Spring break is not that long.
It is always over in a flash.
This year, however, it felt terribly long.
I thought I spent the vacation the same as usual, but the clock didnt move very fast.
The distant April has come and gone, and its a new school year.
Today, Im a little nervous.
My legs are heavy on the way to school.
I dont talk to Sendai-san on campus, but I dont know what should I look like when I see her.
I dont even know if I will be able to see her face because of the class change that comes with April.
I was fidgeting, unable to calm down.
New classes can be found on the roster posted at the entrance to the elevator.
A short walk through the school gate reveals a not-so-large white paper behind a crowd of people.
I took a deep breath inconspicuously and then checked the roster, and found my name among the names I knew and those I didnt know.
However, Sendai-sans name was not there.
I wasnt expecting it.
I am not disappointed.
I muttered to myself and headed to the school building where the older students used to be a bit pompous.
When I opened the door in my new class, I found Maika, whom I had met many times during spring break.
「Shiori, over here!」
I raise my hand in response to Maika calling my name and walk to the seat where she was sitting.
I wonder what would I do if I was in a different class from Shiori.」
「Have you seen her Amis in this year.」
Ami Shirakawa, who was in the same class with me in the first year but was separated in the second year, was also on the list.
I looked for her to share the joy of being in the same class again, but could not find her.
「I saw it.
Have you not seen her」
If Ami was gone, there was no one left in the classroom to look for.
And yet, my eyes were trying to find Sendai-san.
But there was no way I could find her.
Since her name was not on the list, it would be strange for her to be here.
「Oh, did anyone want to be in the same class with me」
Maika looks at the seats around her, mimicking me as I look around the classroom.
「(Shes) not here.」
「Well, are you looking for someone, arent you Maybe youre in the same class as someone you like」
Maika says chillingly.
「Im not like that, and I dont anyone like that.
I was just looking to see what kind of people were here.」
「That sounds fishy.」
「No, its not.」
I exhale a small breath, reminding Maika, who looks at me with suspicion,「Its nothing then.」
If I am in a different class, I will not see Sendai-san again.
I think it might not be bad idea to follow the “small bet” I made during spring break.
It was not fate that led Sendai-san to come to my house.
It was just a result of whim on coincidence.
Since neither coincidence nor whim is likely to last for long, a class change might have been a breakthrough.
Besides, it was hard to see Sendai-san after what I had done.
The reason why I feel a little depressed should not have any deep meaning, just because the faces that I took for granted until the other day are not in the classroom.
This is not a bad thing and not a reason to call Sendai-san out.
Ami comes to the new classroom, and a short time later the teacher arrives.
The first day of the new school year is over as soon as I finish the opening ceremony after listening to a sleepy story.
Maika and Ami invited me to take a side trip, but I declined and head straight home.
I lie on my bed in my school uniform and look at my phone.
Nothing has happened so much as to erase Sendai-sans contact information in a small container.
But it is no longer of any use.
I am sure she will soon forget about me now that our classes have split up.
So I dont have to contact Sendai-san.
Three days into the first semester, I had one or two things I didnt like, and I couldnt help but reach for my phone.
But after five days, I didnt have to look at my phone anymore.
Its not uncommon for us to become estranged when we are in different classes.
A week has passed since I decided not to contact Sendai-san, and I picked the manga I made her read when she first came to this room.
I remember that day, I thought she was going to read the comic book smoothly, but she was horribly barbed.
As I flipped through the pages in front of the bookshelf, it also brought back memories of how quiet she sounded with this line or how difficult it was to say.
I sigh and sit up in bed.
As I close the manga and place it back to under my pillow, the intercom rings.
No courier is scheduled to come.
No one is scheduled to make inquiries.
So, the person at the entrance must be a salesman or something.
I decided to leave it alone and turn on the TV, since its not something I should bother to answer.
But the intercom rings repeatedly.
I turned up the volume on the TV to the persistent sales pitch, and now my phone rang.
It was ringtone of a message, and I picked up my phone from the table.
Looking at the screen, I see Sendai-sans name and message on it.
『Pick up the intercom.
I know youre in there.』
The content of the message indicates that the person ringing the intercom is Sendai-san.
I send a message, and Sendai-san responds to it.
We didnt decide to do so, but it became something of a rule.
Thats why, she had never sent me a message before I sent it, nor had she ever visited me on her own.
『I have to take care of something, so just answer the intercom.』
As I look at the screen of my phone in dismay, I receive a new message.
Then the intercom rings again.
The chime rings again and again, like a elementary school prank, and I turn off the TV and get up.
When I went to the living room and looked at the intercom monitor, I saw Sendai-sans image as expected.
However, I dont know why she is at the entrance, which I didnt call her.
「What are you doing here」
I speak through the intercom.
「You saw your phone.
I need you to open this door.」
My heart thumps at the sound of Sendai-sans voice, which I havent heard for a while.
But I have no intention of opening the door to her.
「I dont want to.」
「I have something to return.
「Something to return」
Thats why, open the door.」
Sendai-san says in a exasperated voice.
Still, her expression remains the same.
Perhaps it is because she is outside, but she is still the same Sendai-san at school.
「What is that something you want to return」
「The clothes I borrowed the other day.
I washed them.」
The word “borrowed clothes” remind me of this.
The day I wet her clothes with cider, I gave her clothes to wear home instead.
Thats right, I gave her clothes, not lent her.
I am sure that I told Sendai-san that I would give it to her as well.
Well, she didnt intend to take it, though she did declare that she “would return it” properly.
The needlessly law-abiding Sendai-san is a bit of a pain in the ass.
I have no intention of asking her to return what I said I would give her, nor do I intend to retract my previous statement.
「I said you didnt have to pay me back.」
「You didnt call me, so I came.」
「Because I didnt want to leave this apartment unoccupied.」
Sendai-san makes the point once and for all.
If it had been her friend, Ibaraki-san, she would have taken the money when I said I would give it to her, but it seems that Sendai-san is not the type of person who would take it.
When I gave her 5,000 yen at the bookstore, we argued over whether to give it back or not.
「I told you before, Ill give it to you.
You dont have to return it.」
Perhaps Sendai-san would not back down just like that.
What a problem.
Since we would never find a point of intersection even if we continue our discussion, I decided to hung up the intercom.
But before I hung up, Sendai-san said something unexpected.
「Then, give me an order.」
「I said, order me to do it.」
「I dont understand.」
「I dont get clothes without a reason.
So, if you want to give me clothes, you can order me to give me clothes, and if you dont want me to give me clothes, you can order me to do something instead, like you always do.」
Sendai-san said that like its nothing.
Indeed, I was giving her an order in exchange of 5,000 yen.
Given that, it is not so strange to exchange clothing for orders.
But it is also aggravating to be told to give orders when asked to do so.
「Why should I give you an order for just a clothing I said I would give it to you, so why dont you just take it Then go home.」
「If I leave, I wont come back, is that alright」
I will hold Sendai-san back.
What I heard over the intercom was not that kind of confident voice.
If anything, it was a voice that sounded beyond irritated and angry.