Chapter 38

Naimine Miina's Way Home

Translated by Dawn

 

Then, for the next 10 minutes, me, Kiriha, and Miina walked from the aquarium to the nearest train station, recalling today’s day.

We talked about what we had seen, what we had bought, what we had talked about, how Maya had gone into the penguin area, and how I had seen Bando.

In every conversation, Miina and Kiriha laughed at me.
Especially about Bando.

When we arrived at the station, I was a little sad too.

Today had come to an end.

This feeling reminded me of what Director Sayuri had said.

“The Golden Week of a high school student doesn’t come but three times in a lifetime.
A high school freshman’s Golden Week comes but once in a lifetime.”

Then that would be true for every single day of the Golden Week.

The first day of Golden Week in my first year of high school comes but once in a lifetime.

And now I am about to lose that once-in-a-lifetime day.

Thinking of this, I suddenly felt a sense of loneliness.

Maybe I’m more easily influenced than I thought.

Surprised by this unknown aspect of myself, I was about to part ways with Miina.

But Miina looked up at me and Kiriha with a kind face.

“I said earlier that I stopped being a beauty on all sides because I had a place to be here.
But, it all started because of you, Honey, you know.”

“Eh?”

I blinked, and Miina called out to me compassionately.

“Because I only had contact with Honey-kun at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.”

“Ah, now that you put it that way.
Did that mean that I met Shisae and Kiriha through you?”

“No, that’s not what I mean.”

Shaking her head slowly, she denied it.

“The normal people I know work for a profit.
Like I said before, they take credit for other people’s work, they try to make it a joint achievement with others, and they are stingy.
And other times, they’re with you because you’re a convenient person.
But not you.”

Miina looked me in the large eyes and spoke clearly and cheerfully as if she was trying to make my heart sing.

Reflecting me in her large eyes, Miina spoke more clearly and brightly, trying to make my heart resonate with her.

“You don’t act in your own interest.
I wanted to be friends with you alone rather than with the people at school.
So when you are accused by people at school, I want to protect you, even if they hate me for it.”

Miina was very attractive as she spoke of friendship as if she were confessing her love.

My mouth naturally opened as I thought about how much I cared for her.

“I wish I had gotten to know Miina sooner.
Not just me and Miina, but all of us.”

I grabbed Kiriha’s hand next to mine and she hugged my arm.

“Yes, that’s true.
If only Honey had been at my school, I wouldn’t have had such a hard time.
If it wasn’t for Honey, I think anyone I played with today would have been afraid of me.”

With a deep sigh, Kiriha let it slip in a dreamy tone of voice.

“If the seven of us had been in the same elementary school, Kiriha would have been a cheerful girl who beat up Bando, Miina and Shisae would have had fun playing with us, Maya would be spoiled by everyone, Maiko would have worried about difficult things, Maria would have burst out with her natural follow-up, I would have played the lucky one, and so on.”

I smiled as I thought about the scene of a worldline that might have existed if I had been born in a different place.

I wanted to spend my elementary school days like that.

But time cannot be rewound.

As Director Sayuri said, every day comes but once in a lifetime.

Thinking too much about it would be philosophical, or like a line from a comic book, but there was never a day that went around again.

Therefore, I believe that one should not waste one day at a time and live one’s life to the fullest.

–I am too embarrassed to say this to anyone.

Miina smiled her best smile and straightened up her back, feeling fortunate that Koimai and Maria were not here to see her.

“Okay, you two, see you tomorrow.”

“Yeah, see you tomorrow.”

“See you tomorrow, Miina.”

“Un.
See you both tomorrow.”

The three of us left the words ‘see you tomorrow’ as if we were leaving behind memorial gifts, and Miina disappeared into the station.

Despite the fact that I was sad for today to end, I wanted it to be tomorrow as soon as possible.

Immersed in contradictory happiness, I put strength into my fingers holding Kiriha’s hand.

“I’m blessed, aren’t I?”

“You realize that now? But I’m going to make you even happier.
So be prepared, Honey.”

“I’m not prepared, but I’m expecting.”

Kiriha laughed, her cheeks slightly red.

****

After parting with Ikuo Okui, Miina got on the train but got off before one of the nearest stations.

She refused the teleportation because she thought it would be a waste to leave immediately, and she finally decided that it would be a waste to even take the train home.

If I could, I did not want to go home.

If I don’t go home, I can still extend the time I spent with Okui and the others.

She thought this in the bright red sunset.

I don’t have a place for myself at home.

I hate it there.

I felt suffocated and always wanted to go to school as soon as possible.

That way, I could get relief, even if it was only temporary.

“……”

She looked down at the red light, stopping in front of it.

—If I walk straight down this road, I’ll be home in 10 minutes.

When she looked up at the young voice, she saw a parent and child standing on the other side of the crosswalk, holding hands.

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