Bad Luck and Good Luck
Since then, Koyoi has not been bothering me, but we seem to have been glancing at each other more and more often.
I guess that means that I have been more conscious of her.
Probably because Koyoi is a person to watch out for, as she is the most likely to harass Natsuki, there is no other reason.
And so, another peaceful day passed.
Today is my third cultural festival.
“Akki, let’s get churros for now! “
The first and second times, I went to the festival with my male friends, but this time, as promised, I went to the festival with Iori.
I buy Iori churros at a stall run by a second-grade student.
Iori takes a bite of it and then says
“Hmm, they don’t taste good!”
She said happily.
“Here, Akki, have the rest.”
With that, Iori pushed the churros she had just bitten to me.
I take it and reluctantly eat it.
“I’m glad I didn’t buy two…”
It’s not inedible.
But it is dry, hard, and, as Iori says, not at all tasty.
…It’s just plain tasteless.
“Next time, let’s go to the haunted house! “
Iori pulls me by the hand and we head for the largest haunted house on the cultural festival, which is built with three classrooms.
After standing in line for a while, we are led into the haunted house.
In the beginning, the atmosphere of the haunted house was quite nice and promising, but the scary scenes were so monotonous that by the time we were halfway through, we got bored and stopped being scared.
In the end, I felt like I was just taking a little walk in the dark.
“We’ve wasted our timeーー.”
Iori said with a smirk, I smiled and nodded silently.
“Do you want to go see a performance at the auditorium? “
“Let’s do that.”
Then Iori and I headed to the auditorium.
* * *
Iori seemed to be enjoying the uninteresting comedy contest with its inside jokes.
I was frankly bored.
After all, this was my third time to attend this festival.
The second time I enjoyed it because I somehow have nostalgia for it, but this time it’s difficult to do so.
I look at my watch.
It’s already late in the evening, and the festival will be over in an hour.
It’s about time for Koyoi, who is jealous of me going around the festival with Iori, to show her face.
I was on the lookout for her, but…
Koyoi doesn’t show up.
――There are only 30 minutes left until the end of the festival.
Finally, I felt something strange.
Maybe I was mistaken about something.
“…sorry, Iori. I’m going to leave for a while.”
“What? Uh, yeah. Okay. “
After saying a few words to Iori, who was watching the announcement of the results of the comedy contest, I left the auditorium and headed back to the school building.
My heart skips a beat when I see the door to the rooftop.
The padlocked door was unlocked…
I opened the door and entered the rooftop, just as I had done the previous time.
There she was, leaning against the rail and looking down.
I take a deep breath and stand next to her, then say to her.
“Did you enjoy the school festival this year? “
She doesn’t even glance at me and replies languidly.
…I am completely baffled.
Natsuki has been harassed again?
“What’s wrong? Tell me what’s going on.”
Natsuki’s shoulders trembled at my words.
Natsuki said emotionlessly and then turned her head down.
I looked at her and thought about it.
Iori had been with me all day today. She can’t be the culprit.
Koyoi, the other suspect, has no motive to harass Natsuki this time since she is not jealous of her.
In other words, someone who harassed Natsuki was not the one I had been wary about.
I should have stayed with Natsuki instead of making a roundabout way.
No, that’s just a consequence of this situation…
Anyway, I can’t let Natsuki be alone now.
“Isn’t it cold here? I’ll lend you my jacket if you want to.”
“It’s not cold. Just leave me alone.”
“I can’t leave Natsuki alone right now.”
Natsuki looks at me.
Then she glares at me with red, swollen eyes.
“…shut up, I said I want to be alone, so let me be alone.”
Last time I left the rooftop, because I thought there was nothing I could do for her.
But this time it’s different.
――I want to change her fate.
“Okay, I won’t say anything more. So, can’t I at least stay with you? “
Hearing my words, she clenched her fists.
“I don’t want to see your face, so get the hell out of my sight! “
I silently meet her gaze.
“Don’t be quiet, say something…”
Natsuki mutters weakly and gives me a clinging look.
“Like I said, I’ll be right here by your side.”
Hearing my words, Natsuki looks straight at me.
Then she squeezes the hem of my school uniform and talks in a strained voice.
“Quickly, go away… “
Despite her words, her hands as she gripped my uniform were strong.
I could feel the true feelings that she painfully hid in her heart.
I gently put my own hand on Natsuki’s hand.
“…it’s a lie. Don’t go anywhere, stay with me like this…”
Natsuki murmurs in a trembling voice.
“I’m right here by your side, don’t worry.”
I answered, and then she plunged into my chest.
” …I’ve been crying out to you for『Help』 in my heart.”
A deep sadness comes over me through her voice and the warmth of her body.
“…you’re late. You should have come earlier, you idiot…”
After muttering so, Natsuki chokes back a sob.
