Story 3-24 『Foolish』
“… … -” (Shuri)
Still being assaulted by that strange feeling, I saw Oginomiya Academy before I knew it.
The scene in front of me hadn’t changed since last time.
I took a deep breath because if I didn’t do it this way I’d repeat the same mistake.
… This Katsuragi-kun is a fake. There is no reason to save him. The real Katsuragi-kun has already felt more pain than this.
That is what I told myself.
“… Nanamin.” (Shuri)
“What’s the matter? Shuri-chan?” (Nanami)
I gaze down at the floor like the person next to me and quietly murmur into Nanamin’s ears.
She’s the person I trust the most. Though the Yui-chan of ‘now’ likes Katsuragi-kun, the Yui-chan of ‘here’ has not yet been included as an ally.
On that topic, I know that Nanamin never wanted to bully him.
“… Hey, do you want to leave? I kind of feel…” (Shuri)
“Yeah. I’ve been fed up of this too. Let’s go.” (Nanami)
As I thought, Nanamin agreed. She immediately put her wisdom into action.
“Yui-chan, Yui-chan.” (Nanami)
“Hmm? What is it, Nanamin?” (Tamaki)
“For Shuri-chan, today is ‘that’ day… since she’s feeling sick I’m going to bring her to the infirmary.” (Nanami)
“Ah, okay, I got it. Couldn’t you go to the dorms? Since it’s already after school.” (Tamaki)
“Thanks. Well, she decided to return after a short break. Shuri-chan, do you have your bag?” (Nanami)
I handed my bag to Nanamin and walked with an unsteady gait to pretend that my physical condition was bad. Nanamin accompanied me and patted my back.
“I wonder… if it’s okay now?” (Nanami)
“… Yeah. Let’s go down the stairs and leave the academy to return to the dorms. And… I want to talk about this a bit…” (Shuri)
“I don’t mind. Let me change my clothes, then I’ll head there.” (Nanami)
“Thanks, Nanamin… Let’s keep this act up until the school gate, please.” (Shuri)
“Yes ye~s.” (Nanami)
Nanami’s answer dragged on. She seemed to be refreshed from being able to escape that place.
Me abandoning Katsuragi-kun… pained my heart.
I could endure it by thinking about the future. It’s something that I had to do.
“… Wait for me, Katsuragi-kun. I will definitely save you.” (Shuri)
“Here, Nanamin. Juice.” (Shuri)
“Thanks. Itadakune.” (Nanami) [TN: Shortened ‘itadakimasu’ + feminine ending particle. Not sure how to put that in English.]
Nanami was on top of a cushion, I was sitting on my bed with a mouthful of apple juice.
Though you’d expect some juice to flow onto my chest, something like that obviously didn’t happen.
I emptied the cup immediately, cutting to the main subject.
“Nanamin, please listen.” (Shuri)
“Hmm? Wha~t?” (Nanami)
“Katsuragi-kun and I, I want to go out with him. I want you to cooperate with me.” (Shuri)
I bowed as I requested her.
“… E-eh!? W-what’s wrong, Shuri-chan? I, what’s with…” (Nanami)
As I guessed, Nanamin was in a state of panic. However, she already seemed to calm down from taking a deep breath.
“A-anyway, raise your head. There’s a strange tension like this…” (Nanami)
“S-sorry. Again, to speak seriously, I thought I would ask like this.” (Shuri)
Lifting my head after Nanamin asked, she had on a kind of complicated expression.
“… Though it might be impolite to ask Shuri-chan something like this…” (Nanami)
“W-what is it?” (Shuri)
“It’s… why do you suddenly want to become Katsuragi-kun’s lover… I thought…” (Nanamin)
“… … I like him, that’s all.” (Shuri)
I answered Nanamin’s extremely natural question.
“Katsuragi-kun has… a strong heart, a gentle personality and, and…” (Shuri)
“Y-yeah, I already understand so it’s okay, Shuri-chan.” (Nanami)
“I-is that so?” (Shuri)
“Yes yes. I truly understand. Because I understand… I’ll help you.” (Nanami)
Nanamin put her hand on my shoulder with a *Pon*, giving me a sweet wink.
“R-really!? Really Nanami, you’ll help me?” (Shuri)
“I wouldn’t lie… However, I have one condition.” (Nanami)
“W-what? I’ll do whatever I can.” (Shuri)
“C-could you please not stick to me like that? I’ll definitely help you with your love, Shuri-chan, but that’s only for coming up with plans and the like, you have to do the important thing by yourself, without my help. Alright?” (Nanami)
“Important thing?” (Shuri)
“Yeah, the important thing. Since I’m not going to tell you what it is, think about it by yourself.” (Nanami)
“No way~, Nanamin. Even I understand that much.” (Shuri)
What Nanamin was talking about was definitely the confession. Nanamin was saying for me to tell him my feelings myself.
… It’s alright. Since I’ve already confessed to Katsuragi-kun many times. I think I can tell him from my own mouth.
