Kimi no Sei de Kyō Mo Shinenai - Chapter 2
2. Pizza Party Reservation for the Perfect Beautiful Girl
Tuesday. It’s yet another day with beautiful and clear weather… but unfortunately, my mind was still cloudy.
Because there’s still no conclusive evidence that Mitsumine is still alive today.
(It’s alright. I’ve been checking notifications on my phone since yesterday, and when I searched ‘high school girl suicide’, I didn’t get any hits. So, Mitsumine shouldn’t have died yet. More than anything, she promised me that she would live till next week.)
My vocabulary notebook, which I usually always have opened, was lying in the back of my bag today. It’s because I’ve been thinking about it all the time while sitting on the platform chair that I can’t study. Really. Aah. In this situation, the English and math I’ve been struggling with are useless.
It would be great if I had the pretext or ability to spit out words that could ensure that Mitsumine would still be alive tomorrow.
There were five minutes left till the time when Mitsumine usually got off at this station to change trains. I wore my watch for the first time today because I wanted to check every single second.
I watched the long and short hands of my watch move slowly and frustratingly for exactly five minutes.
What seemed like an eternity to me came to an end with the sound of a train rumbling and thumping in the distance.
Pshhh, with an unenergetic sound, the train doors opened.
Neatly worn school uniform. The long, silky hair that must’ve not felt too hot as she had left it down. Pure white headphones.
An overwhelmingly beautiful girl, dressed exactly the same as yesterday, stepped off the train at a fast pace.
“………… Good morning.”
The only beautiful girl I know who uses this rural station early in the morning is Mitsumine.
Even though I had utmost faith that she would still be alive today, my whole body started sweating.
“It’s great that you came to school today.”
“Of course I did. After all, unlike you, I’m the flawless honor student with perfect attendance and punctuality.”
“…No well, it’d be fine even if you didn’t come.”
“The heck’s that? The ‘You’re amazing for living’ thing? I’m not good with those words. Shouldn’t it be ‘You’re amazing as long as you do your best’?…That’s also wrong, huh. After all, even if you do your best, nothing will change.”
Is this sarcasm? Or is it self-deprecation? I wasn’t trying to say that it wouldn’t be great if she was dead or anything.
Mitsumine said sullenly, and began staring at me who was just standing still in astonishment.
“A-kun, do you really use this station?”
“If I didn’t, then why would we have gotten off here together yesterday?”
“No I mean, those kinds of coincidences are rare, aren’t they? Haa… Maybe A-kun is like my fan or something!? I’ll tell you this from the start, but I’m ready to report you at any time.”
“You’re obviously wrong!! Can you please stop saying things like that about me!?”
I’m hurt. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a fan, but I was just plain hurt.
Aaah. My gentle heart was hurt.
“How heartless! You’re going to make A-kun cry!” when I protested to Mitsumine, she replied, “He’s really crying. What a poor thing.”
How cold… I’ll actually cry.
But now was not the time to joke around, so I stopped fake crying and opened my mouth to get back to the story I had derailed from.
“…Well it can’t be helped that you never noticed. Mitsumine, you’ve never actually looked back, have you?”
That’s right. She never sits down, never looks at her phone, never looks at her vocabulary notebook, she just puts on her pure white headphones and looks off into the distance across the tracks.
It was natural that she would never notice me, who was always behind her.
“Hey Mitsumine, what are you always looking at?”
“Why are you like that? It’s fine to tell me, isn’t it?”
“Shut up. I’m really not looking at anything in particular.”
Her voice was so cold that I stopped myself from going any further.
I had always thought that Mitsumine was looking at the other side of the tracks.
(Maybe it was the tracks themselves that she was looking at.)
———On which she could throw herself upon at any time.
The reality of my imagination sent a chill down my spine to my toes.
If my guess was correct, then the number of times I was admiring Mitsumine’s back and her gaze, she was thinking of suicide.
She was thinking that she wanted to die.
(For being captivated by her appearance like that, I’m really an idiot, aren’t I…)
Aah, I want a time machine. Then, I’d go and beat the crap out of myself for being glad with my mediocre ‘extraordinary’ life.
But there was nothing I could do about that now, so I had to make up for it now. I pinched my arm to keep Mitsumine from finding out and refocused my energy.
“Alright, fine. Then why don’t you start looking at me from today! I want to settle our Shiritori game from before. It’s fine, you can have some eye candy in the morning.”
“Haa? Why do I have to look at A-kun in the morning when it’s so pleasant?”
“Haaaa?? I’m more refreshing than the morning weatherman, no matter how you look at it!”
