this smile of him somehow. But, this is not the time to say such a thing. "...." "Hmmmm.... Kimono, huh?..." The boy is checking Miyuki's Kimono out immediately. All of the sudden, she expects that hateful memories of hers inside her to repeat itself. "I, I guess, you thought I look weird, right?" "Eh?" She finally said it out. But, for a moment, the boy looks like he don't know what she is talking about and then, he denied it strongly. "That's not true! You really, look great..." "Eh..." "Yes, somehow, I don't how to say it right, but Hosaka looks well in a Kimono, just lovely..." "You, you are lying..." "I am not lying! It's the truth!" The boy said that with a very serious face that Miyuki has no choice but to accept that he is telling the truth. "I, I see... Thanks..." Miyuki said that, looking embarassed. "Ah, look, they are calling for you, right?" "Eh..." Looking at the direction where the boy points, a member from the people in charge of the photo session is waving at Miyuki. It looks like the break time is over. "Well then, I have to go..." "Okay..." "Ah, please don't tell anybody about the photo session today, okay?" "Eh... Sure, but why?" "No reason!" "S, sure, I understand..." Miyuki headed back to the photo session. (Look well in Kimono... lovely, huh?...) In the middle of the photo session, she is thinking about what the boy said just now. Until now, she was never praised for wearing a Kimono by her friends near her age. So, it feels very mysterious somehow. At first, she thought that the boy is just joking around, but from the way the boy reacted, it seems like that is not case. "It is not like I care too much about it..." She tries her best to stay calm, but naturally, she starts to smile. "Huh? Kagaya's Ojousan, did something good happen during the break? "Eh?" "Your smile has became very beautiful!" "T, that's not true..." The cameraman pointed it out, and Miyuki starts to blush. At the end, after that, the photo session continue until late in the evening. They let her go at about seven o'clock at night. "Miyuki, did something good happen to you?" Looking at Miyuki eating a late dinner alone, her big sister, Yukari, asked her. "W, what is that about? Of course not, right? After all, I have to take Onee-chan's place in the photo session and on a Sunday too!" "Sorry, sorry, there is nothing I can do about it. After all, I have a date." "Don't say that! Date or our family shop, which one is more important?" "Of course, date is more important! Well, it is hard for a kid like you to understand such a thing though..." "What is that! Saying that, as though I am an idiot! I also..." To counter what Yukari said, she accidentally slipped those words out, but she immediately stops there. But, seeing her little sister's sudden change, Yukari did not let it past her. "Heh! Miyuki! Did you get a boyfriend? Hey, what kind of boy he is? Classmate?" "T, that's not true! T, that's not it..." "It's okay, please tell me!" "Nothing at all! Thank you for the dinner, I have to take a bath! I am hot and sweaty from the photo session today!" "Hey, Miyuki, please wait!" Miyuki avoids her sister to get away from that dangerous sister and immediately, goes straight into the Bathing Area. Usually, when she or her sisters is taking a bath, her father will get mad at them for staying the bath for too long, but today, she is late because she has a briefing and party with the crew members of the photo session. Her favourite bath time was delayed. In the first place, it is not good for a girl her age to take a bath for just 5 minutes or 10 minutes. It's differenct from boys. There are a lot of places that she needs to brush. "Fuuuu... This feels great~" Inside the big bath tub, she streched both her arms and legs as much as she can. The warm water make her feels relaxed. Just like a family that owns a business in Japanese clothings, inside these genuine Japanese-style home, the only thing that she especially likes best is this bath. The Japanese Cypress bath tub is something that her father himself proud of. She takes in a breath of the Japanese cypress smell. She felt relieved to be out of the Kimono that she wore for the whole day. "But, why is it that the boy's face appear in my mind just now?..." This time she anchors both her arms over the side of the bath tub. Just now, when she tried to snap back at her sister, the boy's smiling face appeared in her mind. "I am pretty innocent... just because he praised me..." Probably because this is the first time she got praised by anyone, so she cannot help it. But, that's probably not the only reason. "Hosaka, sorry, but can you borrow him all the lecture notes until now?" "Sure..." The reason she started talking to him is because of this teacher's request. The teacher asked her because she is the class representative and she is the top student in the class. "Thanks... I will try my best to return these notes back to you, as soon as possible..." Looking at the way the boy smile, she thought that he has a very wonderful smile. That's her first impression of him. Probably, she already felt attracted to him from this very moment. "Hosaka, you look well in a Kimono..." Inside the bath tub, she keeps recollecting what the boy said earlier. "Hey, Miyuki~! How long are you planning to stay in there? Get out soon~!" "Suuuuure!..." Hearing her mother's voice, she returned to harsh reality. "Kimono is not that bad.... ufufufu... just kidding..." But, Miyuki is very cheeful. Ever since what happen at Kenrokuen, Miyuki and the boy had became much closer than before. Miyuki, who is good at studies, helped him prepared for the examination, and in return, the boy talked to her. -->[What a weird relationship...] Currently, Miyuki is having trouble deciding whether she wants to continue her family business in the future. Even that kind of important stuff, she discussed it with the boy. In the first place, she just needs somebody to listen to her. To Miyuki, the reason she discussed it with the boy is because she felt comfortable talking to him. Not in a bad sense, the boy is an outsider who has not been living here long, that's probably why she feels comfortable talking to him. In addition to that, it appeared that the boy had already transferred school several times already, and that's why, to Miyuki, the boy seems more mature than her other classmates. One day, the boy called out to Miyuki, as she was leaving the school gate. "Hey, tomorrow is Sunday. If you are free, will you out with me?" "Y, yeah, sure.... Af, after all, I am free..." Miyuki tries her best to reply calmly. But, her heart is beating too fast. After all, this is the first time a boy invited her like this in her entire life. Putting aside about considering whether this is late or early for a Middle School Second Year student, to Miyuki, this is her special first date. "What should I wear?" That day, after she arrived home, she stayed in her room testing out all her clothes that she has in front of a mirror, like a fashion show. "Huh? Come to think about it, where are we going tomorrow?" After a while having trouble choosing the clothes to wear for tomorrow, she realized that she did not know that important fact. Somehow, it seems funny to her. "Maybe I should wear a Kimono? Ufufufu, no way..." After thinking of that, she started laughing. If she wears Kimono, the boy will probably be too embarassed about it and will try to sneak away. At the end, she decided a safe choice and that is to wear her favourite mini-skirt with soft, brown blouse. "Ah, sorry... did you wait long?" "N, no.... I just came..." The next day, looking at Miyuki who has finally arrived at the meeting place, the boy's eyes light up. Different from the normal role model student, today's Miyuki is a dressed up girl. The only thing that is the same is her trademark glasses. "Well, let's go?" "Yeah." Miyuki was nervous. She is looking forward to where he will take her. In Kanazawa, Miyuki is more familiar with the places than the boy, but today, she let the boy decide everything. "I want to come here..." "Eh? This is..." From the train station, after a couple of minutes walk, the two of them arrived at an art museum. "Art museum..." "Right, there is an art that I want to show to Hosaka." "I, I see..." Miyuki feels a bit disappointed. Just as she thought, the boy thought of her as a role model student who likes these kind of places. The first date with a role model student is to a art exbihition at the art museum. "Huh? Hosaka, I remembered that you told me that you like to look at art." "Y, yes, I like it..." "But, somehow, you look disappointed..." "Th, that's not true, let's hurry in!" (Since this is my first date, I want to go to places like the Amusement Park!) If she can just tell him that, the problem would be solved, but the kind-hearted Miyuki cannot bring herself to say it. In addition to that, she felt a bit happy that the boy remembered her saying that she likes to look at art and invited her to this place. "I believe, it is this way..." The boy really looks like he really wants to show her an art piece. The boy pulled Miyuki's hand along the empty passage in the art museum in a hurry. "Wait, you don't have to be in such a hurry..." While she is saying that, her heart is beating very fast because the boy is holding onto her hand. "I found it! This is the painting!" "Eh?" Finally, the two of them stopped in front of a very big Japanese painting hanged at one side of the wall. That painting is a painting of Kanazawa Tea Shop Street. There is a woman holding an umbrella, and she is walking along the Tea Shop Street on a rainy day. "What is so special about this painting?" To Miyuki, she doesn't know what so special about the painting. Of course, she saw the painting several times before, but she cannot see anything surprising about it. She thought that it is probably the boy never seen the Tea Shop Street before that it touched the boy's heart. "See, inside the painting, the woman is wearing Kimono, right? Just try to think about this painting by looking from the painter of this painting's perspective..." "Eh?" "A while back, Hosaka, you said it, didn't you? About you don't know anything special about Kimono..." "Ah..." It's true that Miyuki discussed with the boy about the main problem about the idea of taking over her family's business is that she cannot see anything special about Kimono. "After thinking about it, this is the answer I got. Sorry, if this sounds strange, but... when I looked at this painting, I thought of this. When you choose Kimono, wouldn't it be interesting if you try to imagine of the person walking along the street wearing that Kimono?..." "...." Hearing the boy said it, Miyuki felt a current ran through her whole body. "Kimono is the same as painting... Tanmono is the canvas..." "Hosaka..." After that, for a while, Miyuki observed the painting carefully until she forgot the presence of the boy beside her. "Thank you for inviting me here today..." "S, sure.... How is it? Is it useful?" "Of course! I felt that I solved my problem! Somehow, it's myterious! When I followed your way of thinking, suddenly, I become interested in Kimono!" "I see, I am glad..." "Thank you, for sure it's all because of you..." On the way back, Miyuki whispered that with her face blushed. "Hey, mother, it's fine with you, right? Please make this into a yukata!" While hugging onto an expensive tanmono, Yukari begged her mother, something that she rarely do. Actually, this happen once every year at this Hosaka household. When the rainy season is over and the summer finally begins, every year, Yukari requested a Yukata