Spending the weekends idly wasn’t a rare occurrence, but these two days were worse than usual.
I would sleep like a log until noon, eat lunch, laze about on the sofa and take an afternoon nap after getting sleepy, and when I woke up, it would already be evening. I would then have some dinner and lethargically waste time until I got sleepy again and then I would fall asleep.
This routine repeated itself over the course of the past two days and now, my weekend was over.
The taste of medicine still lingered in my mouth. It was a bitter and grainy discomfort that wouldn’t disappear.
That didn’t change even when it became Monday. If anything, it felt much gloomier than usual.
It was a cloudy morning and the bike lane that ran up towards school was submerged in a cold wind and the pedals of my bike were heavy.
When I made it onto campus, it was my feet that felt heavy this time and the uncomfortable chilly wind that found its way through small crevices at my feet bothered me.
But the people present in the class made it feel warm.
Even so, was it because of the weather that the room felt gloomier than usual? Even though it was the usual gathered students in the class, it just wasn’t as lively.
The main cause behind that was likely lodged in the heart of the class.
In the back of the class were voices that sounded more subdued than usual.
Even the usually ostentatiously loud Tobe was restraining his voice as if he was being considerate.
“Hayato-kun, what ya gonna do about club?”
“Let’s see. I guess we should get there early.”
Hayama’s tone was unchanging as always. But the brevity of his words naturally infected the world around him.
“Oh right, the soccer club had the day off, huh?”
When Oooka casually spoke up, Yamato responded. The fields were shared by the sports clubs. Those two had a mutual understanding of that fact.
Somewhere in their exchange bothered Miura as she repeatedly uttered a single word.
Those soulless utterances of hers sounded incoherent. Suddenly noticing the mood, Ebina slammed onto her desk and stood up noisily.
“Yu-Yumiko! Oh no! Friday and today sound so similar, I’m not sure which one is the top and which one is the bottom1!”
This time it was Yuigahama who murmured.
“O-Okay! Yui thinks Friday’s the top! How about you, Tobbechi!?”
When the conversation flung in Tobe’s direction, he was dumbfounded.
“Eh, uh, Friday is… ah.”
But looking as if he had a breakthrough, he hastily stood up noisily, knocking his chair down in the process.
“D-Darn straight, that’s gotta mean today! Today’s the only day where we just gotta go, go and go!”
“Y-Yeah! I-I think so too!”
Tobe and Ebina pulled in Oooka and Yamato for a high five.
The two panted after the exchange had ended. But, Hayama continued to smile gently while Miura and Yuigahama continued making small sighs.
…That’s some painful effort they’re putting in.
But if they didn’t do that, then there’d be problems.
That’s because they were the ones who wished for that kind of relationship the most.
× × ×
Time continued to tick by as I sat through my first and second period classes.
The third period ended smoothly and it was now fourth period.
Once this was over, it was lunch break. It’s likely that the atmosphere of the class would become like it was in the morning. It really didn’t matter all that much to me since I usually didn’t eat my lunch in class, but amongst all the classes in school, this class was the liveliest. So just how was this class that was now submerged in gloom perceived by others?
But unexpectedly, they probably wouldn’t notice anything. Even the teachers in charge of the classes today weren’t aware of anything out of place.
Fourth period was modern Japanese.
As the chimes rang, Hiratsuka-sensei entered the room. Upon entering, she surveyed the room and tilted her head.
“…Hm. You guys sure are quiet today. Well, that’s fine. Let’s begin class.”
As expected, she’s quite observant.
Hiratsuka-sensei specified a page from the textbook and began reading something from the book while writing it on the blackboard.
I rested my chin on my hands and opened my textbook.
I mechanically rotated my eyes between the textbook, blackboard, and notes. But, no matter how much I looked, I couldn’t make any sense of any of the words.
Class continued with nothing being absorbed.
It felt like that the entire day.
