Chapter 10 – A piece of memory (6)
Translator – Vodka
Read my sober thoughts for some really important information regarding the future of my translations.
I was sure I would be done yesterday, but then, I got so tired I gave up.
The members of the student council were sitting on the chairs that had been prepared for them and looking at the cameras.
The president was at the centre. Koizumi and Miura sat next to her. Hino-kun and I sat next to them, flanking the three from both directions.
There would be no need for such serious equipment for this photoshoot.
Just get a digital camera, a digital camera.
It could be a little nerve-wracking for people, who were not used to being exposed to cameras, to be suddenly exposed to such a large number of cameras.
However, nothing would matter, once the event was underway, whether it was the gazes of the students passing by or the cameras that had been pointed towards you. You wouldn’t be able to pay them any heed.
However, I couldn’t get used to the students who were loudly issuing directions from behind the camera setup.
“Ok, there. You have a poor expression on your face.”
“Minato-kun! Relax a bit! A bit more, like this……”
With a megaphone in her hand, the self-proclaimed director, Kirasaka, who wasn’t even the cameraman, was issuing directions. She wore a self-important expression on her face. Shizuku was trying to show something by moving her entire body, but nothing could be conveyed.
Even if she was a childhood friend, her miming was not helping one bit. What couldn’t be understood, remained ununderstood.
I thought Koizumi or Hino-kun were going to struggle more, but unexpectedly, it was the usual. I was receiving all the attention.
“What’s the matter, Shinra? Nervous or something?”
It sounded somewhat like a provocation from the president. But I didn’t have any words to issue.
In reality, I was the only one receiving all the attention.
When I was asked to put on a smile, the corners of my mouth rose unnaturally. It seemed like a smirk. When I tried to put on an earnest expression, it became a straight face.
That was why I hated photos.
I ended up making a face which was different from what I had intended.
“Even if you are not smiling, or looking dignified, I don’t mind. I just want to leave behind a memory with all of you.”
Said the president.
Towards those words of hers, both Koizumi and Hino-kun, who had been stiff until now, seemed to have lost their strength.
But I couldn’t help but think about what it was that laid behind those words.
Kuroi-san took a small break for changing the lens. In the meanwhile, Yuuto was fixing Koizumi and Hino-kun’s hair.
As expected of the high school boy who could make the most out of his days, those were some skilled hand movements.
He was making swift movements with only his fingertips. So, why was he able to achieve such prim and proper hairstyles?
I couldn’t help but be amazed.
I was looking at Yuuto cast his magic on the guys. Then suddenly, our eyes met.
“Now that I think about it, why are you here?”
This question had been hitting me ever since the first time I laid my eyes on Yuuto.
I wouldn’t say that I didn’t want him to come or anything. It was just that, this situation must not be very comfortable for him either.
“Well, kind of in the flow……it was Kuroi-san’s request. I couldn’t decline.”
“He is assistant-cum-porter-cum-the makeup guy.”
Said Kirasaka, without a speck of emotion.
And she said I have a poor expression.
She was behind the cameras, seated on a chair that had been specially prepared for the director, her arms crossed.
It was a satisfying answer.
I understood that he had been entrusted with all the chores.
Also, the fact that he couldn’t refuse was so like him.
If it was me, I would have had refused. I had that confidence.
“It would be good if Shinra-sama could be more like your usual self.”
“My usual self, is it……”
Kuroi-san, who was checking the photos he took, gently said so.
My usual self was ordinary. I was good at being ordinary.
I could even say that I hadn’t seen another person who was more ordinary than me in my lifetime.
I stopped thinking and looked at a point in the direction of the cameras.
I wondered what Kuroi-san, who stood behind the camera, was thinking about when he pressed the shutter button on the camera.
He might have been wondering why there were ordinary students like us on the student council that had been created by the current student council president, said to be the best in the history of Sakuranogaoka.
I too didn’t get it.
Why was I here? Why were there so many people who were different from the ordinary folks around me?
