ra calmed her down.

 ”No, Kitami! I don’t know anything about this! I sent this…”

 The contents of the e-mail she showed me were much different from what Miyajima had shown me.

 [There was a guy who bullied Emi in XX city.
Be careful.]

 I got a much different impression.
I mean, it didn’t even have my name on it.

“Is this the only one?”

I’ve only exchanged a few messages on social networking sites with the person who replied.”

 That means…

 ”Someone is pretending to be Mizuki? You mean?”

 ”I think so.”

“It can’t be…”

 Itakura seemed quite surprised.
Well, that’s because it’s like she’s being asked to be a part of a crime.

“Does that ring a bell?”

“Maybe, just maybe, there are people out there..
But I can’t be sure… I don’t know, so…”

 Yeah, you don’t want to say anything you’re not sure about.

 ”Just let me know when you’re sure.”

 ”Yeah, got it”

 Anyway, my biggest concern is gone.

“Well, I know now that Itakura isn’t overdoing it, so I guess I’m good for today anyway.
It wouldn’t do to stay up too late.”

 If I don’t go home soon, Sachi might give me a hard time about it.

“I guess so.”

“… I understand.
Today, uhm, thank you.”

Itakura said so in a respectful manner.
What the heck, she could take that kind of attitude, too.

I realize that I feel a little better.
After all, I can understand a lot of things when I talk about it.

However, there were some who would not accept it.

It was when she started to get ready to leave the restaurant.

 ”—What’s this all about? Let me make this clear.”


She was quiet and continued like this.

“—-This is disgusting, all of it.”

 ”—It’s just weird.
That is not kindness, I just want to be clear”


 To be honest, I was surprised.
I was more surprised than the question of what or where, but this was the first time I had seen her reveal her emotions like this.

It is disgusting.
This was something that had been pointed out to me before.
But this time was different, because her expression contained clear anger.

After all, whose side are you on?”

 It was Itakura who first bore the brunt of the anger.

“I am… I am on Emi’s side.”

 Itakura said that clearly.
And I knew that.

 ”Emi… She was crying all the time, and she was troubled all the time.
Well, I know it’s wrong that I did something terrible to Kitami, but I don’t think all of it was a lie.
That’s why….”

 ”… I see.”

 She must have sensed something from Sonoda.
The fact that she knew about the betrayal to me and still didn’t change her position.

 I was fine with that.
I have my standards and she has hers.

 Besides, it’s hard to be alone.

“… See, as soon as I said it, here it is.”


 Sakakibara said to me with a somewhat dumbfounded expression.

“Don’t you think anything of it after hearing what she just said?”

“I don’t think anything of it…I’m sure Itakura has her own problems…”


I replied, and Fukumura raised her voice as if she had noticed something.

 Sakakibara took no notice of this and said.



 She did not stop.



 What do I, what do I want to do? After all, that’s my–

“Where are your true feelings, Senpai?”

 It was as if ice water had been poured over my head.

 I felt my chest tighten at the word “true feelings.”

“—Uhm, customer.
I’m sorry but….”


 Sakakibara did not seem to have noticed.
When the clerk told Sakakibara that she had been talking too loudly, Sakakibara was embarrassed.

 ”—I’m sorry.
Uhm, I’m going home.
Lastly, Maika-san—“

“Eeh? —!”

“Ah, Sakakibara—“

After overhearing something she said to Fukumura, she just left.


An awkward air flowed among the three of us.
It was probably because each of them had a part of her words that stung, though in a different form.

 ”… Let’s go home.”

In the end, I didn’t say anything and we split up for the rest of the day.

 On the way home.
I walked home with Fukumura, who was silent, and continued on my way alone at night.

“What do I want to do, huh”

 She said she meant what she said.
I thought about the meaning of that word.

It was not that her words were lying.

She said exactly what she really thought.
So, I am sure she wasn’t lying.

Her true intention was not there.

“Ah, are you talking about that?”

 The meaning of the word “true intention” fell into my heart with a thud.

 Oh, I see.
So that’s what she really meant.

 The bare emotions that I had expressed to my mother that day.

Yet, I was able to do so only because it was my mother.
And above all, Sachi was there for me.

 Because I knew subconsciously that the line would never be broken.

 I know that’s a scary thing.

 There was a fear of turning it on others.

 Because if I did that, it would be broken.
The connection that has been seized would be severed.

But that’s what her intentions.

 How reassuring it is—-.

How encouraging.

“I’m no match for her, after all.”

 The street lamps illuminate the nighttime street.
I dared to take the road I usually don’t use.
It was a shortcut, but there were few streetlights and it was dark.

 The road that I usually find a little scary was somehow not scary at all, and just the thought of it made my steps a little lighter.

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