In the end, I never got to see the faces of the student council members and my exciting lunchtime was almost over. I left Tanaka-kun and his friends and in order to fully enjoy the rest of the break I decided to explore the school. Since if I had to keep looking at the map when switching classes each time I’ll be late.
While deciding where to go, the courtyard in the center of the map caught my eye. If it’s a courtyard it must have a lot of greenery. A lot of greenery means that they are there too! I have to go check it out now!
It seems that you can’t go in the courtyard with your slippers on so you need to put your slippers in the shoebox near the entrance and wear the sandals meant for the courtyard. Why sandals… regular shoes would match them more.
When I put my sandals on and entered the courtyard it seemed like an oasis. There was a brick path and a brown bench in the shade of the trees where students were reading. As one would expect there was no fountain. Too bad.
I went towards the blossoming trees which all around and searched for them. I had only seen them in movies and books. I was so excited and full of anticipation to the point that I couldn’t stop myself from breathing faster and if you saw me you would think I was a suspicious person. I just wanted to meet them so bad!
Hidden within the leaves, they were moving their red bodies with black speckles.
“I found a ladybug! Oh, and over here is a grasshopper! Kya- it flew! It’s so amazing!”
This is the first time I’ve seen these bugs. They’re alive, these small things are trying their best to live. Compared to humans they’re small and their lives are short. But they are pushing though and thriving with what they got. Amazing, it’s breathtaking.
Without thinking the tears formed in my eyes and as I stood up I saw many students gathered in the flowerbed. They were wearing track suits and had gloves and shovels. This incited my interest a bit. Could they be gardening? Are they planting seeds?
I approached as if being drawn towards it and saw that they were digging and softening the soil with their shovels to plant seeds like I thought. I wish I could do that, it looks fun. I want to try.
“I’m sick of this already! I hate insects.”
“Don’t complain. Since you’re in the environmental committee, you know that you have to maintain the flowerbed.”
The girl was standing in front of the flowerbed. Isn’t this a chance for me? I may not be in the same committee but I’m not letting this chance get away! I need to have courage!
Afu. I drew back as soon as they turned around.
“Let me see, does anyone know her?”
“I don’t know anyone like this cute girl.”
“Do you have any business here?”
The one who appeared in front of me was the girl who said she hated bugs and was sick of planting seeds. I’ve seen so many displeased faces today that I don’t feel scared anymore… Immunity is amazing.
“I want to help out, is that okay?”
“When you say that you want to help you mean with planting the seeds?”
“Yeah, that’s right!”
“You’re an amazing person! A helper has arrived!”
I thought she would have a scary expression but when I looked, she was accepting me with a full smile.
I put on the gloves they gave me and dug up the soil with the shovel. What is this, it’s super fun! I was worried about my uniform getting dirty but I could just remove it later. I should focus on the soil in front of me!
“Noo! An earthworm!”
“Eww, don’t throw it over here!”
“You, watch out for earthworms and frogs…”
“They said there’s earthworms, mole crickets, and pond skaters here you know.”
“….I think we’ll be okay.”
It’s pretty noisy but I don’t mind. Since I got to see an earthworm. Watching it wiggle back and forth somehow made it seem lovely and I wouldn’t mind watching it forever.
So that it wouldn’t get in the way of the planting, I picked the earthworm up with my shovel and moved it to a separate area. I wanted to touch it but I was afraid of accidentally squishing it so I didn’t.
“Kya- there’s larva here! I can’t do this anymore.”
“I’ve heard that the brain of organisms taste good since they have a lot of protein.”
“Right now they’re sleeping and will be born healthy you know-”
As I was digging I encountered a larva. I wonder what kind of bug it’ll become. I wished it to try its best and returned it to the soil. To think that I would be able see this many kinds of bugs, I’m glad I came to the courtyard.
“That’s why they wanted to do it.”
We weren’t planting seeds we were planting seedlings. I’m thankful for the environmental committee allowing me to even water them. When I saw the flowerbed looking neatly arranged a feeling of accomplishment struck through me.
“What kind of plant will bloom here?”
“It’s a type of flower called the celosia argentea. In the language of flowers it stands for style and individuality.”
If it stands for individual and stylish, I bet a rare flower will bloom. I’m so excited!
The environmental committee seems nice. If I could I would like to join. I don’t know if she sensed what I was feeling or not but that girl who was in a bad mood at first called out to me.
“Hey, why don’t you join the environmental committee? You like things like flowers don’t you?”
“Oh that sounds good! Definitely join us.”
To think that they would come ask me to join! They actually need me. It makes me so happy!
I would join if I was able too!
“Thank you very much. However, I’m already part of another committee.”
“Oh no, really. By the way, which one are you in?”
“The student council.”
“What, was there always a girl like you in the student council?”
