Again, I Had the Same Dream – Chapter 2

Chapter 2

The next morning, while I was putting on my indoor shoes next to the shoe rack in my elementary school, I encountered a person I didn’t like. If I could describe my emotions with a color, it would be grey. Some people might have described my feelings as blue, but I liked the color blue.

“Oh! It’s the girl who’s going crazy!”

The voice which came from inside the school contained not a single shred of intelligence. I sighed loudly and spoke.

“You guys can’t even score higher in tests than this crazy person. I just noticed, but you guys are really dumb, aren’t you?”

I felt satisfied at the angry faces of my idiot classmates, so I refused to continue speaking with them. I ignored everything else they had to say. Finally, they said something like “Quit bein’ scared,” which really made me want to praise their Japanese skills, and then left. I finished putting on my indoor shoes and walked into the school building.

Then.

“Morning, Koyanagi-san.”

A single voice from behind stopped my grey footsteps. I turned around and my expression completely changed when I saw the classmate standing there.

“Oh, good morning Ogiwara-kun.”

“I finished reading it yesterday. You know, Tom Sawyer. It was really interesting.”

“Is that so? Then I’m glad. Which part of it did you like?”

“Probably the part where they were painting. After that, I thought Tom was really cool.”

“Tom definitely has a fascinating personality. He’s smart too.”

“I also liked Huck.”

“Homeless Huck? Speaking of which, I’m going to-“

I was going to say something, but I cut off my words. It wasn’t because I wanted to keep Granny’s suggestion to myself, but because a boy walked up from behind Ogiwara-kun and gently bumped into him. I turned my back on the surprised Ogiwara-kun. He probably wasn’t looking at me anymore anyway. The boy who bumped into him was a good friend and classmate of his. Their physical contact wasn’t any sort of bullying, but just the boys’ unique way of expressing their friendship. Ogiwara-kun wasn’t bullied nor was he a bully. Instead, he had a lot of friends.

On the other hand, I who didn’t have friends in my class chose to turn my back on them. But like Ogiwara-kun, I also wasn’t the subject of any bullying. It was just that all my classmates other than him seemed to either hate me or didn’t feel comfortable interacting with me. It was that way even though I had never once been bullied before.

That’s why I chose to leave before Ogiwara-kun’s friend started to feel uneasy around me. After all, a girl should not intrude in between the friendship of two boys.

Before heading to my classroom, there was another place I wanted to stop by. The library. The library in my elementary school was open in the mornings, which made me very happy. Instead of waiting in the noisy classroom until Hitomi-sensei arrived, I preferred being in the quiet library.

When I entered the library, I was greeted by the gentle librarian and the unique smell of books. I asked her if this library contained ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ which Granny told me about yesterday. After my question, the librarian led me to a certain bookshelf and then left me to find the book for myself. “If you like reading, then you probably also like the thrill of searching for a book,” she had told me before. I thought she was exactly right.

I immediately found ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ and took it off the shelf with an excitement that made my fingertips tingle. I took off my backpack and sat down in a nearby chair.

The feeling of opening a book to its first page was one that could not be compared to anything else. It was a shame that surely nobody in the class other than Ogiwara-kun and myself had experienced it before.

Alone, I took my first small step into the story of Homeless Huck.

The library was a great place. It was quiet, smelled nice, and the librarian was a kind person. But there was also a single thing I didn’t like about being here. That one thing was how I would sometimes be too caught up in the middle of a book.

I had forgotten that I was at school until the librarian called out to me. Like always, she called my name a little while before the morning bell rang. I then returned to this world after having been gone for some time. After checking out ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ and putting it in my backpack, I said goodbye to the librarian and the books.

The hallway was quieter than it had been when I arrived at school. I walked down the hall, took the stairs up one step at a time, and headed towards my classroom on the third floor.

I reached the classroom, and after ignoring the boys running along the hallway, entered the room. Nobody noticed my entry. Like always, I made a beeline to my seat in the back of the room. Taking off my backpack, I sat down.

Kiryuu-kun, who sat at the desk next to mine, noticed my arrival and hurriedly closed his notebook.

“Good morning, Kiryuu-kun.”

“G- good- good morning, Koyanagi-san.”

He spoke quickly, as if I was angry at him for pulling some sort of prank. As he said his greeting, he tucked his closed notebook inside his desk.

“What were you drawing?”

“No- nothing.”

A lie. Since he sat next to me, I knew he was lying. He had been drawing something. He often sketched in his notebook during class. Even though he tried hard to hide it, it was easily visible from my position next to his desk.

Because he was a talented artist who could draw very beautifully, I thought he should show off his drawings more. But he didn’t. There had been incidents when the idiot boys teased him for drawing quietly by himself. Many, many incidents.

“Kiryuu-kun, life is like a tooth with a cavity.”

“Wha- what do you mean?”

“If there’s something you don’t like, you should deal with it quickly. If you get teased again for drawing, you should just spit in their faces.”

I said so after hanging my backpack on the shelf behind me and sitting down once more. Without looking in my direction, Kiryuu-kun replied “I- I can’t,” in a quiet voice.

“You can’t act weak like that,” I advised him. At that moment, the bell rang and Hitomi-sensei entered the classroom. Everyone loved Hitomi-sensei, so atmosphere in the room brightened just from her entry.

“Good morning!”

“Good— mor— ning—“

As the class representative, Ogiwara-kun led the greeting to Hitomi-sensei. And with that, another boring school day began.

 

First period was math, second period was social studies, and third period was when Hitomi-sensei taught the lesson about happiness that she was telling me about yesterday. I wanted to brag “I was actually told about this yesterday,” but because Hitomi-sensei had told me to keep it a secret, I kept quiet about the lesson and the chocolate.

We read a story from the textbook and then thought about the protagonist’s feelings. Without even the chance to discuss about happiness, fifty minutes quickly passed. Hitomi-sensei announced that fourth period today would be a continuation of third period. I agreed strongly with her idea, since I thought that only fifty minutes wasn’t enough to finish this lesson.

Fourth period started off by having each of us think about our own happiness. The students formed groups of two and were told to think of a list of things that made us feel happy.

My partner was the boy who sat next to me, Kiryuu-kun. He was a quiet person who didn’t talk much, so I led the conversation.

“Yesterday, I ate a cookie with ice cream on top. Eating that made me happy.”

“Wow.”

“What about you, Kiryuu-kun? Did anything happen yesterday?”

“I, um, the ohagi that my granny made was very delicious.”

“Grannies always make good snacks, don’t they?”

“Yeah. My mom makes good snacks too, but they’re a different type than Granny’s.”

“Your mom makes snacks for you? I’m jealous. My mom is never home until evening.”

Like that, the two of us chatted about various topics and wrote them down in our notebooks. We made good progress and were even praised by Hitomi-sensei, who came by to check on us during the discussion period. But there was one thing that piqued my curiosity. No matter how much we talked about happiness, and even when I talked about my love for reading, Kiryuu-kun never said anything about his drawings. I thought it was weird, so I asked him.

“Aren’t you happy when you’re drawing something?”

“Um, I- I wonder. I like it though.”

“Then that’s also something that makes you happy.”

“B- but, when I draw, people make fun of me.”

“That has nothing to do with this!”

I declared in a voice that was louder than I thought it would be. Not just Kiryuu-kun, but the whole class looked at me in surprise. “I’m sorry, I got a bit too excited,” I apologized to Hitomi-sensei.

