When I got to the nurse’s office, the was nobody there. There was a note on the white board saying that the nurse is in the faculty room, but I can’t go there right now.
I can’t bring the crying child to the staff room, and I can’t leave her here either. I have to wait for the nurse for who knows how long…
It seems that the school has a shower for children who are in sports clubs, but I son’t know where it is because I’m not in any clubs since I often take days off of school.
Even If I knew where the shower room was, the crying child would shake her head in shame from being seen by someone that she knows. Well, it looks like she’s in a fine arts type of club. She’d look normal reading a book in the library. So, she probably wouldn’t meet anyone she knows in that shower room. And, the pool shower room is locked at this time and can’t be used…
By the way, if there aren’t any possible places to shower in the school, there’s always my house. It’s a few minutes away on foot, and, if we walk quickly, it won’t be a problem.
“Do you want to go to my house? There’s clothes there.”
“Ehh…? Bu-but, if you leave school at this time, they’ll get angry…”
“It’s fine, it’s fine, I’m always leaving, so it’s okay.”
For other people, if a guardian doesn’t pick them up, they can’t leave, but, due to the nature of my job, I’m allowed to leave early if Shinosaki-san is unable to pick me up. The security guard-san knows my face, and I can pass.
Well, the school might get angry later, but it can’t be helped.
In fact, I could get out of the school without talking to security guard-san. But, that requires climbing a 5-meter wall, and I can’t possibly do that with the crying child with me.
When we arrived at my house, my mother wasn’t there. The small white board in the living room had, “Kazuki’s kindergarten’s visiting day.” I thought that they will come home together at 3 o’clock. I didn’t know that she’d leave early, but it’s good that way.
I showered the crying child, and my skirt and pantsu got wet. I wound a shawl, which I borrowed from the nurse’s office without permission, around her back, and I threw the dirty clothes into the washing machine, and then I started dressing her. Since there weren’t many clothes, it didn’t take much time to wash them, and I’ll only have to wait 40 minutes for them to dry. We’ll just barely be in time for 4th period.
I got a change of clothes, and I gave them to her with a bath towel. I wondered if I should give her spare pantsu, but I certainly wouldn’t like to wear the pantsu of others. Until her pantsu are washed, she’ll have to endure wearing pajama trousers with no pan(tsu).
“You’ll have to change here.”
When I, in the dressing room, talked to the person in the bathroom, that reply came back over the shower’s noise. After that, I started stretching using a balance ball in the living room.
The body’s flexibility is important, so I do it everyday. When Shinosaki-san sees me stretching on my free time, she gets angry for me not resting.
“Um, umm… My uniform……Ah!”
After her shower ended, she came out and saw my completely-curved pose on the balance ball. Because of that, my pantsu was completely visible. I was careless as I thought nobody would see me, but it’s okay since she’s a girl.
“I washed your uniform; I think it’ll dry in around an hour.”
“I see… Sorry…”
“Well, relax until it dries. What do you want to drink?”
I got up without any trouble. My pantsu are completely hidden now, good?
I took orange juice out of the refrigerator and poured it into a cup, and I brought the tray that was holding the cup.
This area’s supermarket only has high-grade, domestic, and expensive things, so this orange juice is expensive. It seems that even Sakuranagi Academy students don’t have a problem with their high-class products.
When we first moved, my mother grieved over the price and went to a distant supermarket, but she seems to have given up.
It was expected, but, in this area, a madam holding bags from a cheap supermarket and riding a bicycle stood out.
I put the juice on the table and sat on the sofa next to the once-crying child.
The once-crying child stopped crying, but she didn’t talk about anything.
“I am Hanamura Nanami from class 3 in 4th grade. You are?”
“Umm… Me too, class 3… Same class, I’m… Ogasawara Ayano.”
“Yes! We’re in the same class!”
“…Sorry, I have no presence… people(strangers) would always forget me…”
Bad, I totally didn’t know that we were in the same class. Well, I didn’t go to school that much. I only remember half of my classmates’ names, but I thought I remembered their faces. But, apparently, her presence was so thin that it didn’t enter my hippocampus. I tried to remember so I wouldn’t be shamed, but I was found out, wasn’t I? Sorry.
With that unpleasant silence, I drank the orange juice. It had a refreshing sour taste. Yep, expensive orange juice is delicious, much better than escaping reality by looking at the corner of the living room like Ayano-chan.
