By the time they returned to Soumiya station, evening was approaching.
The three days two night trip has come to an end. It was a short and fruitful.
“What are you going to do during the summer holidays, Irifune-senpai?”
“I need to study for my exam, obviously. I can’t afford to play for the rest of the month so don’t invite me to hang out.”
“Got it. Good luck.”
“But you need to tell me when you find out the whereabouts of Shizuka’s father.”
“Are you going to refuse my invitation as well, senpai?”
Sarasa sighed as if she was astounded.
“I also need to focus on my exams first. If I don’t I can’t choose the path I want.”
“Oh well. Let’s study. We also have exams at the end of the holidays too.”
“…………I don’t want to think about it yet.”
“Can you take back the past………..? I don’t know about that but don’t repeat the same mistake. Perhaps the past exist for that reason.”
“What’s with you all of sudden?”
“Nothing, That was just what I thought. Well then, let’s go home.”
Sarasa, who was going to the bookstore confessed just before the part ways.
On the first night, Sarasa was talking to Utaha before meeting with Keito. If they wanted to talk, they could have do that in their room but it was Utaha who invited her who was unable to say anything.
“I wasn’t able to say anything after all. But Umegae-san gave me a boost at the end. Her eyes are clear, gentle, yet scary as if she is able to see through everything. Hers seems to seems to forgive everything but never herself. I’m sure she in a big dilemma………..Aikawa, give her a hand.”
Utaha was also heading back alone when Keito said:
“Thank you very much. I was able to know Shizuka’s last feelings, and all of us were able to say our farewells to her in the truest sense.
If it wasn’t for your help, it would have been impossible .”
In response, Utaha gently soften her expression,
“Then, this will be a debt okay?”
And slightly tilted her head jokingly.
Keito returns a smile wondering if she had ever make such gesture.
After parting from Aikawa-san and the rest, I spent roughly an hour walking back to my house. I was exhausted but I felt like walking. I thought of getting more tired.
After making a cup of dandelion coffee, I went upstairs.
Opening the curtains, I let the setting sun into the room. I sat down on a chair in the middle of the room surrounded by bookscase. Putting a bitter taste in my mouth, I took a long breath.
I recall the day when Aikawa-san first visited this store. When he came in and rang the bell, I was in this room.
Because I felt like there was someone………no, mother called me upstairs.
Of course that was just my imagination, no one should been there. At that time, I was in this room taking a copy of this book.
『Portrait of Chieko』
I accidentally took the book that caught my attention in the desolated room, flipped the page and traced the words.
Among it, 『To a woman in the suburb』was also included.
I was interested in the words of the poet who was madly in love with a single woman. In addition, because I dropped something on the desk when I put back the book, I was late to notice him stopping by.
Although when I heard it later, it was said that Aikawa-san remained because of the sound.
What a quirk of fate. Even now, I still think that he might be the one that called for my mother.
I don’t think it was just a coincidence.
Did mother tried to show me the way because I was immature? If so, even if it’s a dream, please come and see me.
Even if mother’s words will torment me, I wish to know the truth.
Just like how Aikawa-san was.
When I stand up, setting mother aside, I also reached out into the nurtured forest of books and open the pocket paperback once again.
Shizuka-san left it behind, Sarasa protects it and Aikawa-san recites it. That had the same binding as this.
Now like a great wind my heart rushes towards you
Like a soft precious spring welling up from the depths of the earth,
Wetting every last inch of your clear skin.*
I abandoned the significance of intentionally reading carefully and read aloud, experiencing the poetry as it is.
I traced poetic sentiments of our ancestors, following their feelings, prayers and recited it. I’m have yet to finish it, finally started to read it.
Silence and passion were coexisting. A spectacle came to mind.
The ocean spreads out entirely.
The blue sky with no one and the azure ocean.
When the wind stroked water surface, white waves rises,
A small fish is swimming among the waves.
If it nonchalantly float for some time, it will change direction.
The fish dived to the depth, to the bottom of the sea floor and disappeared.
I’m sure that even now the fish is sleeping.
While feeling the tender breeze at the bottom of sea that is filled with tears.
*TL: Here is the original part: