“Then, sorry to have disturbed you.”
As I left Hashimoto’s house, a strong evening sun shone on my face. It seems that we had talked for quite a long time. Nanase and I closed the front door and headed back to the station we had visited on the way here.
“….Senpai. I can’t forgive myself.”
“I understand, so calm down. For now, don’t tell anyone about today.”
I organize the information obtained while soothing Nanase. The information was undoubtedly useful, but I had to make my own guesses to make use of it.
(Well, it was pretty much as I imagined it would be.)
Hashimoto’s story can be summarized as follows.
A senior male transfer student approached her and asked her to show him around the school. Perhaps because of her title as a member of the student council, Hashimoto gladly accepted and gave him a quick tour of the school. After the tour was over, the student thanked Hashimoto and left him for the day.
(At that point, Shinya was probably trying to gain Hashimoto’s favor and extract information from her.)
Hashimoto was not chosen by chance. She was probably noticed by him because she belonged to the student council, she was the closest of friends with Sakura, and was a junior who could be easily approached. In fact, Hashimoto’s being backed into a corner has caused some psychological damage to Sakura as well.
And here comes the main issue.
[On that day, when I was heading home after finishing the student council’s work, I bumped into a senior who I had guided around the school the day before. And the senior thanked me, so he ended up treating me to a nearby family restaurant.]
And Hashimoto apparently followed him to the family restaurant without any suspicion. There, Hashimoto modestly ordered ice cream and a drink bar because her mother was waiting for her at dinner. Shinya ordered the same thing.
[So when the ice cream arrived and we had been talking for a while, I ran out of drinks and I went to get some. But the senior said he would get it for me. And when I drank the juice he gave me, I suddenly became dizzy and……]
When she came to her senses, hse was unconscious. He must have mixed some kind of sleeping pills in her drink, but I didn’t think he had gone that far. As she was telling this story, Nanase, who was listening next to me, was shaking with anger and clenching her fists.
[When I woke up, I was lying on a garbage bag in the alley. I thought maybe something nasty had been done to me, but there was nothing wrong with my clothes or body.]
She then got up and looked in front of her and saw Shinya with a cold face as if he was a different person from the one she had just seen.
[I’ll give you this picture.]
Then Hashimoto saw a picture of herself with her hands on Shinya.
[Well, I was surprised. I never thought Hashimoto chan would approach me with such passion. It was carnivorous.]
[W-what are you……]
[Oh, I’ve already sent this picture to the teacher. I’m sure your homeroom teacher will contact you tonight or tomorrow morning.]
[I-I don’t understand !]
[Look, I was almost sexually assaulted, wasn’t I? The perpetrator must be punished accordingly.]
Hashimoto said that he had said this unilaterally, and disappeared into the night. But the disaster for her began after that. When she returned home, she received a phone call from her homeroom teacher and was severely reprimanded by her parents. At first they believed her, but when they received a picture of the definitive proof, her parents reprimanded Hashimoto severely. Hashimoto’s parents were very critical of her, but when they received the definitive proof, they reprimanded her severely.
[Moreover, after that, harassing phone calls and emails started coming in to me and my parents. I heard that some people were posting bad things about me on SNS.]
After that, Hashimoto stopped looking at her phone and stayed home all the time. I wondered if there would be no police action, but it seems that the school decided to hold off and let the perpetrator and the victim talk to each other. No doubt, someone’s voice was involved.
As a result, Hashimoto was in the position of waiting for the school to hand down the punishment.
“What is it?”
“I’ve thought hard about it, but I can’t figure it out. How on earth can I get Hashimoto san to come to school again?”
Certainly, it is not a matter that can be handled by a single student. The school is the one who will take action against her. And as long as the school has a malicious person attached to it, they will make an unreasonable decision no matter how hard we try.
No matter what the process is, it is always the strong who decide the facts. That is why we should not do anything unnecessary, nor should we allow them to do so.
“It’s up to you what you think, but it’s unnecessary……”
“And also, I’m talking about Senpai.”
“If Senpai is in trouble, I want to help you.”
Nanase looks up at me sadly, probably because I talked about the unnecessary past earlier. Sympathy or pity, it seems that her emotions are beginning to waver in a strange direction.
“I’ve already made up my mind. I don’t need to be told what to do now, and it’s long overdue. Don’t dig it up now. Just pretend you didn’t hear it and forget about it.”
“I can’t forget about it.”
I stopped, slightly irritated, because I really felt like I was going to be meddled with unnecessarily. For me, it’s already in the past, and I was able to reconcile with Sakura. I just talked reluctantly earlier, and I would like to refrain from having another person step into my life.
But I couldn’t spin the words beyond that.
It was because I felt a lot of vibration in my body. However, the vibration was somehow a gentle shock, and a soft touch was transmitted to my body.
“I don’t want to see the people who took care of me become unhappy anymore.”
Tightly, I was hugged from the front by Nanase. It was so sudden that I couldn’t avoid it, and I couldn’t even predict that Nanase would do something like this in the first place. Then Nanase looked up at me. She looked at me with teary eyes and a somewhat admonishing expression.
“If you’ve had such a painful past, why don’t you at least enjoy it now? I want to help you as much as I can.”
“I don’t need that.”
“Even if you don’t need it now, you’ll be lonely in the future if you don’t have shining memories. I’ve never seen you smile from the bottom of your heart.”
With these words, Nanase moved away from my body. Even though she said something that sounded like that, her face gradually blushed and her body fidgeted……
“…I wonder if I did something a bit bold?”
“I think it’s a little more than a bit.”
“Hyaa !? Please forget it ! Ah, but I hope you don’t forget what I said. But please forget it.”
“Which is it?”
I let out a big sigh as I walked with Nanase in the direction of the station. Normally, something like this would make her feel awkward, but Nanase returned to her usual mood, probably because it was the trigger to be released from the desperate atmosphere she had felt earlier.
(Shining memories, huh)
I don’t know if I can create such a thing. No, there is no such memory to begin with, as far as I can dig up in my memory. Regarding that point, it might be as Nanase said unexpectedly. If I don’t do this, I’ll end up a miserable person who doesn’t have a single memory that I can be proud of.
(There are too many obstacles now to make such memories)
……Let’s try a little harder.
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