Episode 2 – Childhood Part 1

Source

https://ncode.syosetu.com/n5042hw/1/

When I was in kindergarten, I lived in another prefecture.
I was playing with Ayato there.

“So it’s not Ayato, it’s Ayado.”
“Okay, Ayato!”
“No, it’s not. ……well Ayato is fine”

When I was a kid, I can’t help but have fuzzy memories.
I remember that our kindergarten group had a foot-stomping organ, but I don’t remember what we sang.
I don’t remember any of my friends’ faces, for example.
I even remember that we didn’t play much.

Still, Ayato was the only one I remember playing with a lot.

My impression of Ayato was, in a word, a reclusive boy.
He wore trousers and had a full head of hair.
Looking back, I think he must have had head lice.

I don’t think I cared that much.

“Something wrong?”
“No, nothing”

The face is …… when you’re a kid, you can’t tell if it’s a guy or a girl.
I just assumed he was a male friend because of his hair and clothes.

Later, I remember he was bigger than me.

I don’t remember what we played.
But Ayato and I were always together.

“Let’s see-saw.”
“Yeah.”

Seesaws are supposed to be playable for kids of different weights.
I’m on the outside and Ayato is on the opposite inside.
That way we can play, as I recall, my mother told me.

We also played catch, which is just rolling a ball around.
I didn’t know how to play chess, so we played reversi.
After that–.

“I’m your wife, you’re my husband.”
“Isn’t that strange?”
“Then Sora kun is wife.”
“Isn’t that weird, too?”

–Yes, yes, yes, it’s a make-believe.

However, the trick-or-treating was not the kind where you make mud dumplings.
We were doing it at home, serving real food.

However, my parents didn’t allow me to be so extravagant.

“Ajinori!”
“Ajinori~”
(Seasoned seaweed)

The meal that came out of our childhood make-believe was seasoned seaweed.

Even one such thing was a feast for us little ones.
I wonder why those things tasted so good when I was a kid.

We divided the five pieces of seasoned nori that had been divided into small bags between us.
We split the last piece neatly in half and ate it.
That alone was satisfying.

One day, Ayato, who played the role of my wife, started bringing me a little bit of rice in seasoned nori.

“Delicious!”

It is only a small amount of rice and sometimes some ingredients are added to the contents.
These are snack rice balls that do not affect dinner.

The natto was okay for both of us, and the umeboshi put in too much and made both of us scrunch and contort our faces.

One of them was pickled wasabi.

“….?”

I kept tilting my head at the peculiar taste.
I tilted my head to the right, then to the left, and so on.
It’s an exaggerated childish reaction.

I kept asking myself, “Hmm? Hmm?” Ayato was laughing at me, holding his hand over his mouth as I kept saying, “Hmm?”
I was shaking my shoulders and laughing without raising my voice.

-yes, it’s this laugh.

Still, it’s something that tastes good as you chew it.

“It’s delicious.”
“Really?”

That was the first day we both ate onigiri with pickled wasabi.
After that, we sometimes ate the wasabi pickles as a garnish, and I remember eating it all up until my mother was appalled.

“That’s unusual, you both like that?”

To be honest, I wasn’t aware of my unusual taste, and I don’t think Ayato was either.

As I recall, one day, while those days were still going on, he moved out.

Just before entering elementary school, I started living separately from Ayato.
In the beginning, I was still dragging Ayato down with me, but after the elementary school entrance ceremony, I started to make friends with a few of them.

The intense feelings I had for Ayato would disappear over time.
I gradually stopped remembering Ayato.

When I was in high school, I was suspicious of the faces of my elementary school classmates, and I guess that’s how it is with kindergarten friends.

Still, the fact that I was able to recall him after seeing him for the first time in several years must mean that Ayato was that memorable to me.

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