Hitomi-sensei replied “Try not to startle everyone else” in a gentle voice, and then the classroom was filled with chatter once again. “That’s not related to what we’re talking about,” I said again to Kiryuu-kun. Then, I wrote ‘Drawing beautiful pictures’ in my notebook. Kiryuu-kun hung his head and didn’t say anything.

Fourth period ended, the time for grabbing food from the cafeteria passed, and I spent the rest of my lunch break in the library. The library was louder than it had been in the morning, but was still much more peaceful than my classroom, so I was sucked into another adventure with Homeless Huck.

When the bell signalling the end of lunch rang, next up was cleaning time so I went back to the classroom to grab a broom. Kiryuu-kun was in the same group as me, so he had already started sweeping the classroom.

While we were cleaning earnestly, those idiot boys came back from the field and said something dumb like “You guys are gross for enjoying drawing and reading.” I replied, “Did you know? The definition of gross is your face.” I signalled Kiryuu-kun with my eyes that he should say something back too, but he stayed quiet.

Fifth and six period passed, and the end-of-day meeting finally came. I sighed in anticipation. Following that, it was time to say goodbye to Hitomi-sensei. Or that’s what I thought would happen, but she had an important announcement to make.

“The week after the next, we will have an open school day. I’ve spoken to everyone’s parents about this before, but it will be a time when your parents can take a look into a normal day of school. It’s an important event, so make sure you show your parents the notice that’s being passed around right now. Promise your teacher that, ok?”

After everyone said “Okaaay,” a piece of paper was passed back from the desk in front of mine. I read what was written on it, and then cheerfully put it in my backpack. I liked open school days, because I could show my parents how smart I was in class.

This time school ended for real, and without being called back by Hitomi-sensei today, I went home by myself like always. Then, as always, I left my backpack in my room. When I started to leave the house, I remembered something important. I returned to my room, took the open school day notice out of my backpack, and placed it on the table in the living room. After that, I headed out again.

Outside the apartment, the girl with the shortened tail was waiting for me like always. “Na—“ she greeted me, and then together we started to walk towards the large flowing river.

After climbing up the dike, another pleasant wind ruffled my hair and the girl’s short tail. Feeling in a very good mood, we sang together.

Before long, we and our singing voices arrived at the cream-colored apartment. We stood in front of the familiar door and rang the doorbell. On the first ring, I heard no noise coming from inside. On the second ring, the door still didn’t open. And on the third ring, the girl at my feet meowed along with the doorbell, but there was no response.

“It seems that Bitch-san is out today.”

“Na—“

Bitch-san was a busy person, so there were occasionally times when she wasn’t home. Throwing our disappointment to the wind, we gave up and took a different route back towards my place. Of course, I didn’t intend to head inside my own apartment. There was another set destination for me to go after leaving Bitch-san’s house.

As we sang, we walked between houses large and small, and soon walked by the apartment I lived in. Taking our usual path, we headed up the hill behind my apartment. I greeted the neighbours we passed along the way, while the unaffectionate girl simply waved her short tail and turned her head away.

“If you keep doing that, you’ll be hated in not just the human world, but the world of cats as well.”

But she just walked ahead of me like she hadn’t heard anything. We arrived at the base of the hill and climbed up between the trees.

At the open area on top of the hill, we stood before the wooden house and I promptly knocked on the door.

On the first knock, there was no response.

No matter how many times I continued knocking, turned the doorknob, or walked around the house, it seemed that Granny was not at home.

I sat down on the grass around the empty wooden box and crossed my short arms.

“How rare for both Bitch-san and Granny to be out at the same time.”

“Na— Na—“

She seemed sad that she wasn’t receiving any food today.

“You can’t just stay sad like that. Life is like a school lunch.”

“Na—“

“Even when it doesn’t contain the food you like, it’s still enjoyable in its own way. Right?”

She appeared to not believe my words, and we continued descending the hill together. I thought that perhaps we would pass by Granny on our way down, but that didn’t happen. We walked until the park at the bottom of the hill. In the park, several children younger than me were racing each other while their mothers watched over them.

Now then, what should I do next? I tried to think. The girl with the shortened tail seemed like she felt quite sad and betrayed, so she rolled around at my feet.

In her stead, I began thinking with my smart brain. Then, I remembered something.

“On the way to Granny’s house, the road splits in two doesn’t it?”

“Na—“

“I just realized, we’ve never been down the other path before. Let’s see what’s there.”

The girl was still lying on the ground, so I poked her back with my toes. She got up reluctantly, and with a huge yawn, started heading up the hill again.

I followed along behind her, with sweat gradually building on my forehead as I ascended. Soon, we came to the crossroad that I was talking about. We usually headed to the right, but today we chose the left path for the very first time. Looking more closely, the left path eventually turned into gradual stairs. The girl’s mood had become better after the exercise, so she headed forward with a spring in her step. Cats sure lived a carefree life.

About five minutes passed. The scent of wood gradually grew stronger as we headed up, and a broken iron gate came into view. The gate, which had appeared almost magically, was open just a few centimeters.

I placed my hands on the rough-textured gate. As it cried out in a hoarse voice, the gate moved slowly. I was a bit hesitant and made eye contact with the girl with the shortened tail. But since we had taken the time to come here, we decided to continue through the gate. Just in case someone got angry at me and I needed an excuse, I practiced looking diagonally upwards and sticking out my tongue.

Past the gate were orderly stone stairs that looked different from the stairs we had taken on the way here.

I placed my feet firmly on the stone and climbed the steps. Before long, the stairs ended and we arrived at an open space with gravel spread all over the floor.

I was surprised at where we ended up, and I took a deep breath. I couldn’t tell if the girl by my feet was surprised or not, since she just said “Na—“ like always.

“I never knew there was a place like this around here.”

At the end of the road opposite to Granny’s house, was a place that seemed the complete opposite of Granny’s house. It was a building that reminded me of a square stone box. The window-like holes in the wall made this place feel similar to a two-story house, but I had no idea what the holes were originally used for. Since there weren’t any designs or signs on the building, it looked exactly like a stone box. The warmth that Granny’s large wooden house evoked was nowhere to be found in here.

Approaching the building, I noticed that there wasn’t even a door in the place that looked like the entrance. I hesitated slightly, then timidly passed through the gaping entranceway. The girl with the shortened tail looked like she had eaten all of her nervousness away, and she calmly entered the building. It’s a secret, but I was a bit scared as I chased after my little friend.

To start off, we looked around the first floor. There weren’t any rooms on this floor. The whole floor was open and empty everywhere I looked. It also didn’t seem like there were any other people around. The only thing that made this place appear more like a building than a box was a flight of stairs at the center. Thinking that the only place to go was up, the girl and I summoned our courage and climbed up the stairs. We’d sure been climbing a lot today.

The second floor was also empty. The square holes in the walls seemed like they were indeed intended to be windows, since some of them were surrounded by shards of glass. Of course, the glass fragments was dangerous so I didn’t touch them.

While I was looking around the second floor, I thought “Ah, there’s nothing in this building anymore.” It’s a secret, but I was really thinking that because I was scared and wanted to get out of this place already.

But the reason I didn’t immediately start heading back was because I had noticed another flight of stairs leading upwards. Looking up from the base of the steps, I could see the sky above, so I realized that these stairs led to the roof. I once again made eye contact with the girl at my feet, and we decided to head to the rooftop.

