“I don’t dislike Hisanobu. We are childhood friends. We are family.”
Her long black hair was flowing. Shijonawate Rinen, a beautiful childhood friend who brushed her silky hair with her hands, spoke cruel words in a gentle voice, and I let out a dumbfounded voice, unable to face reality.
On the day of summer vacation in my third year of junior high school, when I had retired from the basketball team, of which I was only a member, it was dusk in the middle of summer, when the cicadas kept getting louder and louder.
I, Orikawa Hisanobu, who tried to take my relationship with my childhood friend one step further, ended my first love, symbolizing such a stupid phrase as “first love is fruitless”.
The night I was rejected had been a eye-opener for me. What I saw in front of me forced me to smile affectionately.
Since I was a little boy, she had been having dinner with me, as if we were half of the family.
It moves me to be able to use the many words left behind by people in the past to express the emotions I have to sit at the same table and eat with my childhood friend who is so nonchalant as if no confession had ever been made. I was trying to bear the blurring and tightening pain that made me want to scream by putting my painful feelings into words, and I was trying to verbalize my feelings in words.
At that moment, I was strongly thankful that my sister ignored me and talked to my childhood friend aggressively as usual.
Honestly, I found myself finishing my meal and returning to my room to cry, desperately stifling my voice so my family wouldn’t find out. I think it was the first time I rejected her for trying to enter my room without a fight.
I was ashamed of myself.
I was so ashamed of myself for thinking that she liked me.
From that point on, I began to study to make up for my half-finished academic skills, as if to escape from reality. When I wasn’t studying, I devoted all my energy to my hobby of photography, which continued to consume my time, and I tried to spend as little time as possible with her.
When I had no choice but to spend time with her, I tried my best not to destroy our relationship in front of my family, and as a result, I was able to enter a high school at a high academic level that I was not supposed to be able to go to through my hard study.
After the graduation ceremony of this troubled junior high school, I enjoyed a long and painful spring break, and the day of the entrance ceremony arrived.
I rode my bicycle comfortably through the spring air on my way to the high school.
The high school I had originally planned to go to was a train commuter, but the school I was going to now was a higher level and closer enough that I could ride my bicycle to it.
The high school, which is conveniently located and can be reached by bus if the need arises, was shining in the spring sunlight.
I left my bicycle at the parking lot and arrived at the entrance to the school building. Since I had been notified of my class in advance, I checked the classrooms I should go to.
Third graders are on the first floor, second graders on the second floor, and first graders on the third floor, so I run up the stairs. When I open the door to the second class, I see that some students have already arrived at school.
I shouted cheerfully, and the same voice came back. I check the different seating arrangements on the blackboard and take a seat by the window.
A little embarrassed, I called out to the girl sitting in front of me. She had a light hair color that looked brown in the sunlight shining through the window.
“Good morning, nice to meet you from today, Suminodo-san! I’m Orikawa.”
“Ah, good morning. Nice to meet you. Orikawa, san.”
“Where are you from? I’m from nearby East Middle School.”
“I’m a little farther. South.”
“That’s pretty far! Across town with a movie theater and such! I’ve never been that far.”
“It’s a long way, isn’t it? But when you think about the level, it’s even farther than this.”
I thought Suminodo-san, a beautiful woman, might be difficult to approach, but I was relieved to find that she was the type of person who is easy to talk to, just a little stiff in her speech.
Our conversation was relatively lively, and we were able to pass the time until the entrance ceremony.
There was also a guy from the same junior high school, but he was someone I had never tangled with, so it is safe to say that I did not know anyone in the class. I was determined to make a fresh start, and I was determined to do my best.
The teacher was a relatively young female teacher. She was dressed in a tight-fitting suit and her voice was harsh and sharp, but her face was cute and kind, which created a gap between the two.
After a short homeroom, the first day of the entrance ceremony was soon over. Suminodo-san left early because her mother was waiting for her, but I exchanged contact information with her. When I smiled at her and said hello, she responded with a smile.
I also have a conversation with a boy next to me who is a student at my junior high school. He went to a junior high school in a different school district from the one I went to. He was a fresh, athletic-looking guy, and he teased me with a smile that matched his appearance.
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