Translated : Sveroz
Edited : Wing, Wingedmith, Cereal
The closing ceremony of the second semester ended without any problems.
After the report cards were issued in the classrooms, the last dismissal bell of the second semester rang throughout the school compound.
Cries of freedom were let out by the students as the whole school was filled with the sounds of chairs being pushed away.
Rina looked at the corner of a window and got up from her chair.
The seat of an ordinary teenage boy that was always occupied seemed to be empty today. According to the homeroom teacher, he did not ask for a day off.
Rina quietly left the classroom without talking to anybody.
She took her school bag and walked along the corridors that linked to another school building. After climbing up the stairs, she walked towards the farthest room on the third floor. Written on the door’s name plate, that looked much older compared to the other classrooms’, were the words “Art Classroom”.
Walking closer to the classroom, Rina noticed that the door was half open.
She took a peep into the classroom from the corridor; there was a teenage boy inside facing a canvas sheet.
It was Kusuriya Daisuke.
Daisuke was wearing his casual clothes, looking directly at Rina’s painting. He was not looking at the portrait of himself that was drawn yesterday, but rather at the painting of scenery that was abandoned half a month ago.
It was a painting that she painted based on her memory. There was no sea, no mountains, just an ordinary drawing of a street scenery that could be seen anywhere.
When Rina was small she would draw continuously for the sake of avoiding her normally hot tempered father and crying mother. The painting was based on the sunset scene that she saw from outside the window in the room she was locked up in.
The orange-colored street that she saw from the household filled with noises was like another world, filled with happiness in Rina’s eyes. That orange-red color was so bright that it could even redden the air of the streets.
Rina sat on top of a pile of art materials in the corridor and hugged her bag, while gazing at the teenage boy inside the classroom that was staring at the painting. It was exactly the same as before, similar to the first time when she saw Daisuke.
Daisuke had not moved a muscle as he continued to admire Rina’s painting. His profile was indeed completely different from the usual him.
At that time, Daisuke smiled. It was a frank smile that Rina had never seen before. Right now, she remembered, that smile was kind of similar to Shiika’s smile. A smile that seemed as though the person was both enduring something painful and accepting something unreasonable, but could still smile.
What kind of expression would he give this time? --- Just when Rina thought that to herself, Daisuke opened his mouth.
“Were you peeping from behind just like this last time? Tachibana-san.”
Daisuke looked back while putting up his usual smile.
“……Well almost the same.”
Rina stood up and walked into the art classroom.
“What are you trying to pull? You didn’t even attend the closing ceremony? Today is Christmas Eve, you know! Don’t have a date? Poor guy...”
As soon as Rina said those words, she began to hate herself.
I am really a despicable woman…..I clearly knew the reason why already…….
But the response from the teenage boy was unexpected.
“I do have a date actually! Which is why before the agreed meeting time, I have to kill some time.”
Rina was dumbfounded before she said dazedly:
“……You kill time by looking at this painting like this?”
Daisuke’s voice was rigid. Rather than saying that he was at a loss, it seemed more like he was enduring the feeling of loss within.
“That is so lame.”
Perhaps Daisuke was angry; he spoke in a rather suppressed tone.
“….Anyway, why is Tachibana-san still in school?”
“I still have things to take care of.”
“Important things that related to the future, I can even die for the sake of accomplishing it!”
After Rina said that in a playful tone, Daisuke sighed.
“Hmph, you are the one that is lame ….”
Rina unhappily glared at the boy.
“For the sake of your future, you are willing to die for it; doesn’t that mean that you are just giving up on yourself? How does that even look cool at all? That is just an idiotic attempt of self-fulfillment because you have already given up living.”
“What did you said......”
Rina felt a strong rage building up within her, and responded in a firm tone:
“How does someone like you even understand? Let me ask you, are you saying that you don’t fear death?”
“I am not afraid…because there are things that are scarier than death itself.”
Daisuke stared straight at Rina.
Rina suddenly recalled that she had heard similar lines in the past. It was the same words said by one of her hated enemy.
“Things that are scarier than death….What are they?”
“I’m not telling you.”
Daisuke firmly rejected, causing Rina to feel even unhappier.
The two of them stood still, unmoving for several minutes. Rina never expected that she would able to experience time together with Daisuke like this again. Daisuke’s gaze never left the painting in front of him. Occasionally, Rina would sneak peep at Daisuke’s profile. When Rina gazed at the teenage boy’s profile, she could feel a warm feeling awakens within her heart.
You know, Kusuriya, ---
Daisuke first muttered in a soft voice before Rina could say anything,
“I thought that, as long as we live, there would eventually be a solution one day…….. ---“
Daisuke’s expression became a lot gentler all of a sudden; it was exactly the same as what Rina saw in the past, the same smile that made her interested in the boy in front of her.
“The moment when I saw this painting, I would recall it. As long as we still live, the day when we would fulfill our dream will eventually come. That is why I-------“
Daisuke’s smile suddenly disappeared.
“But, I guess it is impossible. I don’t know anything….and even if I do know the truth; I can only stay here and hesitate… Even if I really wanted to see her again, I don’t know how of talk to her normally. If I knew it would turn out like this, then I should have never met her in the first place……”
Rina thought that Daisuke cried, but it was nothing like it. The expression he exposed was filled with pure anger. Perhaps he could not forgive himself for fearing Shiika? On the other hand, maybe he was just cursing fate for such happenings?
Rina realized that her emotions were quickly settling down. Maybe this was an obvious result of the nature of people that would cause them to distance themselves away from the existences they don’t understand. And Rina was one of those Mushitsuki that the human society came to feared from instincts.
“That’s right. Even if we live on, nothing good will come out of it….”
Rina’s murmur slowly dissolved into the silent and empty art classroom and disappeared.
That was the last conversation that she had with her fellow classmate, Kusuriya Daisuke.
Thank you for reading~
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