I hugged her and said.
“I’m sorry I left you alone.”
“Don’t leave me alone again…”
“Yes, I’ll be with you.”
I pat Natsuki on the shoulder to calm her down and ask her.
“Who said anything bad to you? I can’t forgive whoever hurt Natsuki.”
I guess I was more angry than I thought.
Natsuki’s shoulders trembled at the sound of my angry voice, and she looked at me with a startled expression.
“I don’t want to tell you. I don’t want to have anything to do with anyone but you anymore…”
Saying this, Natsuki turned her head down.
Natsuki looks very weak right now.
I don’t even want to remind her of what anyone said to her and who said it to her…
I felt so ashamed of myself.
Natsuki, who usually acts so strong, had been driven to this point while I had pretended not to notice her before.
――I wanted to ruin everyone that had driven her to this point.
“Tomorrow, we’ll go around the festival together.”
Natsuki looked stunned at my words.
“Natsuki, today, you thought this was the worst festival, right? So tomorrow, let’s confirm it together that it’s indeed the worst festival ever.”
Natsuki looks like she’s trying to figure out the answer to my invitation.
[ I’m not going to be a freak show. ]
Remembering her words, I ask her.
“It’s a festival. What’s wrong with having one more freak show? “
“…freak show? “
Natsuki said, puzzled.
Yes, this is only what I remember from last time.
I haven’t had this conversation with ‘Natsuki’, who is in front of me right now.
I mutter, [Nevermind.] and then continue.
“The churros were dry and tasted like sh*t, the comedy contest was only filled with inside jokes and not funny, and the tribute band pretending to be young was unbearable to listen to. Just like this town, there’s not a single element that will make Natsuki like it. Let’s see it together so that one day when you remember it in the future, you can proudly say――It was just a sh*tty school with a sh*tty cultural festival.”
I hold out my hand to her and say.
“Tomorrow, you’re coming to the festival with me.”
Natsuki nodded, took my hand and smiled.
* * *
The next day.
The second day of the festival seems to be a lot more exciting than the first day…
Though for me and Natsuki, it didn’t matter.
“This is our school’s signature churros.”
“Wow, it’s super bad.”
“How’s the stand-up comedy that made it to the finals of the comedy contest? “
“I don’t even know what to laugh about.”
“So, Natsuki, are you in the mood for a fun tribute band that just wants to be popular with the girls? “
“I’m so f*cking disgusted! “
Natsuki and I both smiled at each other and said bad things about everything.
People around us stared at us as if they were offended, but it didn’t matter.
It was them who harmed Natsuki in the first place.
A sh*tty school, a sh*tty festival.
And I’ve repeated it three times.
I thought it would be boring and I would feel like crap.
But this is the most fun I’ve ever had――I don’t know why.
* * *
The festival’s second day is over in a blink of an eye.
From tomorrow… or rather, from this evening, the third-year students are going to concentrate on their examinations.
However, Natsuki and I were on the rooftop without going home.
Natsuki usually opens the padlock, but I open the padlock after she shows me how to do it.
It was surprisingly easy, but Natsuki said proudly, [It’s because I’m good at teaching others.]
The sun was already set, and the night sky was beginning to be filled with twinkling stars.
“Like I said, it was a boring festival, right? “
I ask Natsuki, standing next to her and looking up at the night sky.
“Yeah, it was a sh*tty festival.”
“It’s not surprising, though, since there are only sh*tty students and teachers. I’m the representative of them, so there’s no doubt about it.”
Natsuki doesn’t respond to my words.
She seems to look at my face silently.
“You’re out of luck to come to a school like this.”
I said and stared at Natsuki.
She looked away.
“That’s not true.”
Natsuki immediately denied my words.
I wondered what was wrong with Natsuki, and I looked at her.
She looked hesitant, but when I kept silent, she took a deep breath and opened her mouth.
“The school festival was boring, and this school is full of jerks, but I can’t bemoan the fact that I was unlucky enough to come to this school anymore.”
” …Why? “
Natsuki muttered in frustration at my words, [ Do I have to say this..? ].
“No, if you don’t want to tell me, you don’t have to… “
At my words, Natsuki let out a big sigh.
She glared at me resentfully, then poked my chest strongly three times with her fingertips.
“I don’t want to deny how lucky I am to have met you…Gen’no Akira. “
Natsuki glanced me up and down, waiting for my reaction.
I couldn’t immediately react because I didn’t expect her to say something like this.
“Talk something! …so, how do you feel when I say this to you? “
Natsuki pointed an invisible microphone at me.
“I want to make you continue to feel lucky to have met me.”
It was undoubtedly bad luck for Natsuki to meet me in her second high school life.
But this time will be different――I reminded myself.
Natsuki says, trying to hide her embarrassment.
She turned her face away from me as if she were trying to escape my gaze.