Keito’s outcry resounded to the sky.
When he noticed it, Keito was weeping aloud. His tears was overflowing endlessly as he wailed.
Ever since the day he lost Shizuka, he had strong emotion welled up in him but has never shed tears.
Keito returned his tears to the sea where Shizuka lied.
There was indications of gentle cuddling.
As if to wipe away his shedding tears, she stood beside Keito and gently held out her right hand.
Shizuka’s lost words had regained its color. It was struck by sunlight and showed the shape of the sun.
Suppressing the urge to hug her right away, Keito was watching over her state of affairs. Her pale magenta lips didn’t open and hasn’t informed him anything yet.
“Is that really Shizuka…….”
Sarasa had her eyes opened wide.
As if she saw something unbelievable. Just like greeting a dear friend.
Junichi let out a moan. His fingertips were trembling repeatedly. He tried to reach out to her but to no avail.
“What a surprise.”
After Takumi was befuddled for a brief period as if he had forgotten about himself, Shizuka and Sarasa took turns staring at each other.
As if giving them the time to ascertain the reaction of four people including Keito, Shizuka’s mouth which has regained it’s shape from two years ago, was assembling words at last.
“You know, I…….like you, Kei-kun. I have always, always loved you since we were kids.”
The words that she wanted to convey was clearly heard by Keito and the rest.
“I think I have fallen for you when the fish died and you cried together with me. I, don’t think I can be saved but please do get along with each other forever.”
Missing the chance to grab Keito’s hand, among the despair submerged under the sea
It was the word that she tried to left behind in desperation for failing to grab hold of Keito’s hands and sinking into the sea.
Even if it became a lost word, it wishes to convey it’s feelings to everyone.
“………..I have always wanted to apologise to you. When we were in elementary school, I was mean, shameful, foolish, and naive for saying that. I had betrayed you who told me that 『it’s okay to cry』.
Then there was the time during the accident, I wasn’t able to save you. And the fact that I couldn’t continuing holding your hand. I had done countless amount of things that was unforgivable no matter much I apologized. Nevertheless, I could only apologise.
It would have been better that I die for someone like me to die sooner………Why did you die and I was the one who was saved………..? Why, don’t you blame me………”
Shizuka was unable to answer Keito. That’s how lost words are.
They are just a being that convey their thoughts.
Having said that,
“I love you, Kei-kun…….I finally get to say it.”
The repeated words doesn’t have a shred of falsehood and the honest voice that was on the verge of death had brought salvation to Keito.
“Yeah………I got it.”
He was finally able to say it. There are no words that can respond with the truth other than truth itself.
“I……….also love you, Shi-chan. I have always love you.”
I thought I wasn’t qualified to say that. However I can’t lie anymore.
I know that Shizuka can’t never respond to that confession. The smile appearing on her lost words might just be a illusion that it had wished for.
However, I believed that my feelings have gotten through. Finally.
“Jun-kun, do your best in baseball okay? I’ll always be rooting for you.”
She spoke to Junichi in a gentle yet encouraging tone.
“……….Takamori. That word is like a curse to me. I was shackled. That’s why I was relieved to have quit baseball. But you were genuinely praying for my success till the very end…………
Junichi was choking back tears but was desperately controlling it.
“Hey, Junichi. Shi-chan had told me this before. She said that when you want to cry, it’s okay to do so. Words can also became a curse. However it can become a source of comfort too.”
“Yeah…….Takamori, I’ll try a bit harder.”
As he squeezed out those words, Junichi sat down right away as if he had just used up all his energy.
He then cried as if he was howling softly.
“Do your best in baseball, Tak-kun. You are aiming to be a professional with Jun-kun right?”
“You said it like it’s not a big deal…………”
Takumi smiled bitterly as he blew his nose.
“I’m way worse then Junichi, there is no competition………….But I won’t quit became I love the game.”
“Also, do get along with Sa-chan. I noticed that Tak-kun is in love with Sa-chan.”
Takumi raised his voice as if it was omitted.
“Sa-chan, thank you for listening to my problems. Thank you for being a good friend. To think I finally tell kei-kuny feelings for me. Wonder if I’m a bit late.
I know Sa-chan is easily mis understood but is incredibly sweet towards those she cares about.
I’m giving you my book, Sa-chan. Cherish it okay? It should give you strength. It think it’s awfully wonderful for someone to be loved.