to be made for her. Even though Yukari doesn't want to continue the family business, she actually dare to ask for such a thing. However, summer is a popular season for a girl wearing Yukata. To Kagaya, it is the busiest time of the year, similiar to Seijin Shiki (Adult Ceremony) and New Year. "Onee-chan's selfishness begins again!" "What is that, Miyuki! You are too noisy!" "Choose others! You don't have to choose from those that is so expensive! After all, you will wear it only this year, right?" Saying that, Muyuki points at the more popular tanmono. Ever since what happened at the art museum, Miyuki became interested in Kimono and able to recognize the price of the tanmono by just looking at them. "Of course! As a daughter of a family that is running a clothing business, I cannot wear the same yukata every year, right?!" "Yeah, yeah..." At the end, the quarrel with her big sister stops there. Recently, she has been going to the Tanmono room to learn more about them. Actually, Miyuki has a hidden plan. This year summer, Miyuki is thinking of making a new Yukata as well. "Hmmm, to wear for the Fireworks Festival..." From hundreds of Tanmono, she tries to choose one that she likes best. Before, this is something that she will just whine about, but now, it is a time that she spent enjoying herself. "That's right, I should..." Miyuki is thinking about inviting the boy to go with her to the fireworks festival that she went every single year at Takaoka. According to her big sister, to the girls and boys living in this neighbourhood, the night of the fireworks festival is a night to give birth to a good romance. It is a proof that a girl has fallen in love with someone, if the girl wear a new yukata and go to the Fireworks Festival. There are already several girls from Miyuki's class who had already visited Kagaya Shop. Miyuki choose the yukata for some of them herself. Currently, Miyuki really glad that she is borned into a family that is running a Japanese clothing shop. At this age, this is the first time she found out the joy of choosing a kimono. "Right, just as I thought! I will have him choose it for me! Tomorrow, I will do my best to invite him and see..." While looking over the tanmonos, she said that to herself in a very low tone. "Ah, excuse me... please wait." "Eh? Ah, Hosaka... What's the matter?" The next day. After school, Miyuki called out to the boy who is about to leave. "H, how about going home together?" "Yes, of course, it's fine with me.." "I am glad..." Miyuki is relieved. For the past few days, Miyuki has been trying to ask the boy that, but cannot bring herself to ask him. Today, she finally able to do that. "Well..." "Yeah?..." The boy is smiling cheerfully, as usual. Miyuki cannot bring herself to look at the boy's eyes when he is like that, so she looks down and says. "Do you know about the Fireworks Festival at Takaoka?" "Eh? I don't know about it..." "T, that is obvious, right?... after all, you are a transfer student, right?..." "But, it sounds rather interesting, doesn't it? Fireworks Festival, huh~?" "Do you want to go and see it?" Miyuki takes a peek at the boy's face, as she said that. "Sure, I want to go and see it, but..." "T, then, how about going there with me?" "Okay, having Hosaka to show me around, it looks like it is going to be fun..." "I am glad... Another thing, there is something that I want to ask you to do for me..." After hearing his okay, Miyuki smiled and said that mischieviously. "What a large amount of tanmonos..." "Yes, my family shop is a very old shop. In Kanazawa, we probably have the largest amount of tanmonos in stock." "Wow~!" "Hey, it's not the time to be impressed by this, quick, quick! Please choose one by the end of today, okay?" "S, sure..." Miyuki asked the boy to choose tanmono of the yukata that she is going to wear for the Fireworks Festival, so she brought the boy home to choose one from her family shop. Today, her noisy big sister, Yukari, is not around the house. It's a good timing. "Just as I thought, how about this one?" The boy is sweating over this, and finally choose a navy blue tanmono with a picture of a big morning glory flower on it. Actually, this is one of the tanmonos that she likes among the tanmonos. "Actually, I also thinking about choosing this one... after all..." "... after all, it projected the image of the Fireworks Festival, right?" "That's right! Ufufufu..." Miyuki happily hugged the tanmono that the boy chose for her tightly towards her chest. But, several days after, something bad happened that ruined Miyuki's happiness. "Sorry, after all the efforts that Hosaka make to invite me to the Fireworks Festival, at the end, I cannot go there with you." Suddenly, the boy told her that he cannot go to the Fireworks Festival. "W, why's that?... Could it be that you are going with another girl?..." The boy quickly explained the situation to Miyuki, who is suspicious of the boy. "That's not it... I am going to transfer school..." "Eh! Y, you are going to move again?..." But, what the boy said made her more shaken than she ever been. "Yes... Really sorry... I really want to be the first one to see you in that Yukata that I chose the Tanmono for, but..." "I, I see... But, don't worry about it! I won't show it to anyone else..." "Eh?" "Ah... No, nothing at all... Anyway, when are you going to move?" "Tomorrow..." "That's too sudden..." "Sorry..." Saying that the boy really look apologetically with his shoulder sink down. Seeing that, Miyuki thinks of all the things that the boy had done for her and do her best to smile for him. "That's nothing we can do about it... That's too bad..." "Hosaka..." "But, please don't forget about me, okay?... for sure..." "Yes, at this Kanazawa town, I won't forget that I met a girl who looks well in a Kimono, whose name is Hosaka... whose name is Miyuki..." "One day, we will go there together, okay? The Fireworks Festival..." "Sure..." "Until then, I will put away that tanmono, okay..." That was the last conversation that the boy and Miyuki had. The next day, the boy travelled out of Kanazawa. Miyuki could not see the boy off because she has to go to school. Miyuki knew very well that the boy would not be happy, if she went out all the way just to see him off. "One day, one day, we will meet again for sure, right?..." While say that with shaken voice, she put away the tanmono that the two of them chose deep inside the chest drawer. While a drop of tear flow down on her cheek... -->[Please note the fireworks in the background, during the last sentence of the story] =========================================================================== STORY 10 : HOSHINO ASUKA - NAMIDA NO CHIKETTO (TICKET OF TEARS) =========================================================================== "I am in troubleee! I am late, I am lateee!" At the inclining road in the middle of the housing district in front of Yokohama's quiet hill, there is a girl running as fast as she can. This is the route where she usually meet a lot of students on their way to the school, but it is already past that hour and so, there isn't any sign of people with school uniform around. "Ahhhh, I cannot believe it! I wish I had left a bit earlier~." The girl's name is Hoshino Asuka. She is a girl with short hair and have a face of an idol. Her family runs a boutique at the town. The distance to the school from her home is so short that she can leisurely take her time walk to the school, yet it is still a disaster for Asuka. It is still alright... If she runs faster, she will make it... Just need to run a bit, no... have to run as fast as she can, she will make it somehow. She has set the alarm clock earlier, but somehow she overslept. "Hey, Asuka, please wake up! Are you planning to be late for your first day of second school term!" "No way~, I have to shampoo my hair in the morning, even if I am late~!" "I cannot believe it! I cannot believe that this girl is in Middle School Second Year! Summer vacation is already over, you know!" Even after she woke up, she is not moving away from in front of the sink area. She has decided that no matter how late she is, she will not go to school without washing her hair. She always on the lookout for interesting things. Even the morning shampoo, of course, she has started doing it, long before it is popularized. How to say it, she is good at starting doing interesting things early or is very sensitive to the latest thing. Anyway, she is extremely attracted to the newest things around. In addition, she has a pride as a lookout. No matter, what people are doing or what people are crazy about, she has to see it for herself, experience it and decide whether she likes it or not. Things that are out of place, she will not get involved in them and stay away from them. Her home is at the "dressed-up" town and she grows up smelling the air of the area when she walked to and come back from school, that's probably why she is so refined. After all, Asuka's lookout started when she checked up on this town. One day, she accidentally came upon a fashion magazine about the town and started standing reading it. Then, she walked around town comparing the actual experience with the report. Because of that, she discovered a lot of new things that she did not know as a local person. Therefore, from then onwards, she becomes crazy about checking out shops and magazines. In the street that she lives in, she is introduced to the popular spot by the magazine. That somehow makes her very happy. "Just leave it to me, this town is like my home backyard~." Until now, Asuka has been saying that and answering questions that her friends have. Popular spot, tasty candies, cute goods and things that girls look out for are countless in number. There is always not enough time for them all. After the morning shampoo and beautifully blow dry her hair, the citrus smell from her hair start to spread around her, then she started running up the hill road. "This is bad~, I wonder if somebody is going to back me up~." As for the time, it is exactly time for the Home Room. It's time where the students are sitting down at their own places waiting for the teacher to come. Asuka just past through the school gate, and is at the shoe locker area, changing her shoes as fast as she can. Looking around the empty shoe locker area makes her feel nervous. Quickly, she runs up the stair on to the next floor. At the moment she got out into the hallway, it is completely dark in front of her. "Kyaaa!" "Wahh!" Asuka is sitting on the floor. Because of that hit, everything in her bag scatterred around the floor. In the midst of textbooks, there are also magazines and candies. Without examining the things carefuly, by just one glance, you can tell that there are full lines of goods there. "Oh no~, this is bad!" Nervously, Asuka starts packing the things into her bag. When she look around carefully, she realizes that in front of the teachers' office. She is in the most dangerous place in the school. -->[It is against school regulation to bring that kind of stuffs to school.] "Sorry, are you alright?' Looking at Asuka, a boy said with a worry tone. It appearred that Asuka has knocked into his back, when he came out of the Teachers' office. "Yes! Hey, please help me pick up the things!" "Sure..." Having the boy help her, she gets all the dangerous things back to its original place in the bag, and let out a sigh of relief. "Huh? Hoshino, what are you doing!" With that, the teacher in charge of Asuka's class opens the teachers' office door and walks out of there. This is the true meaning of missing by a hair. "Ah, sensei! G, good