What Sendai-san knows — 98
Translated by KaiesV
Edited by KaiesV
「I didn’t know your room was like this.」
Maika makes a curious sound as she spreads her notebook on the table.
「It is my room.」
I answered as if it were obvious, but her sense of discomfort was correct.
The room was slightly different from the one time Maika had come to visit in the past.
The tables are getting bigger and stuff is growing.
It is the third day of winter break, and Maika is strangely sharp today.
「Speaking of which, where’s the fan heater Didn’t you say you got one last year」
Maika mentions the name of something that was in the room until earlier this year and is no longer there.
I wonder how she remembers it.
I did talk to Maika about it last year.
「I’m not using it right now.」
I haven’t taken the fan heater out this winter as I put it away.
It has been active ever since I got it, but it is scheduled to end up not being used.
It was not for Sendai-san, who always looks hot, but I didn’t bother to take it out because I thought I could survive the winter with just an air conditioner.
「If it’s cold, want me to turn up the temperature」
I asked as I reached for the remote control for the air conditioner, and Maika, sitting across from me, replies, 「It’s fine.」
I was supposed to study at Maika’s house today, but my plans changed easily and she is now in my room.
The study group was to be held in her room, as relatives arrived unexpectedly and apparently her mother had been kicked her out of the house.
I was reluctant to let Maika into this room where traces of Sendai remained, but if I told her that I would never let her in, she would only distrust me.
「Since when Shiori became a cat lover」
Maika looks at the bookshelf, seemingly unwilling to study despite the study materials on the table.
In her line of sight, a stuffed black cat, whose fixed place is by a pillow, is relaxing.
It was moved to a bookshelf before Maika arrived, and it looks as if it likes its temporary home as well, as if it has been there forever.
Did you get it」
「I bought it myself.
A friend of that, in case you’re wondering.」
I point to the crocodile on the side of the table.
Maika slyly pulls the crocodile, the guardian deity of the tissue box.
「That stuffed animal is cute, and I can see why you’d want to buy it, but a friend of this…」
Maika says, popping the crocodile’s head.
「It’s lonely when it was alone.」
I got up on my knees and retrieved the alligator from across the table.
Then I put it under the table.
「Shiori, did something happen」
「Why you ask」
「Why I ask We haven’t been together since third year.
You said you were busy during the summer vacation and hardly saw you.」
When she said this, I made a deliberately sultry face.
「Maika said she was busy with cram school during summer vacation, right」
「Yes, but I was wondering if there was something to it.」
「It’s Maika who has something, isn’t it You said you had something you wanted to talk to me about.
What is it」
Let’s study it together.
That’s what Maika wrote in the message she sent me last night.
However, there was an additional sentence,「I also have something I want to talk to you about,」so I think the main topic was more about “talking” than studying.
Considering that Maika, who said she was busy with cram school even during the winter break, even made up a reason to see me, one would expect it to be of some importance.
I have something.」
Somehow, it’s not crisp.
Looking at Maika, it doesn’t seem like a very good story, and it depresses me.
「Can I apologize first」
「…Is the story bad enough to make you want to apologize」
「I don’t know, but I feel like I should apologize.
That’s why, I’m sorry.」
It’s not the kind of talk you want to go out of your way to make an excuse for a study session, and it’s not the kind of talk you want to hear if it makes you want to apologize even more, but I can’t help but ask, so I urge onward with,「So」Because I can’t help but ask.
「You’ve heard this before, but Shiori, are you close with Sendai-san」
「…We’re not that close, but was the talk about that」
Maika’s story should not have gotten to the point yet.
But the story that started as a preamble is already the worst of the worst, and it makes me want to hold my head in my hands.
Sendai-san is the last thing I want to hear, and the last thing I want to say.
「Yeah, well, I guess it’s like that.」
Maika responds vaguely and drinks the cider.
Then, she let out a small exhale and slowly began to speak.
「I told you that I talked to Sendai-san on the way to the canteen the other day.
Shiori, I know you were concerned about what happened then, so I thought I’d let you know.」
The day in November when Sendai-san hugged me in the music preparation room.
Maika told me that she bumped into Sendai-san in the hallway, which led to a brief conversation.
I remember that day well.
I asked Maika what she had talked about with Sendai-san.
At that time, Maika told me that she did not have much to say to me, but the fact that she is telling me now means that there is something that she has been hiding from me.
I have a bad feeling about this.
「What is it that you need to tell me」
「That time we talked about college and I told her where you wanted to go.
Then Sendai-san told me, and I told her about Shiori, too, since we found out that the universities we were applying to were close to each other.」
「Eh You said you talked…」
「I’m sorry, I told Sendai-san that Shiori is applying to the same university as me.
Should I not have told her after all」
Maika says with an apologetic look on her face.
That’s nothing to apologize for.
It’s not like me and Sendai-san are close just because we had something to talk about.
I said I wouldn’t get mad at you for talking about college.」
It’s a lie.
I’m not angry, but there is no “nothing” to be angry about.