Step by step, I left behind traces of my footsteps on the dusty stairs. When I finally drew level with the roof, my face was bathed in sunlight and I was comforted by the wind.

Then, my eyes met those of another girl. She was sitting with her knees to her chest and pressing a box cutter to her wrist.

On that day, as I experienced surprise from the bottom of my heart, I was reminded of the saying that ‘time froze’.

Then, a second later, time suddenly sped up again.

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaah!”

“Aaaaaaaaah!”

“Na—“

That was how I met Minami-san.

 

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S.O.S – Itou Kashitarou

S.O.S

Music & Lyrics & Vocals: 伊東歌詞太郎 (Itou Kashitarou)

Romaji:
Mezamashi no oto ga narihibiku
Ichinichi no yotei mo utsuru
Yume to utsutsu no kyoukaisen nante
Asa ga kuru tabi boyaketeku

Tasukete dareka boku no koto wo
Kono koe wa kikoenai no ka
Konna ni chikazuiteiru noni
YAMI no naka
Nee SOS

Iki ga kurushiku natteitta no wa
Namida ga denaku natteitta no wa
Kimi mo ki ga tsuiteinai dake de
Igai to kizu ga fueteiru

Tasukete dareka boku no koto wo
Dare demo ii wake janai shi
Kokoro to karada tsunagetara
Hajimeyou
Nee SOS

Nakushita mono to hikikae ni
Te ni ireta mono ga aru hazu
Boku ni niau sekai wa doko darou

Azayaka de kiesou na
Taisetsu ni daita sonna tomoshibi ga
Michibiita mirai e
Ushinatta boku wo torimodosu made

Mahoutsukai wa doko ni iru?
Sukoshi mae made soko ni ita
Itsumo no you ni tonaete yo
Ima wa kikoenu ano jumon

Tasukete dareka boku no koto wo
Kono koe wa kikoenai no ka
Konna ni chikazuiteiru noni
YAMI no naka
Nee SOS

Kono mama samayoitsuzuke
Meikyuu wo arukitsuzukeru
Nukedasu tame no mahou wo sagashite

English:
The sound of the alarm clock rings
It also reflects my plans for the day
Like the boundary line between dream and reality
I feel hazy when morning comes

Someone save me
Can’t anyone hear my voice?
Even though I’m this close
In the darkness
Hey SOS

The reason it became painful to breathe
The reason my tears couldn’t come
Was that just by you not realizing
My wounds unexpectedly increased

Someone save me
But I don’t mean just anyone
If we’ve connected our hearts and our bodies
Then let’s start
Hey SOS

In exchange for the things I lost
There should be things I’ve gained
Where is the world that fits me?

The light that I carefully embraced
Was so bright it seemed like it would disappear
It guides me towards the future
Until I can regain my lost self

Where is the magician?
He was there just a while ago
Chant like you usually do
But this time I won’t listen to that spell

Someone save me
Can’t anyone hear my voice?
Even though I’m this close
In the darkness
Hey SOS

I continue to wander like this
I continue to walk in the maze
Searching for the magic to set me free

Kimi ga Matsu Ano Oka e (To That Hill Where You Wait) – Amatsuki

君が待つあの丘へ (Kimi ga Matsu Ano Oka e  – To That Hill Where You Wait)

Music & Lyrics: 奥華子 (Oku Hanako)
Vocals: 天月 (Amatsuki)

Romaji:
Ano hoshi ga kagayaite iru no wa
Dareka ni mitsukete hoshii kara
Naiteru mitai ni
Kimi ga tsubuyaita ano yoruOikakete ita yo
Taisetsu na mono ga
Kumo ni kakurete shimau mae ni
Boku no te no naka ni
Koboreochite yuku
Mayoi naki bokura ga
Deau basho e

Aitai kimi no koe ga
Kikoeru boku no mune ni
Donna kurayami mo
Kimi wo sagashidaseru yo
Hoshi furu yoru ni
Kimi ga matsu ano oka e

Daisuki da yo nante ietara
Kimi wa waratte kureru no kana
Tsunaida yubisaki
Mitsumeau you ni
Wakaru kara

Ikusen no hoshi ga
Nagareru sukima ni
Bokura wa nando mo koi wo shite
Seijaku no mori ni
Ukabu tsuki no you ni
Tomedonaku
Kimi wo terashite yuku yo

Hatenai yoru wo koete
Ima sugu kimi no moto e
Shinjiru tsuyosa wo
Kimi ga oshiete kureta ne
Bokura no sekai wa
Mada minu uchuu no naka

Deaeta kiseki ga
Bokura wo kaeteku
Arigatou
Nando demo

Anata ni deaeta kara
Yume miru tori no you ni
Donna kurayami mo
Kimi wo sagashidaseru yo
Bokura no sekai wa
Kagayaiteru

Hatenai yoru wo koete
Ima sugu kimi no moto e
Shinjiru tsuyosa wo
Kimi ga oshiete kureta ne
Hoshi furu yoru ni
Kimi ga matsu ano oka e

English:
That star is shining
Because it wants to be found by someone
You whispered that night
As if you were cryingI chased it
Before what was important to me
Could get hidden by the clouds
It overflowed
Into my hands
Without hesitation
We head to the place where we met

I miss you, your voice
I could hear it, in my chest
No matter how dark it is
I will find you
On the night of falling stars
I head to that hill where you wait

I love you
What can I say to make you smile?
From our joined fingertips
As if we were gazing at each other
I understood

In the gaps between
Thousands of shooting stars
We fell in love many times
In the silent forest
Like the moon above us
I will always
Light you up

Crossing over the endless night
I’ll head to your side right away
You taught me
The strength to believe
Our world is
In a universe that is still unseen

The miracle of meeting
Changed us
Thank you
Many times over

Because I met you
Like a dreaming bird
No matter how dark it is
I will find for you
Our world is
Shining

Crossing over the endless night
I’ll head to your side right away
You taught me
The strength to believe
On the night of falling stars
I head to that hill where you wait

Dear My Boo – Touyama Mirei

Dear My Boo

Touyama Mirei

Answer song to My Boo by Shimizu Shota

Romaji:
Zettai tsuzukanai mata sugu ni BAIBAI
Sou omotteta noni eien negau you ni
Irochigai no T-SHATSU osoroi terete warau
Futari de omoide kasaneteru

Ushinau no ga kowakute
Aisuru koto kara nigete kita kedo
Kimi ga kureta massugu na omoi ga
Mukiatteku yuuki wo kuretanda

My Boo doko e mo ikanaide
Dare ni mo furenaide
Watashi ga iru kara tonari iru kara
Nee Boo, I’m so happy
Kimi no tame nara I can be your Jasmine
Terekusakute itsumo ienai kedo sa
Aishiteru

“BASU hitotsu miokurou yo”
Toomawari shite kaettemo
POKETTO no naka te wo tsunagi
Hohaba awasereba samukunai
Anata no hidarigawa ga watashi no teiichi
Kore kara mo zutto

Tonari ni iru toki wa
Hazukashikute nakanaka ienai
Suki no kimochi ima uketotte hoshii no
Warawanaide chanto kiitete ne

