What did you call me yesterday and what did you want to talk to me about
I think its okay to say something like that.
But Sendai-san just sat next to me and didnt ask me anything.
The only meaningful words she has uttered since she got here are,「Sorry, Im late.」Now shes looking at a reference book spread out on the table.
Indeed, Sendai-san came to this room later than I expected.
I think she was concerned because it was almost eight oclock and she came to see me.
Perhaps it was her own kindness in not mentioning yesterdays phone call.
But this is unnatural.
Sendai-san, as usual, would be the first to ask about yesterdays phone call.
It is difficult to talk when she was next to me without saying anything like this.
But the words I heard from Maika keep going around and around in my head.
I take a sip of my cider and look at Sendai-san.
「About yesterday, youre not going to ask me about it」
I think we will end up studying together if we dont.
Im not wrong about that, as I promised before the winter break, but studying is just an excuse today.
If we wont talk, I dont know whats the purpose of calling Sendai-san here.
「You mean from the phone」
A probing voice comes next to me.
「I knew you would ask me about that today.」
「I just came to teach you how to study.
Yesterday, Miyagi said I should come to teach you how to study, too.」
Sendai-san looks up and puts down her pen.
Then she looked at me.
「But if Miyagi says she has something to say, Ill listen.
You have something to say, dont you」
Sendai-san says it as if she has no choice, and makes an unwilling face, though not so much as to be bothersome.
I should be used to seeing her like this, but today I am uncomfortable.
Probably because she is not in uniform.
Those knitwear and skirts that could be sold anywhere.
If I were wearing it, it would look cheap, but when Sendai-san wears it, it looks reasonably good and suits her.
But shes in plain clothes, which I havent seen since the end of summer vacation, and she doesnt fit in the room and feels distant.
Thanks to this, I still dont have the courage to ask what I need to ask.
「…Isnt it you, Sendai-san Has something to tell me」
「Thats what I said yesterday, but nothing in particular.
So, what about Miyagi Talk to me soon.」
I have something to say, so I called Sendai-san.
If we are going to talk, I think today is the only day to do so.
But when I know, but my mouth doesnt move properly and I keep silent, Sendai-san speaks up for me.
「A talk, you know, is not a talk I want to hear.
Miyagi, youre not in a very good mood—— If you dont want to talk, stop talking.」
I hear a voice heavier than before and I suck in my breath.
Then I exhale slowly and open my mouth.
「Sendai-san, tell me about the conversation you had with Maika in the hallway.」
「Ive never talked to Utsunomiya before… You mean when we talked on the way to the purchasing」
I hear a slightly low voice, as if to say that an uncomfortable conversation has begun.
「I think I told you about that before.
Didnt I tell you that she asked me about when I called Miyagi」
How could I forget
I was told the same thing in the music prep room as I am now, and I believed it.
But now I know that those words were intentionally left out in part.
「Thats not the only thing you talked about, you talked about something else… Like the college Im applying to.」
「…I understand now.
Did Utsunomiya told you about it」
Sendai-san says as if she understands everything.
「Yesterday, I heard—— Why did you ask me in the music prep room where I was applying to college when you knew where I wanted to go Did you just want to be amused by my reaction」
My grades improved and I changed my school of choice to follow Sendai-sans lead.
I can only assume that she was thinking that way and thought to see me upset when I pointed out that she had kept quiet.
I do not want to follow in Sendai-sans trails and have decided that I will not see her until graduation.
In the first place, the fact that Sendai-sans school of choice and mine are close to each other is a coincidence, and it only happened when I chose the same university as Maika, not by design.
It would be wrong if it wasnt, and Sendai-san is wrong.
I wish she would say something.
But she says nothing.
She looks very serious and keeps her mouth shut.
「Answer me, Sendai-san.」
When I say it as a prompt, I hear a voice as serious as my face.
「——Did I look like I was having a good time」
Sendai-san looks at the bookshelf.
At the corner of her eye, she sees a black cat she brought with her.
「I asked you which university you were applying to because I wanted to hear Miyagi tell me what school you wanted to go to.」
She asked me a question, but without waiting for my answer, Sendai-san said.
「Then just ask me normally.
Just say you heard it from Maika.」
When I said this in an angry but strong tone, Sendai-sans gaze shifted from the black cat to me.
「I told Miyagi, you would say that you wouldnt accept the same place as Utsonomiya, am I right」
Sendai-san was correct.
If Maika had told me that she had heard about the school I wanted to go to, I would have changed the school I had almost decided to go to to a different university, giving the reason that such a story was a lie or that I was just trying to say something.
「About college, what will you do」
Sendai-san asks questions as if she was a school teacher.
「I dont want to say.」
「I havent decided yet.」
「Its not the time to get lost.
Youve already made up your mind.
If you havent decided, go with the same place as Utsunomiya.」
It is certainly not the time to get lost, and my school of choice has been decided.
Even if Sendai-san doesnt tell me, Im going to apply to the same university as Maika.
But I dont want to tell Sendai-san.
In other words, it would be as if the school of my choice, which I had decided on with my own will, had been decided in accordance with Sendai-sans wishes.
I have my own ideas and I dont want people to think that I always do what Sendai-san wants.
And I dont understand why Sendai-san is so concerned about my school of choice.
「I dont have to tell Sendai-san, and why do you try to get me to take the same or nearby universities Why dont you just accept it」
My voice got a little raspy, but I wasnt angry.
But Sendai-san looked difficult and became silent.
I drink a glass of cider to fill the sudden silence.
I feel like its my fault and Im not comfortable.
It was not cold, but as I reached for the remote control to turn up the temperature of the air conditioner, Sendai-san opened her mouth.
