“Eh～So class B has decided to put on a play～Let’s do our best to make it a success !”
The sound of applause filled the classroom.
Our school puts so much effort into the cultural festival that it’s famous even in our hometown. Some students say, [I decided to go to school here because of that festival].
Of course, I’m different. The reason I wanted to go here was simply because it was close by. First of all, I hate festivals.
I hate everything that has the word “festival” in it. I think it’s just an excuse to make the already noisy cheerful people even more noisy. In the first place, festivals are rituals of worshiping and consolation. Where is the element of consolation in cultural festivals and sports festivals? The annual spring bread festival is nothing more than a sales campaign. Only Okiku-san of Bancho Sarayashiki could be consoled by handing out a large number of plates.
While I was pondering these thoughts over in my head, the long homeroom ended. The classroom was noisier than usual with the excitement of the festival about to begin in earnest, and I quickly left the place.
“I’m so excited about the festival !”
I squinted my eyes at Yua as she excitedly said this on her way home from school.
That’s no wonder. No matter how you look at it, Yua is a cheerful person. The exact opposite of me, who hates festivals.
“I decided to enroll here after seeing our school’s cultural festival in middle school.”
“So that’s why !?”
“No, I’m just talking to myself….”
Deciding on a career path just because of festivals, what a partygoers.
“Our class is now a cosplay cafe !”
“What kind of cosplay are you going to do?”
“I haven’t decided yet. How about zombies?”
We’ll serve bavarois that look like brains. With strawberry sauce.”
I mean, it’s the zombies that eat the brains, right? How can you let a human eat your brain?
“What about your class, Seita kun?”
“Theater !? What’s your role? I’m definitely going to see it !”
She’s so enthusiastic.
“W-well, nothing has been decided yet. I’m not going as a performer anyway.”
Just the thought of standing up in front of an audience and acting made me break out in a cold sweat.
“Even if I do, I’ll be behind the scenes.”
“Eh～? What a bummer. Seita kun, you have a great voice.”
“A little low, but it goes well. I think you’re suited for acting.”
It was the first time she told me that.
“But I fumble a lot.”
“I guess so, then, no.”
“If you’re going to give me a compliment, then give me !”
She was more excited than ever. I guess because she’s a partygoer.
I spent last year’s cultural festival alone in a classroom where no one came. I don’t like crowds, and I don’t like noisy people. But more than anything else, I can’t stand to put myself in the middle of people who seem to be having fun. I feel excluded and alone, as if there’s something wrong with me for not being able to enjoy something that everyone else is enjoying.
“Come visit my class.”
“You’re so quick.”
I didn’t say yes or no to Yua’s invitation. I was happy that she invited me. However, I was embarrassed to expose my inability to fit in with the festival atmosphere to Yua, or rather, I was afraid that she would be taken aback if I showed her such an appearance.
After that, Yua was excited to talk about her expectations for the festival. I could barely respond to her with a fake smile.
Later, the theme was decided. It was an adaptation of a science fiction school drama that was a big hit when I was a kid.
And for some reason, I was recommended as a performer–of course not. Because I ran for the lighting crew right away.
I didn’t want to be in any of the roles, but the worst thing I could do would be to run away and be forced to be a performer. If that was the case, then I should take on another role before the performer was chosen. If I’m a lighting engineer, I’m basically just switching equipment, so it’s not difficult. It’s not too much work.
But in reality, I had to attend script readings and do chores such as shopping for groceries. However, if I was at least somewhat useful, my classmates would not look at me with disgusted eyes.
After school today, all of my classmates stayed behind. On the podium, the performers were practicing their acts. The others are also busy making props, decorations, deciding on the music to be used, and so on.
“We’re out of red paint～” “I’ve got some over here.” “Hold this up for me.” “This music is good, isn’t it?” “I’ll go get some cardboard.”
I could hear a lot of conversations. Everyone is cooperating with each other to create something. Outside of this sense of togetherness, I was alone writing down the details of the switching timing in the script.
“You’re doing this by yourself?”
Makabe spoke to me.
“H-huh? I’m alone because I’m concentrating on my work, not because I don’t want to be in the loop.”
“I understand. I’m not a team player either. It’s hard for both of us.”
Makabe, who said that, is busy going around asking people if they have any work for him.
Even though the two of us were very similar on the inside, but Makabe, who chose the path as a mob, and I, who can’t even do that, are somehow different.
Not being able to see Yua seemed to add to this feeling.
It seems that even the school breaks are taken over by preparations for the festival, so I can’t see her at school. We only have short exchanges on chat apps between after school and when we go to bed.
[Our class is a maid cafe.]
[Classic.] [So you’re serving boba?]
[Boba is old fashioned.]
[It’s not that old though !?]
[It’s like a school lunch.] [Like, red bean paste, custard, and tuna.]
[That’s a good idea.]
[And it doesn’t require a lot of cooking.]
[What about drinks?]
There was no reply to my question. The next morning.
[Sorry ！！！！I fell asleep ！！！！！By the way, it’s iced coffee and iced tea ! ! !”
and an emoji of someone down on their knees.
I guess she must be tired from all the hard work she has been doing to prepare for the festival. I felt hesitant to send her messages, and we began to communicate less and less.
I was alone at school. I had nothing to do when I went home. I felt like I was back to the life I had before I met Yua.
The long preparation period came to an end and the day of the festival finally arrived.
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