My Boo doko e mo ikanaide
Dare ni mo furenaide
Watashi ga iru kara tonari iru kara
Nee Boo, I’m so happy
Kimi no tame nara I can be your Jasmine
Terekusakute itsumo ienai kedo sa
Aishiteru

Sasai na surechigai ga ookenka ni natte
Omotte mo nai noni
Wakare you nante hakisutetari mo shite
Soredemo suki dakara bukiyou na dake dakara
Donna ni tsurakutemo soba ni itai no

My Boo nanni mo iwanaide
Kaettara HAGU shiyou
Kore kara zutto sasaete iku kara
Nee Boo, I’m so happy
Watashi wo mitsukete kurete arigatou
Nemutteru toki suneteru toki waratteru toki
Zenbu aishiteru yo

My Boo doko e mo ikanaide
Dare ni mo furenaide
Watashi ga iru kara tonari iru kara
Nee Boo, I’m so happy
Kimi no tame nara I can be your Jasmine
Terekusakute itsumo ienai kedo sa
Aishiteru

English:
It definitely wouldn’t last, we’d say bye-bye soon
That’s what I thought, but like I’d always wished
With our different-colored T-shirts, our matching shy smiles
We accumulate memories together

I was scared of losing you
So I ran away from love
But the straightforward feelings you gave me
Provided me the courage to face it

My Boo, don’t go anywhere
Don’t touch anyone
Because I’m here, because I’m beside you
Hey Boo, I’m so happy
If it’s for you, I can be your Jasmine
It’s embarrassing so I can never say it, but
I love you

“Let’s take the bus after the next”
So we took the long way home
Holding hands in our pocket
If we walk at the same pace, we won’t be cold
My position is by your left side
Now and forever

When I’m beside you
It’s embarrassing so I can’t easily say it
But right now, I want you to accept my feelings of love
Listen properly and don’t laugh, okay?

My Boo, don’t go anywhere
Don’t touch anyone
Because I’m here, because I’m beside you
Hey Boo, I’m so happy
If it’s for you, I can be your Jasmine
It’s embarrassing so I can never say it, but
I love you

A small disagreement became a large fight
And even though I wasn’t thinking it
I even spat out words like “let’s break up”
But even so I love you, I’m just clumsy
No matter how painful it is, I want to be by your side

My Boo, don’t say anything
Let’s hug when I get home
Because I’ll always support you from now on
Hey, Boo, I’m so happy
Thank you for finding me
Whether you’re sleeping, sulking, or smiling
I love all of it

My Boo, don’t go anywhere
Don’t touch anyone
Because I’m here, because I’m beside you
Hey Boo, I’m so happy
If it’s for you, I can be your Jasmine
It’s embarrassing so I can never say it, but
I love you

My Boo – Shimizu Shota

My Boo

Shimizu Shota

Romaji:
Futari de dekakeru toki
Ore no GIVENCHY sore to GALAXY kimi ga motte
Onaji hohaba POKETTO no naka
Te tsunaidara perfect

Mada wakannai toko mo atte
Ore mo zenzen kodomo dashi ne
Kenka shite iyan natte
Dakedo bye-bye suru ki wa nai ze

Futari de irareru nara baby
Sekaijuu doko datte heiki
Ore ga ii toki kimi ga waratte
Kimi ga ii toki ore ga waratte

Ima made ironna hito to atte
Jibun ga dou iu otoko ka tte
Hontou no imi de rikaisasete kureta ko wa inai
Kimi igai

My Boo doko e mo ikanaide
Dare ni mo furenaide
Ore ga iru kara tonari iru kara

Naa, Boo
I’m so happy
Ore ga ARAJIN nara kimi wa JASUMIN
Terekusakute itsumo ienai kedo sa
Aishiteru

Renai wa sansuu janai
Daiji nano wa BARANSU janai?
Ore ga kimi wo mamotteru you de
Toki ni kimi ga ore wo mamotteru

It’s easy
Kimi to sugosu hibi
Imi mo naku fusaideta ore ni totte
Kimi no egao ga subete wo hiraku Key ni

Joushiki ya honnou, okane mo yoku mo
Yannakya ikenai koto ya shigoto mo
Zenbu zenbu, raishuu e
Kono shuumatsu wa, kimi ga saiyuusen

Mochiron, ii koto dake janai
Oretachi, dareka ga egaita e janai
TORABUtta tte reisei ni taiou
One for da honey, two for my all

My Boo doko e mo ikanaide
Dare ni mo furenaide
Ore ga iru kara tonari iru kara

Naa, Boo
I’m so happy
Ore ga ARAJIN nara kimi wa JASUMIN
Terekusakute itsumo ienai kedo sa
Aishiteru

Kimi wo aishisugite
Tama ni chou fuan de
Yande TENPA tte
Kimi mo sonna ore mite kurushinderu
Soredemo suki nanda
Bukiyou na dake nanda
Donna ni tsurakutemo soba ni itai yo

My Boo nan ni mo iwanaide
Kaettara HAGU shite
Kimi ga iru nara ore, ganbaru kara

Naa, Boo
I’m so happy
Ore to deatte kurete arigatou
Nemutteru toki SUNEteru toki waratteru toki
Zenbu, aishiteru yo

My Boo doko e mo ikanaide
Dare ni mo furenaide
Ore ga iru kara tonari iru kara

Naa, Boo
I’m so happy
Ore ga ARAJIN nara kimi wa JASUMIN
Terekusakute itsumo ienai kedo sa
Aishiteru

English:
When we go out together
With me in my Givenchi and you holding your Galaxy
We walk at the same pace, and in our pocket
We hold hands, it’s perfect

There are still parts we don’t understand
I’m still just like a child
We have fights and sometimes hate each other
But we have no intention of saying bye-bye

If can be together, baby
Anywhere in the world is fine
You laugh when I’m doing well
And I laugh when you’re doing well

I’ve met a variety of people up until now
And as for what kind of man I am
There hasn’t been someone who’s made me truly understand it
Other than you

My Boo, don’t go anywhere
Don’t touch anyone
Because I’m here, because I’m beside you

Hey, Boo
I’m so happy
If I’m Aladdin then you’re Jasmine
It’s embarrassing so I can never say it, but
I love you

Being in love is like math
What’s important is balance, isn’t it?
Just like how I’ll protect you
And sometimes you’ll protect me

It’s easy
The days I spend with you
When I meaninglessly close up
You smile is the key to open everything

Common sense and instinct, money and greed
Things we must do and work
Put them all off until next week
You are the top priority this weekend

Of course, it’s not always good things
We aren’t a picture drawn by someone
When trouble arises, let’s deal with it calmly
One for da honey, two for my all

My Boo, don’t go anywhere
Don’t touch anyone
Because I’m here, because I’m beside you

Hey, Boo
I’m so happy
If I’m Aladdin then you’re Jasmine
It’s embarrassing so I can never say it, but
I love you

I love you so much
That I occasionally get very anxious
That you’ll see me sick or angry
And I’ll make you suffer
But even so, I love you
I’m just clumsy
No matter how painful it is, I want to be by your side

My Boo, don’t say anything
Hug me when I get home
Because I can do my best as long as you’re here

Hey, Boo
I’m so happy
Thank you for meeting me
Whether you’re sleeping, sulking, or smiling
I love all of it

My Boo, don’t go anywhere
Don’t touch anyone
Because I’m here, because I’m beside you

Hey, Boo
I’m so happy
If I’m Aladdin then you’re Jasmine
It’s embarrassing so I can never say it, but
I love you

Again, I Had the Same Dream – Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Sensei, I feel like I’m going crazy so please let me skip gym class today.

