Chapter 2 — Coming of age, a ceremony needed for emancipation. Part 13
“You looked very fierce yesterday, but today you are really cold.”
In a highly exaggerated manner, she lowered her head and pretended to cry.
Upon seeing that, the entire classroom grew noisy and I felt slightly nauseated.
“Alright everyone, I know this might be really unusual, but shut up now.”
The teacher spoke in a strong, almost rude manner, and once the classroom was silent again, homeroom continued.
Tsukasa’s seat turned out to be the one right next to mine.
The teacher ordered the previous person to move backwards so as to allow for it.
He was hopeless when he tried to be caring, and when he was angered, he would shout so loudly.
I sighed internally.
“Sacchan, it’s nice to be with you.”
Her smile was reflected in the window.
“…Yeah sure, whatever.”
I sighed again, but this time it wasn’t only internally.
“Sacchan, can you show me your notes?”
“Sacchan, let’s have lunch together. We can join our desks and exchange some of the food in our lunchboxes~”
“Eat by yourself.”
I usually ate in the cafeteria in the first place.
“Sacchan Sacchan Sacchan!”
“What is it now?”
“I just felt like calling you.”
I felt like killing her.
“The teacher is calling you.”
“…” I stood up silently.
An urge to slap her face infected me, but when I saw her smile, I didn’t feel like doing even that.
Having been fully occupied by Tsukasa, class ended. Absolutely nothing from the entire class remained in my head.
I felt mentally exhausted, and I found myself sighing in relief now that class was over.
Tsukasa started scurrying nimbly around the now-noisy classroom from one side to another like a cat.
“Sacchan, should we go play somewhere to enjoy the rest of the day?”
I tried to run away, but she reached out and grabbed my long hair, which in turn drew a black arc behind me.
“You know, about that dog, I decided that I’d definitely give it some food if I ever saw it again,” Shiina said in a low voice.
“Your hand,” I mumbled, but she refused to let go.
“I wanted to show it that there’s many more fun things in this world than starving to death.”
“Let go of me.”
I didn’t want to hear any more of her nonsense.
Biting my lip, I turned around and faced her. Deep in her friendly eyes, there was a hidden sorrow, and reflected on them was me—cold as the middle of winter and sharp as ice.
“Though I guess you are more like a wolf than a dog. A truly majestic and solitary wolf.”
She let go of my hair and it fluttered back down.
“Shut up!” I shouted, and the entire class turned around to look at me in fear.
Immediately afterwards, I froze back my heart that had started to throb.
Then continued with a cold stare and a chilly voice that resounded with a steely note.
“Starving to death would be a much better outcome.”
“You know, I also like it when you are this grim.”
Her voice sounded painfully gentle. And most likely, anyone could tell that she wasn’t pretending.
But even though I knew that she was being sincere, I couldn’t understand it. I couldn’t understand a single thing about Shiina Tsukasa.
I just left quickly, as though running away.
In the blink of an eye, I had run past the school gates as well as countless street lamps, stopping after a while to lean against one and calm my ragged breath.
“What happened? Why are you so unsettled?” Shiro asked in astonishment, having leapt down nimbly from a street lamp.
And once again I could feel the aura of blood emanating from him.
It made me wonder just how many wolves still remained in the forest.
“I’m simply tired from having to deal with a weirdo that followed me everywhere.”
“Now that’s a pity.”
“Yeah, I feel rather defeated right now.”
“Well, no, I meant for the person who followed you around,” he said without delay.
I crouched next to him without saying a word, then pulled on his cheeks.
“Dis ‘urts y’know” He was probably trying to say ‘This hurts you know’.
My lips stretched into a smile, and I just continued pulling on his cheeks.
He remained silent so I started using two hands.
“I’m ‘eely sho’ee.”
“Was that ‘I’m really sorry’?”
He quickly nodded.
I smiled even more and released him.
“Alright, I forgive you. But you should try to avoid saying such thoughtless things to a frail maiden.”
“I was just trying to make a silly joke.”
“I haven’t really been in a good mood lately.” Because you are not by my side.
He groaned, seemingly troubled.
After lightly stroking his chin, I stood up.
Then we started walking back home, me being in the lead. We encountered the stand again, but didn’t near it this time. I was tired, and the bandana guy wasn’t there. Instead, a ‘Closed’ sign was hung upon it.
Back at home, my crazed mother’s screams quickly put me to sleep shortly after I had changed into my bathrobe.
I still had one third left to read of ‘L’Etranger, the book I had borrowed from the library, and the main character had been thrown into court where I left off.