“No, she’s not in it. In the student council there’s Ichinose senpai and Sakaki senpai. Also Mikoshiba senpai and Akira-kun. And with Shinozuka that makes five people.”
Everyones eyes were fixed on me. Until a second ago everyone was talking happily so when I thought about how they’re going to look at me in a second I felt sad, as one would expect .
“I know that it’s a little late to ask now but what is your name?”
“No- way! No no no no, that’s definitely not true! You’re a totally different person!?”
I am a different person.
I didn’t know what kind of person Aika-chan was so it’s vexing that I can’t imitate her.
How do you act like a wicked girl anyways.
Should I be like that lady, Marie Antoinette? She’s the one that said to eat if you’re hungry right? That’s right, if you’re hungry you should eat… I feel like that’s not exactly what she said.
“Are you really Shinozuka Aika?”
“Yes, I am Shinozuka Aika.”
“Your appearance has really changed but your personality is way different too though…”
I felt like running away from their gazes. I’m really suspected now. As I thought it’s impossible to live in the place of Aika-chan without knowing anything about her. I should have asked Angel-san more first.
The truth is, I know the magic words that would allow me to escape here but if I said it I wouldn’t be able to go back to that place again. This is the worst, just like that time again….
“Ah, the chime. If I don’t hurry I won’t make it.”
“We’re going this way then. Umm, thank you Shinozuka.”
“No problem! Let me know if you ever need me!”
When I was about to be questioned, the chime sounding the end of lunch came at the perfect time. I was saved! Also I’m happy that they even thanked me.
I saw the same girl who was displeased earlier again since our slippers were in the same area. It says her name is Seta-san. When she saw my slippers she made a scary expression.
“…What is this.”
“It’s my slippers.”
“I can tell that much by looking at it! Why are you still wearing those slippers!”
The slippers were covered in insults, making them pitch black. She grasped the slippers tightly, and grinded her teeth so loudly that I could hear it. Wait a second, if you grip it that tightly the slippers shape is going to change!
“Those were the only slippers I had. They may be dirty but it’s fine since I can still wear them.”
“That’s not alright! Are you an idiot!? Doesn’t wearing these slippers make you upset, don’t they make you sad? Don’t be smiling about it!”
What is this. I felt happy although I was being yelled at. For my sake she said, “I don’t like when people hide in the shadows, if I find the suspect I’ll state my complaints,” and is getting mad for me.
A strange feeling.
In my previous life people were always considerate towards me as they were treating my swelling, so it feels very warm for someone to get upset for me.
“Thank you, Seta-san.”
“Why are you thanking me? I’m mad you know!”
“Yeah. So… thanks.”
Seta-san is a great person. Although she’s mad at me she’s only using considerate words, how kind and warm-hearted.
I’m not sure if it was because she was getting irritated at me for smiling but she pulled on my cheeks.
“It hurts it hurts it hurts!!”
Why the heck are you smiling so frivolously. You really are…”
“The student over there. Class is starting soon.”
As if to interrupt Seta-san, a guy with a low voice came from behind me. It was such a cool voice that it almost gave me goosebumps.
When I turned around, I almost exclaimed in excitement because the guy walking towards me was so attractive. The closer he gets the more I can tell how good-looking he is. Out of all the ikemen I’ve seen today he is the best.
He was taller than Yuuya-kun, but had the same kind of short black hair, and his eyes had a sharp look that portrayed his strength. His body was so trained I could even tell through his blazer.
Fuaaa, so cool! Is there only ikemen at this school!?
“What are you doing. Hurry up and return to class.”
“Yes yes, I’m going.”
“Okay, what is that? Show it to me.”
He noticed the slippers that Seta-san was holding and took them from her while furrowing his eyebrows. Uwa, scary.
“Whose slippers are these?”
“It’s hers. Hey, this is also partly you guys fault this happened so hurry up and catch the criminal!”
“Eh, no way! I can’t ask some random person to do that.”
I don’t really care about who did it so they don’t really have to go find them. Furthermore, I can’t ask someone uninvolved to suddenly do something like that.
Wait? Didn’t Seta-san say something strange just now?
“No, you’re right, we should deal with these kinds of things as soon as possible. What’s your name?”
“Ah yes. I am..”
“Wait a second.”
Seta-san grasped my shoulders tightly and and stared at me with a serious expression on her face. Within her facial expression I could sense some bewilderment.
“Are you seriously asking him?”
I had no idea what Seta-san was talking about and didn’t reply so her expression got even more bewildered and her mind was stumped. Eh, did something happen? Did I do something?
“What’s wrong Seta?”
“Can you be quiet for a sec.”
The cool guy stayed with us and tried to help Seta-san who was standing still and trying to grasp what was going on. This is pretty painful Seta-san!