I raised my small elementary-schooler hand straight up, stood, and said those words. However, my teacher just told me to come to the staff room after school and also made me run around the schoolyard. I, Koyanagi Nanoka, could not accept that.

Because I was the only one called to the staff room after everybody else went home, I knew that I had to be careful. But even so, as I faced my teacher, I did not feel like I had done anything wrong.

“You see, Sensei, you probably thought that I was joking around earlier. But I had my own reason for saying that, and even a chance of success.”

Hitomi-sensei had her arms crossed and looked me in the eye as I sat in a chair. “What’s that about? Your chance of success,” she said with a gentle smile.

I also crossed my short arms undauntedly and informed her.

“I saw it on TV yesterday, from a program where people were speaking their thoughts about an incident that happened somewhere. Some important-looking people said that in Japan, those who are crazy in the head can run away from unpleasant things. And then, when I asked my mother who the important-looking people were, she said they were university professors. If university professors said so, then it must also be true in elementary school right? Because below university is high school, below that is middle school, and below that is elementary school.”

I thought that my teacher would be impressed, so I proudly announced what I was thinking. However, I was surprised to see that she had a troubled look on her face and she sighed a little deeper than usual.

“What’s wrong, Sensei?”

“Well, Koyanagi-san, you were able to think of all that yourself and even explained it clearly. It’s because you’re very smart, and I think that’s great.”

“I think so too.”

“The way that that you’re confident in yourself is also great. However, I’ll give you some advice to develop your talents even further, so listen carefully.”

“Okay, I will.”

The teacher smiled and raised her index finger.

“Good. First, even though it’s important to quickly act on what you’re thinking, it’s just as important to take your time and think before you act. Understand?”

I nodded. She continued by raising her middle finger.

“Second, it’s not always good to run from unpleasant things. Even though there are times when running away is fine, things like gym class are good for your health. For example, you’ve become faster than before in races, right?”

Certainly, like Sensei said, I was able to run a bit faster than before in today’s race. But my feet were feeling tired. Was it really good for my health?

The teacher raised her ring finger as well.

“And third, I think that what the university professors said was wrong. The things that people on TV and other important people say aren’t always correct. You must think carefully for yourself about whether they are correct or not.”

“Then, Sensei, that means…”

“Yes?”

“I also can’t be certain if what you’re saying is correct or not.”

The teacher looked at me gently and answered, “That’s right.”

“Which means, you need to think carefully about what I’m saying as well. However, I want you to believe this. I wish from the bottom of my heart that you will be happy, and that you will get along with everyone. Understand?”

She looked at me with the serious face that I had seen many times before. It was a face I liked seeing. It made me feel that she didn’t lie as much the other teachers.

I thought hard about what she had said, and after considering whether I should nod or shake my head, I politely nodded.

“I understand. I’ll believe in Hitomi-sensei over the university professors.”

“Then, whenever you want to try something else in class, make sure you let me know first.”

“If I think that’s the correct thing to do.”

“Good, that’s fine.”

The teacher smiled like she was very happy and patted my head. Seeing her face, I thought that she must truly be wishing for my happiness. At the same time, I also thought this.

“What do you mean when you say ‘happiness’?”

“Let’s see, it can have a lot of meanings. I know, I’ll teach you about it first. We’ll be discussing the meaning of happiness in Japanese class tomorrow.”

“Hmm, it sounds very complicated.”

“Yes, it’s very complicated. But everyone, even me, will need think about what happiness means to themselves. So you should also try thinking about your own happiness.”

“Okay, I’ll think about it.”

“But keep it a secret from everyone else in the class.”

Hitomi-sensei raised her index finger to her lips and gave me a clumsy wink. Then, she picked up a piece of chocolate from the desk next to her where Shintarou-sensei was sitting, and spoke.

“To me, one thing that makes me happy is sweet things.”

“That would probably make me happy too.”

When I looked at Shintarou-sensei, he smiled and said “Keep this a secret from everyone else.” After being given another clumsy wink, I received a piece of chocolate as well.

“See you later then, Sensei.”

I waved at Hitomi-sensei from the entrance of the staff room.

“Take care on your way home. Speaking of which, who do you usually go home with?”

“Even though I’m a kid, I can at least walk home by myself.”

“I see. I made you stay behind today, but starting tomorrow you should try walking home with everyone else. It’s more fun that way.”

“I’ll think about it. But, Sensei.”

Tossing the chocolate in my mouth, I said to my teacher.

“Life is like a wonderful movie.”

She leaned forward with an amused look. I often said similar phrases to Hitomi-sensei, but she always thought carefully about my words.

And she often got it wrong.

“Hmm, because you are the protagonist?”

“Wrong.”

“Well then, I give up. What does that mean?”

“It means that as long as there’s candy, you can enjoy it just fine by yourself.”

I turned my back to my teacher who had a familiar troubled expression on her face, and quickly started walking home from the boring elementary school.

 

Because nobody was at home, I dropped off my backpack in my room and immediately headed back out. I locked the door of my apartment, took the elevator down from the eleventh floor of the building, and walked outside through the automatic doors at the entrance.

Just as I headed through the glass doors, my friend came walking up to me. She would make a guess at what time I got off school, and was always loitering around my place around then. My apartment was the tallest building in the area, so it must also be easy for her to find.

I greeted her.

“Good day to you.”

Even though she had noticed me from the start, she looked at me like it was her first time meeting me, and sang “Na—“

“You’ll never become an actress if it’s so obvious that you’re acting.”

“Na—“

She stuck up her shortened tail like always, and started walking in the direction I was planning to go. Even though my steps were small, they were still larger than hers and I quickly caught up beside her. When I laughed “Haha” triumphantly, she swiftly turned her head away. Really, she wasn’t charming at all.

While we walked together towards the same destination, I told my small friend about what had occurred today.

“Something surprising happened today.”

“Na—“

“You know how there are times when people’s opinions clash, right? Does that also happen in the world of cats?”

“Na—“

“That’s right, you’re a different species so it’s hard for us to understand each other.”

She indifferently meowed “Na—“ again. She never seemed to be interested in what I told her. Even if my worries weren’t related to the lives of cats, it was still a bit rude.

Since it couldn’t be helped, I decided to sing a song that she could enjoy as well. Only things like milk or my singing could catch the cheeky girl’s attention. That cat was living in luxury.

I sang my favorite song.

“Happiness— won’t come— walking— to us— “ [T/N: 365 Step March]

“Na— Na—“

“So— let’s walk— towards it—“

Even though she acted uninterested, her singing sounded more inflected than usual. Her singing voice was very beautiful. Even though she never mentioned it to me, with that beautiful of a voice, the boys surely never left her alone.

As we sang, we walked until the end of the quiet road which led to the dike of a large river. After we climbed up the stairs to the top of the dike, because there were no large buildings around us, the strong wind that brushed my hair felt good. On the opposite bank of the river was the neighboring city, which seemed to have a slightly different scent than the city I lived in.

The riverbed here was a common place for children to play, but I wasn’t interested in that. The girl with the shortened tail seemed a bit drawn to a ball rolling along the riverbed, but she still preferred milk over the ball.