「——Does Miyagi not want to see me」
The questions that were left out of the main points were not extremely quiet.
But it was the first time I had heard this voice from Sendai-san, which was filled with anxiety, like when a lost child asks for directions.
After the graduation ceremony, I wont see Sendai-san.」
I didnt want to go out of my way to say it, but I pulled out a past promise and confronted her with it.
I could have dodged questions that were missing the important parts, but I couldnt give dishonest answers to voices I dont normally hear.
「I remember that promise.
But Im not asking you that.
Im asking you if you dont want to see me after you graduate.」
「…What about Sendai-san」
「I would love to meet Miyagi and I think it would be fun to meet you.」
I was expecting to be told not to return a question with a question, but Sendai-san was honest enough to say the answer to what I asked.
「I dont know how Miyagi feels about it, but I look forward to coming to this room quite a bit, and it would be boring to lose that.」
Sendai-san says what she usually does not say.
I want to meet her.
Anyone can say such a thing, and even if she think so today, I think it may be different tomorrow.
Even my father promises to come home earlier, or to have dinner together, or when we can see each other.
But most of them did not come true.
And Sendai-san does not keep her promises.
She kept breaking the promises she made to me.
So I cant believe that Sendai-san says she wants to meet with me.
One of the few promises she kept is to wear a necklace, but I dont know if shes wearing it today because shes not in uniform.
If I could see the necklace as I usually do after school, I think I might be able to believe Sendai-sans words.
But I dont have the courage to confirm it.
Instead, all that comes out are hateful words.
「Its no fun to be called in after school for money and ordered around.」
「Wouldnt it be like perverting yourself if you enjoyed being ordered around」
「That means you havent been having fun the whole time, right」
When I say this coldly, Sendai-san looks troubled.
「It wasnt fun, I didnt know much about Miyagi at first.
I mean, Miyagi wasnt that interesting to be around me at first either.」
A relationship that started on a whim could be gone, and at first I only thought that if I got tired of it, I could just not invite Sendai-san to this room.
But not that it wasnt as interesting as she was.
「It was interesting to see Sendai-san listening to me.」
「Thats not a good character trait to have.」
「Only for Sendai-san.」
When I replied shortly to the dismissive voice, I heard one sigh from next to me and a serious voice said,「Miyagi.」
「What about now Do you think wed have fun together」
Was it fun or not
I must always choose one or the other.
If that is the case, the choice is fixed, although conditions are attached.
「…If Sendai-san doesnt do anything strange.」
Tell me you want to see me after graduation.
I wont do anything weird.」
What she is trying to get me to say are words that come close to breaking a promise.
I dont want to speak out without trusting Sendai-san, and I dont want something to change if I do.
When I remained silent, Sendai-san let out a long breath and leaned back on the bed.
「Well, then, whether we meet or not, let me know if you get accepted to any college.」
「Why should I tell Sendai-san」
「Were study buddies.
Even if were not friends, weve studied together, so why not tell me」
「Maybe so, but…」
「Its not a maybe, its just thats the way it is.
If you get in, let me know what college youre going in.」
Sendai-san says as a matter of course and pushes me to a conclusion.
I had already decided which university I would apply to, and this was conveyed to Sendai-san.
I never believe a word I say that I havent decided.
If so, once the exam is over, its easy to find out if I were accepted or not by doing a little research without having to tell her.
I think its no use keeping quiet about it.
「Alright… but, Im not making any promises.」
I picked up a pen that was lying on the table, thinking that Sendai-san should have said so.
But Sendai-san begins to put away her reference books and notebooks.
「Im leaving now.
It was late when I came.」
It is true that she came to this room late.
But on days when we have school, she sometimes come home a little later.
I involuntarily grab Sendai-sans arm.
Not everything came full circle, and I cant say it was resolved, but I did say most of what I wanted to say.
Studying is an excuse so she dont have to be doing it.
But its not much fun to be sent home just because shed done her business.
When I recall the price I paid for the promise to call Sendai-san over winter break, I dont want her to leave so easily like this.
She could stay a little longer.
I should have the right to have it accepted.
But to exercise that right, Sendai-sans seemingly firm will must be softened.
「…What about the kiss」
This is the only word I can think of to stall Sendai-san as she tries to get up.
「You added that to the conditions, Sendai-san.」
「I didnt teach you anything today.」
Sendai-san, who has done many things that can hardly be called sensible behavior, says something reasonable, so I put strength into the hand that holds my arm.
「Miyagi, it hurts.」
「Go home after you teach me how to study.
Keep the promise you made yesterday.」
「And if we study now, itll be late.」
I let go of Sendai-sans arm.
Then I take a small breath.
「——If it gets late, you can stay the night.」
「Sendai-san, I told you on the phone.
I said Id let you stay.」
Because she said so.
So Im just going to make it happen.
「Can I stay the night」
「My parents arent home today, so Im all alone.」
「Hearing that implies weird meaning to me, though.」
The absence of parents means just that, that my father is not coming home today.
There is no other meaning attached to it.
If it sounds like it means something strange, thats just because Sendai-san is strange.
「I knew it, go home.」
I push her arm to keep Sendai-san away from me, and she replies with,「Im just joking.」
Her jokes are all in poor taste and too heavy for a joke.
I hate it when I take her seriously and respond seriously because it hurts me.
Still, I never know what Sendai-san will do if I dont take precautions.
「…You can stay if you promise not to do anything weird.」
「Thats not the line you use to ask a girl to sleep over.」
「Sendai-san, think about what youve done.
If you dont want to teach me how to study, Ill send you downstairs.」
When I said this, Sendai pulled out her smartphone from her bag, saying,「In case I need to call home.」