“There is no way that you don’t know who he is.”
“What is going on. This is the first time I’ve seen this girl.”
It was too late by the time I thought of it. I understood that I had just made a mistake that can’t be undone.
This cool guy is an acquaintance of Aika-chan. In addition, Aika-chan is close enough to him that even Seta-san knows. I felt like my entire body was beating and the sound of my heart resounded throughout.
“This girl may look different, but she is Shinozuka Aika.”
“Shinozuka, you say.”
Ah, it’s those eyes again. I wonder why my chest hurts so much. He’s looking at me as if I were a strange substance, I thought I had gotten used to that look but my chest is in pain.
“Also, this guy, Mikoshiba Kento, is in the same class as me. He’s in the student council.”
He’s the same year!? I thought he was at least an upperclassman! Then again he looks more like an adult since he doesn’t have his uniform on.
Thats not the issue! I shouldn’t be worried about that right now. To think that he was also in the student council with me. I should have tried with all my might to see their faces in the cafeteria. It looks like I’ve done it now, what should I do.
“….Are you really Shinozuka Aika?”
“Thats right, she is. I didn’t even believe it at first but she even had her student card.”
“Well, but it’s not just her appearance but her atmosphere has also changed.”
“I thought that too. But none of that matters right now. What I want to know is why you didn’t know this guy’s face.”
“The thing is, I didn’t know or in other words, I didn’t understand…..”
I wanted to run away as they slowly drove me into a corner. What should I do, what do I say?
While I was stumped for an answer, Seta-san said these words,
“You said you didn’t know…. could you possibly have amnesia?”
Of course that’s what they would think. No matter how you look at it, there’s no way I could become Aika-chan. It’s obvious that they would think I’m being strange, and I can’t say the truth so I was thinking about using that excuse.
But, I didn’t want to say it. Because if I say it I would…
“So it’s amnesia, huh. Do you really have no memories?”
“But there’s no way she did. A second ago she was digging in the flowerbed and was getting excited at seeing the earthworms and larva you know? Isn’t that impossible!?”
“….Did you go to the hospital?”
“I am very healthy! Healthy people don’t go to the hospital!”
I was scared of those words.
Now that I finally have a healthy body, if by any chance I got hospitalized because of an inspection then….
I can finally run, jump, and eat delicious foods with this healthy body. My first time experiencing school life, a fun daily life. That could possibly all go away. I could become all alone again in the hospital…
“Oh no, she’s hyperventilating.”
I felt bad about having the vice president Mikoshiba-kun carry me as my consciousness was wavering due to my inability to properly breathe, He’s calling for me with a worried tone. This doesn’t appear to be a dream. I still want to live.
In order to settle me down I was brought to the school infirmary where I rested on the bed.
Ah, this feels so familiar. The tears gradually begin to form. What should I do if I end up hospitalized?
While I rolled around in the bed and hugged my pillow with anxiety, suddenly..
“Um, is Shinozuka-san here?”
This voice is Tanaka-kun!
“Are you feeling alright?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. Sorry for worrying you.”
When I retrieved my bag the atmosphere felt very calm so I could settled down and was able to open the door quickly.
“Why are you also coming?”
“Of course I am.”
“Why would you do that? Are you alright with getting up already?”
It’s Seta-san and Mikoshiba-kun. Tanaka-kun was pretty shocked by their entrance but my heart was even more surprised. I haven’t even cleared up anything yet so this is awkward.
“How are you feeling?”
“Ah, yes. I’m fine now.”
“….You really have changed.”
His eyes which were staring directly at me didn’t show feelings of hatred or suspicion, but instead appeared to be tender. Mikoshiba-san patted my head as I was sitting on the bed and said,
“I think that out of everyone you are the most troubled here. Sorry that I acted as if I were backing you into a corner.”
“Sorry. It’s not even your fault Shinozuka-san but I kept pressing you for answers. Of course you were afraid, you’ve lost your memory. I’m really sorry!”
It appears that the reason that I had hyperventilated was because of extreme psychological stress. The people involved apologized repeatedly because they believed that I hyperventilated from the stress and anxiety that came from amnesia.
“Eh, Shinozuka-san you had lost your memory!?”
Tanaka-kun who had been as quiet as an outsider suddenly exclaimed in a surprised voice. Ah, the misunderstanding is rapidly getting bigger. The truth is I didn’t lose my memory but it’s much easier to say that I did because I can’t explain it. If I could I would much rather tell the truth.
“Err, about that..”
“Oh, so that’s how it was. That explains why you were acting so strange in the morning. Are you all right? Does your head hurt or anything?”
Afu. Of course he thought that I was acting strange.
Tanaka-kun came to see me out of concern without changing his kind attitude from earlier today. Even Seta-san and Mikoshiba-kun who knew about my bad reputation were worried about me. They are all great people.