“No way. It’s still too early in the morning for A-kun’s face. It’s not refreshing enough.”
“Then I’ll show you my late-night face! No, on the contrary, I’d rather be in charge of a late-night show, I don’t have to wake up early. Mitsumine too, you watch more TV at night, right?”
“Yo, late night caster.”
“No, what’s with the ‘late-night caster?’ Are you a late-night critic or something? What are you doing on that show in the first place?”
“Fufu. Aha, A-kun is a baka, aren’t you? Fufufu, A-ku–, fuhaha.”
The unstoppable counter attacks finally succeeded in breaking down Mitsumine’s abdominal muscles.
Mitsumine, who had burst out cackling, must’ve reached her limits and collapsed into the seat next to me. She continued laughing for some time, before finally managing to spit out some words.
“So, jellyfish.” [TLN: ‘kurage’]
“Like you said, Shiritori. Weren’t we going to continue? It’s going to be a bother if we don’t end it by next week.”
“Oh, ooh. I see, that’s right.”
Mitsumine’s laughter was so cute that my own suggestion vanished from my mind.
Ge, ge, ge. I tried to recall a word related to the sea that started with ‘ge’ from the words I desperately researched yesterday when I returned home.
Then, I tried to speak about something that had just hit me.
“Come to think of it, what are you always listening to on those headphones, Mitsumine?”
Suddenly I noticed an uncomfortable feeling.
Since a while ago, Mitsumine has been talking to me with her headphones on. I was curious about how she could hear my voice with them on.
Moreover, when I think back, I notice that Mitsumine always wears headphones. I wonder if she has some kind of attachment to it.
“Uwaa, you’re stalling for time. Underhanded, you’re being underhanded. As you’d expect from a late night caster.”
“Don’t make weird abbreviations. And also, I don’t like that nickname.” [TLN: caster = newscaster]
“Hmph. Well, since there’s no other way, I’ll give you a handicap. I’ll tell it exclusively to the late night caster A-kun.”
Apparently, Mitsumine hadn’t noticed my suspicions.
Taking off her headphones without any indication that she was going to stop the music, Mitsumine smiled beautifully and opened her mouth.
“I’m listening to a song that’s been popular lately, one that keeps shouting ‘you’ and ‘I’ and ‘I love you’ endlessly.”
“Hee~, that’s unexpected. I thought you’d be listening to hard rock or punk music.”
“…A-kun, what do you think of me? Depending on your answer, I might hit you again. You think a neat, sweet, and perfect beautiful girl like me would be listening to rock?”
“Eh scary! You’re too fast to rely on violence! …No, I’m not saying it because I want to be hit, I actually thought so from the beginning. Being neat or perfect isn’t really relevant, you can listen to whatever music you like, right? There’s no set preference for anyone. That’s what I thought you were wearing headphones for.”
Headphones are less prone to sound leaks than earphones, so I figured she was listening to something with lyrics she didn’t want to be exposed to. That’s what I thought but.
Apparently, I was just overthinking it.
“Ok. Then, since I bought some time, let’s continue on with the shiritori. With ‘Gesō’. “ [TLN: squid tentacles]
“ ‘Sō’, is it? Sō—, Sō——?”
Mitsumine hummed and searched for a word.
Then every once in a while, she’d try to stall for time by turning to me and asking a few simple questions, and during that, I heard the train bound for school arriving at our station.
Time flies by when I’m with Mitsumine.
“Not yet, I haven’t lost yet. I haven’t lost yet, so I’m safe for the week!” [TLN: yes, she says it repeatedly.]
Mitsumine saw the training coming, and said while pointing her index finger at me.
Normally, I would have said, “No, it’s my win,” but since I’d be troubled if the game was decided here, I said,”It can’t be helped~. Well, I can give you all the time you need, after all I’m going to be the one winning. I’ll wait for this weekend,” when I said that, Mitsumine looked frustrated, and I made a guts pose in my mind. With this, she probably won’t die today. [TLN: guts pose is basically the pose athletes make after winning, you can just google it tbh]
After that, Mitsumine went on ahead by herself, gallantly boarding the train.
The only reason she didn’t come with me was, of course, that she had many friends waiting for her. I’m not the only one who admires her.
Well, this was just business as usual. As usual, the expression on her face as she listened to someone’s conversation was so different from the Mitsumine of earlier that it made my heart ache.
I wished I had noticed it earlier. There’s nothing I can do about it now.
Moreover, moreover. [ED: Intentionally used twice]
———I noticed while she was boarding the train, the bandage I had stuck on Mitsumine yesterday had disappeared without a trace. The phone number that was written under it too.