My family put posters of dramas and movies that I appeared on there. Yes, I forgot to clean up this place. Since we moved to this mansion, there weren’t any other visitors other than for work, so I was careless. Well, whatever. She heard what I said in the science prep room anyways.
“…Are you okay?”
“Um, umm… Hanamura-san really is “Hanasaki Nana-chan”…right…?”
“Yes, that’s right. For various reasons, I hid it.”
I took off the wig and my glasses. As I posed and did a wink, Ayano-chan’s expression quickly shone.
“It-it’s the real Nana-chan…”
She gazed at me with glittering eyes. I posed and winked, but I’d never do that for real. I do it a lot in acting, but it’s pretty embarrassing when I do it.
“This… Don’t tell anyone from school.”
“Umm, yes, since you said so, I’ll keep the secret… Why are you hiding this?”
“Well… Various reasons.”
Because of the harassment at my old school, the story of me transferring wasn’t mentioned in the news nor did it enter the wide show.
Well, me transferring wasn’t newsworthy, and the wide show probably didn’t want to report on the trouble that they caused. Therefore, it wasn’t commonly known; only the concerned parties knew that I transferred.
So, I explained of what happened in my previous school.
“──And so, you should talk about this to your parents and your teachers.”
Ayano-chan was crying again when I finished talking. It’s an event that I don’t want to recall, but I still told my story. To fix this problem, the solution-giver has to have had the same experience.
“Besides, if that doesn’t work, you can always transfer like me.”
If things get hard, running away is okay; you’ll die if you endure too much. Like me in my previous life.
Well, if you are being chased, you’ll have a narrow field of vision; you won’t be able to think of escaping for some reason.
I told her everything that I wanted to tell her, and, when Ayano-chan stopped crying, she said in a small voice, “…Telling my parents or my teacher, I don’t want to. …I can’t tell them. Transferring is also difficult… It was hard to enter Sakuranagi…”
She looked downwards in silence.
Well, that’s the answer that I expected. Unlike public schools, Sakuranagi is greatly influenced by the children’s family’s financial or political power. It’s possible to affect her parents; it’s understandable that she doesn’t want to hurt her family.
However, it’s dangerous to think that she could endure.
It’d be great if I could protect her, but I’m at the school’s lowest caste. My parents work at ordinary companies, and, even though I make a lot of money myself, it’s incomparable to the families who donate to Sakuranagi. The number of zeros are different, and I have no political power to speak of.
“Then, would you want to become friends?”
“Eh? … With Nana-cha… With Hanamura-san?”
“Talk to me if you have any troubles. I may not be able to do something about it though… not okay?”
I held her hand and asked her with eye contact. Doing this, my father’s batting average is 100% and Shinosaki-san hits 80% of the time.
“I-I, if it’s okay with you, I want to become Hanamura-san’s…friend.”
“Good. Then, call me Nanami, Ayano-chan.”
Nana is my stage name, I’m called Nanami in private.
After saying that, Ayano-chan smiled like a dandelion. It’s not a big flower like the sunflower, it’s different from the vibrant rose and sweet lily, but it’s simple and warm.
Yep, it’s the best when this child is smiling. I don’t want to see her crying face. I want to be together even if I can’t protect her. Even just with talking when things get difficult, it makes life easier when you think you aren’t alone. If it becomes unbearable, I’ll just talk directly to Ayano-chan’s parents.
“And so… I want you to tell me what happened.”
With a feeble voice, she told of what happened today, how she came to be bullied, and the names of the bullies. After she finished talking, she started crying again, so I hugged her and stroked her hair.
The main bully is in our class and her name is Ichinomiya Anju. She’s the main daughter of the family that manages the largest internet family. Although in 4th grade, she bleached her hair and hat it permed, and I remember that she gave a beautiful impression.
Even if she’s the main bully, it seems that she’s like the beautiful villain that I acted as; she just looks from behind. And, apparently, it used to be just pestering a year ago, but now it evolved into “bullying.”
I asked how the bullying started, she answered, “Originally, because I had no presence, I was teased, but… Ichinomiya-san and the rest saw me talking to Kuroya-kun, then…”
“Kuroya-kun? Why were you talking to him?”
“Um, I was told that, ‘I mistook you as Nana,’ and then ‘Is Hanamura here today?’ at first… Then, from time to time, we spoke.”
“Oooooiiiiiiiiiii! The main cause is him!!”
