Chapter 18: Reconciliation (?) (The Chronicles of Time)
Himari reached her hand towards him, then she quickly shrank back when he turned around abruptly. “What’s wrong?”
“...don’t you think that Kaneko-kun and Izanami have been sick for too long?”
It was odd and he couldn’t put his finger on it. Just who would get sick for ten days? From what he knew of them, they seemed to be pretty strong people. Besides, it was too much of a coincidence for both of them to be sick for this long. It could be possible that since they were both ill, they took care of each other so germs were passed back and forth; but shouldn’t they be showing signs of improving despite that?
“T-they’re getting better!” Himari couldn’t remember how many times she’s said that line.
He raised an eyebrow then looked away. “Alright, I really hope they are.”
Like another weight adding onto her shoulders, she lowered her head. “...yeah.”
It couldn’t be helped. The one he liked was Natsumi after all. Of course he was going to worry–it made sense. However, she was also concerned. It has been ten days since Natsumi fell asleep. Yuu assured her that he had everything under control but…does he? It has been a while since he had a foot outside his room. Forget stepping out of his room, they haven’t even heard his voice! His presence just completely vanished!
Indeed, his skills were not to be questioned. It may, possibly, be a matter of time. If she opened the door, there was a high chance that she would see Yuu napping without a care in the world while she was busy chasing her crush and worrying endlessly!
“I’m sure they’ll be back in no time!” Himari said, her hands forming fists raised in front of her. “Yeah!”
He looked askance at her, but it quickly faded away with a smile in its place. For some reason their positions reversed and it was his turn to assure her. “Yes, I’m sure.”
The wind faced them, her hair danced wildly but beautifully behind her. The two walked side by side. Every morning he would arrive on time and wait for her to come out and glance behind her before the door closed to see nothing but an empty hallway. Despite noticing that, she would just greet him with joy and accompany him on the way to school. The dream would end when they parted at the end of the day.
“Tsukasa-kun…will...I mean, are you free this Saturday?”
“Hm?” He put a hand to his chin and seemed to be in thought. “Let’s see…” he saw her squirm with anticipation and chuckled inwardly, “I think I am free.”
“Really?” Himari looked up instantly with a gleam in her eyes. “T-then…”
“Actually, I think I do have an appointment that day…” Tsukasa-kun turned his head slightly away from her and focused his sight on her from the corner of his eyes, a smirk playing on his lips.
Himari’s gaze fell and, unconsciously, gripped onto the strap of her bag. “Oh…it’s fine if you can’t.”
“Oh wait! Nope, my schedule is clear!”
She kept falling for his words, believing that he was sincere, but the more he tricked her, the more she had doubts. Was he playing her? “Anyways, if you’re free then meet me at the station at eleven! If you can, o-of course.”
Tsukasa-kun couldn’t help but snicker while she shot him a look laced with suspicion.
They both groaned the moment they saw each other, not even bothering to hide their displeasure.
“It seems that you’re not going to play that ‘nice girl’ role as usual.” Himari crossed her arms. In front of her, Aoko-san put a hand to her hips while holding onto a pile of papers.
“I don’t have time to deal with your sarcasm.” She sighed heavily then took a step to leave. “What?”
Himari blocked her and said, “Um…I…”
Aoko-san tilted her head and tapped her hips impatiently. “What is it? If you don’t have anything good to say, move aside. I have to get these documents completed by the end of the day.”
Himari conceded and stepped to the side. Aoko-san walked past her, her hands underneath the tower of paper. But then…
Aoko-san halted then sighed. “What?”
“I…before I said that you’re not that bad.” Himari closed her eyes, her back facing her. “I…really mean that. If possible, we can be friends…?”
She blinked, as if she couldn’t understand what Himari was rambling on about. It was a stupid proposal. Why would she even be friends with her? With someone whom their friend is her friend is her rival in love? In fact, since she and Natsumi were best friends, why would she even ask to be friends with someone who hurt an important person to her?
“...I’m afraid I don’t understand your intentions.” She casted a suspicious glance at Himari's way.
“I…I really don’t want to regard you as an enemy,” Himari said truthfully, spinning around. “At any rate, I’d prefer to not treat anyone rudely. Let’s face it, we’ll be in the same school until we graduate. Shouldn’t we just live high school happily and blissfully? Is a boy really worth all the trouble?”
“...” Aoko-san took a deep, heavy breath then said, “You’re right. A boy is not worth all that trouble.”
“But that’s your view. Not mine. However…” she glanced at Himari’s downcasted expression. “I think that being friends…is fine. Don’t worry, I won’t try anything on Izanami-san. I don’t know what took over me before, but…I will say this: if I truly liked Kaneko-kun, I shouldn’t have hurt those around him.”
Her blazing eyes filled Himari with restless ardor in her heart. She continued on, “I’m sorry for spiking the chocolate with theobromine.”
“Oh, that’s forgiven–”
“Also for smothering glue over your seat. And adding tons of salt to your water. And for stealing your pens.”
Himari was speechless. Just how much did she do behind her back?! “Hold on, just me? It makes it seem as if you have a grudge on me instead of Natsumi!”
Aoko-san shrugged. “You were easier to target.”
Himari flared up. “What?”
Aoko-san left with no response.
“Hey!” Himari ran after her then stopped. The distance between them was just too big. “T-that means we’re friends now…right?”
She paused then continued to walk on. “...think whatever you want.”
Himari’s mouth curved and her eyes squinted into crescents. “Alright!”
Behind her, she could hear the girl’s cheery tone. There was a small tug on her lips but she pushed it down. “Really…she’s so stupid.”
Natsumi spun around. Where did Yuu’s voice come from? It couldn’t be from ‘Cassius’ because he was still happily chatting away with the others. Unless it’s telepathy?
“Yuu?” She called out. “Where are you?”
“Go back! Don’t leave on your own. Go back!”
“What?” She became puzzled. He continued to shout the same words to the point where his voice sounded a bit hoarse. But his voice sounded so pained and aggrieved that she couldn’t help but try and console him. “Yuu? Are you alright?”
“Please…don’t leave again.”
“Yuu? I’m not going anywhere though?”
But he couldn’t hear her no matter what she said.
“I won’t…I won’t tease you anymore. So please…!”
To think that she would see the day when Yuu would be begging. She felt so satisfied, but it wasn’t the right time to act smug. When she meets up with him later, she’ll be sure to brag it off in front of him, she thought.
‘But getting out of here is the first priority!’
His voice disappeared. Suddenly, she felt a chill sliding down her back.
“Yuu? Are you there?”
Something must’ve happened. Even though he couldn’t hear her, to Natsumi, just the sound of his voice was enough. It was enough to know that she wasn’t alone. Knowing Yuu, although he could be overly obnoxious, he still had a good heart. If he wanted to do something, he’d even pull down the heavens and use any means to achieve it. And now, he wanted to seek her out. Of course he would accomplish that.
Trusting him, she remained in place. ‘Yuu will find me! For sure!’
But the only thing she really trusted was his powers. How could anything go wrong with Yuu’s powers? He’s a powerful magician and he boasted of it everyday! It was about time his powers came in handy and proved its worth. The best option was to wait. There was a chance that she could mess things up even more.
With a head buried in her knees, she closed her eyes, drowning in the sound of the lively conversation.