A cycle of questions that couldn’t be answered repeated itself.
My sudden recollection of things had me thinking of wandering, passing thoughts.
When Orimoto looked at those two at the end, what was she thinking?
She might’ve done something awful to Nakamachi.
What was Isshiki going to ask? Also, I needed to do something about her election.
Aah, I wonder if I needed to make a status report to Meguri.
As for Miura, I could leave it up to Ebina to smooth it over. Tobe could also lend a hand in doing that. Surprisingly, that just might be the trigger that could get them together.
Should I have brought home a chocolate croissant yesterday for Komachi? As usual, I still hadn’t heard anything from her.
And finally, what was Haruno really thinking? I didn’t really understand the relationship between those two sisters. Even now, I still hadn’t gotten any closer to them.
Hayama didn’t look like his usual, outgoing self, but he was still able to smile. What a guy. Maybe he was actually never hurt in the first place? If so, then the guy was a real masterpiece. If I was the only one needlessly worrying about every little thing, the way I was acting so absurdly self-conscious made me want to vomit.
—Above all else, what were those two thinking right now?
At some point, the hand scribbling on the blackboard had stopped.
Noticing that, I lifted my head in surprise and my eyes clashed with Hiratsuka-sensei’s at the platform.
I jolted from having my name called abruptly. Hiratsuka-sensei then let out a deep sigh.
“Make your way to the faculty office after this.”
She uttered only those words, descended from the platform, and left the classroom.
What about class…? Or so I thought, but when I looked around, everyone had already put away their textbooks and notes. They proceeded to move their tables and take out their lunchboxes.
While I was watching in a daze, the chimes had already rung.
I put my class supplies together and stood up from my seat.
“Make your way to the faculty office.” So that meant I was to meet with her this lunch break. Let’s take care of business before eating lunch. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have any time to eat my food.
I left the classroom into the hallway in a hurry and slightly ahead was Hiratsuka-sensei leisurely walking. I followed after her to the faculty office.
Even though we were within speaking distance, Hiratsuka-sensei didn’t say anything. Her back was simply saying “just be quiet and follow me”.
Once we made it into the faculty office, Hiratsuka-sensei finally spoke.
“Shall we go further inside?”
Further in was a reception room established inside the faculty’s office.
It was partitioned off and inside was a glass tabletop and black leather sofas. I was taken in here before.
“Have a seat over there.”
She pointed to the sofa and I sat.
Hiratsuka-san took a seat slightly to the right on the opposite sofa, sitting in a position diagonally from facing me head on.
She then took out a cigarette and lighted it.
Hiratsuka-san pushed a glass ashtray from the side onto the top of the table and nodded.
She took two to three puffs and dropped the ashes.
“It looked like you weren’t paying attention at all in class today.”
“Haa. Well, today wasn’t that much so it’s rather easy to understand.”
When I said that, Hiratsuka-san had a slightly displeased expression.
“It’s because only your test scores are good that it’s a problem.”
With a discontented puff of smoke, Hiratsuka-san paused for a moment and began to speak.
“…I heard what happened from Yukinoshita this morning.”
She went through the trouble of calling me out. Then it must have been something important. I straightened my back and focused my ears.
Hiratsuka-san tapped the ashes of the cigarette into the tray again.
“It looks like she’s going to run for the student council president.”
When I asked, Hiratsuka-sensei answered instantly.
Upon hearing it, my heart grew noisy.
Yukinoshita was going to run for the student council president.
The question of why she was doing it filled my head. Yukinoshita didn’t like standing out in public. She even said it herself. Not to mention during the culture festival when they tried to push her to be the committee chairman, she obstinately declined. Above all else, there was also the Service Club.
Did Haruno-san’s provocations cause Yukinoshita to act? Was the ongoing war-like discord between the two sisters something that wouldn’t so easily disappear?
As I fell into thought, Hiratsuka-sensei added.
