I didn’t even think that I could fall in love. I was supposed to have only wanted to live a normal life in a healthy body.
It makes me so happy. To think that falling in love with someone could make you feel so warm.
“But out of all people it’s Ichinose senpai huh. He already has Mamiya senpai though.”
Ah…. What am I getting all happy about. That’s right. Although I can fall in love, Ichinose senpai likes Sakurako-san so my feelings would just get in their way.
The delicious taste from the potato in my mouth dissolved as my body temperature suddenly dropped.
Is there no meaning to my love?
“That doesn’t matter!”
When I raised my head after feeling down, Uchimura-san was giving me a serious expression.
“It doesn’t matter if the person you like has a lover. Because people can’t help falling in love!”
“But, you know he has his girlfriend is Mamiya senpai?”
“Like I said, it doesn’t matter! No matter who he is with, you shouldn’t try to deny your own feelings. It’s okay to not give up right away.”
“Is it okay to not give up?”
Uchimura-san’s words shook my heart since I thought that I wasn’t allowed to fall in love with Ichinose senpai.
“I gave up because he had a lover. That kind of thing is really sad. Since you still haven’t done anything about it Shinozuka-san.”
“I haven’t done anything?”
“Then again pulling apart a relationship between a couple would be unforgivable. But I think you shouldn’t give up right away. Ichinose senpai could fall in love with you or you could possibly fall in love with another person. Nature and your heart might separate further away from each other.”
My senpais may not be lovers but I know I probably shouldn’t tell them.
Ichinose senpai has liked Sakurako-san for a long time so I don’t think that he’ll fall in love with me. But, I don’t want to act like I never had those feelings.
“That’s why for now, just value your feelings towards Ichinose senpai. Since love is what makes a women become beautiful.”
“What—, but you know, isn’t unfulfilled love just painful?”
“Even if your love doesn’t get fulfilled, a love that is only full of sadness is lonely. You know that all the memories you’ve made with that person will become painful?”
“I don’t want that to happen!”
I definitely don’t want my encounter with Ichinose senpai to become unpleasant!
As if to calm me down, Uchimura-san smiled gently.
“Yeah, that’s why instead of giving up right away, I think that you should try your best until you are satisfied. There will be sad and painful things but I don’t think that falling in love with Ichinose senpai will all be for nothing. Good luck, Shinozuka-san.”
The tears came gushing out. I’m happy a girl my age is cheering me up and giving me courage. I want to be her friend.
Ichinose senpai likes Sakurako-san so I bet that my feelings will never be fulfilled. But still, the me who was always living at the hospital and never thought about liking someone was able to fall in love. I’m happy, I’m incredibly happy.
“N—, but we don’t know all that much about relationships. It’s true that no matter how strong my opponents are at my matches, I don’t want to back out. Yeah, I’ll also cheer you on. Good luck, Aika!”
She plunged forward and gently stroked my head.
Her smile made me feel better. I have someone supporting me. It’s warm, it makes me feel warm.
“Hey is something wrong? Why are you crying!?”
I didn’t notice until Seta-san pointed it out. The tears flowed out of my eyes and wouldn’t stop even when I wiped them away.
“Don’t rub them. Handkerchief, handkerchief.”
Uchimura-san lent her handkerchief so I used it around my eyes and the two of them waited for me.
A healthy body. My first love. Also, a friend that supports me. I had always, always wanted these things. I had wished to live the kind of life a girl my age would normally have.
That is now being fulfilled.
“….Thank you, thank you.”
“What’s wrong Shinozuka-san. Why are you crying?”
The two of them were once again perplexed by my sudden tears. Since I didn’t want to trouble them, I told them my thoughts, although my words were broken.
“I was just so happy…… I didn’t know what to do since it was the first time feeling these things but you two, Uchimura-san and Seta-san, supported me so now I know I’m not alone. My chest feels warm.”
“So thank you. I’m happy that I was able to become your friend, Seta-san. I also want to be your friend, Uchimura-san.”
I looked Uchimura-san straight in the eye as I asked her.
She appeared surprised but she nodded without making a displeased expression. What a great person!
“Take care of me, Aika.”
“Please take care of me too.”
“Alright, let’s cheer in commemoration of this.”