morning! Ehehe..." Quickly, she starts withdrawing from that place. Of course, she did not forget to signal the boy to keep his mouth shuts with her eyes. "It's not 'Good Morning', you know! You are late!" "S, sorry! But, if I get to the classroom before the teacher, I am not considered late, right?!" Asuka cheerfully smiles and run quickly to her classroom. "Hey you! Don't run in the hallway!" "Suuurrree!" Even though she said that, she still runs as fast as she can. "I cannot believe this... there is no medicine that can cure her..." Saying that, the teacher smiles. Seeing Asuka's cheerful smile, somehow make his anger disappearred into thin air. She has that mysterious power. Because of that, she is also very popular in her class. Without her in the class, it can be felt as though the flame has disappearred. "Because of you, that girl managed to get away for being late one time." With the teacher saying that, the boy shows a smile awkwardly. At the beginning of his transfer here, the first time they met is a big impact for him. Somehow, it makes the boy feels that he can look forward to the days that are to come. As though making the boy have that premonition, the citrus smell from Asuka spread around the area. (It was dangerous~! But, I make it safely~! Anyway, I never seen his face around before~) While thinking about that, Asuka enters the classroom. After thinking back hard, she cannot recognized his face. Asuka, demon who checks on everything, of course, did not leave out checking out on the boys. "Good morning~!" She slides the door open as fast as she can and heads towards her desk. For a moment, the noisy classroom becomes quiet. But, when they find out that it is just Asuka, the classroom comes back to life again. "What is that, 'good morning'! You are late! Asuka!" "The teacher stills haven't came yet~, you are pretty lucky~." From everywhere, people talk to her. Not only that, suddenly all the attention is given towards Asuka. This is what they called the popular one among the popular ones. "Lucky! Lucky!" She jumps on her last step to her seat. "Rise~! Bow~! Sit down~! Immediately, the class representative gives out the signal. The teacher in charge of that class enters the classroom. "I am going to introduce you to a transfer student~!" "Just as I thought..." Asuka snaps her finger and point her index finger. She has never seen the boy before, and that is because the boy is a transfer student. He seems to transfer from Kanazawa. "Well, you can sit at that seat..." "Yes!" The boy answers energetically and started walking towards the empty desk. "The lecture is beginning~!" (Nice to meet you!) On the way towards the empty desk, Asuka wink at the boy and gave him a welcome greeting. Asuka's action makes the boy's heart beat and he walks towards his seat blushed. (Kyaa, he is blushing! Ahh, he is cute~) Seeing the boy like that, Asuka smiled happily. "Thank you for this morning. Because of you, I am saved." "N, no, it's nothing..." During break time, Asuka immediately talked to the boy. "What? What? What happened?" Immediately, a boy who likes rumours starts showing interest in the conversation. With that question, a lot of classmates gathered around waiting for the transfer student to answer the question. "It's a secret between the two of us... isn't that right~?" Asuka playfully said that. Immediately after that, the people gathered around start to laugh. The girl is always at the center of attraction. In addition to that, how to say it, she has lots of male friends. "That's right, Asuka! Let put that aside, what are we going to do this weekend." "Bowling!" "Then, bowling, it is, right?" "I agree, since Asuka say that." "Then, it is decided!" Asuka realizes that the transfer student was not involved in the conversation, immediately talks to him. "Hey, that's right! Are you free this Sunday? If you are, please join us!" "Eh?" "Bowling! Let's go together!" "Is it okay for me to go too?" "Of course! Everybody welcomes you, right?" "Right, you also come along!" With Asuka saying that, all the other boys also agree. "Y, yes, thanks..." "Greeeaaat! Then, this Sunday is Transfer Student's Big Welcoming Competition!" "What is that, ahahahahahahaha" With Asuka saying that, everybody laugh. There is a reason to why the girl is always surrounded by boys. In addition to her wealth of information, Asuka knows a lot of date spot and also, she always went out with guys. Cheerful and easy to approach, Asuka has a character that everybody loves. Because of Asuka, class's boys and girls are very close. There are couples too. Though, Asuka herself doesn't have any boyfriend. She is always the person who is in charge of setting up the event. But, that way, it is more fun for her and that is more suitable for her, that's what she believes. In addition to that, currently, Asuka is not interested in having a boyfriend. She prefers going out in a big group rather than going out alone with another person. There are a lot of things that she has to check on, and don't have time for a guy. Thinking like that, Asuka is probably still a innocent girl. "Ehhh, even in Hokkaido, it is not a grassland in front of the Sapporo Station~!" "Of, of course..." Asuka immediately becomes close to the transfer student. In the first place, she can immediately becomes close to anyone, but after she invites him to the bowling and spending time together, they becomes really close to each other. "Hmmm, I always thought that you see a big grassland after you leave the station." Generally, that's pretty much what a person will think without going to the actual place itself. After all, that's what the place is popular for. Recently, the boy and Asuka has been spending a lot of time talking to each other alone. At the beginning, it is always a big group talks and then, slowly it becomes just a conversation between the two of them. At the end, somehow, it becomes just the two of them. That is how much Asuka concentrate on her conversation with the boy. He had been transferring schools all over Japan because of his father's job. Because of that, Asuka learn a lot about all kinds of places that is unknown to her at the beginning. To Asuka, she enjoys herself a lot listening to the boy's stories because they are refreshing. She hears a lot of things that are not in the guide books. "Other than Kanazawa and Hokkaido, where else had you been?" "Aomori, Hiroshima, Nagasaki...." "That's great! Then, let's hear all information to prepare for it" "P, Prepare for what?" "For the School Trip! Third year's one..." This was Asuka's main purpose. It's for the selection to where to go to during the school trip. From a number of places, three places are chosen. Then, the student choose to go on one of the three places. (For sure! I am going to make the best memories at the school trip!) Just like her, her abilities start to show up. That's how it is, she already started checking up for information for the school trip. She already read half the travelling magazine. After that, she just want to see all the must-see sites, so to Asuka, the information that the boy gave her is very important. In addition to that, the boy who has been travelling a lot, somehow, make him look more mature. That's probably one important reason why anybody is giving so much attention on him. Asuka is jealous of the boy who knows all the things that she herself does not know. "That's right! It will be alright, if I choose the same place to go as you!" "Eh?" "Then, I can have you as my guide to the places!" "W, well, that's true, but..." She always informs people about all kinds of information, and currently, she has somebody else informing her about all kinds of information, so that's why she cannot resists having her complete attention on him. When she is talking to him, she forgets about the time and enjoys herself, even though the topic has not changed a bit. "Hey, hey, let's walk home together halfway!" "S, sure..." "Let's continue from just now... There is a Heart-shaped rock at Graba- Mansion, right?" From break time to after school, as if she is entertainment reporter, she spent time talking with the boy with a memo on one hand. On the other hand, the boy also did not show any expression against what Asuka is doing, and spent time talking to her. "Hey, Asuka, recently, it's hard to spend time with you!" "Th, that's not true!" "It is because of the transfer student, right?" "W, what are you talking about?! That's not true!" "Because, Asuka, when you talk with him, you look really happy!" "Y, you are joking, right?!" "It's the truth! We have never seen such a face before." "Th, that's not true! That's..." "What is that! You don't have to keep it from us!" "Right, right, everybody support you!" One day, the other boys told her that, and Asuka lost in thoughts. That's what other people saw from the outside. "Am I really in love with him?" She asks herself, but there is no answer. Just that, hearing them saying that, it's true that it is several times more fun talking with him than talking with the other boys. She always had been telling people about all kinds of things, but when she is with the boy, the roles are changed, it is him who had been telling her about things. Of course, to Asuka, he is the first boy who has ever done that. So, with that logic, to Asuka, she doesn't think that it is because she likes him. It is true that her first meeting with him is a big impact, but the boy and the other boys are at the same level of existence to her, that's what she thought. So, hearing people saying that, she is really surprised. "Hoshino, somehow, you don't look too well recently, right?" At the end, Asuka got the boy to worry about her, as well. "Eh? Th, that's not it! J, just something..." It is very easy to tell when the cheerful Asuka has something to worry about. (This is bad~) After that, Asuka has strange awareness of the boy. Whenever the boy talks to her, it always became an awkward situation immediately. (What should I do...) That's when Asuka started to realize that she likes the boy. She didn't know why, but she really want to talk to the boy. "Hoshino... Well..." "Ah, sorry... Today, I am busy..." As though she is trying to avoid the boy, she withdrew from there. But, one day, something happened that make Asuka shocked. She heard the rumour that the boy is going to transfer away from the school. "Y, you are joking, right?! Don't say such a ridiculous thing!" "It's, it's the truth! After all, I heard it from him himself... Asuka, you mean, you are telling me that you did not hear it from him?" (Th, that can't be true... what should I do...) Asuka was shaken by it. When she starts to think that the boy will soon disappear from her life, she feels pain in her chest. (Anyway, I have to make sure...) After school, Asuka is standing alone at the school entrance waiting for the boy to go home. That day was very cold since morning. To a girl, it is a tough season. In addition to that, that day, the boy doesn't seems like he is going to appear any time soon, and it is has became very late, as there are no signs of anybody around any more. "Huh? Hoshino, are you going home now?" "Y, yes..." Asuka did not say much and look down towards the ground. She planned to ask him immediately when she saw him, but she cannot say anything after seeing him. "Here, come in! You forgot to bring an umbrella, right?" "Eh?" The boy smiled gently at her, and spread open the umbrella. It seems that he thought that Asuka forgot her umbrella. Outside, it looks like it is snowing, which is rare in the Kantou area. The reason why it feels so cold. "Here, let's