Sankaku Jealousy: memory 5
Hi, this is Part 5 of Sankaku Jealousy!
Happy birthday, Kotaro!
Previous part (memory 4)
On a day near the end of November, Koyuki headed for the flowerbed in the corner of the courtyard for the first time in a few days. When he saw Hina and Kotaro and tried to call out to them, the two of them noticed him as well and ran up to him.
“Ah, senpai, you can’t come over here!”
“Stop right there! You can’t take a single step, got it?!”
Koyuki tilted his head in confusion when he saw how flustered the two of them were. “Um, is something the matter?”
“Nothing much. Anyway, is it even okay for exam students to be in such a place?”
“I’m worried about the flowerbed…”
“Rather than that, worry about yourself first!”
When Koyuki tried to divert his gaze, Kotaro followed along as if to block his view, standing with his hands on his hips.
“Koyuki-senpai, you’re not allowed to look at the flowerbeds until your graduation ceremony!” Hina said.
Koyuki was bewildered. “But I still have things to do here…”
“We’ll do it properly!” Hina pushed Koyuki with both of her hands, forcibly turning his back to the flowerbeds and shoving him away.
“We may be unreliable underclassmen, but have a little faith in us.”
“You can’t look this way!”
When Koyuki tried to turn around, he was scolded by Kotaro. “You definitely can’t come to take a look, not even in secret!”
I see--- Koyuki realised that it was about time that he should retire from the club.
When Koyuki said those words, Hina dropped the hands that she had been using to push his back.
“If anything happens, we’ll be sure to call for you.”
Nodding at Kotaro’s words, Koyuki started walking towards the school building without a single glance back.
It was just as Kotaro had said.
It was impossible for Koyuki to take care of the flowerbeds right up till he graduated. He had to trust his underclassmen to take over the club from him.
The feeling of loneliness that passed through his chest was probably akin to the feelings of a parent bird that was watching its offspring take flight.
Aah, but was it different?
(I’m the one who has to leave the nest.)
Koyuki looked up at a bird that was flying in the cold sky, thinking that it looked a little dazzling.
Kotaro crouched down beside Hina next to the flowerbed, digging the soil with a small hand shovel and planting bulbs into it.
Hina took out a crumpled letter from the pocket of her jersey.
“That…” Kotaro stopped the movements of his hands and glanced at Hina.
“I couldn’t give it to Koyuki-senpai, so I’ve had it with me ever since,” Hina smiled sadly as she buried the letter beside a white tulip bulb.
“Is it really okay?”
“Yup, this is fine,” Hina spoke as though she was trying to convince herself of such. She turned her slightly damp eyes up towards the sky only once, before continuing to cover her letter and the tulip bulb with soil.
Hina had been the one who had made the suggestion of planting tulips.
The meaning of white tulips in hanakotoba was “a lost love”. That, and “a new love”.
Kotaro hoped that he would be the next person that Hina fell for. With that wish in mind, he carefully planted the tulip bulbs, one by one.
“Hey, Hina… At the graduation ceremony,” Kotaro turned to face Hina, who stopped her work and looked back at him in return. “Let’s make the tulips bloom well as a great send-off.”
Kotaro wondered what kind of expression Koyuki would have on his face when they showed him a flowerbed filled with bloomed tulips in the coming Spring.
He was looking forward to it, finding himself not hating it that much now.
“Yup!” Hina nodded.
Kotaro smiled together with her.
From now on and forever---
I’ll make you smile, right by my side.