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Suki Kirai Vol 1 Chapter 13

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The first day’s weather was bad, but we had fair weather for the second day.

The record number of attendees crowd around the stage that was set up in the courtyard this year as well.
Outside the circle, the teachers were among the guests who couldn’t get their hands on a ticket.
The inescapable heat impatiently reached all the way backstage.

“I did expect it, but that’s an incredible number of people, huh……”
Growing restless and unable to calm down, I end up checking the keyboard’s settings over and over again.
The chipper music that the dance club before us plays barely reaches my ears.

“Huuuhhh? What is it Rin-chan, could it be that you’ve gotten nervous?”
“……Well, in a way.”
“I see, but it’s alright! Or rather, it’s needless worry? Because those guests, they came to see Aisaka Academy’s Prince, aka Kagami Len☆  ”
“……Len-kun…… it’s too late for that kind of unreasonable character.”
“Waaaaa!? Wait, you’ll understand if we talk it over! I really can’t stand it when you retort so terribly calmly! And looking at me with that pitiful gaze, stoooooooooooop.”

““Shut up, you’re annoying.””

Eh? Now, my voice collided with someone’s?
Turning around in a flash, Miku-san was there, dressed in her costume.

Though it’s before singing, her aura is impressive.
Everyone’s hands suddenly stop, even the staff members who were moving in a hurry.

I ran up to her without hesitation, and vigorously bowed.
Putting all my grateful feelings into it. 

“Eh, Rin-chan!? Don’t do that, raise your head.”
“Miku-san! Thank you so, so very much!”
While saying that, the tears overflow. 
Miku-san gently brushes them away with her finger, bursting into an extraordinary smile.

“Isn’t it too soon to express your grat.i.tude? Let’s all put on the greatest performance!”

When I stand up on stage, it feels just as if I’m drifting in the ocean.  
But, the helplessness is only at the start. 
The wave surging from the audience, it carries us far away.
Making that wave even bigger, we send the sound from the stage.

(More and always, I want to be with everyone like this.)
Naturally thinking like that, I shake my head a little.
It’s good because it has an end, because it has a limit.

Concentrating on this moment now, I pour everything into it. 
Perhaps spinning every moment is what it means to keep living.

In the blink of an eye, we’re in the second half of the concert.
Wrapped in outstandingly big cheers and applause, Miku-san comes up on stage.

“I’m back.”

To Miku-san’s opening words, the ‘welcome back’ completes it as if it had been practiced.
Stepping back from the mike, Len-kun and I shouted it with all our might, too.
Miku-san, who usually does the MC-ing without faltering, is at a loss for words.

(……Miku-san, are you crying……?)
Since there’s no large screen here, I don’t think they saw it in the audience. 
But standing behind her at an angle, I saw the sparkling drop spill onto Miku-san’s cheek. 
It was a warm, endlessly clear teardrop.

“There are a lot of meetings and farewells in life, you can’t come to a stop though…… 
But goodbye isn’t the end, it’s the beginning.”

When I realized it, the grounds had fallen deadly silent to Miku-san’s words.
The new song’s name is announced to the lulled ocean.

“I’m going to be singing a new song now. 
Please listen, to ‘Beginning’s Goodbye’.”

I won’t forget this day.

I think that Len-kun, Miku-san and the people in the grounds, surely feel the same.
This day, when the continuation of ‘Like Hate’, the legendary song called ‘Beginning’s Goodbye’ was born.

I can see that Megurine-san is waiting in the car. 
Not only that, the ma.s.s media was crowding around the school. 
I understood that we barely had any time left.
(But, though…… I don’t want to be separated from Miku-san yet……)

“Geez Rin-chan, you’ve been crying all along. If you cry so much, the water in your body will disappear and you’ll dry up?”
“The same goes for Mi-Miku-san……”

Regretting the farewell, Miku-san and I are hugging each other. 
Len-kun’s sending us a jealous gaze, but we’re absolutely not letting him join in!

“……. Miku-san, I admire you. Even if you go to America, I’ll always, always support you! So, please come back to j.a.pan sometimes, okay?”
“Rin-chan……! Enough, enough! You’re saying such cute things……!”
Miku-san, who’s spirits were just as high as during the concert, hugged me tighter.
My tear glands getting more and more stimulated by it, my vision goes blurry.

Then, Megurine-san sounded the horn. 
There really is no more time left.

“Hey Rin-chan, what I said in the MC, do you remember?”
“……Yes.”

“There are a lot of meetings and farewells in life, you can’t come to a stop though…… 
But goodbye isn’t the end, it’s the beginning.”

I believe in those words.
It’s not just me.
Miku-san, and Len-kun as well, feel the same way, I’m certain of that now.

“We’ll meet again, right?”
“Of course! …… Take care of Len-kun, okay?”

She whispered that last part so only I would hear. 
Without hesitation, I firmly nodded.

Encore

No matter how much time pa.s.ses, I can’t get used to the takeoff. 
Uneasiness and expectations mixed with various other things, I think it’s because my heart is busy.

“How was it, your alma mater after such a long time?”
Sitting beside me, Luka said it while giving me a handkerchief. 
While accepting that, I realize that I’m crying.

“It might be impudent, saying something like after all this time……”
I hesitated a little before saying the next words.

It’s probably the same as these tears.

I didn’t realize it myself, but I……
It was a vague relations.h.i.+p, ‘I like you’ and ‘let’s go out’ were never once put into words. 
Len-kun telling me that it was his ‘first love’, the answer fell down with a thump.

“I, ended up getting my heart broken.”

(……Huh? I feel sort of, relieved…… maybe?)

With nothing to it, after saying it out loud.
If anything, it feels as if something that was sitting heavy in my chest all along had begun to dissolve.

Oh, I see. I’m alright.
Embracing my beloved memories, I can walk towards the precious future.

“…… By the way Luka, you haven’t given up on Len-kun yet?”
I can see the template of a certain business proposal in the file she has at hand.
It was merely internal materials or something of a rough draft, but I saw Kagami Len’s name messily written on it. 
(When Luka gets like this, no one can stop her, huh……)
The next time I come back to j.a.pan, we might become senpai and kouhai at the office. 
(That might be a bit nice, yeah right.)

“I’ll be back.”
Announcing my farewell to everyone and to my past self, I took off to a new stage.

“I wonder if that’s the plane Miku-san is on.”
In the AV room after school, Len-kun and I are standing side by side and gazing out the window.

The cultural festival ending, we third-years were all caught up in the entrance exam mood. 
Even during that, Len-kun worked diligently during club activities, same as always.
However, that’s––– a special time, only allowed now.

“Len-kun, I…… handed in the application.”
After the plane disappeared from view, I turned towards Len-kun.
For the sake of conveying my important decision.

“Next spring, let’s go to Tokyo together.”
“Rin!? That’s––……”
“I’m going to master the way of sweets. And, beside Len-kun, I want to keep listening to Len-kun’s songs the whole time.”

Len-kun’s widened eyes wavered, afterwards he suddenly cast them down.
As my heartbeat was painfully ringing, a smile floated to Len-kun’s lips. 
I understand that I, we, overcame it.

“I believed that if it’s Rin, she’ll come.”
“…… Thank you for believing in me.”
In the club room dyed with the sunset, our shadows overlapped.

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About Suki Kirai Vol 1 Chapter 13 novel

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