“Hayama is apparently doing the campaign speech for her.”
“Is that so…”
True enough, when it came to the campaign speech, he was the most suitable choice. But that was only if they were completely unrelated. I didn’t know the details behind Hayama and Yukinoshita’s past. I’ve been doing everything up until now without ever knowing. However, based on how Yukinoshita typically acted, I felt it didn’t fall in line with her principles.
During the weekend, Yukinoshita decided to run for candidacy, contacted Hayama, and got his consent to do the speech for her, huh? I couldn’t get a clear image of what her motive and intent was, but the preparations alone were quite good. From that alone, I could say it was very typical of Yukinoshita.
When Hiratsuka-sensei crushed her cigarette, she softly looked up.
“Hikigaya, what will you do?”
“I won’t do anything. I can’t really be picky about their plans.”
Besides, if you thought about it normally, then Yukinoshita becoming the president would settle everything. There wouldn’t be a need to look for other possible nominees for candidacy. There just wasn’t anything problematic that I could see.
I was gritting my teeth, not having realized it.
“…Given her qualifications, she’s the most apt person for the job.”
If anything, why didn’t that possibility ever come up in my mind? It’s because I unconsciously filtered it out.
That scenery and that period of time could easily collapse on itself at any time for whatever reason and I was supposed to have been aware of that.
Hiratsuka-sensei nodded to my mutter.
“I suppose so… There’s no one more suitable. I imagine once everyone and all the teachers knew, they’d welcome it with open arms.”
That was certain. The teachers probably weren’t the only ones. Even Meguri-senpai would be relieved with it. If they knew, then the election wouldn’t be necessary. It was the same as winning the majority.
“You haven’t told anyone about it, yet?”
Hiratsuka-sensei made a sweet smile and lit up another cigarette. She puffed out a smoke energetically and pointed at me.
“Well then, I’ll ask again. Hikigaya, what will you do?”
I couldn’t approve of Yukinoshita running for the student council president.
That’s why, regardless of what reasoning was presented, that was just an addendum. However, eventually, she’d try to rationalize it. And I knew that Yukinoshita’s way of doing things like that was wrong. In the end, if Yukinoshita tried to carry this burden herself, then that was no different from the culture festival.
That way of doing things was something that I’ve already rejected.
In that case, this time would follow the same conclusion.
“…Hiratsuka-sensei, do you have the key to the room?”
When I asked, Hiratsuka-sensei made a dangling gesture with her hand.
“As always, Yukinoshita has been using the room during lunch break.”
Then that meant Yukinoshita was still eating lunch in the room.
If she becomes a candidate for the student council at this rate, then it wouldn’t be possible to withdraw. Whether I’ll stop it or not was something I’ll leave for after talking to her.
When I stood up, Hiratsuka-sensei looked outside the window and puffed.
“Even though the club became voluntary, she always came to get the key every day.”
“…I see. Please excuse me.”
I bowed and Hiratsuka-sensei raised her hand without looking at me. As usual, the smoke continued to ascend up.
I left the faculty office hastily and headed directly for the club room.
I went through the stairs of the special building and then the hallway. There wasn’t a sign of anyone passing through this hallway. Because of that, all I could see before me was an awfully, dreadful view. However, the temperature didn’t catch my attention as I moved forward quickly.
I placed my hands on the door of the room and immediately opened it.
In the room were Yukinoshita and Yuigahama. Both of them had small lunchboxes scattered about.
Yuigahama stared at me fixedly because I suddenly barged into the room. But Yukinoshita stared at me with the same cold gaze from the other day and said nothing.
“Yukinoshita, are you planning to run for president yourself?”
When I asked her, Yukinoshita answered with a very concise response. She then gently shifted her eyes downwards.
Only Yuigahama had a surprised expression as she stared.
“She didn’t tell you?”
Yuigahama’s shoulders shrunk and as she looked down, she answered. Yukinoshita showed Yuigahama an apologetic expression.
