Within and Outside of Expectations
◆ Hiiragi Haruka ◆
For lunch break, we met up in the world history preparation room for the first time in a while.
It really feels like such a long time since we’ve been able to sit down face to face while alone.
Thinking back, for the past two months, I feel like I’ve been skirting around trying to run away by making up excuses every time I was asked if I had any plans. It’s true that I was busy, but I also had my worries for Seiji-kun to think about.
If you were to ask something like that of a 17-year-old high school student, they might actually say that everything was fine as it was. However, that might only be said because there was no other choice—
The door opened and Seiji-kun came inside. My face tensed up a little. Seeing as I was acting this way, the perceptive Seiji-kun seemed to have realized that something was up.
“Yeah. You too.”
Instead of spreading out our lunch, we exchanged some casual conversation between the two of us. I already knew about Seiji-kun’s test results before Seiji-kun told me, but I still wanted to talk to him, so I started off with a topic that I understood well.
“Well, aren’t tests kind of just like this? If I work hard starting the summer of my senior year, I’ll make it in time like I did last time.”
Last time? I was curious, but if Seiji-kun is fine, then I guess it’s okay.
We didn’t sit down, we didn’t spread out the picnic sheet, nor did we open up lunch. It felt somewhat unnatural, but Seiji-kun never questioned that sense of incongruity.
The conversation came to a stop, and a long silence followed. Is it really okay? I don’t know how many times this question has come up within my mind.
I told him what I thought, what I felt. Then, I told him that I wanted to end our relationship.
His hurt expression was one that I had never seen until now. I understood that I had hurt someone I was never supposed to injure.
“No matter what I say, this might just be my ego… Sorry.”
The shaking voice of someone throwing off the person that they love, sounded as if it came from another person entirely.
“Is this a decision you are making while thinking about me?”
He might think that it’s my own selfishness. He might label me as a terrible woman.
“As expected, it comes down to this…”
Seiji-kun muttered in a low voice. Within his saddened expression, there seemed to be some semblance of calm.
I could never imagine him being super distraught, nor could I imagine him wailing and crying, but contrary to what I thought, he was quick to give his understanding.
It was anticlimactic in that there wasn’t any entanglement.
In truth, I wanted him to be sadder. I wanted him to get angrier. When he nods his head so easily like that, I can only think that this relationship only meant so much to Seiji-kun. It’s selfish of me to say that though after bringing up the breakup.
… Aaah. Probably, no, most definitely.
I might have been scared of Seiji-kun’s maturity—no, more than that—his ability to look far into the future.
Without revealing any of his emotions, he accepts logical arguments. If our positions were to be reversed, and he were the one to break up with me, would I be able to think it over logically?
I was definitely scared of that.
From now on, many other wonderful and charming women would definitely appear around Seiji-kun. That’s even the case now.
It’s not a lie to think that there are more suitable and attractive women for Seiji-kun.
I was afraid that my beloved person would end up throwing me away with no room for discussion. That’s something that I end up thinking about unconsciously.
“It isn’t like you fell in love with someone else, right?”
I shook my head with all I had.
“There isn’t any other reason. What I told you are my true feelings.”
Then that’s good, Seiji-kun muttered.
“Since I’m only a high schooler, Hiiragi-chan is the only one that I can see, and I have no other options. So, you’re thinking that there are plenty of other wonderful women to meet.”
Hiiragi-chan… He isn’t calling me Sensei or Haruka-san. Aaah… does he perhaps normally call me that within his mind? Since he can’t afford to smooth it over within himself—
“No matter what path, it’ll take 10 years…? Aaaah, then, once I turn into an adult, after meeting various other women, what should I do if you’re still number one. What if I still love you all this time.”
“What should you do…?”
I don’t know. How would I know? It’s not like we broke up because we hated each other. Just those words made me happy inside.
If you still like me, come back to me. There’s no way I can say that, especially as the person who dumped him.
“There will definitely be great people that will show up for you, Seiji-kun.”
“Maybe, but even if they do appear, I don’t think I’ll see them. After all, that was even the case for the present me.”
“What do you mean?”
Even though we’ve just broken up, Seiji-kun somehow looked a little refreshed.
“As expected, this is how it is. What Rei-chan realized was probably…”
He continued to talk to himself as he left the room.
The sound of the door closing felt eerily loud as the preparation room returned to silence.
I felt mentally tired, causing me to lean back into my chair. I don’t have any appetite, so let’s daze off for a bit.
Just as I was thinking that, the door slid open.
I was wondering who it was when Sana-chan appeared.
A bunch of tears could be seen around her eyes, and her mouth was formed into a frown.
“Is something wrong?”
“Sana just happened to see Nii-san walking down the hall, and thought it was weird. He looked nervous, or anxious… That’s why Sana came here.”
She probably heard it. The conversation we just had.
“Sana-chan, eavesdropping isn’t very polite, you know?”
Sana-chan walked over, and then raised her hand. A dry sound, like the popping of an inflated room rang from my cheek.
My cheek became hot, and a numbing pain spread from it. I finally realized that I had been slapped.
“Why did you break up with Nii-san!”
“You have nothing to do with it, Sana-chan!”
“I do! After all, Nii-san was crying!”
Crying? However, that didn’t look to be the case—
“The moment the door closed, He walked down the hall crying—he immediately entered the bathroom.”
“B-but that isn’t a reason to hit me!”
“It was a promise! With Nii-san! If you made Nii-san cry, I would hit you!”
I grabbed the hand which she had raised to hit me once more.
“Such a selfish promise—”
“You’re the one being selfish! Making Nii-san sad at your own whim—Sana will definitely never forgive you!”
“What do you know, Sana-chan!?”
“Sana doesn’t have any interest, so that’s why Sana doesn’t know! You’re perfectly beautiful like some sort of announcer, always smiling, and capable of doing anything! I’ve always hated that part of you from the start!”
“That’s what being a ‘teacher’ means!”
“That doesn’t matter! Sana might not have any interest, but Sana at least knows that you ran away from Nii-san’s feelings!”
Once again, this girl… stabs at the core—
“Because of love, you’ll break up. I don’t want to hide my thoughts from Seiji-kun, so—”
“You’re just using that supposedly adult-logic as a way to armor yourself as you hurt Nii-san. Using an excuse like that as a shield, is something that only works in 2-D!”
We fought for an extended amount of time.
Due to the door being left open, our screams could be heard from the hallway.
A teacher, who had sensed that something was wrong came into the room, and pulled Sana-chan off.
“Let go! Let go of me! Sexual harassment! That woman is—”
Sana-chan flailed about as she was pulled out into the hallway, and was taken to another room by a counselor.
“Hiiragi-sensei… what’s wrong? What exactly happened…?”
If I were to tell them what happened, I wouldn’t be able to avoid explaining how it came to be. At worst, Sana-chan could be suspended. It might even affect her grades. The moment that she hit me wasn’t witnessed by anyone.
She would never say anything that would cause problems for Seji-kun. I trust her for that. That’s why, I’ll believe in Sana-chan.
An emergency staff meeting was held, and all afternoon classes throughout the school became self-study.
“It’s all my fault. Sanada-san did nothing wrong…”
Sana-chan continuously refused to talk. When asked about the situation, I told them that it was my fault, and gave a bunch of lies before asking for Sana-chan’s forgiveness.
Because of that, Sana-chan’s situation ended with just a warning.