While singing, we walked along the dike that ran parallel to the river. As we walked, we greeted the people who passed us and the old man sitting in a cardboard box, and received candy from the old lady who I often met in the shopping district. Soon, our destination came in sight.

It was a cream-colored two-story apartment. Taking the stairs down from the dike, we approached the square apartment that looked like buttercream cake.

I warned the girl with the shortened tail to be careful not to make too much noise. Then, together, we climbed the clanking stairs of the apartment building.

Running ahead of me, the girl stopped in front of a door at the end of the second floor hallway and promptly began meowing “Na— Na—“ Even though I had told her to be quiet, she was often quick to forget what I said. She wasn’t smart like me.

I gracefully walked up to the door and rang the doorbell for the girl who wasn’t tall enough to reach.

A few seconds after the ding-dong sound echoed inside the room, before I even had a chance to spot an ant on the ground, the door opened.

From inside came a beautiful lady who was wearing a t-shirt and long pants like always. Her hair seemed messier and she seemed sleepier than usual today.

“Good afternoon!”

“Good afternoon. You’re energetic today as always, young lady.”

“Yup, I’m feeling energetic. Bitch-san, you aren’t energetic today?”

“Nope, I’m energetic. I only just woke up, that’s all.”

“Even though it’s already past 3?”

“There are people who consider it to be morning right now. I’m one of them.”

“There are others?”

“For example, people in America.”

I thought Bitch-san’s honest answer was funny, so I giggled. Perhaps following my lead, Bitch-san also scratched the back of her neck and laughed. “Come in. The cat must be hungry too,” she said. I took off my shoes and entered Bitch-san’s apartment, while the girl with the shortened tail stood on alert outside the door. She’s really a bad girl if she only behaves properly during times like these.

Bitch-san poured some milk into an old dish and gave it to the girl outside. She then closed the door and handed me a bottle of Yakult. While drinking it, I watched her fix her bed hair.

I usually came here to play after school. Being an adult, Bitch-san was often busy and not around when I came by, but on days when she was here, she often gave me Yakult and ice cream. The girl who was drinking milk outside also knew that Bitch-san was a kind person, so she always tagged along to enjoy some milk.

Bitch-san opened the window, took a sandwich out of the fridge, and sat down on her messy bed. I sat beside the round table at the center of the square room and savored the Yakult.

“How was school, young lady?”

While Bitch-san chewed on an egg sandwich, her long hair shined like an angel’s in the light coming from the window. I told Bitch-san the story that I had already explained earlier to the girl with the shortened tail. Bitch-san mostly just nodded as I talked, but laughed loudly when I said “The idea was good but I couldn’t make it work.”

“I doubt anyone would think that you’re crazy in the head.”

“Why?”

“Because you’re smart. You’re smart, so even if you do something a bit weird, people will think that you surely have a plan. That’s why you were called to the staff room, right?”

“I see. In that case, I need to make a crazier face next time.”

When I tilted my head up diagonally and stuck my tongue out, Bitch-san laughed loudly again.

“Your teacher must be a good teacher.”

“That’s right, she’s a really good teacher. She sometimes gets things wrong though.”

“All adults get things wrong sometimes.”

Bitch-san said that and stood up, then took out a drink can from the fridge and opened it.

“Is that something sweet?”

“It’s sweet but bitter.”

“Why would you purposely drink something bitter? Bitch-san, you drink coffee as well, right? Coffee is very bitter. Are you just enduring it?”

“No, I drink both coffee and alcohol because I like them. I also didn’t drink coffee when I was a child. Only adults can appreciate bitter things, you know.”

“I see. Then, I wonder if there’ll also be a day when I can think of bitter things as tasty.”

“Maybe. But there’s no need to force yourself to drink it. I think it’s just as wonderful if you only like sweet things.”

Bitch-san spoke with a clear smile. Both her words and her smile had a scent like perfume. It was a good scent, different from other adults. When I mentioned that to Bitch-san before, she smiled and said, “That’s because I’m not a proper adult.” If that was true, then I didn’t want to become a proper adult.

“Life is like flan pudding, isn’t it?”

“What do you mean?”

“Even though only the sweet part is tasty, there are also people who appreciate the bitter parts.”

“Ahaha, exactly.”

Smiling, Bitch-san took a gulp of her alcohol and said “You’re a smart young lady after all.” I was happy to be praised.

“Did anything interesting happen during work, Bitch-san?”

“Work isn’t interesting at all.”

“Is that so? But my dad and mom both seem to love their work. They’re never at home after all.”

“Just because they’re always working doesn’t necessarily mean that work is interesting. But if they are doing something interesting, then it’s a very happy thing.”

“It’s definitely interesting. Much more interesting than playing with me.”

“If you’re feeling lonely, then you should just say it straight out.”

“But saying that isn’t smart.”

I shook my head.

Then, I asked Bitch-san about something that had caught my attention in the conversation just now.

“If work isn’t interesting, does that mean you aren’t happy, Bitch-san?”

Bitch-san didn’t answer my question. Instead, she smiled faintly and said, “My greatest happiness right now is probably you coming to visit.” That was a lie adults often told, but I knew Bitch-san wasn’t lying so I felt extremely happy.

“Happiness— won’t come— walking— to us— , So— let’s walk— towards it—“

“I also like that song. One step a day, three steps in three days.”

With our voices overlapping, we sang, “Three— steps forward, two steps back—“

“That reminds me, I need to think about what happiness means. I have to present about it in class.”

“Ah, I had to do something like that when I was a kid as well. How nostalgic. What do you think happiness is to you?”

“I don’t know yet. I only just started thinking about it.”

“It’s a difficult question. Well then, should we eat some ice cream to find a hint to happiness?”

“Let’s eat!”

While we each ate a soda-flavored popsicle, Bitch-san and I played Othello like always. Othello was apparently a game that Bitch-san used to play when she was a child.

My father had bought me an Othello set before, but I didn’t have anybody to play with at home.

However, I was still glad that I had an Othello board available for when Bitch-san came to visit my place someday.

After Bitch-san won twice and I finally won once, she looked at the clock hanging on the wall and said, “Oh, it’s already four.” I cleaned up the Othello pieces while thinking that time really does pass too quickly.

“Bitch-san, thanks for the Yakult and popsicle.”

“No problem, say hi to Granny for me.”

I always left Bitch-san’s house at around four o’clock. Although I really wanted to chat more and play more Othello, I had another place I needed to visit.

I put on the pink shoes that fit my small feet perfectly, thanked Bitch-san one more time, and opened the door. Outside, the girl who had finished drinking the dish of milk was sitting and waiting politely. Bitch-san gently picked up the milk dish.

“I’ll come play again another time.”

“Sounds good, feel free to stop by whenever you want.”

“What are your plans for today, Bitch-san?”

“I was thinking of taking another nap, to get prepared for work.”

“Good luck at work. Take care!”

“Yes, yes. Good luck with finding the meaning of happiness, young lady. If you figure it out while walking around, let me know.”

“Okay. Well then, goodnight.”

Waving at Bitch-san, I closed the door. Bitch-san had a mysterious job that started after I was asleep and ended before I was awake. I didn’t know what her exact job was, but I respected her just for working when it was dark and sleeping when it was bright outside, since it was something that I could never do.