“…I was planning on discussing it with her.”
But when Yukinoshita said that, she averted her gaze from Yuigahama.
“That’s not called discussing, since you already decided on it.”
Yukinoshita decided by herself and moved by herself. It was probably true she was going to discuss it. No, she may have planned to discuss it a while back. Putting aside whether she really would have talked about it then.
“Is it… because of what your sister said to you?”
Yesterday came to mind when I asked. But Yukinoshita answered without looking my way.
“She has nothing to do with it. I don’t take anything she says seriously. I’m doing this because I want to.”
I really just didn’t understand. The more I touched upon the relationship of the Yukinoshita sisters, the less I understood about them. But I didn’t think for a second that touching on that would change Yukinoshita’s answer in any way.
Then I needed to talk about something else.
“Weren’t you going to support Hayama?”
“He already has his hands full with his own club. There isn’t anyone else suitable for the task besides him, is there?”
Yukinoshita looked at her hands she placed on the table and answered. Listening to that, Yuigahama timidly spoke up.
“But Yukinon, you have club, too…”
Those words that were spoken in a groping, shy fashion caused Yukinoshita to raise her head and smile at Yuigahama.
“It won’t be a problem. This club isn’t as busy as the Soccer Club and I’m well aware of what the Student Council work entails. It won’t add any extra burden to our club.”
So stated Yukinoshita, but how much of that was really true?
Activities of both the student council and the club; there were people who were doing both now. If you took into account Yukinoshita’s ability, then she was probably also capable of it as well. But even the culture festival and the athletics festival brought up a lot of issues indicating that you wouldn’t know unless you tried.
I could understand why they couldn’t support Hayama. Even amongst the sports clubs, the soccer club was the most prominent. As the club president, he probably couldn’t be missing practice very often either. That would be the reason for why he couldn’t participate in the activities of the student council. That’s why at the very beginning, I crossed off Hayama as a potential candidate.
But still, that wasn’t reason enough for why Yukinoshita would become a candidate.
“What’s the possibility of another candidate besides Hayama?”
“I believe you were the one who rejected that possibility.”
Yukinoshita answered immediately with a cold tone.
Indeed, given the limited time, it would be difficult to find a person with the qualities befitting of the student council president, persuade him, and get him to win the election. And the one who pointed that out was none other than me.
To think that my impulsive nature that would take over when criticizing someone would backfire on me. I scratched my head reflexively as a result.
“Is that why you’re doing this?”
Because I could only answer with so little words, my tone sounded violent. Yuigahama’s shoulders shook for a moment.
However, Yukinoshita calmly, no, cruelly enumerated her cold words.
“Objectively thinking, this would be the best option. I can win against Isshiki-san without a problem. And doing this alone means I won’t need to come to an agreement with anyone else. The other student council members are already motivated, so we should be able to hold our school events much more smoothly and effectively than before… Also, I don’t mind doing it.”
After Yukinoshita finished, she breathed out.
She looked downwards in a way that stopped the conversation. And in that expression of hers seemed to be a mix of an extreme sadness and a tragic determination.
That word awfully struck a chord with me. She wasn’t the only one who sought for efficiency. He, who would act with that as his reason, was someone similar.
That’s exactly why, if it had to be an effective way of doing things, then there were other ways to do it.
“Maybe, but we still have another option where we don’t need to resort to an election battle.”
When I said that, Yukinoshita raised her head.
“Are you talking about your idea from before?”
Yukinoshita questioned me with a sharp look in her eyes. It was those eyes again.
But I wasn’t planning on backing off now. So I returned her stare.
There was no absolute confidence in my plan. Even so, in the group of distributed hands was a single one that was the most plausible. I planned to deal out that hand that was the most effective of them all.
It was already lighting up in the palms of my hands.
Yukinoshita sighed and in just that instant, she averted her gaze from me.