There were so many things I didn’t understand these days.
A flash dyed my field of vision in the colour of white. A moment later, I could hear the sound of the shutter.
Neither a smiling face nor a serious one. Depending on the person, it might even be construed as an expression of displeasure. Projected on a piece of paper, were four students, smiling happily, alongside a fifth one that wasn’t. You could feel the difference in the degrees of their enthusiasm.
“This is quite the indescribable photo, huh?”
“Well, even the president said that it was very Minato-kun like.”
The photoshoot was over, and the company dispersed. I was walking around the school with Kirasaka and Shizuku.
Yuuto was the only one who stayed back. He was going to help with the aftermath of tidying up the place.
Hino-kun and I offered to help, but we were politely turned down by Kuroi-san.
He mustn’t be able to ask for help in front of the person he serves, huh.
I went back into the school building to retrieve my school bag from the student council room. Kirasaka and Shizuku were tagging along from behind. They held on to the photograph from before. It had been developed on the spot, and now, they were expressing their impressions of it.
They were right though. Indeed, was it an indescribable photo.
I agreed with that part at least.
The president said that it reflected the current student council perfectly. It was fine since she seemed to be satisfied with the outcome, but honestly, it was a photograph that ought to have been redone.
The president was quite the strange person herself. From the inner courtyard, we could see the evening sun, disappearing from our field of vision, our line of sight, cut off by the school building.
“It’s quite beautiful, huh.”
“Some people even take photos from nearby farm roads.”
This area of mountains and abundant nature provided many good spots for people who enjoyed photography.
I would often see people taking pictures of fireflies near my house.
The three of us stood in a row and observed the setting sun until it completely disappeared from our field of vision.
The sound of footsteps echoed from behind.
If the person was wearing indoor shoes, there wouldn’t have had been any sounds. So, I could immediately guess who it was.
“Ojou-sama, the preparations are in place.”
“I see, then shall we return?”
Kirasaka left. I followed her departing back with my eyes until I couldn’t see her anymore. Even though she said it was beautiful, she had readily walked away.
She had walked away so readily that it actually felt uncomfortable.
However, Shizuku raised her voice the moment Kirasaka could be seen no more. It was as if she was waiting for the exact moment.
“Well then, Minato-kun! Let me take a picture too!”
“Eh, no more already……”
With Kirasaka gone, she didn’t need to be worried about her anymore. So, she clung onto my right arm, pulled me and started walking.
The place we came to wasn’t one that particularly tickled my memory.
There was only a stone monument. Carved on it were the words ‘Sakuranogaoka School’.
At the place I was half-forcefully taken to, I found that Yuuto was already in the middle of making preparations for taking photos.
“I borrowed it from Kuroi-san.”
“We don’t have much time either. Shall we take it quickly?”
So, Yuuto remained behind so that he could prepare for this, huh.
A Shizuku that rushed us, and a Yuuto that abode by her directions.
It was an atmosphere that didn’t let me issue a refusal to the proposed event. Notwithstanding my reluctance, the second photoshoot was underway.
“Thank you, Jii.”
As Kirasaka embarked on the car, Kuroi handed a single photograph to her.
It was a picture of her smiling while she was fixing Minato’s hair during the break today.
Minato had a displeased expression on his face as usual, but Kirasaka still smiled gently at the photo.
“This makes it the second one.”
She took out another photo from inside of her pocket.
It was similar to today’s photo. Projected onto it were Kirasaka and Minato’s figures.
Minato was lying on the grass, and Kirasaka was sitting beside him.
The uniforms on them were brand new, and they seemed much younger.
Minato probably didn’t have the memory of that time.
After all, they only had a short casual exchange.
“I want to take a picture next year too.”
“That would be good.”
Even then, it was an important piece of paper to her, one that recorded a precious memory.
Kirasaka held the photos against her chest. It could be seen that she treasured them. Through the rear mirror, Kuroi looked at the person he served. A smile formed on his lips. Then he gently started the car and departed from the place.