(Did she throw away the bandage? No, that’s not important, what’s important is whether or not Mitsumine saved my number before erasing it…)
I hate it when I’m alone because I end up thinking a lot. I’m getting even more confused.
Then, thinking that I should clear my head, I slapped my own cheeks.
Snap. Then Mitsumine’s and my gazes met.
(S-she’s looking here!?)
And then, she grinned at me and said “Baka~”.
(What the heck, what the heck, what the. Don’t just smile at me like that so suddenly!!)
The usual everyday, had just become a little more extraordinary.
The day before yesterday, I was staring at the perfect beautiful girl, but now, Mitsumine was recognizing my existence.
It might be only natural, since we were talking up until a while ago, but since she never turns towards me inside the train, the destructive force was too strong.
“My heart is going to break, I’ve been admiring Mitsumine for almost a year and a half now,” I wanted to scream out loud. I really wanted to scream, but.
“After school. At an empty classroom. Don’t forget.”
I suppressed my feelings and mouthed this in silence, and Mitsumine nodded slightly with a hint of reluctance. Then, she went back to her ‘Perfect Beautiful Girl’ expression.
“After school on Tuesday, meet me at the empty classroom in the other building.”
This promise had been forcibly made yesterday as I was running to the station.
“Say Mitsumine, do you have any plans after school tomorrow?”
“No. But so what?”
“Great. If so, will you spend some time with me tomorrow after school?”
Mitsumine looked very cautious and blatantly distanced herself from me. Isn’t that too rude?
“It’s not like that. I’m not hitting on you or anything!!”
“…then what for?”
“For what? Well, to make sure that Mitsumine just doesn’t go ahead and die. I’m trying to keep watch over you, watch.”
Looking dubious at my words, Mitsumine spat out.
“Why? It’s not like it matters if I die or not, you said it after all.”
Mitsumine said, as if wanting to add on, “It’s like that in the end after all.”
“No no no no. I mean, if Mitsumine dies now, wouldn’t I have to go take the pearls next week, all by myself?”
I pretended not to notice anything and said clearly with a serious face.
“Then, the people from the store will definitely say, ‘Ah, those two broke up. Even though they looked so happy together, the couple was only fleeting,’ won’t they? Wouldn’t it be weird when I have to take accessories for two people all by myself!? I’ll be extremely pathetic!”
Oh, not good. It was meant to be an excuse, but just thinking about it makes me cry.
“Haa!? That’s the reason!? A-kun was the one who put on that weird pretense, so you’d just be reaping what you sowed!”
“I mean, it was the first time an employee of a store had asked if I had my girlfriend with me so I couldn’t help it!! I was absurdly happy!!”
“You’re actually an idiot, aren’t you!?”
Okay. In exchange for the stigma, I somehow managed to deflect the suspicion from Mitsumine.
But however, the cost of losing them was too great. No, let’s not dwell on that.
Anyway, for now.
“So, tomorrow after school, we’ll meet in the empty classroom in the other building, OK? DO–YOU–UNDERSTAND–?” [TLN: He said the last part in Engrish]
“Annoying~…Haa. Since saying anything else is useless, fine. Though I was certain that the classroom was locked because it was rarely used, right?”
“Don’t worry. I have the key.”
I pulled out a small key from my uniform pocket.
“It was given to me during the spring cleanup, but I forgot to return it and went home. Then the next day, when I saw that there was a spare in the staff room, I thought I’d just keep it.”
“Uwa, you’re more of a scumbag than I imagined. Don’t tell me that’s how you got the key to the rooftop…………?”
“No, that was given to me by a senior at my club. Though, I’m certain that’s how he got it as well. So next time when Mitsumine wants to get a key, you can use this technique.”
“No, I’m not going to use something like that. Rather, getting a chance at that is rare in itself!”
And so, somehow, I managed to make her promise. With this one week’s worth of extension, I have to make Mitsumine think that she wouldn’t mind living for another 80 years.
However, since he hadn’t heard a clear reason why she wanted to die, he couldn’t solve the problem fundamentally. If that’s the case, the only thing I can do is to make her think, “I’m having so much fun every day that it would be a shame to die,” and then aim for the ‘I’ll just live until I’m 100 course’.
That’s what I thought, and last night I’ve been frantically twisting my brain to come up with an after-school plan that would make Mitsumine smile.
You’re amazing, me! You’re doing great, me! Maybe I’ll become an event advisor in the future.
Ah, after school today. I wonder what face she’ll make when she sees the classroom I prepared for her today.
“Ahhh, I can’t do this anymore. This is the worst!!”
The moment I walked into the classroom, I could hear my friend’s lamenting voice, boisterously buzzing at the end of the room.