She then glared at me. I felt a pressure that resembled the feelings of hostility.
“You overestimate yourself far too much if you think your words and your behavior alone are enough to influence the entire student body. I don’t think those alone will solve the problem.”
She struck where it hurts.
It was as Yukinoshita said. I wasn’t a person with that much influence. I was quite aware of that. If the committee was a small community, then I could at least stir up some trouble.
However, if you weren’t known, no one would support you and you would have no way of getting ahead. Even if you considered the unspecified number of students who weren’t like the average student, as far as results were concerned, honestly speaking, they were an unknown number. Even if I was hated, it was doubtful whether everyone would actually remember me. I didn’t have any confidence I could leave an impression that would last in their memories. Besides, there was also the possibility that their thoughts could shift to Isshiki.
But in that case, all that’s need was to reexamine the prerequisites carefully and give a performance that exceeded the estimated result.
“Then I’ll just have to think of something else that takes that into account.”
If cowardice and spite wasn’t enough, then we just needed to delve into ill will and malice. If it’s to build disgust and hatred, then there were numerous ways to do it.
People didn’t demand a reason to hate another. Whatever reason it may be, “he kinda pisses me off”, “he’s kinda unlikeable”, “he’s kinda gross”, it would become a reason for hating someone.
My mouth distorted into a wretched smile. It turned into one on its own unintentionally. With my expression like that, I looked back at Yukinoshita.
Seeing that, Yukinoshita firmly bit her lips and looked away from me.
“…If you believe everyone cares about you enough to hate you, you are far too self-conscious.”
Just those few words hurt more than any logic ever could.
The monster of self-consciousness that was shut away in the labyrinth crawled further in.
There wasn’t one rebuttal I could muster against Yukinoshita.
When the conversation abruptly ended, the quiet clattering of the window by the wind echoed in the silent room. The blowing north wind chilled the room.
“…My methods are different from yours.”
As she faced downwards, her tightly gripped fist and slender shoulders shivered from the cold. They were words that quietly slipped out. Those words alone were something I could agree with.
“I guess so…”
They really were different. It wasn’t an issue between the principles of being right or wrong, but between our motivations. That difference was what defined our current distance between each other.
In that time, Yuigahama was listening to our conversation silently. And she was probably thinking the entire time. She muttered as if she was in body, but not in spirit.
“I see… So, Yukinon’s going to do that…”
Yuigahama didn’t say anything else.
When I felt the time steadily coagulate, Yukinoshita glanced at me.
“Is there anything else?”
“…No, that’s all I wanted to ask you.”
I didn’t know what I wanted to confirm. That time when I rejected Yukinoshita’s way of doing things was different from the circumstances now. In that case, I couldn’t so easily reject it this time. I didn’t think it was the best method, but I could only be convinced that it was the second alternative.
She voiced something that was either a reply or a sigh and began to gather up her small lunchbox that still had quite a lot left.
I turned around and left the room.
The sound of the door closing behind me reverberated in the soundless room.
I walked down the hallway of the special building. Compared to before I came through here, it wasn’t worthy of comparison. Further ahead was Hayama. When Hayama noticed me, he slightly raised his hand.
“So you came too.”
He sure was something to be in the mood for talking. Just when I thought he was going to speak his mind, here he is, having a perfectly fine expression. I couldn’t understand how he could keep those two separate. Or could it be that he possessed the same qualities similar to Haruno?
Not in the mood to start up a conversation, I sent Hayama a look asking why he was here to which he shrugged his shoulders.
“I was just called out to meet with them.”
I replied with just those words and walked past Hayama.
Just as we passed by each other, Hayama spoke.
“I’ll be working with Yukinoshita… What are you going to do?”
“…I’m not going to do anything.”
I spat out those words and continued down the hallway without looking back. It sounded like I could hear a sigh from behind me.
If anything, it was likely more correct that I wasn’t going to do anything, but that I couldn’t do anything.
