First Story – Let Me Listen to Your Lingering Regrets Part 7
The next day, we approached Miki as she came out of the school gate. When we told her we were relatives of Shion, the expression on her face darkened, a stark contrast to the happy mood she had when she was talking yesterday at the nearby park.
“Shion was my best friend since kindergarten.” Miki said.
“We can talk about everything and we get along well like sisters. That’s…” Before she finished speaking, tears started to fall down her face.
“I understand how you feel.” Senpai empathized.
He tried to offer a handkerchief but upon noticing that it was crumpled, there was a troubled look on his face.
“Here.” I offered my neatly folded handkerchief to Miki.
“Thank you.” Miki accepted it.
“But I’m fine. If I’m too sad, Shion won’t feel at peace in heaven.”
Senpai scratched his head and said, “The news of her passing came as a bolt from the blue even to us. We wondered if Shion was happy when she was still alive. So we came to talk to you.”
“I see…” Miki smiled weakly as she wiped her tears.
“Shion was always quiet and liked to keep to herself so I always dragged her around to hang out. Thinking about it now, maybe she found me annoying but she always went along with saying a word.”
“So you were like sisters?”
“Yes, but it’s more like I couldn’t leave her alone. She wasn’t good at making friends. She probably didn’t mean it but she always seem to shy away from people and I couldn’t help but reach out to her. I think that’s what’s also good about her. She doesn’t impose on you and I really like her modest personality.”
What Miki said was similar to Yuji. Both were popular students who also excelled academically and confidently pursued their dreams. For them, people like Shion was the type they couldn’t leave alone.
“Is it like that with everyone in class?”
“Everyone in class? Well… like I said, Shion was the type to take the next step if you reach out to her. She can talk to me normally but with others, it felt like she had closed her heart. But it wasn’t like she hated people. She just wasn’t good at making friends and always kept to herself when I wasn’t there.” Miki said as though she was carefully choosing the right words to say.
She must’ve been aware of the tension between Shion and the rest of the class.
“Did Shion depend on you?”
“She depended on me and I depended on her. I realized it when she died. That the one who depended more was me.”
“What do you mean?”
“I certainly regarded myself as her older sister. But that was because she was always there. Now that she’s gone, It feels like there’s a hole in my heart. She was very important to me. She may not have been my real sister but she was an irreplaceable friend.”
Senpai sighed. “If Shion heard that, she’d surely be happy.”
“You think so? There was nothing I could do for her.”
“That’s not true. Shion seemed very happy and satisfied that you were friends with her. She was proud of you as her best friend.” Overwhelmed by Miki’s sincere kindness, I found myself speaking before I realized it.
“She was proud of me? Shion said that?” Miki covered her face and started crying.
“I’m sorry. That made me happy… and sad…”
“I understand.” Senpai said. “You mentioned you were best friends with her since kindergarten, right?
“Yes, we were. We always did everything together. That’s why I depended on her a lot.”
“What do you mean?”
“Whatever Shion did, I also did the same. When she started playing the piano, I also signed up for it. Of course, the opposite was also true. Whatever I did, Shion also did the same. We have always supported each other like that. But thinking about it now, that may have just been dependence on my part.”
“It’s not dependence, it’s proof that you get along well.” Senior smiled.
“It seemed like you and her always hung out with Yuji.”
“You also know Yuji?”
“Yes. Shion mentioned him. She said you three get along well.”
“Oh… Yes, the three of us were always together. He first met Shion but we soon became friends as well. He’s cool, smart and the perfect image of every girl’s admiration.”
“You also admire him?”
Miki nodded as her cheeks flushed with a faint touch of red.
“What about Shion?’
“I think… she also liked him. She didn’t explicitly tell me but I’m sure she also had feelings for him.”
“Miki and Shion were really good friends, weren’t they?”
“Mm?” Senpai wasn’t listening to me again. He crossed his arms and muttered to himself.
“Now what do you plan to do? You knew from the beginning that they were close friends right? Was there any point in meeting Miki?”
“It’ll work out somehow.” He answered immediately.
I suddenly felt dispirited. Was this person really a first-class agent?
“Miki and Yuji make a good couple together, don’t they? They look perfect together.”
“Everyone who sees them probably thinks that way.” Senpai scratched his head and his expression darkened.
“That’s where the problem lies. They look like the perfect couple in everyone’s. What’s more, they like each other.”
Senpai stared at me.
“Apprentice, have you ever fallen in love?”
“What?” His question caught me off guard.
“I haven’t but…”
“Then, from a girl’s point of view, think about it. Why did Miki notice that Shion also liked Yuji?”
After pondering for a while, I said, “Because she liked him, she was also sensitive to those around him. Plus, Shion was her best friend.”
“That’s right.” Senpai nodded in agreement.
“Senpai, what should we do? How about we tell Shion that Yuji liked her even if it’s a lie?”
“She’ll be able to see through such a lie.”
“Then what should we do?”
“Just tell her the truth. Nothing more, nothing less.”
He lifted his arms and stretched. “Well, whatever will be, will be.”