Real Intention and real intention (5)
Translator – Vodka
Editor – Soju
I am going on a hiatus for the next three and a half weeks. Check the Hiatus post. Vodka is under too much pressure of work. Mark your calendars, the next chapter will be posted on Sunday 26th May 2019.
As we exited the school building, I could still feel the chilly weather. However, it wasn’t at the level where I had to put on my jacket.
However, it was still the month of May. The sun would set early.
The two of us walked next to each other, our shoulders aligned. The street lights had started to light up.
We exited the school and went down the slope that laid before us. As we walked a bit more, the shopping district that Kaede and I frequented to, had entered my field of vision.
Speaking of the shopping district, this was the perfect time slot for bargain sales. Hence, there were many housewives who were walking in its direction with shopping bags dangling from their hands.
Apart from the street lamps on both sides of the road, the shop lights also illuminated the area. As a result, you could see everyone’s faces – whether they were people passing by or people who worked in the shops.
The road was narrow, so I was walking cautiously as to not collide with my surroundings. Then, a conspicuously loud voice called out to me.
“Oo Minato! You ain’t shopping with Kaede-chan today?”
That voice had come from within one of the many shops present there. It was the owner of a fish shop.
“Gramps……today I had student council duties, so I’m returning home right now”
The shopkeeper whom I had always been calling “Gramps”, had sunburnt skin like the members of the sports clubs during the summer. He had an unexpectedly sturdy build for his age. His face was unshaven and he had a white towel wrapped around his head. That appearance suited him quite well.
Gramps directed his gaze towards Kirasaka who was standing beside me, and scrutinized her from top to bottom. He then let out a sigh.
“Hohoo……you have brought along quite the remarkable beauty, huh. What, is she your girlfriend?”
“Am I now?……Life from here on out will be more dangerous. If you don’t find yourself a companion while you still can, you’re going to be in for some real hardships. You better not miss out on your chances”
“Dangerous, you say……”
Towards his super blunt words, I had unconsciously worn a bitter smile.
Beside me, Kirasaka was happily listening to us talk.
Behind us, a few men had stopped in their tracks. I had a feeling that they were looking at Kirasaka, instead of the fish in the shop. Well, I have already grown accustomed to this.
Kirasaka then walked out a little to the front and bowed her head to gramps.
“I am Kirasaka Ren, I am from the same class as Shinra-kun”
“Why, hello there, Minato is always in your care”
“……Are you my dad?”
The last thing I needed was for this Gramps to be my father.
My biological father doted on Kaede so much that he would sometimes be a lost cause. This person over here though, would make a different kind of father, right?
This person was definitely older than my father, but he felt like someone who would flip over a table or pack a solid punch when he was angry. He was kind of like the characters in old dramas.
I had good resistance to verbal attacks, but my physical defences were as good as none.
If I was to be punched by a brawny fellow like this, I felt like I would fly right into a wall and tear it down in the process.
“Ojou-chan, are you on good terms with Minato?”
“You could say that. Since he doesn’t have many friends, I need to get along with him”
“I’m begging you, I’m also worried about that. Minato has been like this since he was a kid”
Kirasaka would never be in the mood to talk with any of the guys in school. Therefore it was unusual to see her talk, even if their exchanges were extremely rude remarks about me. Then as if having remembered something, gramps turned towards me.
“Come to think of it, Minato. About thirty minutes ago, Shizuku-chan also passed by here. However, she wasn’t wearing her uniform. Was she absent from school?”
“Shizuku?……She is supposed to be taking a break due to some family matters”
“What do you call that? That portable phone that looks like a board……a smartphone, right? She was saying she had forgotten that at home”
Indeed, the phones today were thin.
Hence, these phones might have looked like a board to this gramps, who could only use the landline telephones.
When my dad had bought me my first cell phone, I had gone off to show it to gramps. On the very first day, I had to spectate him holding my phone in the opposite direction. My mouth was agape at what I was seeing before me.
Anyways, I had thought Shizuku couldn’t reply because she was in the countryside with no reception. However, it would seem that she had just forgotten to take her smartphone huh.
That was an unusual mistake for Shizuku.
If she had passed by here thirty minutes ago, she ought to have already reached her house, unless she decided to take a detour.
Her reply to my texts should be coming soon.
“Thanks, Gramps. Well then, I will drop by again later”
“Well then Ojii-sama, I bid you farewell”
[TN – “Ojii” is uncle]
Unexpectedly, I was able to obtain some useful information. I conveyed words of gratitude and started walking.
Kirasaka who had also finished her farewell greetings followed behind me. The two of us departed the shopping district.
“Next time bring Kaede-chan and Shizuku-chan too!”
Gramps saw us off and kept waving at us until he couldn’t see us anymore.
Our destination was close to the shopping district because the park was about five minutes away.
We had reached our destination ten minutes prior to the appointed time. Therefore I went around the park that I hadn’t visited in a long time and looked at the playground equipment.
I used to frequent this park when I was in elementary school, but since then I hadn’t visited this park at all. The colours of the swing and the slide had changed, but fundamentally the park was still the same.
“It seems we are a bit early. Shinra-kun, did you also use to play here when you were young?”
“Well, Kaede and Shizuku made me tag along with them……”
I came to a stop below the tree which was situated in the middle of the park. I touched a single thick branch strayed horizontally away from the trunk. On that branch, nostalgic words that tingled my memory……shouldn’t be present. It was just a plain branch.
I imagined the situation where people would carve out their names on a tree. Then when they came back to the spot several years later, the carvings would still be there. However, did a situation like that really exist?
Since kids were always playing in that park, and that tree would always be exposed to the rain and wind, won’t the carving end up disappearing eventually? Was it only me who thought like that?
Though, if you used a chisel, that would be a different story.
“That is unexpected. Kaede-chan aside, Kanzaki-san would also be playing in a park, huh”
“She was more rambunctious when she was a kid”
“Is that so?”
Kirasaka made a surprised face.
It couldn’t be helped. Those who had only seen the current Shizuku wouldn’t be able to imagine such a different version of her.
Since I had time to kill until Yuuto came, I decided to narrate our childhood stories to Kirasaka.