go!" "S, sure..." Asuka goes under his umbrella. Of course, Asuka did bring her umbrella, after all she checks the weather report every week. But, today, she left alone her favourite red umbrella at the bottom of her bag. "H, hey? Can I ask you something?" "Wh, what is it? Why so suddenly?" Asuka brought out her courage. If she doesn't ask him now, she doesn't know when she can get another chance to ask him. "I heard that you are transferring away from the school, but... that's a lie, right? Right?" "It would have been great if that is a lie..." The boy looks lonely. "Th, then, it is true? You are going to transfer away from our school?" "Y, yes..." "Wh, why didn't you tell me about it until now?" "N, no, I want to tell you immediately, but recently, we have not been talking much... it's hard to talk to you... Somehow, it feels like you are avoiding me..." "Th, that's not it..." "Unfortunately... I cannot go on the school trip with everybody, I have been looking forward to it, though..." Saying that, Asuka cannot bear looking at him smiling any more. Tears are coming out. "Ah... I, I got something I need to do..." "Eh?" "S, see you! Bye, bye!" "Wait a second, Hoshino! Wait! You are going to catch a cold!" Asuka ran out from under the boy's umbrella. It's because if she stays there, he probably will see her tears. The snow somehow have becomes partly frozen rain and the cold rain falls on Asuka. "What should I do? What should I do..." Asuka repeats that to herself, as the rain and her tears flow down at her face. This time, she finally realized her true feelings. That she really love the boy... The next day. Asuka asked the boy to come the bicycle den because she really want to talk to the boy. That is the resolution that she has thought of for the whole night the night before. "Ah, Hoshino... Sorry, did you wait for too long? Were you alright yesterday? Wasn't it cold?" "No, I am fine... More importantly, this..." "Eh?" That day also is exactly like the day before, it was a really cold day. Asuka's body is cold to her bone, but somehow, she manages to smile and gives the boy a movie ticket. "Tomorrow is Sunday, as a parting activity, why don't we two go and see the movie? Hey, okay, right?" Asuka suddenly looks serious. Until now, she has never shown such a serious face when she ask a guy out. "Y, yeah..." "Before you transfer away... I want to make some memories with you who I finally met." With all her heart, Asuka confessed. "I understand... Thank you... Hoshino..." Whether the boy has realized Asuka's feelings, his smile answered it. "This, will go well, right?..." Asuka dive into her bed, and stared at the movie ticket. The bicycle den is really cold that, somehow, she still feels the cold. When she got back, she immediately took a bath, but it still feels cold that she decided to sleep in early that night. "After all, it is this movie..." She said that she wants to make memories with just the two of them before he transfers away, but actually, there is another reason. Actually, there is a rumour that when a couple goes to see this movie, they will end up together. Because of that, Asuka wants to go to see the movie together with the boy, no matter what. If the rumour is true, for sure, she will end up with the boy, and the story about him moving away will disappear into thin air. Looking at her, she is the same as usual, she looks calm, but actually, inside her, she feels her heart was beating really fast. (What if he rejetcts me?) That thought is mixed up with other thoughts. "Just as I planned, tomorrow... I will do my best to confess my love... It's my last chance, after all... I probably will never see him again, after all..." Asuka again made another important decision. "Hmmmm, I cannot sleep~." Inside the futon, weirdly her head is too excited for her to sleep. Somehow, she feels too excited too. Her body feel hot like fire, and because of that, she cannot think straight. Asuka thought of her body changes, as a sign of over-excitement. After all, it is the first time that she goes out with a guy alone. Come to think about it, she felt that she is looking forward to this several times more than when she was going out in a big group. And, this is the first time that she finds out that going out alone with another person, could make her heart beat so fast. "Ah! Oh, no! It's already past promised time..." But, the next day, when she woke up, it already thirty minutes past the promised time. The alarm clock is off, that she cannot tell whether it had rung or not. Asuka tries to remember what happened last night. "I, I feel thirsty~." Dizzily, she stands up and starts walking down the stairs to the living room, where her mother is doing accounts on the sales of her boutique. "Mother, water~." "What's the matter! Asuka! Your face is bright red!" "Ehhh... Is, is that so? ... W, water..." After that, Asuka could not remember anything. "Wh, what should I do?" Asuka got up in a hurry. At that very moment, her mother enters the bedroom. "Are you alright? You got a very bad fever!" "Eh?" "I am really surprised, you know. After all, you suddenly collapsed, after you got downstairs yesterday night..." It seems that Asuka caught a cold and got a high fever. When her body felt hot and she felt a bit excited, they are actually signs that her body is going to collapse. Come to think about it, having hit by the partly frozen rain and waiting at the cold bicycle den are probably the reason why she caught a cold. "Today, you better rest the whole day!" "Y, yes..." (Is it okay for me to go out for a while?) Asuka planned to say that, but decided against it. For sure, her mother will not agree to let her go out. That's what she believe that her mother will react. The time is already past ten o'clock, and it is nearly time for the Boutique to be opened. Finally, her mother left for the shop. Asuka is waiting for that very moment, and started dressing up. "Please wait... I beg you..." Asuka left the porch of her home at about 10:30 AM, and ran towards the movie theatre. The fever is not down yet, after all, her body temperature is 39 degree Celsius high. She is doing her best, running as fast as she could, even though she cannot think straight. Somehow, her chest hurts. Asuka didn't have the extra energy to decide whether the pain comes from the fever or from her heart. It feels as though it is a neverending dream, where she continues to run. "Please wait... Please wait... I beg you..." As she continues to run, she keeps repeating to herself those words. But, when she arrives at the theatre, her prayers did not come true, there is no signs of the boy. Asuka feels as though the front of her has darkened, and without thinking much, starts to withdraw from that place. "Please forgive me... Please forgive me..." Saying that, she started to cry. "Ah, Asuka! Where did you go? You have to rest!" "Mother, hey, when I was not around, was there any phone calls for me?" With heavy weighted feelings, and dragging her feet, she somehow managed to get home, ask her mother that ignoring what her mother said. She thought that the boy probably called her. "There is none! I cannot believe this girl!" "I, I see..." "Please rest! Until your cold is gone, you are not allowed to go outside!" "Y, yes..." With that, her hope was crushed. "What should I do... For sure, he is so mad that he just went home... what should I do..." That gentle boy did not call her. That means that the boy is extremely mad with her. Thinking that, Asuka cannot help but feel sad. "That's right! I will call him!" She wants to let him knows that she has done it on purpose, as soon as possible. A minute earlier, a second earlier. "I cannot get through to him... Why..." But, no matter how many times she tried to call him, she cannot get through to his house. At the end, Asuka gave up and that one day, she cried on her bed. This is probably her chance to have first and final date with the boy and to think that it is gone, make her very sad. "Anyway, tomorrow, I go to school and apologize to him immediately." Asuka swore that she will do that. but, that did not come true. Because she had pushed herself to the limit by running with all her strength with a fever, the fever got worse, and forced her to take a whole week off from school. "Good morning..." "A, Asuka... Are you okay now?" "Yes." It has been a while, since she came to school, that she feels that the people around her seems different. Somehow, they look worried and hiding something, that's what she feels. Asuka also feels that her heart beating really fast. She doesn't know what kind of face she should put up, when she face the boy. "Huh?" But, the familiar looking boy is nowhere to be seen. It is an empty desk without its owner. (It's weird, is he taking the day off?) A classmate explained it to her, while she is thinking of that. "Eh... He already moved away? It, it cannot be true..." The boy already transfer away from the school. Asuka stood there shocked. She cannot help herself, but be regretful and sad. The boy will continue to think of her as a bad girl who broke that important promise. Inside the boy's memories, she probably continues to be the hateful girl. When she thought of that, she cannot let go of her feelings. "Heeeey! Which course is Asuka taking?" That day's homeroom, as though it is sarcasm, the students were making decision to where they want to go on the school trip. But, staying away from her excited friends, Asuka looked at that movie ticket. "One day, I will be able to apologize to you, right?... Until then, I will hold onto the this ticket..." Whispering to herself, she folded the ticket and carefully put into her wallet. ========================================================================== STORY 11 : SUGIHARA MANAMI - MIENAI TSUBASA (THE INVINSIBLE WINGS) ========================================================================== In the middle of the refreshing summer beginning, greenery that is gentle to the eyes, the sound of the flowing water in the small river that made the heart feels at peace, and the small forest are covered with air that make the chest feels good, there is a girl dipping her bare foot into the water. The small birds are singing happily and the small animals are in wariness, as they gathered around the girl. The girl's name is Sugihara Manami. Her white skinned body looked as though that if somebody is to try to hug her, her waist will be broken into two. Her black hair stretches until that thin waist of hers, and it looks a bit silverish with the sunlight shining on top of it. Her eye pupils show small signs of loneliness and sadness. "... Everybody, are you all feeling well today as well?" Several birds came to Manami who is sitting on top of a little bit big rock. Seeing that, Manami smiles gently. This is the mountain behind Manami's house. More than a mountain, it is more like a forest, is Manmi's favourite place. While reading her favourite poetry and relaxs like this, she feels as though that she herself becomes one with the nature. Manami takes out a piece of bread from her skirt pocket and offers it to the birds. Immediately, the birds happily started to peck at the bread. They are quite familiar with Manami that they land on top her hips and shoulders and they tries to cheer her up at the side of her ears. "Fu~u... At the end, I take a day off of school again..." Manami released a small sigh. She almost never went to school at all. Manami, who is borned with a weak body and always resting, lost all the wills to go to school. Ever since becoming Middle School Third Year, she stopped going to school after first day of