And, indirectly also me…
It was my fault that Hiroto talked her and she was seen with him, I was the first step in the bullying of Ayano-chan… Ayano-chan, that was a perfect shot.
Well, it’s not Hiroto who was in the wrong, but it was the scary jealousy of a woman. She got jealous from him speaking to someone else…
He shouldn’t have become an idol.
“Sorry for my loud voice. Besides, the cause of the bullying was my fault…”
Ayano-chan was surprised when I shouted.
“I’ll tell Kuroya-kun not to approach you again.”
“Umm, can I ask for a favor then… How are you going to do it?”
“With 2 arms, you can break 3 plants, you learn with practice, I guess.”
“D-don’t do that! I’m fine, so…”
“Fufu, it’s a joke. Of course I wouldn’t do that.”
Ayano-chan hit her chest in relief.
Yes, there are various problems with breaking things like that, you pull things out instead. If you pull it out neatly, you won’t get problems. Probably.
After all we said, the dryer rang. There were some wrinkles, but since I had some time, I ironed the clothing. With a nori and a pari, the clothing became neat.
“Yes, this. I don’t think that there’s any problems, you?”
“Ayano-chan, don’t say ‘sorry’ in a time like this, say ‘thank you.'”
People who are told “thank you” are much more grateful than those who are told “sorry.” It’s important to communicate gratitude properly.
“Ummm… Thank you…”
“You’re welcome. Then, shall we go back to school?”
Ayano-chan changed in the dressing room, and we quickly returned to school. It dried a bit earlier than I thought, so if we hurry, we’ll be in time for 4th period.
The problem is how to deal with the security guard-san… Back then, I acted as a ninja and, in that role, I got through security by going in while the guards were distracted.
I need a firecracker for that, but I haven’t seen one recently. I used to get it from the neighborhood candy store.
“…Ayano-chan, can you jump over the school’s wall?”
“Ehh!? …Sorry, that’s impossible.”
“Isn’t it? Sorry for making you listen to strange things.”
I can do it alone, but it’s hard when carrying someone. There’s a barbed wire on top of the wall, so it’s dangerous to use a rope…
Okay, I’ll have to take the trouble of breaking in through the front.
It’ll be okay if I greet him normally.
I said, “Thanks for all you’ve done,” and, “Oh my, I’m late,” with a smile and the guard-san let me through.
I passed through with time to spare.
Well, since I passed through, it’s good that I didn’t do anything weird. If you throw firecrackers into a school, it becomes a big issue, and police cars will come out. It’s good that they didn’t sell firecrackers.
When we returned to the classroom, I lied to the teacher that we were in poor health, and we went to the nurse’s office. The nurse wasn’t there, so the secret will be kept.
Sayuri-chan was worried, so I apologized and told her the story during lunch.
And, during lunch, I usually just eat with Sayuri-chan, but I invited Ayano-chan.
“If you’re Nanami-chan’s friend, then please be mine too,” said Sayuri-chan with a smile.
Ayano-chan became Sayuri-chan’s friend, so, when I’m not at school, she can talk to Sayuri-chan.
Sayuri-chan’s seriously an angel.
When we were talking, I felt a huge gaze from Ichinomiya-san’s group behind us. I can’t hear them because they were speaking softly, super scary.
In the “You and I in Moderato” drama, I wish that I could use that child. She’s more beautiful than me.
I thought it was really stupid, but, even just a little, I wanted to be Ayano-chan’s power.
Then, for some reason, the bullying stopped for that week. Ichinomiya-san’s group seemed to avoid meeting Ayano-chan.
 小笠原綾乃(Ogasawara Ayano); (小 meaning small) (笠 meaning conical hat) (原 meaning field) (綾 meaning design) (乃, a kanji for the particle の)
<– this hairstyle (I actually found this by googling ojou-sama) [Sera: Oh, huh, Koihime Musou]
 If you didn’t remember his last name (like me), Kuroya is Nanami-chan’s puppy.
 『僕と君でmoderato』のドラマで、あの子を使えば良かったんじゃないかな。私以上に美麗役をこなしそうだ。It’s confusing to me too.
Side note: the author really likes pantsu…
Side note: On the topic of bullying, here’s something that I heard somewhere, “Back in the old days, we had to deal with bullying. Now, with the advent of the internet and all, the new generation had to deal with something called cyberbullying. It seems that bullies take kid’s lunch money using PayPal.”