The Bottom Line
“Then, Kotaro Onii-chan, good bye. See you tomorrow? Don’t worry, I’ll go to school tomorrow. And Azusa-chan, see you tomorrow, okay? Today was fun. Thanks for chatting with me.”
Shiho looked more satisfied than usual as she left, perhaps satisfied with her typhoon-like rampage.
I waved her off and saw Azusa slumped on the sofa looking tired.
“I’m …… tired.”
She seemed to be exhausted from accompanying Shiho and doing a lot of tugging and pulling.
“Thanks for your hard work.”
To show my appreciation, I take a can of juice out of the refrigerator and hand it to her.
After accepting it, Azusa’s eyes widened as if she suddenly realized something.
“Oh, maybe …… this kind of thing is called being ‘spoiled’?”
Apparently, she was not aware of it. Maybe she noticed it because she was conscious of it when Shiho pointed it out to her.
…… Well, she has been a sister since birth ……. Being kind to her brother was probably a normal part of her daily life.
She probably took it for granted that her brother would be kind to her.
Or when he bought her sweets.
Or when he would listen to her requests.
Comforting her when she felt down.
For Azusa, perhaps it was just a normal routine.
And Shiho was jealous of those things.
Azusa seems to have finally realized that.
“I see …… Azusa’s ‘Onii-chan’ has always been Onii-chan…….”
Looking somewhere far away, she mumbles a few words.
Then she put her canned juice on the table and looked straight at me this time.
Abruptly, Azusa bows her head.
Her words were tinged with regret.
“I’m sorry I said that you might not be my Onii-chan…….”
–No, no, no.
There’s no need to apologize, Azusa …….
I’m not your ideal “Onii-chan”.
“I’ve been meaning to tell you for a while now, but your ideal ‘Onii-chan’ is nobody else. Of course it’s not me, and it’s not Ryuzaki either…….The ‘Onii-chan’ Azusa is looking for is no longer available anywhere. You know that, right?”
In the past, Azusa lost her own brother.
Because she was unable to accept this and continued to search for “Onii-chan,” various distortions were created.
“…… Yeah, I know. Onii-chan is not ‘Onii-chan’. Of course, it’s not Ryoma Onii-chan ……. Ryoma-kun? And no. Azusa’s ideal Onii-chan is nowhere to be found.”
She looks sad, but she is not downcast, she is looking forward and facing reality.
Perhaps it is thanks to the fact that she has been alone for so long these days.
She seems a little more mature or …… calm and able to think things through than before.
“But you see, it’s different. Azusa is, you know, I’m not apologizing in the sense that I want you to forgive me or anything like that……. Just let me apologize for betraying your feelings, Onii-chan? You don’t have to forgive. This is a clean slate…….”
–Oh, I see.
I was worried about her, but it seems Azusa has already sorted out a lot of her thoughts.
“I’m sorry I said such terrible things.”
It’s not that she wants me to forgive her.
Merely apologizing because she has done something wrong.
“Also, thank you for being the ‘Onii-chan’ to this awful little sister of yours.”
Once again, Azusa bows profoundly.
Her sincere attitude made my cheeks loose.
“There is no such thing as a person who doesn’t make mistakes. And since Azusa and I are still immature teenagers, we make a lot of mistakes…….”
So the important thing is obviously not to apologize for your failures.
I think the most important thing is to properly take the next step forward, using this failure as a source of inspiration.
“Azusa, you also need to properly think about where your “happiness” lies, okay? Don’t be tied down by ‘Onii-chan’ and do your best …… to make sure you get what you really want.”
It means growing up.
And to be grateful.
Maybe that’s what it means to be an adult……. So, as an older brother, I was genuinely happy to see my sister grow up.
“I told you before, didn’t I? I’ll be watching over you the whole time.”
When I told her this, Azusa’s eyes suddenly became moist.
But she rubbed her eyes and looked at me stoutly, trying not to cry.
She doesn’t break down and cry like she did when she was once dumped by Ryuzaki….
Azusa is stronger now, and she’s okay.
“Onii-chan, …… Azusa, I’m going to cut my hair. Do I have scissors?”
Then she – untied the hair string that she had tied into twin-tails.
Her hair had always been the same since she was a little girl, but that seems to be the case until today.
With a buzz, she snips off a long strand of hair.
Because she cut it herself, it is unbalanced. However, Azusa looked very refreshed.
“I’m going to go try to get some sleep. I’ll be fine now. …… Azusa will go to school tomorrow, okay?”
“…… Then you might want to adjust your hair a little more, okay? You look like a child sitting on a throne.”
The slicked-back bangs and slicked-back hair remind one of a childish girl.
It looks good on her, but, well……, it’s a little unbalanced, but since she cut it herself, it can’t be helped.
“Then, Onii-chan do something about it?”
With that said, she now tries to throw all the responsibility to me.
She seems to have made up her mind, but she won’t stop indulging herself in the house.
“I’ll try ……, but don’t get your hopes up, okay?”
Well, it can’t be helped. No matter what they do to us, no matter how badly they treat us, the bond of brother and sister is not easily broken.
Me and Azusa will always be brother and sister. That’s why she will always continue to do …… this way and rely on me for anything.
I accepted it as I always do. I have to say, when Azusa gets spoiled by me, I can’t help but accept it.
Because there is no Onii-chan who can refuse a request from his sister.