school. "... I wish I also can fly at the sky like you guys..." Manami looked at the bird envily and said that. As the sun is setting, after returning from the back mountain, a boy, who she never seen before, called out to her in front of her house. "Ah, excuse me!" "Ah, yes... w, who are you?" She asks warily. Manami's home is located at the outskirt of Takamatsu city and is popular enough for it to have a nickname of Sugihara's Big Property. Her father is a member of parliament for that prefecture. The house is located deep inside the mountain, and this whole mountain is called Sugihara Mountain. Normally, it is rare for someone to come visit here. The people who come up this slope are people who came to visit her father using a automatic car. So, it is really rare to see somebody walked up the slope to come here. "Sugihara... Manami-san?" The boy's face bright up and he smiles at Manami. There is drops of sweat on his forehead. Manami is getting more and more nervous. She is not good at talking with people. Especially if the person is a male. "Y, yes... That's true, but..." "Ah, here!" "Eh..." The boy takes out a piece of paper from his bag and gave it to her. That was Mathematics Printout. "The teacher asked me to deliver this... See you!" "Ah..." Without giving a chance for Manami to thank him, the boy ran away from there. "Ah, thanks..." Manami said her thanks, even though he could not have heard her saying that anymore and saw the boy off. Ever since that day, the boy frequently visited Manami's home. Actually, without Manami knowing it, the teacher in charge of their class asked the transfer student to encourage Manami who has refused to come to school. But, of course, there is no way that Manami could have found out about that. "Good afternoon, today, I brought English Printout for you." "Is, is that so?..." The boy always finds a reason to come visit her. When the boy first came to this house, he could not forget her lonely look and he wanted to do something to encourage her, from the bottom of his heart. So, almost everyday, he showed up at her house. -->[Stalker] "You always hold onto that poetry collection, right?..." While the boy is looking at the book of poetry collection in Manami's hand, he said that. "Y, yes... Because I love it..." "Hmmmm, what is it called, the poetry collection?" "Eh? It's called "The Invinsible Wings"... I like the poems that this poet wrote the best..." With just this normal conversation, somehow, it cheer up Manami's heart. The hardened heart of Manami who always thought of herself being alone started to melt steadily with the boy's kindness. "Here... The book that you asked me to get..." The boy gives Manami an old covered book. That is the other poetry collection by her favourite poetry author that she really wants to read for a very long time now. "S, sorry... for asking you to do this..." Manami is sorry to have bother the boy. She really wants to read the other poetry collection that she asked the boy to borrow it from the school library for her. Ever since she asked the boy to do that for her, she regretted it deeply for asking him to do such a thing for her. "I don't mind about it at all! From now on, please feel free to ask me to do anything for you! I will borrow as many book as you want..." The boy smiles, as he said that. Manami is thankful deepful to the boy. "Ah, thanks..." Slowly, Manami opened her heart out for the boy. Finally, Manami's heart also started to point in the direction of the boy. "Manami, don't you feel lonely being alone all the time?" "Eh?" One day, the boy asked her that. The boy started to call her "Manami". That is because even though they are of the same age, the boy thought of her as a little sister. -->[When you called somebody by first name, you are really close to that person.] "I, I am not feeling lonely... Af, after all, being like that, I feel more at ease..." While saying that, she felt pain in her chest suddenly, as she thought that the boy might stop coming tomorrow. Actually, she really felt lonely being alone all the time. Manami is very lonely that she can hardly sleep at night and day. To Manami now, the boy, who often visits her because he is bringing things for her, is the only thing that make her feel at ease. Nowadays, she really looks forward to the boy coming to visit her. "Manami, why don't you come to school?" "Th, that is because..." "I heard that you are sick, but you look really well..." "Being alone like this, I feel fine... But, when I am with a lot of people, I..." It's true that even the doctor also told her that her body no longer have any more problems. After that, it's just spiritual problem. "It's because you said that, that you feel that you need to keep your distances from other people, right?" "Th, that might true, but... I am different from normal people..." "Manami is a normal girl! Please have more confident with yourself! I guarantee it!" Saying that, the boy smiles. "But, I always gives people trouble... and there is no one that needs me... so, it is better that I stay like this..." "Do you really think that if you stay like this, you won't give anybody any troubles? You are wrong about that!" "Eh?" "Everybody is worried about you, right? The teacher, your parents, and also... me..." The boy looked embarassed. "Ah..." "People cannot live alone! Even though you might think that you are giving people trouble, you actually might not be giving them any trouble, and even though you might think that you are not giving people any trouble, you actually might be giving them trouble, you know..." "But, I cannot do it! I don't have the courage... Not yet... I don't want to go to school no matter what..." Manami finally started to cry. The boy also nervously started to confort her. "Sorry... I did not plan it to sound that way... I just wanted to encourage you, Manami... Sorry... I am too thick-headed, after all... I do not know Manami's pain, right?... For a healthy person like myself, I, for sure, do not know the pain and suffering of the weak... sorry..." The boy looks apologetically. Hearing the boy saying that, she felt hurt more and more in her chest. She knew that what the boy said is right. She is probably just running away. She thought. Long ago, this never happened before. At least before Manami's father became the member of the parliament... her father is kind and often played with Manami. But, since one day, her father started to work a lot and did not stay much at home. Ever since then, Manami started to refuse to go to school. "See you, okay?..." When the boy is about to go home as usual, Manami called out to him. "Ah, excuse me..." The voice is very soft. "Eh? What is it?" "... Tomorrow is Sunday. If possible, how about you coming here and play with me? Manami finally managed to say what she wanted to say. Her cheek is deep red. "Tomorrow?" "Ah, if you cannot make it, it's fine... That's right... After all, you must be looking forward to taking a break from school, right?..." Without giving the chance for the boy to answer, Manami quickly said that. For Manami who is afraid of getting hurt more than anybody else, by saying that, she can easily get out of the situation if the answer is no. "It's fine with me! I am free the whole day tomorrow!" "Eh? Th, then..." "Right, I am coming here tomorrow too! Let's play!" "R, right..." Manami happily looked at the boy, as he left. "I will let that person see, my favourite place..." Manami decided to bring the boy to her favourite place. Until now, she had never brought anybody to see that forest. She wanted to erase the hard feelings that she has caused by crying, by showing the boy the forest no matter what. Then, the next day. The two of them went to the forest at the back of her house. "...Here is it... Isn't it beautiful?" "It really is... It's as though we are in a different world, right?... This piece of land belongs to your family too?" "Yes... That's why almost nobody knows about this place... ufufufu" Hearing that the boy is so impressed with the beauty of the forest, Manami becomes happy. "It feels really great, if you do this." Manami takes off her shoes, and starts to create ripples in the small stream using her bare feet. While holding up her skirt a little bit, Manami continue to splash the water in high spirits. The boy is dazzled looking at her like this. "Manami... You look beautiful..." "Eh?" Hearing what the boy said that, she gets nervous. "Th, that can't be true, you are lying..." She is so nervous that she loses her balance. "Kyaaa!" "Look out!" The boy hug onto Manami to stop her from falling. "Are you alright?" "Ah... Y, yes..." Manami's heart is beating so fast that she started to worry whether the boy could hear it. Just in front of her is the gentle boy's face. Manami started to blush on her cheek. "Ah, excuse me... I am fine already..." "Eh? Ah! I see, s, sorry!" This time, the boy's face became red, as he started to withdraw away from Manami. There is an awkward silence. "The water looks transparent, isn't it?..." A forest that never been touched by humans is really beautiful. The water in the river is twinkling, shining brightly. The boy tries to cool himself down by splashing water on his face using both his hands. "Fuuuu" He releases a sigh and tries to dry his face using his shirt. "Ah, h, here..." Seeing that, Manami smiles and offers him her handkerchief. "B, but, I don't want to trouble you..." The boy refuses, but Manami gently shakes her head from side to side. So, he takes the handkerchief from her hand and starts to dry his face. There is a sweet, gentle smell of Manami from that handkerchief. The boy starts to blush again. "Ah, thanks..." "Don't think much about it..." The two of them sit on top of that rock that Manami always sat on, when she is alone. As usual, she lays down that poetry collection book on her lap. "In this Poetry Collection, which poem do you like?" "Eh?" "Somehow, I am really interested in it." The boy said with a smile. Manami looks embarassed, starts flipping over the pages and reads it with a cool voice melodiously. -->[Basically, she reads poem like the way people normally do when they read poems. It is not the same way, as when you read a story book, FYI.] Spread open the invincible wings, and fly into the big sky Everybody carries a pair of wings in their hearts... If the gentle, soft, white wings Is to receive courage from someone... For sure the wings will be spread And one day, with the courage in the heart She/He will fly into this big sky... After she finished reading it, Manami slowly closed the book. The boy, who is listening with his eyes closed, smiled at Manami. "It is a very nice poem, isn't it... Somehow, I feel like I am getting courage myself..." "Yes... While reading this poem and listening to little birds singing, I feel as though I am getting more and more energetic..." "More energetic, huh?... Hm?" Saying that, the boy strained his ears to listen for something. "W, what's the matter?" "Shiiiiii! Right, this way!" The boy suddenly stands up and goes much deeper into the forest. "W, wait!" Manami quickly chases after the boy. The boy stops under a big greyish tree and goes down on his knees. "What's the matter so suddenly? AH!" Manami looked over the boy's shoulder and saw a baby bird laying there. The baby bird is chirping weakly. "I bet, it fell down from its nest..." The boy looks up the tree in front of him. "H, how pitiful... Wh, what should we..." Manami didn't know what to do and started to cry. "Don't cry, Manami. Anyway, we should take it to your house!" "R, right!" The boy wrapped the baby birds with Manami's handkerchief