Chapter 2 Part 1 – Homeroom Teacher (1)
After two months of high school and not attending school once, a teacher finally came to my house.
And by the way, he was in front of my room right now.
I didn’t hear a word about a teacher coming to my house, but I guess my mom kept it a secret.
I guess she thought I’d run away if she told me.
“Can I talk to you for a minute?”
The homeroom teacher — Kiritani, I think his name was? Asked me through the door.
“Shut up, I have nothing to say to a teacher.”
But I quickly replied.
Seriously, he was wasting my time.
I’m going to play one more game by myself.
“I’m not trying to force you to go to school.
I just want to talk to you.”
Kiritani spoke slowly and in a reassuring tone.
…However, my feelings were completely unmoved.
What, he wasn’t going to try to get me back to school? If that was the case, why go this far and come to my house?
“So why don’t you open the door?”
“I don’t have anything to say to a teacher!”
I know that.
I know that teachers were all talk and no action.
In middle school, Touya and his classmates bullied me every day.
The teachers…they may have known about it, at least my homeroom teacher definitely did.
I had a lot of insults written on my desk in the classroom and my homeroom teacher happened to be there when I was being beaten up.
…But my homeroom teacher pretended not to see it, probably because he didn’t want to get in trouble.
He was teaching and doing homeroom every day as if he didn’t know what was going on.
Seeing him, I thought to myself, “Teachers are terrible.”
I’ll do the talking and you can listen to me from there.
Is that okay?”
Kiritani asked me, but I honestly didn’t think it was a good idea.
But I didn’t think he was going to leave when I talked back to him.
So I had no choice but to listen to what he had to say.
…I guess I’ll just turn on the game.
“I used to be a student just like you.”
Then, in passing, I heard Kiritani say that he went to school in high school to the extent that he would progress through grades, and that all the rest of the time he stayed at home and played video games.
He said that he was tired of human relationships because of his personality, which originally made it difficult for him to express his own opinions because he was so concerned about those around him.
“It was at that time that I met someone who changed me.”
It was a female student who was in the same class as Kiritani at the time.
He said she changed his life.
She was a person with strong habits who came to school every day wearing a parka, which was prohibited by school rules.
“But she was someone who would never bend what she thought was right and never conform to others.
She was always herself.”
As he got to know her, Kiritani also decided to be himself.
And he became a teacher to help students like himself in the past, even if only a little.
“There is nothing wrong with being a hermit.
What I want to tell you, Kenji-kun, is that even if you are shut in, it is important whether or not you are doing what you really want to do right now, whether or not you are living your life as yourself.”
Well, this is also from someone who changed because of others… Kiritani said.
From what I’ve just heard, it seems that this teacher actually wants me to go to school.
He was different from the teachers I’ve had in the past.
Living your life as yourself… Those words were stuck in my mind.
“But I don’t really know what it means to be yourself.”
I still don’t trust Kiritani.
…I’ve come to want to talk to him a little bit, though.
Frankly, I don’t think I’d like things the way they are either.
…but I don’t even know what to do.
He might be able to help me with this situation…That was what I had hoped.
A warm voice came back through the door.
“I’ll help you, and we’ll find something that’s you together.”
Kiritani, or rather — Kiritani-sensei — continued to say this to me.
Hearing his words, the expectations that I had just held grew stronger and stronger.
“Are you really going to help me find myself?”
I asked as I opened the door.
As I had expected, Kiritani-sensei was weak-looking.
Despite his appearance however, he had an air of dependability about him.
On the other hand, Kiritani-sensei was a little surprised to see me.
I think it was because I suddenly opened the door and because I was dressed like a shut-in with shaggy hair and shabby clothes.
I’m your homeroom teacher.”
Kiritani-sensei answered my question with a smile.
It was a reassuringly kind smile.
“Umm… Can you come back tomorrow?”
Then, I naturally said those words.
Kiritani-sensei replied immediately without hesitation.
Seeing him like this, I thought to myself.
Perhaps, this person would really—
And at this moment, my life started moving again.
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