I really don’t want to go to the hospital. I don’t want to be unable to see these kind people again.
The tears came pouring out. As I thought about it more and more, my anxiety increased and made it impossible for me to stop crying.
“Hey, what’s wrong? Are you not feeling well?”
I couldn’t talk anymore so I shook my head in denial. I gripped my skirt and even when I tried my hardest, I couldn’t stop crying.
“What is it? If you have anything you’re worried about just say it. Talk slowly and don’t rush.”
Mikoshiba-kun’s low voice. How strange. It makes me feel very calm.
“….School, is very fun.”
The tears wouldn’t stop and I occasionally hiccuped. Little by little I was able to say what I was thinking. It’s scary to say your worries out loud but I know I’m not alone. In front of me right now are people willing to listen.
“Commuting to school by train, going to classes at school. The delicious food I had with Tanaka-kun. Planting seeds with Seta-san, those things made my day very exciting. So thats why….”
I had gripped my nails deeply into my palm and had tears all over my face as I raised my head.
“I don’t want to go the the hospital! I would hate it if I ended up getting a surgical operation and not be able to go to school anymore. I… want to be with everyone more! I want to make lots and lots of memories.”
Toward the end my voice got smaller. At first I was supposed to be fine as long as my body was healthy but now I’ve gotten greedier and also want to have more enjoyment. It is wonderful to just be alive but I’m becoming selfish. Is that not okay, to want more?
After confessing my anxieties I wiped my tears and tried to stop crying. In that time, nobody said a word. That moment of silence flowed on until Seta-san spoke up in a flustered tone,
“There’s nothing to worry about! I’ve never heard of anyone getting surgery for amnesia! But that’s what you were worried about? Rather than being concerned about your memory loss you’re more worried about not being able to go to school?”
When I raised my face my nose was dripping. I waved my hand in denial as she appeared shocked and bewildered and then I wondered if that was really true.
A handkerchief was swiftly presented in front of me. Tanaka-kun’s eyebrows were down and he was smiling as if he were troubled.
“You’ll be okay Shinozuka-san. You’re probably getting an examination but you seem healthy so you’ll definitely be able to go to school.”
“Is that true!?”
As I took the handkerchief Tanaka-kun presented to me, I gripped his hands. Will I really be able to go to school? While I was gazing at his eyes intensely, for some reason his face became red and he looked away.
“Y-Yeah. You’re definitely going to be fine.”
“Will you eat lunch with me again?”
“Of course. Lets eat together.”
Tanaka-kun was smiling as if he were being shy. What a nice person. To be able to sit next to him in class and eat lunch with him makes me feel so fortunate. That’s why I just had to ask him.
“Umm…. Will you please be my friend?”
“What! Ah, yeah. If you’re fine with me.”
“Woah, yes. You’re really… close.”
“Thank you Tanaka-kun! Please take care of me from now on.”
Without thinking I became cheery again. Thats because someone as kind as Tanaka-kun became my friend!? I was so happy that I smiled with my whole face and shaked my hands in excitement.
“Yeah, take care of me too…. man, she’s so cute.”
While he said the last phrase he used his other hand to hide his mouth and looked down so I couldn’t hear what he said.
“Huh, what is it?”
I let go of Tanaka-kun and went in front of Seta-san who had watched over me this whole time. If I’ve already done this much I might as well go all the way.
“It was very fun talking with you Seta-san. Will you please be my friend!”
I put my hands together as if I was praying and asked her. I definitely want to become Seta-san’s friend. I don’t know if it was because she realized how frantic I was but she gave me a deep nod.
“Take care of me…. wait, isn’t this risky?”
I did it! I made two friends!
For the rest of the time I was excited and hopped up and down while grasping Seta-san’s hands. It’s because I really am happy!
“Hey, you’re really dangerous you know! Tanaka-kun, you’re in the same class so will you please watch out for her? Since she’s definitely a dangerous person!”
“Ah, yup. I’ll be careful.”
“You should also look out for her since you are also in the student council. Hey, why are you all frozen now?”
“Well, she’s become so different that I can’t conceal my bewilderment.”
Seta-san and Tanaka-kun were talking about something together but none of that went in my ears. I was just so happy that I expressed my happiness with a banzai. I’ve obtained friends!
“I’m so fortunate that I was able to make two friends in the first day!”
“Am I not included?”
I became friends with Mikoshiba-kun and then Tanaka-kun went with me to the station out of concern on my way home.
It’s nice to have friends.
I’m very thankful for all of the comments and bookmarks. Since I’m busy, I won’t be able to reply to all of your responses but I have been taking the time to read all of them.
Answers to your questions are in the activity report so please go check it out if you would like.
Thank you very much.