and stood up. The baby bird's chirping is getting weaker and weaker. "Let's hurry!" "Right!" The two of them ran out of there. "Make it feel warm, as much as possible!" "R, right!" After returning to Manami's room, the two started to treat the baby bird by following the instructions from a picture book of birds. They take out Kotatsu and put the baby bird in a nest on top of it. Currently, it's summer. The temperature is very high to a human, but the bird's body temperature is near 40 degree Celsius. If they make it a bit hotter than that, it's fine. -->[Kotatsu is that strange table that is used to heat a room. You often see it in Japanese home. You see it in a lot of anime too. Let's take the popular Love Hina, as an example. Watch the episode where Mutsumi-san, Keitarou-kun and Naru-chan goes to Mutsumi-san's apartment for the first time to "study". The thing that she brought out is Kotatsu.] "Ah! It drank! This baby drank the water!" Manami happily raised her voice. She managed to get the bird to drink two, three drops of water using a "thing". -->["thing"... I forgets what this is called in English, but it is the one with the rubber at one end. When you press and release it, the water is sucked. When you press it the water comes out.] "I am glad! After that, don't hurry yourself, continue to give it water slowly, okay?..." "Okay!" Finally, Manami smiles cheerfully. "But, Manami, I was really surprised that you are so good at giving the bird water like that. In addition to that, this bird nest... Did you have a bird for a pet before?" "Yes, I had a Tenori no Inko..." -->[I believe, it is a parrot. I found this picture of an Inko in the internet. http://www.kai.ed.jp/ryu/singenp4/20-5.jpg] When she is in Elementary School, she has a Tenori Inko for a pet. Because of that, Manami knew how to give water to a baby bird using a tube. "Hmmm, I see..." Manami looked lonely, so the boy stopped pursueing for more information from her. "It is going to be alright... I will be together with you for the whole night tonight, okay?..." Manami talked to the little bird. Even after the boy left for home, Manami continued to look after the bird. Somehow, she wants to save its life. She thought. The boy said that he will be coming the next day to see how it goes. "For sure, for sure, I will save you...." Manami said that as she looked over the bird. "How is it?" "Well, somehow, it seems like it can get up on its own already!" "I see, I am glad!" The next day, as promised, the boy came to see how it goes. In his hand is the baby bird feed that Manami asked him to buy from the Pet Shop in town. It is well-balanced nutrition ball millet. Immediately, Manami takes it, put it in the hot water and tries to feed the baby bird slowly. "Here, please eat it! You won't get well, if you don't eat it!" But, the baby bird hardly opened its mouth. Manami, for a moment, see herself in the baby bird. It is in pain, but the people surrounding it also are in pain worrying about it. For the first time, Manami learned the feelings of the people who is worried about her. "I beg you! Please eat it!" As though Manami's thought has reached the baby bird, the bird's head start to lean over to drink the ball mallet. "Ah! It ate!" "I am glad... I bet, it will be fine now!" Manami started to cry happily. The wild life has their own power of healing. After eating the bird feed and get its strength back, it will survive somehow. Several weeks pass by... With the two of them taking care of the baby bird, the baby bird is completely healed. Inside the nest, it started to spread open its wings. If it is still in its own nest, it probably should be standing in the nest by now. "Look, Picchi-chan has became so energetic already..." Manami cannot help, but be happy. This is the first time she ever felt useful to anybody. The boy is smiling, looking at Manami. She got so fond with the baby bird that she even gave it a name. "Manami, what are you going to do with this bird?" "Eh? What do you mean?" "Are you going to keep it as a pet? Or return it to the forest?" Being asked that carefreely, for a moment, Manami is lost for words. But, immediately, she replied. "I am going to return it to the forest! That way, it is better for the bird!" "I see, I also feel the same way, but... are you going to be okay with it?" The boy feels mysterious that Manami decided it so easily. "Long ago, when my pet, a Tenori no Inko, passed away, I swore to myself that I will never have another pet bird of my own!..." Manami said. "I see... Then, let's return it to the forest now!" "Eh? Today? To the forest now?" She started to have second thoughts, when the parting with the bird is going to become a reality suddenly. It had been a month since she started taking care of the bird that she felt attached to it. When she started to think that she is going to live life without the bird, she started to feel lonely. "Right! If you want to return it to the wild, it is better to return it as soon as possible!" "You are right... I understand!" Manami threw away her second thoughts. It is better for the bird, if they return it to the forest as soon as possible. If it get too used to humans, it won't be able to survive in the wild. "For sure, one day, you will meet it again!" "Right!" It's true that if they return it to the forest, they probably will see it again, if it stays healthy. Manami has decided it concretely. When they arrived at the forest, they tried to release the bird under the tree where the bird was found. "It is going to be alright! Picchi-chan, you should be able to fly!" But, the bird hardly even try to stand up and fly from Manami's hand. She sees her coward, crybaby self in the bird who doesn't want to get hurt. "Please do your best! I beg you!" Manami continued to cheer the bird on. The boy is looking at her like that kindly. "Ah!" "It, it flew! It flew!" Finally, the bird energetically stood up and flew. As though it is trying to say its thanks to Manami, it chirps loudly and flew into tht big, blue sky while flapping its strong wings... Manami is so touched by it that she started to cry. "It's great, isn't it?..." "Y, yes... T, this is the first time I ever felt like this! Until now, I always relied on somebody else and always thought that I cannot do anything by myself..." "Manami..." "But, now, I can strongly disagree with that thought! Even though you cannot fly into the sky by yourself, you can fly if there is somebody to help you. I learn that today..." Manami is really happy. "Next time, it is Manami's turn to fly." "Eh?" "You yourself can fly as well!" "D, do you really think so?..." "If you are afraid of getting hurt, you will never be able to find courage within yourself! Remember, the poem that you love so much also said that 'Everybody carries a pair of wings in their hearts'... Isn't that so?! Hey, bring out your courage, just like that bird..." The boy said that to encourage Manami. Manami smiles naturally. "... I, I am going to school from tomorrow onwards!" "Manami..." "It's because I received courage from you. After all it's you who always has been there to encourage me..." Manami looked at the boy with her watery eyes. To her, the boy's warmth is something that cannot be replaced. And she likes the boy more than anybody else. "From now on, please look out for me forever, okay?..." Manami's cheek started to blush and she leaned onto the boy. "O, okay..." But, the boy, somehow, looked a bit lonely. The next day, morning. As she promised the boy, Manami came to the Middle School, a place that she had not went to for quite some time now. She came about an hour earlier before the first lecture begins, so there is no one around. Manami quickly headed for the teachers' office. First, she wants to apologize to her teacher in charge of her class for all the troubles that she had caused her. "Good morning." "Sugihara-san, you did well coming to school." The female teacher in charge of her class, said that to welcome her. But, after the greeting is over, Manami heard from the teacher, a very sad thing. "It, it can't be true... You, you are lying..." "It's the truth..." That boy, who had continuuously been there to cheer Manami on, tranferred out of this school this morning suddenly. Manami is stunned. "I, I... Excuse me!" "Wait, Sugihara-san!" Manami ran out of the teachers' office. Her decision that she decided for herself is detroyed. She cannot do anything without the boy. She probably going back to her old self again. "I cannot do it... Just I thought... It's impossible... without you..." Her tears flow down her cheek. Manami headed for her own classroom. Before she headed for home, she wanted to see the classroom that the boy spent his time in. "I thought that I can sit here and study together with him everyday from today onwards..." Manami said that, as she sat down at her own seat in an empty classroom. The boy is no longer here. Manami hated the fact that she could not even say her farewell to the boy. No, actually, she felt lonely that the boy left without saying anything to her. "Ugh..." Manami put her head on the desk and started to cry without trying to stop it. She is so sad that the tears continue to flow out of her eyes. But, at that moment, Manami noticed something. Some words is carved on the desk. In addition to that, it looks really new. "... Do your best, for sure, Manami, you also will be able to fly into the sky..." There is no mistake. It is the final message from the boy to her. He probably carved those words there before he left the school. Until the end, the boy is worried about her. Because of it, Manami's heart started to shake happily. At the same time, she starts to feel that she has to do her best, even though she is alone. She has found courage within her. "I, I, will do my best! After all, I did receive the wings from you... So, please don't worry about me... I am fine! I will graduate from being a cry baby today..." But, opposite to her words, she continues to cry. Even with the message from the boy, her eyes are full of tears. "... But, f, for just a bit longer, please let me be a cry baby... At least for today..." At the end, Manami said that. ========================================================================== STORY 12 : MATSUOKA CHIE - SAIGO NO YAKUSOKU (THE LAST PROMISE) ========================================================================== [TRANSLATION NOTES: ] [- 'LIVE' means Rock Performance. ] [- 'Graduation Party'... The actual translation is 'Appreciation Party', ] [ but 'Graduation Party' sounds better, I thought. Ha... :D. ] "Ah~ah, this is pathetic! This is not a joke! I can't believe it!" A girl is walking quickly to school, while complaining to herself unhappily. The quick footsteps show how angry she is. The girl's name is Matsuoka Chie. Her proud, long pony-tailed hair flutters with the wind, and she walks like she owns the street. She has her school ribbon unfasten and is showing off the crevice of her chest. That is against the school regulation and something that only the so-called delinquent student would do. Her smashed bag also also shows that kind of atmostphere. "Hey... It's Matsuoka..." "You are right. What is she doing at time like this?..." Avoid getting too close to her, the boys in school uniform let her pass them by. It looks like that Chie does not have a very good reputation among the students. Everybody is trying to avoid the girl. There is no one who talks to her. "This is really troublesome!" Chie does not care about what is going on around her. More specifically, she is already used to this. The reason is that she had not been to school for a very