This is my fourth friend. I was so happy that by the time I got home I had eyes like a rabbit.
The sun began to sink and the beautiful sunset was stained red. As we walked together towards the station, I saw the shadow of the three of us and unintentionally smiled.
“Ah, let’s exchange our contact information.”
Amazing! I got both of their email addresses. I saw their names in my address book and that made me so happy that I almost danced in joy. Although I did jump up and down.
“Hey and also, could you stop calling me “Seta-san”? Just call me Mayu.”
“Yeah and also you can call me Kana.”
“Oh, um…… Mayu…chan Kana-chan.”
Afu, calling them their names! Is it okay, is it okay? It’s embarrassing it’s embarrassing. As I was acting fidgety, Seta…..Mayu-chan laughed at me.
“Aika seems kind of like a small animal. Don’t you lose to Mamiya senpai.”
“Mamiya senpai does seem kind of flawless. Through Aika you seem like the refreshing type which means that being with you makes people feel calm so I can’t say that you don’t have a chance at winning.”
“Have the two of you met Mamiya senpai before?”
I’ve heard about Mamiya senpai from a lot of people but the more I hear about her the more confused I get. I wonder what on earth she’s really like?
“Hmm, I’ve never directly had a conversation with her but she seems like the Yamato Nadeshiko type. She’s really beautiful and graceful, the opposite of me.”
“I’ve talked to her many times but she seemed like an adult-like and kind senpai. She has the elegant behavior expected of a dry-goods store daughter.”
Nn? Huh? The way she’s being described is different than what I heard from Ichinose senpai and Mikoshiba-kun. What is going on?
I separated from them at the station and as I was skipping home, I saw Yuuya-kun on his bike and called and waved out to him in a loud voice when,
He yelled that out as he rode by and disappeared. That’s OK.
Before I went to sleep, my smartphone on my desk began to vibrate. It’s a message. Could it possibly be from Mayu-chan?
I moved my shaking finger and opened the receive box and in it were two messages. The first one was from Mayu-chan. And the other one was…..
The sender’s name said Ichinose senpai and it was sent on May 5th. It was the day that I died and also the day that Aika-chan committed suicide.
I wonder what it says.
I timidly opened the mail and it read,
“Ahh, I like her. I have only had eyes for Sakurako since a young age.”
That was all. But it made my chest feel a prickling pain. Although I should already know that Ichinose senpai likes Mamiya-san.
That’s right. I wonder what Aika-chan responded with?
I opened the sent box and only saw one message remaining. It was addressed to Ichinose senpai and it was sent on May 5th. The time showed that is was sent before the message from Ichinose senpai.
I gulped and opened the message.
“Kazuki senpai you must really like Sakurako senpai huh.”
After this mail was sent, that message from Ichinose senpai was received. That’s the end.
This is simply my own conjecture but I think that Aika-chan seriously liked Ichinose senpai. But she knew that Ichinose senpai liked Sakurako-san so it was heart-breaking….
Do I feel this pain in my chest from Aika-chan’s body? Our souls are different but this body is Aika-chan’s so is that why when I look at Ichinose senpai things happen like my chest feels painful and my heart beats faster? Is my first love just a feeling passed over from Aika-chan?
The words that Kana-chan said at the family restaurant rose to the surface of my mind.
“It’s lovely that although you lost your memory, your love hasn’t changed towards him.”
The feelings I have towards Ichinose senpai, I wonder if they are really my own. I don’t know, I don’t know.
Without knowing anything still, I felt pain in my chest and the tears came trickling down.
“Tomorrow….. I’ll ask Ichinose senpai why he went out with Aika-chan.”
That night I wasn’t able to sleep well, I reread the warm message from Mayu-chan saying “Let’s go eat together again sometime” over and over and closed my eyes as I grasped my phone tightly.
When I woke up in the morning my face looked terrible. How did this happen! I ruined Aika-chan’s cute face. At this rate it’s not okay. I need to motivate myself and get better.
I washed my face at the sink and clapped my face many times to feel energized.
“What the heck are you doing.”
“Ah, good morning Yuuya-kun.”
Did you hear that? Yuuya replied. That Yuuya-kun who was always ignoring me responded to me! I’m so happy!