“Alright, in that case there’s no problem! Now to make Katsuragi-kun fall madly in love with Shuri-chan!” (Nanami)
“M-madly in love you say… No, that’s right… I wonder what I should do?” (Shuri)
“Mmm… First of all, since it’s indispensable to increase his favorable impression of you, you should keep talking to him every day, shouldn’t you? Since if you are too rash, even Katsuragi-kun may find it suspicious. After that—“ (Nanami)
“W-wait a sec! Let me get my notepad!” (Shuri)
Hitting the brakes on Nanamin’s strategies that she was thinking up one after another, I took my notebook out of my desk and began to write in it.
Before I knew it my first strategy meeting with Nanamin continued until the next day.
“… … …” (Daichi)
It would be meaningless to not talk to him. Therefore it is important to keep talking, even if I’m ignored it’s important to persevere and speak.
That was Nanamin’s opinion.
I also agree with it. I think conversation is the best method to communicate.
While at it, I was worrying about Yui-chan; the classroom became noisy, but right now I’m not concerned about it.
I wanted to talk with Katsuragi-kun and laugh with him. I also want him to come to like me.
While at school, I wholeheartedly used all possible time to be in contact with Katsuragi-kun.
As a result from that, after one week, Katsuragi-kun finally gave me a reply.
At that time of joy, I almost cried.
Though having a conversation with him may be far off, I’m sure that day will come if I continue to keep him company.
There was also less bullying from Samejima because I wanted to talk with Katsuragi-kun.
I think Nanamin had something to do with it. I’m really thankful.
Longer than a month after that, I finally decided to confess.
The trigger was『Yui-chan passed the first trial』. A few days ago Lily’s congratulatory voice passed on that information. Of course, it seems Hayase-san was informed as well.
I was impatient. The way things were going, Yui-chan would be the first to clear it.
I don’t want something like that. I’m the one that will be next to him.
The blessing in disguise was that since I properly conversed with Katsuragi-kun, there’s some extent of affection.
Perhaps Yui-chan also did the same as I am doing to Katsuragi-kun and was given an OK in response. If she was successful after having a worse impression than me, I should succeed as well.
I was enthusiastic, and finally called Katsuragi-kun to the roof.
And now, Katsuragi-kun was standing in front of me.
Now, I told him my feelings.
“I like you! Please go out with me…!” (Shuri)
Contrary to what I thought, I wasn’t nervous about telling him how I felt.
Maybe it was because I had told Katsuragi-kun how I felt many times.
“… … …” (Daichi)
Katsuragi-kun stared and didn’t say anything.
However, his face distorted little by little. There was no joy, I understood that.
“… Stop bullshitting me…” (Daichi)
He was angry. Right then, anger was spreading across Katsuragi-kun’s chest.
He looked at me with hostility. His sharp glare pierced through me.
However, in that moment Katsuragi-kun calmed himself down, taking short breaths.
During that time, I couldn’t move an inch.
“… I won’t go out with you. I don’t like you, and I don’t want to.” (Daichi)
The response was an obvious rejection.
It echoed through my head, taking a considerable amount of time for me to digest the contents. Still, I didn’t give up. My throat was stuck.
“Katsurag-kun. It’s… could you tell me why you turned me down?” (Shuri)
I was conceited from talking with him a little. I misunderstood when he came to talk with me a little.
I thought that if I told Katsuragi-kun how I felt, he would surely understand.
I was also pampered, being called cute from those around me and being conceited.
Still, I inferred it from Yui-chan’s results from the trial.
And yet, everything was cut in two. I worked hard to smile, giving Samejima’s group cold eyes when they looked for Katsuragi-kun.
“… You don’t even know something like that.” (Daichi)
His facial expression stiffened. His sharply narrowed eyes pierced through me.
“Why, you ask… Unless you understand the reason, it’s impossible for me to be around you.” (Daichi)
“… …” (Shuri)
“Okay, listen… Imagine a man who has oppressed you up to now says『Go out with me』. I haven’t even gotten an apology from you yet. And still you ask for me to『Go out with you』…!” (Daichi)
“… Ah.” (Shuri)
With Katsuragi-kun saying that, that thought finally spread through me.
Because I was accustomed to life in Rostalgia, I behaved like this with Katsuragi-kun from the start.
That’s right… Katsuragi-kun has a reason to have a grudge against me…
I realized my foolishness.
… Come to think of it, I… Even now, back there, I still haven’t apologized to Katsuragi-kun for that…
Despite that he likes me, something like love… I’m so foolish.
… Then maybe, the important thing Nanamin was talking about was an『Apology』.
“… Ah, yes.” (Shuri)
“If you’re done with what you wanted, can I go back?” (Daichi)
“Y-yeah. Sorry, I’ve troubled you…” (Shuri)
“It doesn’t matter now… Ah, if you really love me, don’t go telling anyone about this confession. It would needlessly make them mad.” (Daichi)
Announcing that, he left the roof. Only the silence of a miserable woman sobbing in the scarlet evening sun remained.