I had a translator who has been missing for over 6 months due to COVID. I am just happy he is alive. Thank God for that. He will be taking...
The Continuation of that Day
Someone was calling me.
It was the kind, flowing voice of a young girl. Ah, I doubted there was any man who would not answer to having his name called by such a beautiful voice.
I needed to get up. As I slept warmly, my conscious made the decision to wake up.
What appeared before my eyes, was the familiar face of a girl. There was a tinge of sadness in her round, black eyes. She had a small, pretty nose and soft cherry blossom colored lips. Her flaxen long hair enhanced her pale skin.
She was so beautiful as if she were charmed. My sleepy eyes were rudely glued to her face. Perhaps I had already been charmed.
“Kurono-kun, are you alright? You were groaning so much…”
Her face looked like it was ready to burst into tears at any moment. When I saw her expression crumble, full of distress and sadness, I immediately felt a certain panic rise within me. I did not want to make her cry.
“No, I am fine. It’s really nothing, so don’t worry about me…Shirazaki.”
“…Oh, that’s good.”
Her face expressed a relief that came from the bottom of her heart. The girl’s name was Yuriko Shirazaki. She was a fellow clubmate at the literature club. I was sad, I think. We were no more to each other, no less.
“By the way, where…am I?”
Apparently, I was currently on a soft bed and covered with clean, white blankets so that I could rest. Shirazaki was sitting on a folding chair near me, peering into my face.
I looked to the right and left and saw the waves of a white curtain hanging from a rail surrounding my bed. Peeking passed a gap in the curtains I could see the familiar and annoying sliding door and in the corner, there was a scale and height meter set.
Additionally, I could see a simple analog clock of practical design hanging on the wall. The time was 6:38. It was just near sunset and the whole room was bathed in the reddish light of the setting sun that shone through the curtains.
Even though I had been the one to ask the question, I could tell at a glance where this room was.
“It’s the school infirmary.”
I thought so, well, there was no other explanation. I had never actually had to use it, but I had come here for special cleaning duties at least.
But why was I sleeping here? It was strange. I could not help but be overcome with a strong feeling of unease.
Calm down, try to remember. Just a moment ago I was…
“I was really shocked when you just fainted in the club room out of nowhere. I were really close to calling an ambulance you know.”
“Ah…ah, that’s right. Now I remember. I had felt a sensation like a massive headache and just fell over right there…that was it.”
“Do you still feel unwell? The school nurse said that it was just low blood pressure, that you would be fine once you had some rest…”
“No, I don’t feel any pain anywhere. I’m really okay now.”
I said it as if I was hiding, but in reality, I really did not feel any abnormalities. The problem was the discrepancy with my memory, I don’t know… I do clearly remember fainting in the literature club room. I do remember that, but I couldn’t help but feel as if it were something that had happened a very long time ago.
“…I have this feeling like I’ve had the longest dream.”
“Don’t worry. You’re awake now, that bad dream that was making you groan is now over.”
A bad dream. Was that what it was.
Bad things, painful things… No, it wasn’t anything so simple as that. I feel like I had experienced being on the brink of death, and that I had also felt a harsher despair than death, many times over.
It was like I had dark and black emotions of chaos deep inside of my chest. Not just my heart, it was a part of my body. The pain and bitterness, the despair of defeat, humiliation, and loss.
If my heart and body had so permanently experienced these emotions, it could only mean that I had been having the most unimaginable nightmare.
“There should have been something…something I was not supposed to forget, something very important.”
“What is it? What do you mean?”
Shirazaki’s black eyes looked straight into me. Usually, she would be intimidated by my aggressive attitude and never look me in the eye. But right now she had the gentle look of a mother looking after her own child.
“It’s, it is…”
I could not take my eyes off her. It was as if her eyes were sucking me in. Like I was being sucked into the abyss.
“…I don’t know.”
I tried to put it into words, into shapes, that memory that was supposed to be important to me. But it scattered like a cloud that could never be grasped.
“Hehe, it was a dream you were having just a moment ago. But you can’t remember it all now that you’re awake, that happens sometimes, huh?”
Yes. In the first place, I don’t even have memories. I fainted from low blood pressure and then I woke up. There was only sleep in between, I myself had not taken any actions. Dreams were only an organizing of memories, something that happens to the body. One of the mechanisms of the living.
“But, Kurono-kun. Do you remember what happened before you fainted?”