While walking quickly down the stairs beside the girl with the shortened tail, I thought about Bitch-san’s job. When I asked her before what kind of job it was, she just smiled and said “My job is to sell seasons.”

To me, that sounded like a lovely job.

 

It was a cold, rainy day. I wore cute pink rain boots and I held a beautiful red umbrella. With my yellow raincoat fluttering, I walked along the dike while chasing a small frog. The small green frog was very pretty, and since it seemed to be having fun jumping along the main path, I could easily keep an eye on it the whole time.

After I chased the green frog, I also started jumping before I realized it. I smiled to myself, thinking that it looked like we were doing some sort of special training together. The frog was also trying its hardest at the training course. It must be a shy frog that only trained on rainy days when there were few people around. I cheered on the courageous frog that was working hard.

However, whether it was because the frog couldn’t hear my cheering, or because it may not have been doing special training in the first place, the frog eventually jumped into the tall grass and disappeared.

I was sad to be left behind so I walked into the tall grass, but no matter how muddy my boots became, I couldn’t find the frog again.

I was very disappointed, but it couldn’t be helped. Trudging through the grass, I headed back to the dike from where I had ended up down by the riverbed. But since I didn’t want to give up the chance of seeing the frog again, I took a different path up than the one I used when coming down.

At the end of that path, she was waiting for me.

She was crouching in the midst of the tall grass. I noticed her instantly, and rushed over to her while splashing through puddles of water. She was covered in mud with spots of red seeping through here and there. But most shocking of all, she only had half of her tail.

How awful! That’s all I could think. I didn’t care about how she ended up in that state or who she was.

Closing my umbrella, I gently picked her up and slowly climbed up the dike so that I didn’t startle her. From the rise and fall of her body, I could tell she was breathing quietly.

At first, I thought about taking her home. But when I realized that nobody was at home, I tossed away the idea. I couldn’t treat her injuries by myself.

Cold raindrops fell on my face. She was surely feeling cold as well. I tried to think. I thought about who I could ask for help. I ran down the other side of the dike and towards a cream-colored apartment building. Even though my running must have been rough for her, the girl in my arms didn’t move at all.

Starting from one end of the apartment’s first floor, I rang the doorbells of the rooms in order one by one. Nobody came out of the first room. Nor the next, nor the next, nor the next. The woman who came out of the fifth room immediately closed the door after she saw me. I stopped at each room one by one. But most of them were empty, and out of the few people who opened their doors, none of them were willing to listen to what I had to say. The girl in my arms was shivering.

I reached the last room on the second floor of the two-story apartment. When I rang the doorbell of the room at the end of the hallway, I couldn’t even say how fast my heart was pounding. The rhythm of her quiet breaths made me afraid that the one in my arms was going to disappear.

When I heard the doorbell ringing throughout the room followed by the sound of something moving, I was immediately relieved that there was someone at home. Out of the rooms I had tried so far, there were several with the lights on but nobody inside.

I heard the sound of footsteps approaching the front door, the sound of the lock opening, and saw the doorknob turn. The instant the door finally opened, I shouted.

“Please save her!”

The pretty lady who had come out was shocked for several seconds. She looked carefully at me and the girl in my arms. Hitomi-sensei had taught me that it was best to look someone in the eyes when speaking to them.

When I did so, I saw that the lady’s gaze rested on the shivering girl. She then did something that nobody in the other rooms had done yet.

She looked straight into my eyes.

“Please wait a moment.”

The lady went inside her room and quickly returned with a towel. She then took the little bundle of life out my arms, wrapped her in the towel, and headed inside again.

“Young lady, take off your raincoat and boots and come in.”

She spoke with such a gentle voice that I felt like I could fall asleep right there out of relief. However, it would be rude to not thank her. When I wondered what this kind lady’s name was, my eyes landed on the nameplate beside her door.

I read aloud the word that was roughly scrawled there in black marker.

“Bitch… san?”

It was a strange name that didn’t sound Japanese. Although she didn’t look like it, perhaps she was a foreigner. I tilted my head to the side.

“Come on, don’t be scared and come inside.”

I was called in by the lady, and before I had a chance to express my gratitude, I was pushed into the bathroom. Before I knew it, I was taking a shower. After I left the tub, I put on the set of soft adult-sized pajamas that had been left in place of my wet clothes.

The lady was in the middle of wrapping a bandage around the girl with the shortened tail. Not wanting to disturb them, I stared at the lady’s hands.

The lady finished her treatment, and finally I had an opportunity to express my thanks.

“Thank you very much.”

“No problem. Your clothes are in the dryer, so it’s fine if you stay until they’re done.”

“Okay. Um, Bitch-san?”

When I said her name, she looked at me blankly. I bet she was surprised at how I had known her name.

“It was written on your nameplate. It’s fine if I call you Bitch-san, right?”

“My name?”

“Yep.”

When I nodded, Bitch-san immediately let out a big laugh. I didn’t understand at all why she was laughing. But it must be a good thing since she seemed to be having fun, so I laughed along with her.

“Ahaha, ah, yeah, that’s fine. That’s my name.”

“Are you a foreigner?”

“Nope, I’m Japanese.”

“Really? You have an unusual name.”

When she saw me looking impressed, Bitch-san smiled again.

“I have an idea, Bitch-san. As thanks for saving that girl, I’ll rewrite your nameplate. Sorry if it sounds rude, but the writing on there doesn’t look very nice. My writing is much prettier.”

I made that proposal, but Bitch-san gently shook her head.

“Hmm, it’s a good opportunity, but it’s not something you need to worry about. I didn’t write it myself after all.”

“Oh, then whose writing is that?”

With only a faint smile this time, Bitch-san answered.

“Who knows, I forgot.”

And like that, Bitch-san and the girl with the shortened tail and I became friends.

Hitomi-sensei might have thought that I had no friends, but I have some wonderful friends with me.

A friend to play Othello with, and a friend to go on walks with.

And also, I have a friend to talk about books with.

That’s why, even if I had no friends at school, or even if my parents were too busy to play with me, I wasn’t lonely at all.

 

The way I met Granny wasn’t through a difficult situation like how I had met Bitch-san and the girl with the shortened tail. Not a difficult situation, meaning that I wasn’t feeling sad or hurt when I met her.

There was a hill near my house. If I walked up the hill between the trees, I could reach an open area with a large wooden house.

On the day I discovered the house, I thought it was amazing to find such an unusual wooden house and I just kept gazing at it. After a while, thinking that perhaps nobody lived there since the area was so quiet, I knocked on the door. But when I did so, an old lady with a lovely smile came out.

Ever since then, she and I became friends.

Today, like always, the large wooden house looked wonderful.

“I wonder why the sweets that Granny makes are always so delicious.”

“The longer you live, the more you understand about how to make delicious sweets. That’s all.”

Granny spoke nonchalantly while drinking her tea. While eating the madeleines that Granny made, I tried to figure out the secret behind their deliciousness. The girl with the shortened tail was sunbathing in the wooden hallway that that overlooked the living room and an open field.

While munching on a madeleine in the tatami room containing a low table, I began to tell Granny what I wanted to talk about today.

“Remember when you told me about ‘The Little Prince’? I found it in my school library, so I started reading it.”

“Was it interesting?”

“Mmhm. The words they used were pretty, but it was hard for me to understand.”

“I see. But Nacchan is a smart girl.”

“That’s what I thought at first, but I’m still not there yet. I didn’t understand much at all.”