I gazed at Yuuya-kun, who was brushing his teeth in front of the mirror, and I had a recurring thought.
“I like you Yuuya-kun.”
“Gobo, gawa, gawa, gawa….waaaa!?”
“The fact that I like you Yuuya-kun is a true feeling that I just realized.”
“…..I don’t know what you mean.”
Yuuya-kun was overcome with surprise as toothpaste spilled from his mouth. Rather than only showing me his angry face, from now on I hope to see more of Yuuya-kun since I am his big sister after all.
That’s right, this was originally Aika-chan’s body. More or less, her feelings should be carried over to me. Even so, these feelings of liking someone are my own. I want to live partly for Aika-chan’s sake.
“Your onee-chan loves you, Yuuya-kun.”
For some reason I feel more energized. All right! Let’s begin with helping out.
“Mom, I’ll help you wash the dishes.”
“That’ll help a lot. Will you make it in time?”
“Yeah, I’ve still got time. It’s faster if the two of us put them away.”
“Hey Yuuya. Why are you making such a strange face?”
“……It’s nothing..at all.”
For the sake of my student council duties, I had to leave a little earlier. When I walked down the quiet corridor and into the student council room, Sakaki-san was there. Ah, Sakaki-san is Ichinose senpai’s childhood friend so does that mean he’s my senpai? It’s probably better if I call him senpai.
“Good morning, Sakaki senpai.”
“Morning—. You’re very energetic this morning.”
“Yes, being energetic is good for a person!”
I prepared the necessary files and opened the window for a change of atmosphere. I adorned a cup with the flower I found this morning on the way to school and put it in the student council room. I feel like it increased the brilliance of the room.
Yeah, flowers are really nice. It can calm down a person’s spirit.
As I was flipping through the documents for the athletic festival, the third year’s activities caught my eye. Many of the events were the same as the second year’s but there some were different.
I want to see the cheering party. It’s that thing right? The guys wear school uniforms and yell in a cool voice, and do stuff like dancing. If I saw something like that my tension would definitely increase!
“Sakaki senpai, which events in the athletic festival are you participating in?”
“Hmm, me? The 50 meter dash, the cavalry battle, and the cheering party.”
“You’re in the cheering party!? I’ll definitely watch and cheer you on!”
“So you’ll cheer for the cheering party. Try to cheer for the other events too—”
I wonder what Ichinose senpai is participating in. I’ll cheer him on with all my might.
“What are you participating in, Aika-chan?”
“Umm, the bread eating contest, two-legged race, borrowing contest, and tug of war.”
I’m participating in a lot of events so I’ll be using a lot of physical strength. Maybe I’ll try waking up early and jogging. Waking up early and jogging…..is something you can only do when you’re healthy. Ahh, I’m so glad that I am.
“B-Bread eating contest! Ahahahahaha!!”
As I was being shocked by Sakaki senpai’s sudden burst of laughter, Mikoshiba-kun and Chiba-kun entered the student council room.
“You’re so noisy from the morning.”
“Good morning. Did something happen?”
“Hahaha….. Aika-chan told me that she was participating in the bread eating contest at the Athletic festival.”
“The bread eating contest, wasn’t that the event that Sakaki senpai made up for fun? I’m amazed that you entered it.”
Sakaki senpai was the one who suggested to do it. What a great person. Thank you very much.
“If you laugh that much your jaw’s going to get out of place.”
As Sakaki senpai continued to laugh, Ichinose senpai entered the room. Ignoring the flash of pain in my chest, I greeted him cheerfully. Greetings are important.
“Good morning. Hey, why is he laughing so much?”
“Fuhaha, Aika-chan told me that she’s participating in the bread eating competition. I better go and cheer for this right.”
“The bread eating competition?”
Even Ichinose senpai looks shocked. Is it really that strange? The bread eating contest is something that you can only do at the athletic festival, it’s a valuable competition. Why wouldn’t I participate.
“By the way, what kind of bread are they serving?”
“We still haven’t decided yet. If I remember correctly the ordering deadline is the day after tomorrow.”
“What kind of bread do you want Aika-chan? Hey, you should go ask for the participants opinions…. fufu.”
I feel like the outcome will depend on the type of bread. This is a pretty important task. Hmm, I wonder what would be the best? It would be good if it were easy to bite.