Rebuttals that could go against Yukinoshita wouldn’t come to mind. Her words were much more logical.
In the first place, I wasn’t sure if opposing her was a good thing.
There was no reason for that.
Should Yukinoshita run as a candidate in the election, then she would no doubt be the strongest contender and it was pretty much clear who was going to be elected. Not only was her ability the real deal, there was also Hayama who was cooperating with her.
As I walked senselessly back to the classroom, I realized that I had forgotten to eat my lunch.
× × ×
Because of my hunger, I absorbed absolutely nothing from my afternoon classes. It was also doubtful anything even reached my ears.
I kept myself facing towards the front the entire time during class. Because if I turned around, Yuigahama and Hayama would come into view and bothersome things would start filling my head again.
I abandoned all thought regarding class and went through continuous repetitions between dozing off and pretending to sleep.
I went through fifth and sixth period in the same fashion and it was finally homeroom.
For these types of days, the best thing was to hurry up and go straight home.
After the announcements from the homeroom teacher, we were finally free.
The clamoring noise afterschool felt like it belonged to another world. I got ready to go home without contributing to that noise and stood up from my seat.
After I entered the hallway and started heading in the direction of the front entrance, a voice called out to me from behind.
When I turned around, Yuigahama ran up to me. Yuigahama looked flustered as she steadied her breathing and slowly spoke.
“Um… do you want to go home together?”
“I brought my bike. Also, our houses are in different directions.”
I blurted out what was the most natural thing in the world and said nothing more. I answered emotionlessly. But, Yuigahama didn’t back down.
“Yeah. That’s why… just up to there.”
As she said that, Yuigahama pointed in some unknown direction.
Aah, I understood Yuigahama’s expression was telling me that she wouldn’t withdraw here.
Well, going in the direction of Yuigahama’s house was just a slight detour. I could still get home. It’s not like I had anything to do even if I went straight home.
Besides, I mostly knew what Yuigahama wanted to talk about. It was the same for me after all.
“…I’ll go get my bike so wait here.”
I pointed to the side of the gate as I said that and began walking.
“Ah, I’ll go too.”
After saying that, Yuigahama followed me from behind.
“Nah, that’s fine.”
I stopped her there and I headed to the bike parking area quickly. For the two of us to go to the bike area side by side given the amount of people still at school was embarrassing. Not to mention, Yuigahama would stand out. Even more so since she didn’t commute to school with a bike and there was no reason for her to be there. I also knew that she was popular with the guys. I felt being seen here wouldn’t be a good thing.
I hastily unlocked my bike and headed for the side gate.
Yuigahama earnestly waited at the side gate and when she noticed me, she raised her hand. Like I said, doing things like that made you stand out.
I pushed my bike with Yuigahama standing next to me. I nodded to her indicating that we should get going. Yuigahama nodded in response and we began walking.
The direction of Yuigahama’s head was still fresh in my head.
It should’ve been a few minutes from the station to get to her apartment complex. Going by bike or even by bus was probably the fastest way to get there, but perhaps the bus stop out front may just have been as well. Yuigahama typically commuted to school by bus.
We first decided to use the street side to pass through the park near by the school and headed for the station.
The leaves of the trees in the park had stopped falling and there were no signs of children playing either.
On that path were scattered and staggered students going home. Those students also included us.
I stayed quiet as I pushed my bike and Yuigahama walked along quietly as well.
We both seemed to be looking for the timing to start up a conversation.
As the uneasy silence continued, we turned away from the curving street that ran up along the apartment complexes. The shadows of the complexes retracted and the raining sunlight filled the area.
Along the faint sunlight blew the north wind. That chilliness struck our bodies.
Suddenly, Yuigahama spoke up.
“Say, Yukinon’s going to run in the election, huh?”
Right now, what was bothering us was exactly that. Even Yuigahama wasn’t told the reason for Yukinoshita’s decision to run for presidency. What was she thinking and what was it that we wanted to do?
