I can do this kind of thing with Sendai-san — 63
Translated by KaiesV
Edited by KaiesV
I don’t have anything in particular.
There is no place I should go, no place I want to go, but Maika invited me because it was the last Sunday of the summer vacation.
We wander around and look at stores and argue about this and that, and have silly chats at the cafes we’ve been to many times since we started high school.
It was a Sunday with nothing of note.
Maika is cutting pancakes in front of me, and I am relieved to see that summer vacation is not so different from last year.
When I was alone, all I could think about was Sendai-san, so I was glad Maika invited me.
「Ah—ah, tomorrow is the end of summer vacation…」
Maika laments and tucks into her pancake.
「Shiori, did you finish your homework」
「I finished it.」
「Did you change your mind when you took the exam or something like that As I recall, last year you did your homework until the last minute, right」
「Now that I’m in my third year, I thought I’d take it a little more seriously.」
It was because Sendai-san was there.
I can’t say that, so I speak my public thoughts and pour maple syrup on my French toast.
Taking a bite, the surface is crunchy but the inside is fluffy and soft like pudding.
When swallowed, the taste of maple syrup, which is not too sweet, lingers in the mouth.
「Come to think of it, this is the first time I’ve seen Shiori order French toast.
If you do anything too unusual, you’ll destroy the planet.」
Sometimes my homework gets done early, and I can at least eat French toast.
「That’s true, but you know what Didn’t you say before that you didn’t like it much」
「I noticed how delicious it was.」
French toast, which I had never had but somehow thought I wouldn’t like, was a food that tasted to my liking.
I don’t want to say it is thanks to Sendai-san, but this is the kind of thing I can ask for at a restaurant.
But the memories that accompanied the French toast also came flooding back, and I thrust my fork into the browned bread.
Egg-dipped bread and Sendai-san’s lips.
Which would have been softer is unimportant in my mind.
I feel as if the French toast, which is supposed to be sweet, is laced with the taste of blood, which I am not supposed to feel.
My lips are soft against my teeth, and there is more blood than I thought there would be.
The red liquid was slimy to the touch of my finger, and Sendai-san glared at me as I pressed hard on the wound.
The memories tied to the French toast are so vivid that it even feels like Sendai-san is nearby.
「I knew it, I guess I should have gone with pancakes.」
I look at the plate placed across from me and bring the French toast to my mouth.
「You want to trade half I’d love some French toast.」
I nod at Maika’s suggestion and pass her half of the French toast, and half of the pancakes come to me.
Do you want to meet up tomorrow It’s the last day of summer vacation, the last day of high school, so let’s do something!」
Maika says, as if remembering, and takes a mouthful of French toast.
「Nhn– I have a prior engagement.」
「Ami said it was a date, too, and everyone is not socializing well, are they」
「If you put it that way, even Maika was in cram school most of this year, and didn’t she socialize less than she did last year」
「That can’t be helped, can it Speaking of which, what was Shiori doing You seemed busy this year.」
「I wasn’t busy, but things were going on at home.」
The breakdown of the various items is mainly Sendai-san, so I don’t want them to pursue it.
But Maika looks at me as if to ask,「Many things」and looks at me as if urging me to go on.
「Yeah, a lot of things.」
「That’s a little fishy— And this year, you don’t talk about summer vacation at all.」
「It’s not suspicious.」
I take a bite of the pancake, which is deceptively different in texture and taste from French toast, even though they are the same fluffy.
If I try to find a memory of someone being by my side during a long vacation, whether it was summer or winter vacation, I have to dive very deep.
I don’t remember anyone being around that much.
But this year, I spent about half of my summer vacation with Sendai-san.
It was me who was with her more than her family or friends.
That said, most of the time is spent studying and not fumbling.
It was supposed to happen.
Neither of us would have intended to engage in the usual after-school, impersonal behavior.
——Our relationship is rapidly breaking down.
「Eh— Isn’t there something you’re not telling me」
「Nothing’s going on.」
With assurances, I think back to a few days ago.
Perhaps that was the most impersonal part of my summer vacation.
A violation of the rules.
I didn’t intend it to be that way, but that’s what happened, apparently.
I touched her because I wanted to, not because I had an ulterior motive.
There should have been no such thing.
I just did what I couldn’t do because of the way she looked at me.
It was just that I touched her a little longer than usual, but I know I may have overdone it.
Not necessarily because of that, but I didn’t take a break the next day, Friday, when Sendai-san came to visit.
「Ah– I need at least another week off.」
I hear Maika’s despairing voice and I look at her.
「A week goes by, and you say another week.」
「I don’t need any more summer vacation.」
「Uwah, you sound like an honors student replying.」
Maika says teasingly.
I really don’t need any more summer vacation.
When tomorrow ends, school will begin.
If the summer vacation continues, it is obvious that I will be breaking a rule that I should never break.
If that happens, I am sure things will not go well with Sendai-san.
One more time.
One more time, and if it goes off without a hitch, that’s all that matters.
I am not dexterous enough to successfully mend rules I have broken, so I should try not to break them.
「No more summer vacation, and what do we do now today」
Maika asks as she sticks a fork in her French toast.
I’d like to put Sendai-san out of my mind and make a few suggestions.
Then we did a few things as suggested and a few things not as suggested before parting ways.
I returned home and have dinner.
After taking a bath, I dive right into bed.
I closed my eyes and before I knew it, I had let go of my consciousness and woke up before my alarm went off.
I didn’t sleep well, but I wasn’t sleepless either, so my mind was reasonably clear.
I would not do anything differently than usual.
I wear the same clothes as before and eat lunch at the same time.
While reading the book I just bought, I wait for a message from Sendai-san.
Within an hour, the message arrives and the person in question comes to me.
When I handed her the last 5,000 yen from the summer vacation at the entrance, Sendai-san complained that 5,000 yen was too much for just one tutoring session today, but I forced her to go to my room.
Bringing cider and barley tea from the kitchen and putting them on the table is the same as usual.
It is the same for me to put my textbooks and problem books open.
It is the same for Sendai-san to sit next to me.
I feel a little sad when I think that once today is over, we won’t have to spend all our time together like this from mid-afternoon onward.
I look at Sendai-san sitting next to me.
I think her hair is in the way.
Today Sendai-san’s hair is not braided or tied up, so I don’t know what she looks like on her last day of summer vacation.
All she can tell me is that I need to take my textbooks seriously.
I want to see her face, so I reach for it.
But before I could touch the hair in my way, Sendai-san turned a dubious look at me.
「Don’t look at me, take this seriously.」
Then Sendai-san poked me between the eyes with a pen.
My forehead area gets all mushy, and I reflexively push her hand back with the pen.
I paid 5,000 yen.
But I didn’t pay 5,000 yen for what I have now decided I want to do.
So I shouldn’t do that and I should be done with it.
I know, but I touched Sendai-san and put my face close to hers.
But before I can get close enough for our lips to touch, she taps me on the forehead with a pen.
I know it’s too early for a break, but are you going to take a break」
The voice asking the question was quiet and flat.
No emotion could be read from her facial expression.
There’s no break.
I don’t think we should.
I couldn’t answer that I don’t, even though I think I do.