“It’s also important to recognize the fact that you didn’t understand. The worst thing is thinking that you understand something you actually don’t.”

“Is that so?”

“Even if you didn’t fully understand it, was there a part of the book that stood out to you?”

“Let’s see. Rather than the sheep that goes obediently into a box, I think I’d rather have a cat who goes on walks with me.”

Granny smiled gently and glanced at the girl sleeping in the hallway.

“Even after she finally gets praised by Nacchan, she’s still just sleeping there happily.”

“That’s fine, or else she’ll just get full of herself.”

The girl shook her short tail and yawned. Like her, I also opened my mouth widely and yawned. As I did so, I remembered to tell Granny the same thing I had told Bitch-san about what had happened at school today.

When I started telling it from the very beginning, just like Bitch-san, Granny laughed loudly.

“I see, I see. Being made to run around the schoolyard and stay behind after school must have been hard for you.”

“That’s not true. Well, I don’t like running, but staying behind wasn’t bad. After all, I like Hitomi-sensei.”

“She must be a wonderful teacher.”

“Yes, she is. She sometimes gets things wrong though. Ah, Bitch-san and I had the exact same conversation.”

“Did you win at Othello today?”

“Just once. But even then I only won by one piece. I wonder if there’ll ever be a day when I’m good at Othello.”

“There will be. Nacchan, you have the strength to look ahead. That strength is invaluable when playing games.”

Because I knew that Granny wasn’t lying, I was very happy. Granny’s words and smile had a good scent that was different than incense. A different scent than that of other adults. When I mentioned that to Granny before, she smiled and said, “It’s because I’ve already graduated from being an adult.”

“Then Bitch-san must also have the strength to look ahead.”

“Who knows? Unlike children, adults are creatures that look into the past.”

“But Bitch-san is stronger than I am.”

“That’s because she’s lived for longer. She knows better than you at how to win.”

Granny often talked about how long people had lived. If I wasn’t mistaken, Granny had lived for more than seven times what I had. If I lived for that long, I could probably bake madeleines as tasty as hers.

After I finished my first madeleine, I reached towards the plate to grab a second one, but ended up withdrawing my hand without taking anything. I had already drank Yakult and eaten a popsicle, so if I were to eat another two madeleines on top of that, I wouldn’t have room for the dinner my mother made.

In order to forget about the madeleines, I started thinking about something else.

“Granny, next time at school we’ll have a lesson about happiness.”

“That sounds like an interesting lesson.”

“It is. But it’s also very hard. It would be fine if I could say as much as I wanted, but class time is limited, and it isn’t only me in the classroom either.”

“I see. So to sum it up, you need to find a concise answer.”

“I want to find an answer that will surprise Hitomi-sensei and that the rest of the class will agree with.”

I imagined being praised by Hitomi-sensei and felt better. Getting carried away by that feeling, my hand reached out to grab another madeleine, but I stopped myself just in time. Granny noticed it and smiled.

“What makes Granny happy?”

“My happiness? There are many, like drinking tea on a sunny day like today, or you visiting me since it’s lonely living here by myself. But giving only a single answer is hard, isn’t it? I’ll think about it.”

“Yeah, think about it. Speaking of which, are you happy right now?”

Granny took a sip of tea and answered with a smile.

“Yes, I’m happy.”

Granny looked truly happy, and that made me feel happy as well. Looking towards the hallway, that girl was still sleeping happily. I thought that right now, this wooden house was filled with all the ingredients for happiness.

“That’s right, Granny, recommend me another book to read.”

“You said you’ve read Tom Sawyer before, right?”

“Yep, it was good.”

“Then, have you read the story where Tom Sawyer’s friend is the protagonist?”

“Homeless Huck? Is there another book about him?”

“Oh you don’t know about ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’? It’s also a good book. If it’s not in the school library, you could probably ask Hitomi-sensei about it.”

I thought that was a good suggestion, so I put the title ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ in the place where all my important memories were stored.

I really enjoyed talking about books with Granny. That’s why, I always forgot about the passing of time.

What was my favorite part of ‘The Little Prince’? I liked the part about the king and his rose. It was very lovely. What about Granny’s? Mine is probably the part about the painting where the snake ate an elephant.

As we chatted, the sky outside turned completely orange. When I looked at the clock on the wall, it had already turned five-thirty before I realized it. I needed to get home before six. That was the promise I made with my mother.

I woke up my friend with the waving tail and said goodbye to Granny.

“Later then, Granny.”

“Be careful on your way home.”

“I will. I’ll look for the Huck book as well.”

I waved at Granny, who had walked to the front door with me. The other girl waved her tail as well, and together, we walked down the path on the hill. The orange path was very pretty. During goodbyes like these, I didn’t feel lonely at all. After all, there was always tomorrow and the day after that.

“Happiness— won’t come— walking— to us— , So— let’s walk— towards it—“

“Na— Na—“

Soon I also parted with my friend with the shortened tail, then I returned home and did my homework. My mother came home at around six-thirty. She was only occasionally home on Saturdays and Sundays, but would always come back around dinnertime. That’s why I sometimes wished it would be dinnertime forever, but such a thing would also mean having to give up on yogurt for breakfast.

Today’s dinner was curry rice. Even though I already had Yakult and a popsicle and a madeleine, I still ate two helpings of curry rice.

“I wonder if I should go on a diet.”

My mother smiled and said, “You don’t need to do that,” and then handed me a cookie she received from her company. After some hesitation, I topped the cookie with vanilla ice cream and ate it.

“I wonder if happiness is putting some tasty ice cream on top of a cookie.”

Sitting in front of me, my mother said, “I like mine with coffee,” and ate her cookie after dunking it into some hot coffee.

Then, after taking my usual bath, I became sleepy at around ten o’clock. My mother acted the same as always, and my father returned home while I was sleeping. I didn’t tell them about my day with Bitch-san or Granny.

 

Letter – TRUE


Letter

Artist: TRUE
Anime: Violet Evergarden

Romaji:
Tada shizuka ni
Onaji sora ni kaze wo kikou
Soko ni anata wa
Inai keredo

Mou ikudomo
Kaita moji wa hane no you ni
Tonde kieta

Ai wa itsumo
Hidamari no naka ni aru
Mienakute mo
Furerarenakute mo
Soba ni aru you ni

Tada yasashii
Mori no kigi wa ame ni utau
Maru de watashi wo
Hagemasu you ni

Mada kawakanu
Tsuchi no ue wo aruite yuku
Itsuka no michi

Ai wa itsumo
Sukitooru mizu no you
Uketomete wa
Mata hanarete yuku
Anata ni niteiru

Ai wa itsumo
Hidamari no naka ni aru
Mienakute mo
Furerarenakute mo
Soba ni aru you ni

English:
Let’s just quietly
Listen to the wind under the same sky
Even though
You are not there

Already how many times have
The words I’ve written flown away and disappeared
Like feathers

Love is always
Existing where the sun shines
Even if it can’t be seen
Even if it can’t be felt
May it be by your side

Just gently
The trees in the forest sing in the rain
As if they are
Cheering me up

I walk on earth
That is not yet dried
A road to someday

Love is always
Like clear water
After I have accepted it
I am separated once again
Just like you

Love is always
Existing where the sun shines
Even if it can’t be seen
Even if it can’t be felt
May it be by your side