For a few moments, there was silence between us.
I didn’t know what to say, and Amane was trying not to cry any more. Her voice, which occasionally croaked, sounded awfully loud. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but my nerves felt as if they were being sharpened.
Not necessarily because of that, but I was aware of a few eyes watching us from afar.
I don’t think they were onlookers. This is a school courtyard, so if they looked out the window, they would have noticed us even if they didn’t want to.
If I didn’t want to be seen, all I had to do was leave the scene, but I couldn’t do that.
In order to stand up, I need to talk to Amane. I would soothe the crying Amane, and then we would both move out together. Then what should we do?
Do we continue talking or do we part ways? I don’t know. I have my hands full with Alice right now.
I can’t separate Alice from my conversation with Amane. I don’t think I have the luxury of caring about Amane right now, even though I’m still struggling with the distance between me and my sister.
“…Did that kid make that lunch box?”
While I was escaping into my thoughts, Amane suddenly asked me.
I looked up and saw Amane staring at my lap. I lower my gaze as if being followed, and there is a lunch box spread out, exposing its contents.
“Ah, yeah. That’s right.”
“I don’t remember her being able to cook.”
“She couldn’t, but she learned. Since we’ll be living together……”
“That means, she just recently learned. And yet she can cook so beautifully.”
“……Alice is amazing.”
“I know. That’s why it turned out bad. I’m sure Hidetaka kun taught her how to cook that too.”
It’s true that I taught her how to cook. Alice has been busy with her lessons, so she hasn’t had time to learn how to cook.
My mother was away at home picking Alice up from school, and she usually went out to eat.
My father came home late, so it was inevitable that I spent most of my time at home alone.
Therefore, I had to prepare my own meals. My mother ignored me when I came home, so she never cooked for me, and I didn’t want to see my parents if I could help it. To survive.
It may be an exaggeration, but I really thought I would die if I couldn’t cook something to eat.
That is how alone and lonely I was in that house.
“You didn’t have to teach her.”
“Because she asked me to teach her. Since we both have to work together, there was no reason for me to refuse.”
She’ll learn quickly even if I don’t teach her. She can find plenty of cooking videos on the Internet. Wanting you to teach her how to cook is just an excuse. She just wants to be close to Hidetaka kun.”
Amane’s point was harsh. Even if I tried to deny it, I could not come up with words to refute it.
What Amane was saying was true, and Alice would have been able to learn on her own without my help. It would have been easy for my sister, who could only be described as a genius.
Even I knew that much. However,
“…Still, I was asked to do so.”
Amane often brought me to her house because she couldn’t stand watching me go home alone after buying ingredients.
I remember that Amane’s family accepted me and often had me over for dinner.
I even had Amane’s mother teach me how to cook. They were really nice people and the house was warm and welcoming.
They were definitely a real [family] not like mine.
“It was the first time Alice asked me to teach her. She said thank you for teaching me. She complimented me on how delicious the food I made was. That’s why.”
“You were happy. Being praised by that girl.”
That’s stupid, Hidetaka kun.”
A sudden breeze of wind passes between us.
“The same thing happened again. And that kid took everything.”
Amane’s eyes seemed to be filled with pity as she looked at me.
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