“Good morning, you’re as annoying as ever. What’s up?”
“Oh, good morning. What do you mean ‘what’s up’, I forgot that we had a quiz first period today. I didn’t study at all. I’m seriously gonna fail.”
“Goodness me… Don’t mind it.”
Shirosaki High School is a preparatory school. That’s why we always have daily quizzes and are very strict about the deadlines for submissions.
However, the reason why this quiz is hated more than anything else is because of the garbage system of ‘grading each other with the person sitting next to you.’
“Where do we start today?”
“P120 to P150.”
“Can I make it in time? Say, can I make it in time if I start now??”
“I guess that depends on you.”
“Waaaa! Don’t give up on me! We’re friends, right!?”
And the girl next to him is famous for being the cutest girl in the class. That’s why he puts in a lot of effort. He didn’t want her to think he was an idiot.
In this regard, since I’m sitting next to a close friend of mine, we can avoid red marks by making a pact that we’ll grade each other’s work in a lenient manner while giving extra marks.
Aah, yep. I’m scum. Call me scum.
“I can’t do it anymore, I’m completely dead. The quizzes are too frequent.”
“In the first place, the topics are too long.”
“It’s too confusing.”
“Ahhh, this is horrible. I seriously want to die.”
I couldn’t agree with my friend’s usual words. Normally, I would have carelessly agreed with him and told him to hang in there.
I don’t think he’s really going to die, and I understand that he’s just saying that to show that he wants to get away from here and that he hates quizzes that much.
I do understand, though.
“Don’t die. There’s still five minutes left before the quiz. You can make it in time… Besides, if you die, I’m going to be lonely.”
It was out of character. I said for some reason, even though until yesterday, I would’ve said ‘I want to die’ with the same face.
After seeing the real ‘I want to die’, the words seemed crude and sad, but I couldn’t get the idea out of my head that this guy really wanted to die.
I don’t know if he was surprised by my unusually serious reply, or if I was just making a very grim face.
My friend was looking at me with a puzzled look on his face, so I tried my best to make a cheerful voice to cover it up.
“Ahh, sorry for the sudden serious reply. I read a manga with that sort of setting yesterday.”
“Uwa, I thought so. Rather, didn’t you get too influenced by it… No, of course I’m not going to die. I’m definitely going to live until I get a girlfriend and go on dates with her.”
“Ooh, so you’re immortal. Congrats!”
“Ha? You wanna fight?? Are you trying to provoke me?”
“You should study for your quiz first.”
My friend, who had assumed a fighting stance, went back to his desk, looking sad at my comment. Having said that, I didn’t have much leeway either, and I turned back to my own desk, trying to cram as much as possible before the last minute.
But the whole time I was opening my textbook, my mind was on what I had just said. Or rather, it ended up going there.
After yesterday’s incident, I seem to have become quite sensitive to the idea of wanting to die.
Perhaps it was because I had now realized the strength of those words. It’s weird how we don’t realize it until we see the real thing. It’s just like hiding a tree in the forest.
That’s right. Maybe there were some “real” people among the feelings of “I want to die” that flooded the classroom. After all, even Mitsumine, who most people would consider the furthest from suicide, genuinely wanted to die.
(…Even I, haven’t thought about how serious I was when I said ‘I want to die’.)
I wondered how strong that ‘I want to die’ would have to be, to transform into the real feeling. Or is it that it may not be genuine in the beginning, but rather it becomes more real as the concentration gradually builds up?
When I started thinking about this, I became a little afraid of the voices of people speaking around me.
“Ah, no… What, A-kun?”
“What do you mean ‘what’.”
“Nothing. I just thought it would be easier if I didn’t have to make those facial expressions.”
When I went to the classroom in the other building, Mitsumine was already there waiting for me. She turned off her phone and turned to me with a tired expression on her face.
“………..Did you get repulsed?”
“It’s the first time I’m showing this face to someone.”
“You mean the tired face? Or are you talking about the on/off thing??”
Mitsumine averted her gaze away from me, and murmured curtly, “Both.” She looked a little afraid.
“No, on the contrary, I’m actually relieved.”
“I realized that Mitsumine is a normal person too. I felt a sense of closeness.”
If I were to use an example, it would be like when an idol with an insanely good face eats fast food. ‘Ah, so a person with that beautiful of a face eats junk food too! I thought they’d only eat mist!” or something like that.
I don’t know if you get it, but please do.
“What the heck? Even idols eat fast food, right? You’re too delusional.”
No good, I couldn’t get the message across. Mitsumine looked at me as if I was weird, as I tried to explain frantically.
