Recollection Part 1
When would I be able to tell the story of myself more clearly?
In kindergarten, I hadn’t met Azusa yet, and in elementary school, I hadn’t met Kirari, so perhaps the best way to tell the story would be about middle school.
Well,… it is around middle school that my … ego started to grow and I started to think about who I am and what kind of person I am, so that would be an appropriate time to start.
I thought I was the protagonist back then.
… No, that information is not appropriate.
When I was in elementary school I lost confidence in myself after my mother gave up on me.
At that time, I still thought of myself as something close to a “mob character”.
Of course, I was still a child at the time and didn’t think too deeply about things, but I remember well how suffocating it was…
It was my childhood friend Yuzuki, my stepsister Azusa, and Kirari, my friend, who helped heal me.
Thanks to these three people, I was finally able to look forward.
They made me think that maybe I could be the protagonist, too.
That’s why I wanted to tell Shiho the story of what happened after I met the three of them.
In light of this, I felt that the most appropriate time was in the third year of middle school.
Before I met Ryuzaki.
It was around March, when I was in my third year of middle school and on the verge of entering high school.
It was roughly a year ago now, I guess.
At that time… I was trying to make the three of them happy…
–It was the middle of March. The middle school graduation ceremony was over, and it was the day of the high school acceptance announcements.
“Onii-chan, I wonder if Azusa and her friends… have passed the exam properly?”
I remember how anxious Azusa was in the morning.
Azusa was so nervous that even her favorite fried egg, which I made her for breakfast, did not go down her throat.
“Well, is that so? … we studied a lot together, so if Azusa’s going to fail, I’m going to fail with her.”
“I-Is that so? If so, it’s a good thing that I won’t be alone… That’s not good. We’re going to pass the exam together and enter high school together.”
Neither Azusa nor I had good grades.
However, we both studied hard because our mothers insisted that I enter a high school with a slightly higher level of education.
Basically, our mother never tried to get involved with Azusa, who is not related to her by blood.
She was the one who was always trying to talk to me, but she tended to be a little gentler with her than with me, perhaps because she was not her own daughter, or perhaps because she was the child of a husband who loved her.
Azusa’s only strong advice was to enroll in a proper high school.
Perhaps because of this pressure, Azusa was even more nervous.
“Ugh … I wonder what mom will say if I’m not accepted. Onii-chan, I really wonder if you’ll be okay. Wouldn’t they throw Azusa out of the house?”
“Don’t worry. She’s a person who cares about public appearance, and I don’t think she’ll do anything that would cause such a bad publicity.”
“I don’t feel very comfortable with that reason.”
To cheer up Azusa, whose face had gone pale, I was more playful than usual at that time. I thought that by doing so, I could ease Azusa’s anxiety.
It was a bit presumptuous for a mob character.
I was so conceited that I was taking a lot of actions that … would be unthinkable for the me of today.
“Onii-chan…Could you cheer me up just a little bit?”
Then again, Azusa also missed me at that time, so we were closer than we are now.
She rubbed up against me as though she were in contact with Ryuzaki.
Moreover, she offered me her head to press against me and her … gesture was like she was saying ‘pat my head’, so I was patting her head as a matter of course.
And then, of course, I was doing that.
“Okay, okay. Calm down… you’re a good girl.”
When I did that, Azusa always laughed at me.
“… Hmm. Thank you, I’m fine.”
She looked a little embarrassed.
But it would be a lie to say that I didn’t think that my happy and friendly smiling stepsister was cute.
I truly cherished Azusa.
Of course, since Azusa also spoiled me so much, it was not unreasonable for me to misunderstand that she was thinking about me in the same way.
At that time, I was like that all the time.
Looking back on it now, I am truly ashamed.
I was really just a mistaken jerk.
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