All I thought was how we were going to talk about that.
But Yuigahama said something completely different.
“…I will too. I think I’ll give it a try too.”
I turned to her and asked her what she was blurting out all of a sudden.
But Yuigahama’s mouth was tightly sealed shut and she was looking at her feet with a serious expression. That’s why I thought about the context from earlier of what she had said.
“I’ll give it a try.” What she said didn’t sound anything like a joke and what she was saying was that she would run as a candidate for the student council president just like Yukinoshita.
“Why would you…”
I was under the assumption that Yuigahama wasn’t the type of person who would want to take on the role of student council president. Frankly, it just didn’t suit her character.
When I asked, Yuigahama kicked a stone near her feet. It bounced once before dropping into the gutter.
“You see, I don’t have anything. Things I want to do, things I can do, I don’t have any of them. That’s why, on the other hand, maybe something like that might actually work or something.”
When she finished speaking, she raised her head. She tried to play it off with a bashful smile as if she was embarrassed by saying something serious.
As I fumbled about what I should say, that smile of hers disappeared. Eventually, my voice finally came out.
“’On the other hand’ you say… Don’t just selfishly say something like that.”
“It’s not selfish.”
Yuigahama stopped. Because she was facing downwards, I couldn’t read her expression. But her aggravated declaration was sharp. This was the first time I’ve heard Yuigahama talk like that.
“It’s everyone that’s being selfish.”
Her voice wasn’t the least bit loud, but mixed in it was a calm anger.
Indeed, I had no right to say anything. That incident during the field trip was something I selfishly did myself. Of course, this time, Yukinoshita choosing to become a candidate was the same. We were only deciding things with our egos.
But that wasn’t enough of a reason for Yuigahama to become a candidate.
“Did you think it over?”
When I asked her, Yuigahama nodded with her expression still facing downwards.
“I did, and I thought this was the only way…”
Yuigahama spoke her words with a halting tone. She strongly squeezed the straps of her backpack with her uncovered hands.
“This time, we’ll be the ones trying our best. We realized that we’ve been leaving it up to Hikki to do everything up until now.”
“I haven’t done anything.”
A fleeting smile formed on Yuigahama’s face and she slightly tilted her head.
“Yes, really. That’s why you don’t need to put in all that effort.”
That was the only thing I could say.
Really, well, at the very least, there wasn’t one good thing I did. There wasn’t one thing I did that was worth praising or evaluating. The only thing I did was flaunt my self-centered theories, that’s all.
“That’s not the only thing.”
Yuigahama’s gaze was directed towards the distant school.
“I’m sure if Yukinon becomes the president, she’ll spend all her time on it. And then, she’ll become the greatest president ever, much more than anyone else, and she’ll even improve the school… But I think we’ll lose the club because of that.”
“We won’t lose the club just because of that..”
I had no intentions of lying. The Service Club would still exist.
However, Yuigahama quietly shook her head. Her hair wasn’t long at all yet the evening sun reflected her swaying hair.
“No, we will. You already know what Yukinon’s like, Hikki. She always focuses all her attention on one thing just like what she did during the Cultural and Sports Festival.”
I knew that very well. Whenever a request concerning a big event came up, we undoubtedly would give our full attention to it.
There was a limit to Yukinoshita’s capacity. Of course, this capacity was far greater than the average person, but there was a limit. The job called the student council president had duties all year round and putting that into consideration, it would be difficult to continue the current Service Club’s activities.
As I was in the middle of thinking, Yuigahama took a step forward ahead of me.
The hems of Yuigahama’s skirt fluttered as she quickly spun around. She joined her hands together behind her and suddenly stopped.
She then looked directly at me.
“…I love this club.”
“I really love… it.”
When Yuigahama repeated those words, tears slowly dripped from the corner of her eyes.
I instinctively lost my words when I saw that.