“…It’s as you say but.”
“Fufu. Well, it’s whatever. By the way, what did you want by calling me here?”
“Oh, I’m so glad you asked.”
As if I had anticipated this, I took out my key and opened the door. There was a delicious looking pizza on the desk in the always quiet empty classroom, dominated by the delicious smell of cheese and ketchup.
“…What the heck.”
“Welcome, Mitsumine! To the Pizza Party Hall in Shirosaki High School!”
Mitsumine was staring into the classroom with a blank look on her face. It was a good thing that I had finished the cleaning early to get ready just to be able to see this, and with the corners of my mouth still raised, I spread out my hands and started leading her inside.
“…How did you get the pizza?”
“I made a call and got it delivered a while ago.”
“Isn’t that against school rules…”
“I picked it up outside the school, so I was not in a position to be bound by the school rules~. Therefore, not guilty!”
V Peace. As such, it was decided. [TLN: V Peace aka Peace sign]
I couldn’t care less about Mitsumine’s astounded gaze.
“………… By the way, what’s this?”
“It’s a game of Pop-up Pirate. Doesn’t it look fun? By the way for today’s party, the rule is that the winner gets to take as much pizza as they want.”
“Uwa, what’s with that? I don’t care about pizza so it doesn’t look fun at all though.”
“Oi, don’t make fun of Pirate-san! It’s a must in eat-in kitchens nowadays you know? Eh, don’t tell me that you didn’t know that? Uwaa, Mitsumine-san is behind the times~!!”
“It’s definitely not a must, and those words that shouldn’t come out of the mouth of a high school boy are very annoying.”
Even though she was saying this, Mitsumine picked up the toy swords that were lined up.
“Just so you know, I’m very good at games of chance.”
“Aye, bring it on. I’ll show you the true strength of I who will be crowned champion after winning the game.”
“What’s with that? How lame. I don’t understand how A-kun can be so proud of that.”
“Do you not know the phrase ‘He who laughs at the pirate, will cry at the pirate’!?”
“That’s the first time I’m hearing that phrase though? …Then it’s a beginner’s bonus for me.”
Saying that, Mitsumine began to seriously assess the hole to stick the sword into. Her eyes were too serious even though she didn’t look like she was going to do anything. She really hates to lose, doesn’t she?
“Sorry, A-kun. All the pizza might end up in my stomach.”
“Oh, you said it! Now show me what you can do.”
As soon as I said that, the Pirate jumped up from the sword Mitsumine stabbed him with.
“Uwa, delicious~! The cheese is so sticky!! This is the best!!”
“~~!!” [TLN: sulking noises]
“As expected it’s much different from the coveted quarter set!! The corn, mayo, and cheese are all delicious! I think I’ll live across from a pizzeria in the future. I can get three lunches just from the smell alone!”
I stuffed my mouth with pizza. Mitsumine was looking at me vexingly.
Despite all the talk, Mitsumine’s losing counters piled up pitifully, and most of the pizza disappeared into my stomach.
Somehow, I felt sorry for even suggesting this.
No I mean, there was no way I’d know she was this bad at it!
“Pizza pizza pizza pizza… The last slice of margherita pizza will definitely be mine…!”
Mitsumine seemed to be getting very hungry watching me stuff my face with the delicious looking pizza, and now she was completely charmed by it and muttered something like this.
Oi Mitsumine. I know you’re saying it in a low voice, but I can still hear everything you know?”
“Alright, then I’ll go again!”
And now, the bout for the last slice of pizza begins—!
It was over in five seconds. It was over way too soon.
Of course it was Mitsumine who sent the pirate’s head flying.
I wonder if she was too biased towards face, style and talent, and didn’t assign any stats to luck. I pity her too much.
“Uuuuu! …Come on, hurry up and eat.”
Mitsumine pouted with teary eyes. Eh, what is this cute creature? I felt like I wanted to protect her immediately, and if she wanted, I’d order another pizza for her immediately.
“No, I’m already full. So Mitsumine can eat it. It’d be a waste to leave it.”
“…You don’t really have to mind me though.”
“Do I look like a guy who’d mind that?”
“Nn~, sorry you don’t!”
Ehh. An immediate reply?
Saying that, Mitsumine then stuffed her face with pizza, with an uncharacteristically big smile on her face. It took her a single second. She must’ve been very hungry.
No, somehow, yeah. It’s a complicated feeling.
Am I really that inconsiderate of people normally??
(…I just saw Mitsumine stuffing her face with pizza, so who cares about something like that.)
────I wish that she could live happily like this forever.
Even though it was such an ephemeral wish, I couldn’t help but wish for it.