Of course it was better not to say it.
I was so upset that my temples hurt.
No one knows what kind of relationship I have with Sendai-san.
Of course, even Maika doesn’t know.
So there is no need to rush or panic.
It is more suspicious to be in a hurry or in a panic.
Just pass it off like it’s nothing, and that’s the end of the story.
And yet, I talk too fast and it comes off as an unnatural excuse.
Perhaps that is why I feel that Maika is looking at me as if she were looking at a suspicious person.
「But anyway, why are you suddenly ready to talk about it if you’ve been so silent all this time」
「I thought I didn’t have to say anything, but at the time Sendai-san was asking a lot of questions about Shiori, and Shiori has been acting strangely lately.
I thought a lot about that.
So I thought it would be better to talk about it somehow.
Besides, I had a feeling that Shiori and Sendai-san seemed to get along well.」
I had a feeling, I said, but Maika’s tone was close to doubting my words.
Perhaps it was the sense of guilt inside me, but I felt as if my throat was being squeezed tight, and I almost stopped breathing.
「I know I keep saying this, but I don’t get along with Sendai-san, and the reason she asked about me wasn’t because she didn’t have anything else to say.」
I look at Maika and speak, reminding her to calm down.
You two are really——」
Maika was about to say something.
But he swallowed the words that were about to come out of hee mouth, perhaps feeling guilty for having kept something from me, and said,「Somehow, I’m sorry.」
「It’s time to start studying.
Maika, teach me about here.」
Normally, I would say, “If you’re about to say something, you should finish it,” or “It’s not nice if you stop mid-sentence,” to get Maika to say what she had just broken off.
But today I won’t try to pull out the words that have been swallowed.
I will pretend those words never existed and show Maika the problem book I have spread out on the table.
She looks like she has questions too, but she doesn’t pursue them.
Perhaps my reluctance to talk any further was apparent,「Where」and looked down at the problem book.
Maika is kind.
I always take advantage of her kindness, and today I was saved by her not asking me more than necessary.
And I am now thinking only of Sendai-san in front of such Maika.
I know I’m doing a terrible thing for studying with her, but I can’t stop thinking about what I just heard.
Sendai-san knows which school I want to go to.
There is no way I can remain calm after hearing such a thing.
I kept the school of my choice a secret for a long time.
I never told her.
The day she hugged me in the music preparation room, that day, she knew everything.
Maika’s voice seems distant.
I can hear her, but I can’t quite make out what she is saying.
There were times when I thought that perhaps Sendai-san might know.
Still, I told myself that it was just a maybe and that there was no way she knew.
I ended up continuing my studies in the air above me, and Maika had to leave earlier than planned.
I remember that we rode the elevator together and I walked her out of the apartment.
But what we talked about is vague.
I am alone in my room, sitting on my bed.
I realized that it was past eight o’clock, but not too late to make a phone call.
After a little hesitation, I called Sendai-san and heard two rings and a voice that sounded surprised.
I can’t believe Miyagi called.」
I want to ask her something.
So I called.
She knew what school I wanted to go to and why she wanted me to tell her what school I wanted to go to.
She knew what school I wanted to go to, but why she led me to apply to the same or nearby universities.
That’s what I want to know.
Now I’m angry because I can only assume she was amused by my reaction.
If she had a different reason, I’d like to hear it, and I’d like her to reject the idea that I was just trying to be funny.
But I don’t think I can ask well over the phone.
「Sendai-san, come and teach me how to study.
「Even if you say “now”.
I’m already home today.
I know that.
It is not too late to make a phone call, but it is getting late for a high school student to leave the house.
Still, I want her to come over now, and I want to talk to her face to face.
「Even if you can’t, come.」
「Can’t it be done tomorrow」
「Then you don’t have to come.」
「If Miyagi is willing to let me stay, I can go now.」
I’m cutting out.」
「This is the kind of joke you always make.
What’s wrong with you today」
Probably because my voice was hard and the air was getting bad, so made a joke to try to soften this up.
I understand that’s what she meant, but I don’t have time to laugh and answer her.
Don’t you have anything to say to me」
「Not like I have one, but why What’s going on」
Sendai-san, who has no idea what my words mean, says in his usual voice.
It’s natural that I don’t know what to say, but I’m irritated with her.
「If you don’t have one, that’s okay.
You don’t have to come to my house for winter break.」
When I said it in an eight-sided tone, Sendai-san sounded troubled.
「Hold on for a second I’m going to come now.」
I know it’s not justified anger, but I am extremely angry right now.
But I want to see Sendai-san right now.
And I am angry at myself.
「Really, what’s wrong with you」
「There’s nothing wrong with me.
If you have prep school, you can come tomorrow after you’re done, I promise.」
「I’m on my way, just wait for me.」
Sendai-san says in a gentler voice than I expected.
「I told you tomorrow’s alright now.」
I tried to speak as quietly and calmly as possible, and Sendai-san said,「Okay.
It’s a promise.」