Before I fainted? I guess she meant what happened in the club room.
I’m sure I had arrived at the club room like any other day… No, that was wrong. Shirazaki had gone out of her way to talk with me and said:
“There is an important meeting at the club today…so be sure to come, okay.”
And when I did arrive at the club room, Shirazaki who had delivered the message was the only one there.
No matter how long we waited, the other club members did not come. There was an awkward silence as the time ticked away. I didn’t want things to continue like that, so I made the decision to talk to her, but failed. I kept trying different things and then… Ahh, now that I think of it, she said this one thing:
“When I said that there would be a meeting, I lied.”
Yes, she did say that.
“…and, that is all I remember. I think that you were about to continue from there, only that is when I fainted.”
“Good, I’m glad you remembered that.”
If I had not remembered at least that much, it would mean that I was showing signs of memory loss. It was a pretty awful headache, but I don’t think it was that major. In that sense, I too was happy that I had ‘remembered that.’
“So, why did you lie to bring me to the club room?”
“I really wanted to be alone with you there.”
I had thought she was going to say something about how they had all planned to play a prank on me. Her unexpected answer left me scrambling for a reply.
“Is, is that right…”
I returned vaguely, the empty words escaping my mouth like I was an idiot.
But Shirazaki did not appear to be bothered by my confusion and she continued to speak as she looked straight into my eyes.
“Yes. And thankfully, we are alone together again. I can continue what I was going to say.”
Perhaps it was the light of the setting sun that was shining into the room, but her face looked slightly red. Her beautiful smile threatened to captivate me, but I kept my ears perked so as to not miss a single word that came out of her mouth.
“The thing is, Kurono-kun…”
I didn’t get a headache. This time I was able to hear all of what she had to say.
“…I like you.”
It was a confession. It was straight emotion, there was no roundabout way of saying it, no embarrassment. Even the most dimwitted person could not hear this and realize that it was a confession.
But, I could not believe it. It was too much to believe.
The sudden confession, and from a completely unexpected person. And I was not so conceited as to easily accept that her affections for me were real.
This was Shirazaki. I could understand her being angry with me, hating me. If anything, that is what I had been assuming all of this time.
More than anything, I had never done anything that would make her fall for me. Our only conversations were of official matters concerning the club or talking on the behalf of other members. Of course, we also never experienced any beautiful events where I could expect the suspension bridge effect to occur.
And while it did seem incredibly rude to be suspicious of a girls confession of affection, I could still not believe it, yet…
I felt something soft touch my lips. Warmth. There was now zero distance from Shirazaki’s beauty and my face, there was a faint scent of shampoo on her.
I was being kissed.
“I like you, Kurono-kun. I’m not lying.”
Before I knew it she had drawn back to her previous distance from me. That moment just now had felt like a dream. But, it wasn’t a lie. Like she said.
“So, please…be my boyfriend.”
I need to reject her…some intuition in me said. It was not that I still doubted her affections, I no longer assumed that there was something behind it all.
But I just did not have the right. I should not date girls, I should not have any lovers. Such thoughts had suddenly entered my consciousness.
However, at the same time, I also think this: I do not have anyone that I love so strongly that I would offer my body and soul to, and I was no saint who completely shunned all relationships. I was just an ordinary high school student with questionable looks. Why was I thinking about such idiotic things as whether or not I had the right.
Shirazaki herself had confessed to me. I doubt there was a single boy in Sakuragi Highschool that would reject her. Even if they already had a girlfriend, they would probably dump her in a heartbeat.
No, no. This sensation had nothing to do with all that. It was much deeper, from somewhere in my heart there was a distant memory, it pleads with me desperately…
“…I guess that’s a…no.”
“Yes. If you’ll have me.”
My lame and disturbing feelings were immediately blown away when I saw her tragic face about to crumble. How could I have been bothered by such insignificant and boring things.
It was just not possible for me to allow her to cry.
“Really? Are you really sure about this?”
“Yeah, I look forward to being with you, Shirazaki!”
“Thank you! Kurono-kun!”
And just like that, she had pounced on me to give me a hug. I sensed her warmth and scent once again, and my heart began to beat faster.
What a comfortable weight this was. After a moment’s hesitation, I wrapped both of my arms around her.
“Kurono-kun, I love you.”
And so I had my first girlfriend ever. An incredibly beautiful girl named Yuriko Shirazaki.
It seemed that this day would be the peak of my life.