Let Me Carry Half of Your Suffering?
I was brought to the back of the school building, a place I was always familiar with.
This area, which was always empty, was comfortable for me and Shiho, and we came here every time something happened.
It’s been about a week, and as usual, nobody is here.
Especially now that it was early in the morning, we didn’t have to worry about someone else arriving.
“Are you all right? Kotaro-kun, are you cold?”
However, since we were outside, the temperature was low, and I would be lying if I said it wasn’t cold.
Thanks to this, there is almost no chance of people being here, but it is so freezing that I don’t think I want to stay long.
Come to think of it, I forgot to bring my jacket today.
No, I had left it at Kurumizawa-san’s home along with my school uniform. That made me even colder.
“Mmmm, are you shivering a little? You look very cold…”
Unlike me, Shiho was dressed properly.
She was thoroughly protected from the cold by wearing a coat over her school uniform, as well as a scarf and gloves. Since she was sick, it seemed like her mother, Satsuki-san, had made sure she was wearing something under her coat as well.
Perhaps because of this, Shiho was rather overdressed and her movements were somewhat awkward. Her comical movements would normally have made me laugh, but I wasn’t in the mood for that now.
“Hey, do you still want to go back inside the school?”
“No…, I’m fine.”
I slowly shook my head.
I looked up and saw Shiho’s face peering at me with concern.
Our eyes met for a moment.
Her eyes were very clear. I couldn’t look at them, so I immediately looked away.
No, I can’t look directly at her.
Every time I looked into her eyes, every time she spoke to me, every time she worried about me, my heart ached.
The guilt makes me feel so guilty that I can’t say anything.
“Mmmmm… something is worrying you, so why don’t you give me your hand? I’ll warm you up with my hands. You may not know this, Kotaro-kun, but I have a pretty high body temperature, you know?”
…No, I know.
I know that your body is warm and fluffy.
We have touched each other many times. We have held hands; we have hugged each other.
I know that your body temperature is as high as a young baby’s. I’ve experienced it.
So, remembering that fresh feeling…, unconsciously, I took a step back.
Shiho widened her eyes in surprise.
The hand that was held out to grab mine was shaking desolately.
“As expected…, Kotaro-kun, you seem a little stranger than usual. It’s as if you’re… avoiding me. It’s like, uh, … I don’t think that’s possible, and I’m not doubting anything, but it’s like you’re … shying away from me.”
The words that struck me at the heart of the matter were suffocating.
Silence is synonymous with affirmation. Shiho looked a little sad to see me like that.
“What’s wrong? Hey, Kotaro-kun,… something must be wrong, right? You don’t have to say anything, I know. Because I’ve been watching you for a long time. I think about you more than anyone else. How could I not know?”
She has been watching me for a long time.
So maybe she knows me better than I do.
“… The sound is strange.”
Also, Shiho has unusually keen senses.
Her sense of hearing is particularly well developed, and she has a unique sense of hearing that ordinary people do not have.
“The tune I tuned … that I just love so much is being distorted. The gentle, warm, tasteful, lovely sound is being defiled.”
As usual, I, an ordinary person, could not understand the phrases spoken based on a unique worldview.
But somehow, I understood that Shiho was angry.
“Who in the world has touched my precious treasure? Some rude person is trying to break my pretty little mistletoe… Oh, my poor little twig. You’re suffering bitterly, aren’t you? you don’t have to strain yourself anymore. Kotaro-kun,… please let me hear all about it?”
Suddenly, I feel like crying.
I was about to burst into tears at her kind words.
Shiho helps me, after all.
Shiho is always there for me, closer to me than anyone else.
I was so happy and glad for that.
“Kotaro-kun … will you let me bear half of your suffering?”
With those words, I broke down.
The fog that had been dominating my thoughts cleared at once.
When I realized, I had exploded.
I couldn’t stop.
I had told Shiho everything that had happened to me over the past week.
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