So it’s fine if you don’t get along with anyone, but do get along with your loved ones. I’ll leave to you to decide about choosing Tak-kun, but I’ll be rooting for you.”
“You’re a fool, Shizuka. You have no idea how much you have saved me. Thank you. Also, I’m sorry. I’m really sorry……………..Even if you forgive me, I don’t think I can forgive myself. However, I have the feeling that one day I just might be able to do that.
……….Gave it, I see, so you’re giving that book to me. But it is now in pieces……….Sorry, I’ll buy a new one, treat it as the same one you have given me and cherish it. Thank you.
Just one thing……..you don’t think that is the end right?”
With her voice trembled, then finally smiled wryly, Sarasa had tears flowing down her eyes.
Both Keito and Sarasa have been living with the sense of guilt towards Shizuka. Even if that guilt fades away, it won’t disappear.
A wound that was once craved, it won’t heal easily. The thin skin would rip effortlessly and the cut would be visible again. Nevertheless, as long as he remembered the Shizuka of this moment on this day, today, the wound will probably heal once again.
Shizuka still looks as if she is alive.
Regaining her facial expression, emotions and words,
That is precisely like a conflagration that flared up particularly intense just before it goes out.
The words that the four people replied with,
Would never reached her.
The girl in front of them is not Shizuka, but rather just a facsimile of her that conveyed her words.
However, she laughed and cries nevertheless.
If Shizuka was there, she would have the same face and doing the same thing.
“There were many agonizing things that happened. But there were numerous exciting stuff that happened too. Besides I’m worried about my parents and there are lots of book I want to read.
………….Ah, I don’t want to die after all.”
After Shizuka said so in a lonely tone,
“If I die, please cry your hearts out everyone. Please cry and cry, to the point where all of your tears become the ocean.
If you do that, I’m sure I can always meet all of you at the bottom of the ocean.
See you, bye bye.
Shizuka waved her hand. That appearance was slightly blurred like a apparition seen under the afternoon’s sunlight.
Keito staggeringly walked up to the disappearing girl.
He didn’t mind even if her destination was the deep blue sea behind her.
However, in the end, she said:
“I will become a fish and sleep at the bottom of the ocean, but you can’t come over here yet okay, Kei-kun?”
After she saying her parting words, she really disappeared.
When Keito tried to find her remains, someone tapped his shoulders which allowed his line of sight to be lead astray.
“Let’s come again.”
Junichi placed his hand there. That hand was big and a little warm.
Takumi and Sarasa exchanged glances.
Takumi shyly laughed but Sarasa had a sour expression as if she had swallowed a bitter bug. In an instant, the both of them waved to the direction that Shizuka once stood.
When he looked at Utaha, she only had a gentle smile on her face.
Thank you for your hard work, her silent smile narrated eloquently.
“Even if she said that, I can’t cry right away.”
Sarasa sighed as if she was troubled.
“Isn’t it better if we just cry in our hearts when we return back home?………..great, Keito is crying again. As expected from the crybaby baby Keito.”
That teasing voice of Junichi was somewhat gentle.
“Because………..I have been holding back.”
Keito says that while wiping his tears.
“I’ll do that after I go back home……….Nevertheless, this is a problem. Never knew that it would be disclosed like this.”
Takumi muttered while scratching his head as if he was troubled.
“So, it’s true?”
“Yeah, well. That being said, I have been in love with you, Irifune-senpai.”
The drifting confessing,
“………….I refuse. I can’t think of that right now.”
Was flat out rejected.
“You said ‘now’, so does that mean you will think about it later?”
“Then, I’ll considered it as a reserve.”
Takumi was strong. They both of them will take time. Is that why Takumi agreed to come to the trip in the beginning?
“Jun-nii, thanks for the company. Leave the rest to me. You don’t have to say anything.”
“…………Give me some time too. It’s impossible to return back to baseball immediately. But I need to think carefully about my future and body.”
“By the way.”
Junichi begins to talk. When he got prepared for something,
The siren rumbled, notifying that it was noon at the same time as he said that.
Keito unfolded the lunchbox that his grandmother gave him. Since the seagulls showed up, he shared the fish fillet with them.
When they finished, everyone looked at each other out of nowhere.
“Is it, over?”
“No, It’s probably just the beginning……………….Of our future.”