Source

https://kakuyomu.jp/works/16816700428373797124/episodes/16816700429272441434

— Yua……?

When I invited her to the play, she immediately said, [I’ll definitely go !] So she must be somewhere in the audience.

However, there was no way that I could clearly see only Yua’s face in the dimly lit auditorium where I couldn’t even make out the outlines of other audiences’ faces. It was an illusion created by my brain, which had been driven into a tight corner. It must be it.

But if that was the case, so be it. I opened my mouth.

“I–“

I speak slowly while thinking.

“I’m a coward, and I was afraid of getting hurt, so I distorted these feelings. I had given up on the idea of having a normal high school life.”

My gaze was fixed on Ishigami san as I looked over her shoulder.

“But thanks to you……you made me feel connected to the world, like I was a part of it. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have felt this way for the rest of my life.”

I took a deep breath.

“I–“

Ishigami san looked blank. The expression on her face snapped me.

Offstage, Hiyoshi san was holding up a sketchbook. On it, she had scribbled a word “Rejected !”.

Right, this is the scene where Hayato breaks off his feelings. It seems that the extreme tension and confusion had caused me to get into a strange state of tension.

I have to correct the course somehow.

–Let’s see……..

“I…..I’ll support you no matter what path you take, It’s my way of thanking you for not abandoning me all this time.”

I glanced up and saw Hiyoshi san giving a thumbs-up. It seemed that I managed to connect to the rest of the show.

I turned my back on Ishigami san and walked backstage.

As soon as I reached the backstage area, I felt weak on my knees and crouched down.

To be honest, my memory of what happened after that is hazy. I was exhausted, and all I could do was watch my classmates moving around for the last scene. It was as if I were a video camera.

I went up on the stage and bowed my head with the director and the performers as they urged me to do so. The curtain finally came down, cutting off the stage from the audience, and I realized that the show was over.

My classmates were quietly rejoicing with each other on the stage after the curtain had fallen. As I stared blankly, Hiyoshi san approached me.

“I-I’m sorry, I…, messed up my line.”

“It’s fine. I was feeling rather good about it.”

She raised her right hand as if to stretch herself.

“….Eh?

“Don’t [Eh?] me. I’m giving you a high five.”

“Ah.” 

I touched Hiyoshi san’s small hand with my hand. She broke into a smile.

“We did it, didn’t we?”

The word “we” was so deeply embedded in my heart that I felt an emotion welling up inside me. I didn’t cry, but I didn’t feel unpleasant at all.

“But, Izuma kun’s lines were dangerous.”

Said Ishigami san, who played Haruka, the heroine.

“Eh, ah, I knew it was weird, right….?”

“Not that.”

She swept her gaze as if embarrassed for some reason.

 “It felt like……,, it was strangely passionate, or rather, it was closer to the truth. That’s why I really thought the scenario had been changed so that I would be going out with Hayato.”

Hiyoshi san chuckled.

“You want to be confessed like that?”

“That’s not……! ….Not entirely wrong.”

“Then why don’t you go out with Izuma kun already?

“Why is it like that !?”

Hiyoshi san looked at me.

“What about you, Izuma kun? Ishigami, I think she’s quite cute.”

“Eh? Uh ……, sorry.”

“I’m the heroine, why am I being rejected….?”

Ishigami san is discouraged. A giggle was heard from the surrounding people.

Hiyoshi san clapped her hands in the air.

“Now that the punchline is made, let’s clean up the props and move out.”

The stage is being cleaned up. This is really the end.

I never thought I would be standing here. From now on, I’m going to be braver, and with everyone else–just kidding, people don’t change that quickly. It was fun, but I was also nervous, and I was glad that it was finally over.

Everyone has their own characteristics. I’m not the type of person who can perform in front of people without hesitation. But I think there is a big difference between thinking so without doing something and concluding so after doing it.

I don’t think I would willingly participate in such an event, but I would be willing to show up once in a while. Well, that’s about it. That’s good enough for me.

I changed into my uniform in the classroom and sat down in my seat. I was feeling sluggish, as if my mental exhaustion was affecting my body.

In spite of this state of mind, I somehow irresistibly want to see Yua. I contacted her on the chat app on my phone.

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Krozam
Krozam
8 months ago

More character development. Quite nicely done.