They stopped their bicycle in front of Utaha’s shop.
“『Tsukuyusa』？ Is shizuka inside here?”
The half-convinced Takumi entered together with Junichi who have been silent this whole time.
“Welcome, Aikawa-san. You are little late today. Are the both of them acquaintance of Shizuka-san? I have been waiting for you.”
“I will show the both of you around.”
Utaha slightly nodded and followed them with her eyes.
“Keito is she the Umegae-san that you mentioned during lunch? She is extremely beautiful.”
“Yeah. She is the owner of this store. And……..the person who can help us.”
Is Junichi listening to their conversation or not? All he did was walked silently behind them.
They passed through all of the paintings that was displayed on the wall without stopping.
In reality, they would be looking at each and every one of them but right now, Keito needs lead the way quickly.
The moment they stood in front of Shizuka’s painting, both Takumi and Junichi were loss for words.
“Why is a picture of Shizuka doing here? Did she posed for that picture before the accident?”
The one who inquired was Takumi. Junichi was still standing in front of the painting not moving an inch. It was as if Shizuka was really there.”
As a matter of fact, Shizuka’s lost words is right there beside the three of them. Only Keito is able to see them now. There is no change in her appearance.
“It is because the person who drew this painting saw Shizuka.”
“Who drew it?”
“Utaha-san’s mother drew it. Mari-san was a person who was able to see lost words. Thus, the lost words that she saw was left in this painting. Just like her…………I am able to see Shizuka’s lost words.”
“Lost words? What on earth is…….lost words?”
Takumi asked again. Obviously. Because Keito has never explained about the lost words. He thought they wouldn’t believe him at least until they actually saw the painting.
He told them about the existence of lost words and the role of the messenger. And his motive was to hear the words from Shizuka’s lost words.
“There is no proof that what you said is true right?”
Until now, Junichi who has been silently listening opened his mouth as if to challenge him.
“Then how about this picture?”
“Must be a painting that you prepared before hand in order to trick us. It is easy with your help.”
“It is not just Shi-chan. Do you remember, Jun-nii? That is the sea where we played when we were kids. It was the sea that was near to my grandfather’s house. It was that sea, that beach.”
“I see. No wonder it looks familiar……It was that exact scenery.”
“It is a place that you know well. This doesn’t prove anything.”
“Why do I need to do that?”
“To ridicule us, to laugh at me. That women is also an accomplice right?”
“Junichi, you know what you said is absurd right?
Keito, I will be honest with you. I am still skeptical about what you said, but this painting is somewhat…….convincing. After Shizuka’s death, is this a sign that makes you think that this is a painting of her? I think something similar has happened before. And if that is the lost words as you called it, then I am convinced.”
“That is right. To begin with, there isn’t any reason for me to pull such a prank now is there?
Believe it or not, this painting certainly depicts Shizuka’s lost words, and she’s still here, right next to us.”
Keito’s gaze is directed towards Shizuka who is right beside them. Towards Shizuka’s lost words. Towards the girl who has not decided her future, unable to find the words that she spoke and isn’t fulfilling her role.
Even if the both of them are unable to see her, She is certainly there.
She was facing Keito and naturally turned to Takumi and Junichi.
“That is why I…….want to know the words that Shizuka left behind. I don’t know the words are conveyed for, is it for us, Irifune-senpai, or her unknown whereabouts parents. I am the one who will hear those words and convey those words to that someone, but I can’t do this alone.”
Junichi stared intently at the talking Keito,
“Keito…….are you saying that you are the only one who is given a second chance? Not me…….but you?”
And eventually he hung his head down as if he was broken down.
After Takumi looked at Junichi, he muttered: “I will do it.”.
“I have no idea what is going on though. It is too much of an exaggeration to write it off as a lie. Besides, I know the feeling of wanting to do something for someone you loved……much less it is someone who is not here anymore.”
He supported Keito with a gentle voice unexpectedly.
However, Junichi’s face is still facing down, not wanting to see anyone,
“How do you know that? In the first place, what should Takumi and I do? We can’t see Takamori, hear her voice and can’t touch her. What on Earth can we do? I can’t do anything, I have no power.”
And groaned as if he was on the verge of crying.
Over there was once a leader that led the way for everyone, not one who was trying to keep Keito at a distance with intimidation just now, just a realistic boy.
“I won’t say anything profound. Even I don’t know that. But you just have to be my side.”
“…………I told you that I am going to follow you only. Let me go.”
As Junichi said that sluggishly, he left the building first. Keito wasn’t able to detain him.
“I think he probably can’t accept reality right now………Well, the same goes for me. I am sure he will help us.”
And then, Takumi left by saying: “I will be leaving first.” as well.
The neighborhood has gone completely dark. When he watched Takumi’s bicycle light until it is out of sight, Keito felt really tired.
Today’s period was way too long.
“I am going home as well. Please look after Shizuka-san.”
Utaha who should be looking at the three of them, said nothing all this time and only replied Keito by saying: “Be careful.”.
“…………I will be back tomorrow.”
Lastly, he called out to Shizuka who was at the back.
Keito started pedaling slowly. His body is tired and his mind is restless. Nevertheless, when he moved his legs, his bicycle proceeds forward.
Reaching home, when he had a late supper and finish bathing, he was immediately assaulted by drowsiness. He had a feeling that he should do his homework but losing to his desire for sleep, he ended up lying in bed.
Will he still have dreams of Shizuka even though he has already met her? Does that implies something? Nevertheless, he wished that he hadn’t dreamed about it.
However, he dreamed again.
Keito was at there beach. He was standing on the same place as the scenery that Mari left in the picture. It was so similar that it hallucinated Keito into thinking that he entered the painting.
The dazzling sun is shining in the southern skies. The roar of wave break onto shore were beating out the thyme. Keito was standing alone toward the sea as a child.
There was no one else. Not Shizuka, Takumi, Junichi nor Sarasa. No one.
Reluctantly, Keito headed towards the water’s edge. The tide was rising and seawater plunged beneath his feet.
He felt like someone was calling out to him in a soft voice. Tempted by that voice, Keito walked.
Several stones tumbled under his feet. Those rocks were an enclosure stacked in a ring-shaped. When he looked into it, a fish is swimming. It was a small fish that he didn’t know the name of. Even if it is a high tide, the fish is unable to escape because the water doesn’t flow here.
Someone called out to him again.
“Let’s set it free, Kei-kun.”
If the apprehended fish remains in the cage, it will eventually die.
Is the fish talking, or someone that he can’t see talking to him?
He was unable to comprehend again.
Obeying the unknown voice, Keito rescued the fish by scooping it out.
However, the fish who was swimming calmly, escaped his grasp from the gap between his fingers even if Keito tries to catch it and that process has repeated many times. The more impatient he is, the more he realized that he can’t do anything.
If I at least had someone’s help. I wish there is someone other than myself.
Is Shizuka the one saying that? Or the fish? Is Shizuka the fish? Or the fish is Shizuka?
When he woke up, he was soaked with sweat once again. His pajamas clanged onto his body and he had difficulty undressing.