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– Hiwatari Shuu Comforts (2)
Takamura Mahiro, 17 years and 1 month old. Approximately a month since she turned into a boy.
This day, her heart broke the instance she realised she was in love. As a 17-year-old, she experienced heartbreak the instance she experienced her first love. She’s lifeless already. If she was a samurai, it’d be as though someone suddenly came slashing at her from the back, and the instance she turned around, she received an impact strong enough to dent her sword.
Having experienced a huge heartbreak that would have caused death if I was a samurai, I wailed for about 15 minutes.
I’m sad as, sure enough, I’m merely a ‘little sister’ to Takafumi and he treats me kindly because I’m his younger cousin. At the same time, there may be some feelings of vexation and envy because that girl knows about the Takafumi that I don’t know.
Nonetheless, once my feelings calmed down after crying without restrain for 15 minutes, I started feeling hungry and freely bought food at various food stalls. Takoyaki, karaage, popsicle, crepe, yakisoba. There’s no end to the amount of food you can consume if you alternate between eating sweet stuff and salty stuff.
It appears that the mood of Hiwatari, who has a small appetite, turns for the worse just by watching me eat. When I look at Hiwatari as I chew karaage, he makes an extremely unpleasant face.
“You were hurt, weren’t you.”
“Well, that’s right.”
I made the mistake of wailing in front of Hiwatari after becoming anxious due to witnessing Takafumi’s kiss.
At a location a small distance away from the gymnasium, Hiwatari sat beside me, silently plucking the grass as I cried. He didn’t call out to me gently nor did he pat my head. He simply sat there silently.
“You can already eat so much even though you cried so hard?”
“Should I call you brash or what.”
Even if you call me ‘brash’, it can’t be helped since that’s my disposition.
If let’s say crying, raging and getting jealous will make Takafumi like me, then I may do so. However, that’s not how it works. No matter how much I cry, rage, get jealous or even bully that girl, Takafumi will definitely not choose me. Rather, he may even hate me if I bully someone. Hence, I figure I should revert to the usual me and face Takafumi.
Yet, I can’t possibly tell something like this to Hiwatari who thinks that the reason for my tears is because an older brother-like existence was taken away from me. Thus I can only give a vague laugh.
“You’re being all frivolous again.”
“Takamura-san acts all frivolous when you have something to hide, huh.”
I unconsciously purse my lips when he points out my habit.
For someone who appears to not hold much interest in others, Hiwatari unexpectedly sees certain things uselessly well.
“I was certainly shocked to find that Takafumi has a girlfriend.”
“Yes. You did cry after all.”
“But it’s not unusual for Takafumi to have at least a girlfriend. It’s about time to let go of my older brother.”
Although I don’t want to talk about Takafumi’s girlfriend this many times, many a times I speak with a carefree expression because Hiwatari prises the matter out. Why do you have to expose my wound so many times? It’s as though he’s sprinkling salt on top of exposing my wound. I’m not a sunny-side up y’know.
Coming close to tears again, I smooth it over by sniffling.
“You sure say some strong words despite looking like you won’t be able to let go of your older brother anytime soon.”‘
He snorts as though he’s ridiculing me. And yet, it’s plainly obvious that he sporadically scans my changes in mood from the side. He’s probably probing for the point right before I seriously snap.
Although I don’t get why Hiwatari keeps charging at me like this, it doesn’t bother me because I know he primarily doesn’t mean any harm.
After dividing the takoyaki into two halves, I start by eating the half without the octopus. This is the type of fried takoyaki with a crunchy exterior and a hot and sticky center.
“That’s right. I’m the same as Hiwatari.”
“What do you mean?”
“Hiwatari can’t bear to let go of Kaede-san either, right.”
Hiwatari is also pretty attached to Kaede. Hiwatari should like Kaede enough to come by himself to see his Cultural Festival.
“I am not particularly like that. I will not be fazed even if brother has a girlfriend.”
Denying with his ears that turned red, Hiwatari is surprisingly cute, causing me to reflexively laugh out loud.
Hiwatari glares at me without hiding his ill temper. Seeing Hiwatari vexed somehow feels pleasant, causing my appetite to increase. Finishing the takoyaki, I carry on wolfing down crepe.
“Me too, then. I like Takafumi-kun but I won’t be fazed even if he has a girlfriend.”
I lied. I nonchalantly lied poker-faced, without being frivolous and acting like ‘myself’ as much as possible.
There’s no way I’m indifferent to it. At the same time an onii-chan I knew since birth was taken away, I experienced heartbreak. There’s no way I’m not sad.
But there’s no point to crying my heart out.
As I said before, there’s no use even if I make a fuss all my myself.
“But I showed Hiwatari a pathetic sight.”
“It is fine since I did not have any expectations from the start.”
Hiwatari is drinking mineral water in front of me who is eating crepe.
There are various drinks available besides water and yet he chooses water. Well, there’s nothing wrong with drinking water but it feels somewhat weird for Hiwatari, with that personality of his, to choose water.
Still, I think. I stop eating the crepe and look at Hiwatari. He may appear unsociable and completely full of thorns, but he has an unexpectedly childlike side.
Even now, he’s probably trying to comfort me. However, his method is absurdly inept.
“Yea, still, thanks.”
“For comforting me.”
Hiwatari’s expression is like that of a pigeon being shot by a peashooter.
From all that I’ve experienced all far, Hiwatari is the type who is weak to pressure. As I thought, he’s faltering now.
“Hiwatari sure is a kind child.”
“I’m not kind. Shuddap.”
“Your original way of speaking is pretty childish, huh.”
He glares at me with his earlobes turned completely red. It feels like a stray cat is trying to intimidate me.
Let’s contact Takafumi after I finish eating this. I’ll be sad, but strangely, I won’t cry.
I look at my phone with this in mind and notice that Takafumi had already sent a message. In response to his ‘Where are you now?’ message, I reply: ‘I’m at the cafeteria in Building no.2’. As the message was immediately shown as ‘Read’, I continue eating, thinking that he’ll surely come and meet me at the cafeteria.
“Takamura-san, your expression turns gentle when it comes to Takafumi-san, doesn’t it. It’s really easy to tell.”
Hiwatari comes at me with a grudge-filled tone that simply screams ‘payback’.
There’s no way I won’t be happy receiving a message from someone I liked until just a moment ago.
At the same time, there’s also some anxiety. It’s nice to meet him but I may feel sad when I see his face after all.
“So, what did Takafumi-san say?”
“He’s coming here.”
“Hmm… Are you okay, Takamura-san?”
My eyes meet with Hiwatari’s when I lift my head. It appears he still technically worries for me.
As the two of us continue our meal while waiting, Takafumi comes in from the entrance of the cafeteria. That girlfriend isn’t with him. I find it detestable how unbecoming I am to feel relief from that. I don’t know whether 15 minutes of wailing is considered long or short but I probably have yet to give up.
It appears that Takafumi ran here; his sweat flows like a waterfall and he’s short of breath. I feel really delighted, but at the same time I really feel like crying.
“You came huh, Mahiro. Did you watch the performance?”
“Un, I did. It was cool.”
“Thanks. Did you also see the exhibitions?”
The corners of my eyes sting when Takafumi laughs.
Ever since I realise that I love him, even that smile of his feels precious to me. It seems like I’m much more of a lovestruck maiden than I thought.
“I haven’t seen them yet. Because I was eating here with Hiwatari.”
“Hiwatari? Ah… Are you Hiwatari Hiiragi? Kaede’s younger brother, right?”
“Yes, that is right.”
Hiwatari replies in a terribly dull voice to Takafumi’s question.
“You’re the splitting image of him, huh.”
“I am often told that.”
“Did you participate in any other exhibitions, Takafumi-kun? Let’s go and see them.”
Hiwatari is so cold towards Takafumi that I change the topic.
“Our Astronomy Club made a planetarium. Coincidentally, it’s at this Building No. 2 so come and see it, alright.”
“Well then, I’ve to go help out at the Astronomy Club. Be sure to come, yaー”
As I gaze at the back view of Takafumi who leaves while waving his hand, Hiwatari pulls at my clothes. My knees give way because I was gazing absentmindedly.
As I’m not athletically-inept, I manage to stabilize with my body bent, before I fall. With my body still bent, I turn around with the intention to complain to Hiwatari. However, Hiwatari drops his gaze diagonally towards the ground and starts muttering so I temporarily give up on complaining and wait for his words.
“I am going home… it wouldn’t be nice if I intrude.”
“The planetarium with Takafumi-san…”
In other words, is Hiwatari saying that he’s going back home so that he won’t intrude between Takafumi and I?
I unintentionally laugh the instance I understand the meaning behind his words. Having noticed that I’m laughing, Hiwatari pursed his lips in a sullen manner and glared at me.
“No, I’m not ridiculing you. It’s just that you are kind as expected.”
I reflexively rub Hiwatari’s head.
Naturally, Hiwatari shakes my hand off unhappily and stands up. I clear the area, placing the trash scattered around from my meal into a vinyl bag. We then head towards the Astronomy Club’s planetarium that Takafumi has a part in.
It appears that the Astronomy Club’s planetarium is held on the 3rd floor of this Building No.2, in Room 302. As the classroom is entirely covered by blackout curtains, it’s impossible to perceive what is going on inside. A bespectacled girl who appears to be a member of the Astronomy Club and the girl was kissing Takafumi just now sits side-by-side at a reception table in front of Room 302.
The moment I see that figure, the region around my heart cools and pricks. Noticing my uneasiness, Hiwatari tugs the sleeve of my clothing.
“Ah, yea, my bad. Let’s go.”
“Let’s leave. I, do not like dark places. Actually, I would rather see yurukyara.”
Having my clothes pulled, I can only follow along so that I don’t fall backwards. Hiwatari is unexpectedly strong.
“Oi, don’t pull so hard. I’ll fall.”
“Isn’t it because you look like you’re about to cry, Takamura-san.”
“… I see.”
Witnessing so much of my shameful behaviour, Hiwatari may have realised that I used to like Takafumi in that way. That may be why he’s so considerate towards me.
Even now, I don’t have thoughts of dating Takafumi or getting him to like me. Still, this feeling of wanting to cry has yet to disappear.
“I do not think that Takamura-san is bad.”
“I’m happy even though it’s pleasantry.”
“It’s not pleasantry.”
Certainly, Takafumi having a girlfriend is enough to make me sad and bitter.
Even now, my heart continues to feel so sad and bitter that it might burst. However, at the same time, it’s also calming down. I’m sad but strangely composed too. Hiwatari’s desperate efforts in comforting me and my sensing of that kindness may have calmed me down.
In the end, Hiwatari and I took a look at the local yurukyara in the impromptu stages on the sports ground after that, and returned home at 5pm.
Now then, let’s make dinner for Takafumi who’ll probably come back when he’s done tidying up after the Cultural Festival. Let’s make the omelette rice he likes.
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