At times like this, what kind of words could I say? Unsuitable thoughts filled my head and worthwhile words wouldn’t come out.
As I stood there without saying anything, Yuigahama gasped in surprise and hastily rubbed her eyes with her sleeves. There, she showed a forced smile.
“W-Well, you know, um, even if I become the student president, I figured I could just do whatever and still keep the club the way it is now or something. I mean, it’s me after all. It’s not like anyone expects me to do a good job and stuff.”
“No, even so.”
Yuigahama stopped the words that came out.
Yuigahama took a step forward and placed her hand on my chest, telling me she wouldn’t let me say any more.
Right next to me was Yuigahama’s face. Her face that was facing downwards was hard to see. Unable to move away from her, I could only stand there stiffly.
Yuigahama gently raised her head.
“…That’s why I’ll beat Yukinon.”
Her eyes no longer dripped with tears and her gaze gave off a strong feeling of determination.
Just as I was about to open my mouth to say Yuigahama’s name, Yuigahama quickly took a step away from me.
She then glanced around, readjusted her backpack over her shoulders, and talked hurriedly.
“Oh, I’ll be fine here…! See you later!”
“Ah, yeah… See you later.”
I replied with a short acknowledgement to her back that quickly went away. Yuigahama turned around as if she heard it.
“Bye bye, Hikki.”
After she said that, Yuigahama slightly waved her hands.
As I stood there under the setting sun seeing the smiling Yuigahama off at a place where my hands couldn’t reach, the area where she touched tightened in pain.
When I lightly raised my hand, I pushed my bike and returned to the original street.
After making it on to the big street, I got on my bike.
As I pedaled, I began to think in earnest.
Yuigahama would become the student council president in order to protect the Service Club where she belonged.
Possibly, if someone was going to win against Yukinoshita, then it could be Yuigahama.
Yuigahama had the presence of being in the top caste of the school and she also had other connections which surpassed Yukinoshita. She held the possibility that could split the favorable votes that Hayama could muster. Even if Hayama’s support made it around, how Miura and the others acted would be hard to predict.
Above all else, Yuigahama was a wonderful girl.
That’s why there wouldn’t be anything strange should Yuigahama become the student council president.
Yukinoshita Yukino and Yuigahama Yui.
It was likely that the outcome of the election would be between these two. Regardless of who loses, Isshiki Iroha would be able to save face.
There was nothing better than this as far as methods were concerned.
The accepted request from Isshiki would be settled.
But that was just the result.
But most likely, the club would be gone.
Despite what Yuigahama had said, she would probably fulfill her duties properly as the student council president. At first, she’d be able to smooth it over, but even so, she would eventually reach her limit.
Just from her looks alone, she was a diligent person and someone who looked out for others. There was no doubt she’d become the ideal student council president that the other members yearned for. And then, she’d be unable to betray them. As a result, she would properly tackle her duties as the student council president. At that point, it would be difficult for her to show her face at the club.
That’s why the club would be gone.
Only the name of the club and the room itself would remain and it would turn into something completely different.
That was something I had realized before.
It wasn’t just me, but also those two as well.
If it was a decision consented upon by both Yukinoshita and Yuigahama, then I didn’t mind. My personal sentiment wasn’t something good enough that could influence a person’s decision after all.
It’s just that.
It’s just that. But even so.
It was painful to force a role onto someone.
In trying to protect what was dear to you, you’d end up losing what you wanted to achieve. Seeing someone like her going through that was something very painful.
Without something becoming the victim, the adolescent drama wouldn’t hold. Even though I knew that.
I wasn’t a victim so things like pity and compassion weren’t necessary. Even though I was the one who arrogantly said that.
What a cruel contradiction.
The sky was a mixture of the evening twilight and darkness of night while the cold wind pricked my fingertips. Unknowingly, my feet that pedaled the bike had stopped.
- Fujoshi lingo ↩