long time. Yesterday, the teacher in-charge of the class phoned to her house because she would not be able to graduate if she continued to miss school. Chie doesn't mind that she got retained for another year, but it seems like her parents wouldn't let her do that. "You should not get retained in Middle School! Just graduate!" "You are so noisy!" At the end, she gave in to her father's lecture. Chie is currently active in a band activities. At the beginning, she just went to see the Live, but as time passed, she tried to do Live herself. Now, she is the vocal and the guitarist in her band. However, they are still in the practising stage and had not even played in front of an audience. They are just imitating the popular band currently. She has to go to practise in a Live House where she met a lot of her more experienced senpais that somehow, she started to feel that going to school is just a waste of time. Chie believes that academic history is completely not related to a musician's world. It doesn't mean that Chie's parents does not understand about her band activities. However, they said that if it is something that she can archieve at the same time, she should try her best until she archives it. Fukuoka is the holy land of Rock Music where a lot of Rock musicians were borned. Her parents themselves also involved in this kind of activities once. It's as though she has inherited their Rock spirit. "It's okay if I did not to go to school!" However, hearing her said that, every adult in this world against it. The master of the live house is the first one who is against it. "Don't say that, at least go to school!" Unexpectedly, he tried to persuade Chie to go to school. He understood the coldness and hatred when every musician's dream is destroyed. They are people who have to live on their own until their band see the sun and able to sell their music. Before that, to survive, they have to work part-time to support themselves which requires certain amount of academic standard. Chie opens the door forcefully and sits down at her own seat unhappily with a loud noise. Hearing the loud noise, the whole class is completely silent. Everybody in her class is avoiding her too. (Hm! Pathetic people...) Chie thought. (Why do they have to be so scare of me? I did not do anything that force them to curl up like that...) However, even though she thought like that, the others did not think like the same way as she did. Looking at her from the outside, she is a frequent delinquent. Even though she does not stand out in a live house, she does stand out under the sun. The other students are talking about something while peeking at Chie. Especially, the elite group, who are wearing glasses, are looking hard at Chie. They don't want to have Chie around them, especially at an important time like this as Middle School Third Year students. -->[During Middle School Third Year, students are preparing to take entrance exams for high school. ] Anyway, in this class, Chie is not wanted. "Ah~ah..." Chie deliberately gives out a loud yawn. They nervously run away. (They look stupid! If they are going to be scared, they should even try talking...) Thinking that, Chie took out a cassette player, put on the head phone and turn on the switch of the player. At loud volume, her favourite British Rock is played. Doing this, she can feel that the outside world does not exist. The unique low-weighted music vibrated through her body which somehow, it makes her feels good. However, the people around her looked at her disdainfully. "H, hey! Stop that!" At that kind of situation, without listening to the other students stopping him, a boy approached Chie and hit lightly on her shoulder. "Huh?" Chie, who has her head phone on her, shouted that out loud without actually knowing how loud it was. Again, the class is silent. (What is he doing?!) Chie was really surprised. She never expected anybody to talk to her. With her headphone on her, she is completely taken by surprised, as she did not hear him approaching her. Actually, she was more surprised at herself jumping up as her shoulder got hit lightly suddenly. "Who are you? I never seen you before..." Chie calmed herself down and said that to him in a lower tone than usual. Other people would be scared hearing her talking like that. "I just got transferred here yesterday... You are also a transfer student?" "I am not! I have been in this school since long ago! It's just that I haven't been coming to school often! Well? What do you want?!" Chie replied sharply to him. However, the boy is not taken aback by this, and is smiling at her. "What are you listening to?" Suddenly, the boy asked that, Chie is a bit taken aback. It feels as though there is something piercing through her crevices. "W, what am I listening to? It's nothing special... Here, if you want to listen to it, feel free!" Chie tried to stay strong while saying that and gave him the headphone in a rough and abrupt manner. "Thanks..." The boy put the headphone on his ears. Chie can only look at him who continue to smile. (What kind of a person is he?) Somehow, her pace is in a turmoil completely. At the same time, Chie started to show interest in this boy. "Good morning! Matsuoka!" "...." "What's the matter? You are not feeling well?" "It's not that I am not feeling well! It's just that you are very noisy even though it is morning!" Ever since what happened the other day, the boy kept talking to Chie. Every morning, he greets Chie. Even though she did not reply to him, but he kept talking to her until Chie started to reply to his greetings, as there were no other choices. "Good morning! Matsuoka!" "O, ossu!" It had been a long time, since she has somebody to talk to in school. (Well, I guess, school is not that bad...) Chie started to think like that because of the boy. Probably, she was really lonely in the first place. "Hey, Matsuoka and the transfer student looks like they have become a couple!" "I pity the transfer student for not knowing anything about her." "Well then, what do you guys know about me?!" The two of them are talking about the transfer student and Chie behind their back that Chie interrupts them from behind. "T, that's not it! Y, you misunderstand us!" "R, right! It just that we were just saying that you two have a nice friendship going on..." "Hmmmm, I see!" "Uwaaaaaaaa!" GOCHIN. Knocking their heads together, Chie walks towards her seat. Immediately, the boy approaches Chie. "What's the matter? Did they do something that make you mad?" "Yeah! They are spreading some weird rumours about..." Chie stopped there. "Weird rumours?" "Nothing at all! Idiot!" Chie said that embarassedly. The boy and Chie mysteriously get along well together. Because of that, they quickly become good friends. However, even though the two are just friends, to the rest of the class, they are probably more than just that. Without knowing it, the rumour about the two of them dating started to go around. Actually, the two's relationship is not of boy and girl, but of good friends. When Chie is with the boy, somehow, she is enjoying herself. "Yo, you came!" "Hi!" "Chie, isn't that great, you two are a nice looking couple!" "You are noisy! We are not like that!" "Well, it's nothing to be embarassed about!" Ever since Chie invited the boy to the live house, the boy often came to the live house. With the generosity of the Master, Chie can use the empty time slot of the live house for her band to practise playing their music. Chie's band, other than her who is the guitarist and the vocal, also consists of a drum player and a bass player. The other two are male. In the first place, among the three, Chie is the most manly. Of course, they are not the band that are ready to play on the stage yet, but they are excited to have somebody to watch them play. "Just as I thought, having somebody to watch us is much better, right?" "Right, knowing that somebody is listening to us, it makes us feel nervous." "Hey, you, if possible, please come to see us frequently." After the practice, the band members said that to the boy. The boy replies with a smile on his face. "Sure! But, why didn't you guys play in a real live?" "Well, we want to badly, but we are not at that level yet." "Hmmmm, I thought it is pretty good already..." "Ahahaha, thank you... But, this is still not good enough!" "That's right! Chie, how about letting him see our senpais' performance!" The boy with the drum said that. Hearing that, Chie also smiles. "That is a good idea! Come and see! I will show you the real live performance!" "S, sure..." Chie brought the boy to the back audience seat. The live house is full of people. Compare to just now, the atmosphere is completely different. "Let's go! ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR!" "WAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" "KYAAAAAAAAAAAA!" With the lively guitar music and the vocal's scream, the live begins. According to Chie, this is the most popular rock band in Fukuoka. All the audiences stand up and start pointing their fist up! Immediately, the audiences and the live house become one. The screaming and the lively beat moves together with one and another. "Here!" "Ah, thanks..." On the way back from the live, Chie offered him a towel. The boy is sweating profusely because he was walking quickly with excitement. For the first time in his life, he listened to a performance by a Rock Band. He feels high and his ears is screming. He is thirsty and his whole body is exhausted by the excitement. "How was it? What is your opinion?" Chie is looking at the boy like that with a smile on her face. "It's the best! Somehow, I feel very excited!" "Is that so?" "That is live, huh? The audiences and band becomes one, huh?..." The boy said that with the excitement still in him. (He notices it!) Chie is happy seeing the boy like that. "Completely different from our performance, right?" "Yep!... Ah, sorry!" After saying that, the boy became nervous. But, Chie laughs. "It's okay, it's okay! I know that already! We will practise much, much harder and someday, we will surpass our senpais!" "Yeah... I really want to see it soon, the Live of Chie's band..." "Thank you! Hearing that, I feel really up to it! After all, it is our dream that one day, we will perform in front of a large audience, you see?..." "Perform in front of a large audience, huh?" The boy is nodding his head, while listening to Chie. Finally, one day, after the new year begins and the third school term began, the teacher in charge of the boy's class asked the boy to come to the teachers' office for discussion. "T, this is too sudden." The boy felt a bit troubled. He was asked to be the excutive committee member for the graduation party. "If you ask Matsuoka, I think she probably will listen to you. Can you ask her to do it too?" The teacher was begging him. Asking him and Chie to do it together. Even though Chie is coming to school, Chie's bad activities is the same as usual. However, if Chie is willing to take on the role of the executive member for the graduation party, the school is willing to close their eyes about her bad activities. As a teacher, he really wanted Chie to graduate from the school. -->[Personally, I am puzzled by this too... It did not say exactly what Chie did. Probably, bad academic, or bringing the cassete player. I don't think the school allow her to bring that cassete player. ] "I understand... I will try...." At the end, the boy accepted the role. Of course, this is also for Chie to graduate, but there is another thing, a plan had just crystallized in his mind at that moment. "Why should I do such a