“….Something like french bread right?”
“Yeah that’s a little tough. It’s too big and heavy so it might not be supported by the string.”
Oh yeah, we shouldn’t only consider the fact that it’s easy to bite. Now that I think of it, how are they going to hang the bread? They were talking about a string but are they going to sew it on the bread?
“How are you going to hang the bread?”
“We’re going to attach scotch tape to the bag the bread is in and suspend the string.”
“What! We’re eating the bread as it’s in the bag?”
I never thought they would be using the bag. It’s a little different than I had imagined.
“It’s for hygienic purposes, and in the first place there is no other way to hang the bread.”
“What about hanging it from a fish hook?”
“Then we’ll have injuries!”
Mu—. It’s different than I imagined but, I’m sure that this is a bread eating contest. Since it’s in a bag, what kind of bread would be good?
“If it was my choice a katsu sandwich sounds nice.”
“If we go by the standard wouldn’t an-pan be good? Besides that there is cream pan and jam bread and such.”
“But there are people who don’t like sweets. I think that we should choose something that everyone would like.”
“Let’s use white bread!”
“White bread? Isn’t that flavorless?”
“It’s staying in the bag so we could bring it home afterwards. People could choose what they want to put on it like margarine or jam at home, so I don’t think anyone will complain about it.”
“That makes sense. Thinking of it that way white bread sounds nice too. Let’s do it. Thank you Aika.”
I’m glad that we’ve decided on white bread and all but I’m more happy because Ichinose senpai said thank you to me. I was able to be of use. Gufufufu.
“Bread with teeth marks on it……”
That’s a good memory right—.”
“Yeah, that’s good. As long as the people doing it are happy.”
As he was laughing I saw something flicker along with a sound I wasn’t used to hearing.
“It’s a picture. We need a picture of the student council activities too.”
In Mikoshiba-kun’s hand was a digital camera. A photo. Just now, I got a photo of me taken? A picture with me in it.
“I want that photo!”
“Sure. It’s just an ordinary scene though?”
“I want it! I want a picture of my usual everyday life.”
Pushed by my threatening attitude, Mikoshiba-kun promised me that he would print a copy for me later. I can’t help but feel excited. It’s not just in my memory. A memory that will remain in my hand. I definitely want it.
“…….Aika-chan do you have a smartphone?”
“Yeah, I do have one but?”
Sakaki senpai took some kind of pole out of his bag and attached my smartphone to the pole.
“What is that?”
“This is a selfie stick. Okay okay, everyone gather around.”
“Hey, I don’t need to be in it.”
“This is a command from your senpai. There’s no point if we don’t have everyone in it.”
With a reluctant expression, Chiba-kun lined up beside me with Sakaki senpai on the other side. Behind me Ichinose senpai and Mikoshiba-kun were lining up.
“Okay, here we go. Smile—.”
Before I knew it the shutter sound went off and Sakaki senpai gave me my phone back. The members of the student council were projected on my screen.
Ichinose senpai and the others laughing. A little sulky Chiba-kun. And in the middle,
“I’m in the photo.”
My appearance may be Aika but this is unmistakably me. The me right now is in it.
“You wanted a photo of your usual day right? Look at it and try your best at the bread eating contest—.”
What should I do. I’m so happy. I’m so happy that the tears won’t stop.
“W-Why are you crying?”
“Memory……The fact that I am here now, a picture of this memory….. Thank you Sakaki senpai.”
“Nn? I’m not sure what you mean.”
During my childhood I had so many photos but as I grew we took less and less photos. I wasn’t able to take any.
But in this photo, I’m displayed in it. Proof of the memory that I was here with everyone else. This isn’t just a dream, I’m actually right here. I’m laughing with everyone else.
“……Aika has memory loss. No matter how much she looks at her past photos, she doesn’t have memories of them so their aren’t any feelings associated with them I bet. But, in this photo, the Aika now is in. Memories of Aika right now. Isn’t she happy because of that?”
The student council members were confused with what to do as I held my phone tight and cried all torn up.
I will try my best. Since I want to create more and more memories.
“This messes with our vibe. Man, she really must have lost her memories.”
The hand of Sakaki senpai which was gently stroking my head felt very warm.