Only the calendar was about to end its summer.
It was the final day of summer vacation and school would begin tomorrow. The cicadas cried out hocky, hocky, hocky, but with the lingering hot weather, it was going to take a little longer until the onset of fall.
The last sun of August settled. As the afterglow of the sinking sun pouring down on me, I was preparing for school that would start tomorrow.
I placed my summer assignment which I had finished a long time ago into my bag.
Komachi’s research material was bundled with my assignment. It looks like it got mixed with mine when she printed them out as hard copies to hand in.
I skimmed through the report on the subject of flame reactions.
Flame reactions were the cause of fireworks having color.
By throwing metals or salts into a fire, the fire would impart a color unique to those chemical elements. Bluish-white flames would change how they appeared depending on the chemical element they were exposed to.
Coincidentally, people were similar.
When a person interacted with someone else, there would be some kind of reaction.
The colors of those reactions would all vary. If a person changed from coming in contact with a single individual, that reaction would change as well. And a completely different color would be derived akin to the multicolored fireworks.
For example, Kawasaki Saki said that it’s difficult to approach her.
The two who were similar in not approaching those around them couldn’t see eye-to-eye, so by both of them staying out of each other’s way, might actually be the most ideal form of communication for them.
Or, Kawasaki Taishi, who after seeing her, evaluated her as beautiful, yet frightening.
On the surface, there wasn’t a more accurate description. An outsider’s perspective of her from afar was exactly like seeing her as someone who reigned over the precipice of a frozen sea.
Also, Zaimokuza Yoshiteru, after facing her, judged that her excess honesty was why she didn’t hesitate from hurting someone.
That could very well be on the mark if you focused on only that part of her alone. Nevertheless, I felt that the problem wasn’t that she’d hesitate or not hesitate, but perhaps, she just didn’t know any other way.
Then, Totsuka Saika praised her as earnest and diligent after making her acquaintance.
She certainly was that kind of person. She was devoted to her rules and principles which occasionally would go too far. Of course, that’s just something that conformed with her own justice inside.
On the other hand, Hikigaya Komachi interacted with her and felt she was lonely somehow.
She had lived her life all this time with a hint of loneliness from living alone as well as being on the side that left and was left behind. Of course, that was nothing more than the sentiments of an observer. No one knew what the person in question felt—perhaps, not even the actual person herself.
Conversely, Hiratsuka Shizuka who had watched over her believed that she was kind and sometimes all too correct.
She stated that it had to be hard for her to live in this world because it wasn’t kind or correct. But that’s certainly true, it’s possible that nearly all of her environments that encapsulated her was a burden to her. Perhaps, her only saving grace was the existence of a “friend”. Although those tens, no, several thousands of existences called “friends” had only served to torment her.
Be that as it may, Yukinoshita Haruno who had lived with her to this day had an apathetic smile.
She stated with a cruel smile just how pitiful and adorable her little sister was for always continuing to chase after her and be defeated, for not being chosen. I don’t know what it was that she wasn’t chosen for. By a friend, her family, her parents, or perhaps fate? Whatever the case, the only one who could ever fancy the thought of her being pitiful was the strongest, Yukinoshita Haruno. Not once did the thought ever cross my mind.
But, Yuigahama Yui who had stayed with her thus far screamed that she liked her.
Her words had not the slightest hint of embellishment, although clumsy and weeping of honesty, her confession was so beautiful that I knew nothing else like it. However, Yuigahama perceived a wall from her. But even so, she wanted to become much closer to her that she’d go as far to borrow the help from the likes of me.
Then, what about Hikigaya Hachiman?
Could it be that I didn’t see anything about her this entire time?
There were certainly times where I could understand her actions and her mentality behind them. But that wasn’t equivalent to understanding her feelings.
It’s just that because our circumstances and positions were so similar that I was able to correlate something between the two of us, but it was nothing more than a coincidental convergence.
People always looked only at the things they wanted to see.
I think what I did was pick out something we were similar in.
Adhering to isolation, sticking with one’s own justice, and giving up on things that couldn’t be comprehended; those perfect, superhuman traits were things I attempted to master, but things that she certainly had possessed.
I… won’t think that I want to know her more.
The Yukinoshita Yukino that I’ve watched all this time.
Always beautiful, always sincere, uttering not a lie and even unnecessarily not mincing her words, she was able to continue standing on her own two feet without the need for support.
That appearance, the way she’d stand so beautifully like a freezing blue flame, yet appear so sadly fleeting.
That Yukinoshita Yukino.
I’m sure I had admired her.