Chapter 16 – Understanding and love (5)
Translator – Vodka
I am back.
We went around to different places from my childhood days. There was the shrine I used to frequent, the riverbank behind it, and the library.
On the way, Kirasaka started talking about herself bit by bit.
She talked about how she loved reading.
I can see that.
She further talked about how she would travel abroad with her family during long vacations, and apparently, even watch sports if there was time.
Unexpectedly, she was active, or should I say lively? She was different from me, who would idle away at home on the holidays.
Perhaps, this event called ‘date’, although a pretext, made her franker by the minute as she seemed unusually chipper. It probably had to do with only the two of us being out like this.
With today’s theme being the Shinra Minato course, we were only going around places from my past.
We should be done with the course after we have visited the middle school and the shopping district.
The middle school I had been commuting to until two years ago entered my field of vision. Cheers and instructions, emanating from the direction of the sports ground, resounded in the air.
“Middles schools have club activities even on holidays, huh……Shall we go have a look?”
“Ah……I don’t mind.”
We peeped into the sports ground from the so-called ‘back door’ behind the school.
Middle school students were hard at work at their respective club activities. They were sweating profusely. There was so much vigour that it gave off the impression that some nasal mucus might very well be mixed into all that sweat.
“Shinra-kun used to practice here too, huh.”
The football club was at the receiving end of her gaze.
It has been two years since graduation. There were faces I could recognize, here and there, but we weren’t on close enough terms to initiate a conversation. I had no intention of going in as the senior either.
I didn’t want to be the senior who brought along, an extremely gorgeous girl. Just thinking about it makes me sick.
They might glare at me with bloodshot eyes while cursing, “Damn normie”.
I spotted the figure of a teacher among the students.
The coach of the boy’s football team was carefully supervising the players with crossed arms. He looked the same from when I commuted.
……No wait, let’s revise that.
His physique acquired a bit of a rotundity.
Overindulged ourselves a bit, did we……Coach.
Even though he used to rant to the students about how they should pay attention to their food.
Well, things must have been hard recently……especially dealing with the guardians.
I looked at him with sorrow, but strangely enough, it didn’t elicit any other special feelings.
Even though, back in middle school, he was someone I wanted to avoid that badly.
I was able to reconfirm that I considered it a matter of the past.
“……No matter how much you practice, you will be pulled back to reality at one point.”
When I came to, I was already muttering.
Talking about outrageous dreams of wanting to become a pro, win the national competition – dreams that couldn’t be fulfilled. It was such a period.
However, there would always be that moment when you are pulled back to reality.
I had one such moment.
No matter how hard I worked, the coach didn’t notice me. At one point, I lost all enthusiasm.
Some say how hard work would never be in vain, but there existed, in this world, many a hard work that had been in vain.
They say failures help you grow. Is that really so?
I have zero recollections of the contents of elementary school science class.
I racked my brains but the only memory I had from that time was making tortoise-shell candies with Kaede at home.
What the? It wasn’t science class, but home economics?
When I was having such thoughts, Kirasaka, who was next to me, turned on her heel.
“Yes, now I know how Minato-kun felt while taking part in club activities here. I am not particularly interested in others.”
[TN – Not sure if it is a typo, but here, Kirasaka suddenly calls MC by his first name. Well, I am gonna leave it be.]
As always, she seemed thoroughly uninterested in anyone who didn’t pique her curiosity.
Before chasing after Kirasaka who walked away briskly, I turned to look at the sports ground one last time.
Neither was there any reluctance to part with this place nor any desire to return to the past.
The memories of the middle-school phase of my life would probably eat dust, buried away in some corner of my mind, never to be summoned again.
Will I also, someday, come back like this and reminisce about the good old student-life I have had?
I would have to be a completely changed person for that to happen.
“There’s no way that’s gonna happen, huh……”
People don’t change that easily, not to mention becoming a completely different person.
University was the only chance I was left with. If I didn’t debut there, it would no longer be possible.
[TN – Debut as in High-school debut. I don’t know if it is even a concept that exists in the West, but it is sort of like starting afresh in an attempt to become a normie.]
Amidst my chase to catch up to Kirasaka, I had come up with such an answer.