troublesome thing?..." After school that day, he immediately told Chie about it. But, as expected, Chie looked displeased. "There's nothing bad about it! Let's do it together! It's your chance! Whatever you do, the school won't have any problem with it!" "... Y, you seems pretty excited about this." Because of that, Chie is a bit shaken by it. "The graduation party is after the graduation, so we can just do whatever we like!" "Just do whatever we like?... Don't tell me that you want us to...!" "Right... That is what we are going to do..." "But, it's graduation party, you know? There are going to be a lot of students' family members there, right?" "But, they are also audiences nevertheless, right? "That's true but... performing live at graduation party is..." "Let's do it! Chie! On that big stage..." Somehow, the boy really wants to do rock performance during the graduation party. She never expected him to say such a thing. "I gave up..." "Eh, then?" "Since you said it like that... I will join you in your plan..." "Really? Grrreeeaaat!" But, Chie added one more thing to the happy boy. "But, on one condition!" "Hehhhh, you are pretty good!" "Everybody, please don't make fun of me!" All Chie's band members, sitting down on the chairs, giving praises to the boy standing on the live house's stage holding a guitar. "No, no, we are serious! Did you play some music intrument before?" "Eh? Come to think about it... I did play violin a little bit..." -->[Akira-chan taught him, remember?] "Violin? Are you a rich kid or something?" "Of course not! It's just that..." Saying that, the boy looked a bit lonely. "Well, it's nothing we needs to think about! More importantly, you make it! Then, you are in charge of Guitar Support!" "O, okay..." "Right, let's do our best together!" "L, let's do our best together!" The condition that Chie gave was that the boy also join in the band together. The other members are all from the same Middle School and also are third year students. Of course, everybody is just like Chie, are nearly dropouts, but they works very hard for the band and are very good people. "What do you think? Everybody?" "It sounds interesting, doesn't it?! Let's try to do it!" "Okay! Let's rock that place!" About the plan for the graduation party, the other two members also agreed to it. After all, everybody does not have a very good reputation in the school, among the teachers and among the adults. Nevertheless, it is a big stage that they are going to be performing on. With the boy being the guitar support in the band, Chie's band practised everyday for the graduation party. The fun days passed by quickly. It has been a while since Chie and the rest started practising. At the beginning, they are worried about the boy's guitar playing, but as days passed by, he is improving quickly. With that pace, they are going to make it for the graduation party. (Really... I had given a lot of troubles for that boy~) Chie thought that, looking at the boy working hard in the practice. Currently, she feels that she is the happiest person ever. With this new member, the band is stronger than ever. Without knowing it, the anger that is building inside her when she first met the boy is completely gone. Currently, Chie has became cheerful completely. It's all because of that boy. Chie wanted the boy to continue being in the band. With the current members, she is confident that they can challenge the rock music world. (I have to show my appreciation to him....) She thought of that often, but she cannot bring herself to say it in front of him. Chie kept wondering why she is like that. That is because inside Chie's heart, there is another feeling, other than the thankful feeling, is being borned. (I have fallen in love with him... It's not something that suits me...) Chie herself doesn't know how to handle that feeling. Then, one day, after giving it a lot of thoughts, "I will convey my feelings using a song..." That what she come up with. Then, from that day onwards, she started composing a song. "Ahhhhh, it's no good, it's no good! This is tough~!" After the normal practice, while she is playing accoustic guitar at her home, she did her best to compose a song based on her true feelings. But, it did not go as well as she expected it to be. She continue to tear up what she wrote over and over again. To compose one song, Chie spent several late night hours to complete it. "I, I did it! I finally did it!" She finally managed to complete that song and the graduation party is going to take place several days later. That is going to be a beautiful, painful song. More specifically, it is a love song. "Fuuu..." Chie smiles with satisfaction and try to sleep on her desk. Then, she slept the sleep that she had not had for several days now. Somehow, she made it in time. "Ah, excuse me... I, I got something I want to talk about..." The day before the graduation party, on the way back from the practice, Chie said that to the boy. The sun had already set completely, it's night time. "Can you give me some of your time after tomorrow's graduation party?" "Eh? Tomorrow?" "Yes, I want to sing a song of gratitute to you!" "Sing a song?" "T, that's right! It's the first song that I ever created in my entire life, it's my original!" "Hehhhh, you can compose song?" "K, kind of... I, I want you to listen to it, only you..." "O, okay... But..." The boy stops the sentence there. "Tomorrow, we are going to graduate, right?! As a memory, I want you to listen to the song! Please! I spent late night hours to compose it!" Chie is desperate. "I understand, I will be looking forward to it then..." "Good! Sorry! It probably is easier to say it by words, but I am not good with words! Well, see you tomorrow! Bye!" "Ah, but Matsuoka! Tomorrow, I might...." Without listening to what the boy is going to say, she runs away from him. She is so embarassed until her ears are all red. It is probably because she just did something that she is not used of doing. That's what she is thinking. "After this, it's tomorrow! I am going to do my best!" Chie screamed and jumped trying to reach the moon. Then, she ran through the street as fast as she could. "Everybody! Please listen! To our song! Let's gooooo!" Chie's scream vibrate with the loud guitar and drum noises. The people in the graduation party are in panic. Well, it is to be expected, as only the teacher in charge of Chie's class knew that they are going to do a live performance here. If somebody is to find out about this beforehand, there probably going to be a request from the PTA to stop this, so this was kept a secret. -->[PTA==Parent-Teachers Association. It's an association where teachers and parents discuss what is going on in school.] "Stop this! Please stop this instantly!" "This is cancelled! This is cancelled!" Just as expected. Teachers and parents shouted out loud angrily. "Uwaaaaaaaa!" "Go for ittttt!" But, the students are excited about it. Unexpectedly, the elite group of people who always looked at Chie disdainfully is also cheering for Chie with their fist up in the air. Chie, somehow, cannot help herself, but to feel happy about it. No matter how you look at them, even as a top students, they were displeased with school, teacher and exams inside them. They felt the same way as Chie did. (They feel the same way as I do too!) She felt happy that at the end of her middle school life, she finally felt that she had became part of her class. However, it's all because of the boy that she is able to feel that way. While thinking of that, she looked at the boy who is playing the guitar. After the performance, in the midst of people clapping their hands and cheering, Chie left the stage with her heart beating very quickly and called out to the boy. "Thank you... It felt great! It's all because of you. Hey, will you accompany me to the school roof?! Remember that you promise to listen to that song?..." After the graduation party, to Chie, there is another performance that she has to do. The performance where she is going to perform the lovesong that she composed, to convey her feelings to the boy. "Sorry, Matsuoka, t, that... I don't have time for that..." But, the boy said that apologetically. "Eh? You don't have time?" "R, right... Actually, I am moving away... Outside, there is a truck waiting for me." "Moving away? "Right, actually, I was not supposed to come today, but I begged my parents to at least let me attend the graduation party." Chie is stunned to hear farewell speech from the boy. The boy will leave Fukuoka. In addition to that, it's today that he is going to leave Fukuoka. Inside her, something is destroyed. If possible, she was hoping that he will stay in the band together with her, but... the sudden goodbye came. "... Is, is that so?... Then, there is nothing you can do about it, huh?..." Disappointed, Chie said that. "Sorry... Matsuoka..." The boy looked disappointed. "... Eh? Oh, don't worry about it... in addition to that, ac, actually... I still... haven't completed... the song yet..." "Is that so?" "Yes... Be well..." "Thanks... Matsuoka, you be well too, okay?..." There is pain in her heart, but she smiles at the boy, as he left. "Ah... I don't know when we are going to meet next time... when that time comes, I will let you listen to that song... So, for sure, please come back and listen to the song!" To say that, she used up all her strength. "Right... I will be looking forward to it..." The boy waves his hand and left. After the boy left, Chie went up the stairs to the school roof alone. Opening the heavy door, Chie went out to the open area. Looking at the boy walking alone at the school garden below her, she said. "I love you... Good bye..." Then, Chie started playing the guitar. Chie lied to the boy. She had finished composing that lovesong. In the midst of the setting sun, sad and painful melody is being played. ========================================================================== G A M E O V E R ========================================================================== Copyright 2001 Chia-Hooi Lim. I used my time and efforts to create this faq. So, please DO NOT use or post it for your website or anywhere. If you got any questions or feedback, please send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. "Sentimental Graffiti ~Yakusoku" is trademark of NEC Interchannel. Any new translations for Sentimental Graffiti series will be posted at: http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/sentimentalgraffiti The latest version of this file will always be at : http://www.public.iastate.edu/~hooi/sentimentalgraffiti/sgy_honoka.txt http://www.public.iastate.edu/~hooi/sentimentalgraffiti/sgy_taeko.txt http://www.public.iastate.edu/~hooi/sentimentalgraffiti/sgy_emiru.txt http://www.public.iastate.edu/~hooi/sentimentalgraffiti/sgy_asuka.txt http://www.public.iastate.edu/~hooi/sentimentalgraffiti/sgy_miyuki.txt http://www.public.iastate.edu/~hooi/sentimentalgraffiti/sgy_wakana.txt http://www.public.iastate.edu/~hooi/sentimentalgraffiti/sgy_rurika.txt http://www.public.iastate.edu/~hooi/sentimentalgraffiti/sgy_kaho.txt http://www.public.iastate.edu/~hooi/sentimentalgraffiti/sgy_manami.txt http://www.public.iastate.edu/~hooi/sentimentalgraffiti/sgy_yuu.txt http://www.public.iastate.edu/~hooi/sentimentalgraffiti/sgy_chie.txt http://www.public.iastate.edu/~hooi/sentimentalgraffiti/sgy_akira.txt There should be only TWO copies of these translations available on the internet, they should be at: http://www.public.iastate.edu/~hooi/sentimentalgraffiti http://www.gamefaqs.com/ If they are at anywhere else, please drop me an e-mail at email@example.com.