He left half of his breakfast. He came back late last night and this morning, he was inattentive the whole time. Both of his parents and sister’s worried voices were up in the clouds.
He didn’t have the energy to pedal to school so he took the bus. The rain began to fall since dawn was dampening the alley.
Getting off the bus, he held up his umbrella and walked towards school. Along the way, he repeated the dream he saw in the morning in his head.
Who is the one trapped on that beach? Who was left behind on that sea? The answer was right in front him.
When he tried to enter his classroom, Takumi was waiting for him at the enterance.
“Thanks for yesterday……….Did you have not enough sleep? The dark circle underneath your eyes are terrible.”
“I…………saw a weird dream.”
“A weird dream?”
“Since that happened right on the heels of yesterday there shouldn’t be any progress, but do you want to go together today?”
“No, I will be going alone. You probably have practice. It is already a new semester* right?”
“That is true…………I see, very well. No matter how many matches there are, I still need to attend practice.”
Kikusui High School’s baseball club had their first match of the local tournament about two weeks ago and losing the first match. They are already transitioning to a new team and Takumi had became a senior.
However, it seems that Takumi was not included as a substitute member.
Looking from Keito’s eyes, would Takumi who excel in baseball, became one of the many other weak members of the baseball club when he became a high school student?
Seiko was also worried about the same thing.
“Are you okay? Is there really nothing? Your dark circles are terrible.”
Apparently it stood out much.
“I am fine.”
“But you were acting strange when I met you at the park the day before yesterday, Aikawa-kun……….”
“I was born weird.”
When he said that and forced a laugh,
“For example, if tomorrow is the deadline for the art exhibition, but you have more than half of the works mean for show are not completed. If that happens, what will you do Haruchika?
“I will do my best and don’t give up obviously!”
“Figures. So am I.”
“Does that mean that you have something to do right now? I got it. But don’t push yourself.”
“I will be careful.”
Although he said that, there are times where there is a need to do that. Right now is that time.
I will bring Shizuka along.
To the beach where one can see her laid dormant. The beach where he played with her when they were kids. That beach where they aimed for but can’t reached.
Once again, at that place, with those members. Together with Shizuka’s lost words.
Keito must have known that this is the only way to get the words out of her when he dreamed about it since morning, no, perhaps even earlier.
There are two Shizuka. One that is still in the sea, and another one that reflected her figure, overflowing with emotions.
The Shizuka that died underwater———is calling out to him.
He have to go see her.
The art club have a meeting before summer vacation and normally Keito has to show up for the meeting but he turned down the vice president Seiko and took a rest.
“Once everything is over, I will definitely return. So please wait. I am really sorry.”
“You have become nicer, Aikawa-kun?”
“Yeah. Speaking of nice, you are certainly nice before, but how do I put this? You are trying very hard right now. I feel like there is kindness for worrying about a loved one.”
“……You think so? I don’t know about that.”
“Anyways, do look after your body.”
The bus which came from the direction of the station that travels north in the city gets increasingly packed as it picked up the students from Kikusui high school. There is cooler in the bus, but it was still humid and undeniably discomforting.
The bus moved on while he was unable to find a seat. Every time it stopped at a bus stop or a traffic light, he felt frustrated.
When he dropped off at the nearest bus station, Keito opened up his umbrella and hasten his pace with his back facing against Mt. Kinpu that is dimmed by the rain.
When he pass through the door of 『Tsukuyusa』, his uniform was quite drenched.
“Welcome Aikawa-san…………Are you okay?”
With dark circles around his eyes and shoulders rising and lowering as if it was painful to breathe, his uniform was stuck to his shirt.
“I will serve some coffee. It will warm you up.”
While feeling grateful for those words, Keito opened his mouth with enthusiasm.
“I want to take Shi-chan back to my home. Where is she?!”
Towards Keito who just leaned forward,
“Anyway, please calm down.”
When he took the towel that Utaha had provided to wipe the back of his neck and forehead, that alone has greatly reduced his discomfort. After drinking the dandelion coffee that she prepared, Keito showed his resolution.
I want to take Shizuka to the beach that I had dreamed about this morning. Towards Keito’s words,
“I understand your wish. I think it is a good idea to bring her to a place of memories.”
“Then without further ado.”
However, Utaha instructed Keito,
“On top of that, I have some bad news. Shizuka-san’s lost words doesn’t have much time. At this rate, she will disappear soon.”
Keito unexpectedly took in that sentence calmly.
I might have perceive that reality since I had that dream this morning. Our farewell is approaching. I had a hunch. All the more reason why I want to bring her home quickly.
“Did Shi-chan waited in the park this whole time? ……..Why didn’t she come here?”
If the lost words that arrived at this store would come straight here where Utaha is waiting, they might have able to spend a longer time together with her.
“Did you happen to pass by? Or was she waiting for you at that place this whole time?
………Or perhaps Shizuka-san was trapped in that place.”
Upon hearing Utaha’s words, he suddenly recalled something.
I see. If she was a fish, was she that fickle one fish that have finally have been scooped out of the confined cage that she was being captured by? I couldn’t save her that time. But………this time.
It is just the beginning.
“I will depart on Saturday. Utaha-san, can you come with me?”
It is already the summer vacation. Nevertheless, there are still four more days including today.
“Yes. I have a duty and reason to see your fate.”
Utaha answered with a gentle face which looked somewhat grim.
As Keito heads to the back of the room, Shizuka stood before the drawing on her own. She doesn’t move, as if she is a statue.
However, if one is careless before her they would lose sight of her. He squinted his eyes and was finally able to see her.
Her presence was drastically thin compared to yesterday. Originally, lack of emotions and expression are a characteristic of the lost words, there is a slight indication, but for example, like how Keito felt it for the first time, regarding negative presence against positive, light vs dark, Yin vs Yang, bright vs dusk, fact vs fiction, there is such things like that which is also peculiar to lost words.
“If you don’t have the time, I would like to spend the extra time together with Shi-chan.”
Keito held Shizuka’s right hand.
It felt as if he was holding a flimsy cloth. If he let go of her hands for a short time, it seemed like she would soar across the sky and disappeared somewhere. However she is so fragile that if he grasped her hands with more strength, she would be crushed by his hands.
TL: “いや、一人で行くよ。巧は練習もあるだろう。もう新体制なんだよね.”It is written as 新体制 which means new order/system but I don’t know what’s do got to do with the sentence so I change it to semester because it sounds better. Am I wrong?