Chapter 3: Side Profiles and Irises (3)
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.
It was a strange feeling to be the guest of honor at a gathering for a change, and it was something that Shin would probably never get used to. It was both a welcome and goodbye party—for Shin who was new to the group and for staff who were leaving the show—a small get-together for the primary crew and staff (still, over 50 people were invited), but Shin couldn’t help worrying about people’s empty glasses that needed to be filled, whether the dishes came out on time, or how many taxis to call for people afterwards. It was a habit of his to look around at all the tables, and it came as no surprise that the liveliest one there was Tatsuki. His voice was already naturally loud, and it carried through the room as he chattered non-stop. It had only been a week since Shin had been at The News, but somehow the rest of the staff had picked up on the nickname “Nacchan” and started calling him that too. He wondered if this was what it meant to be a natural communicator. Tatsuki attracted people to him with his inherent brightness. He wasn’t particularly conscious about it nor was he boastful about it either, and that just made it all the more irritating…But it wasn’t like Shin hated him or anything. Shin just couldn’t handle him… He made Shin think of how easy life would be if he had that kind of personality too, how inferior he felt compared to Tatsuki, and how he hated that it made him feel this way.
Shin wasn’t a quick or decisive person by nature. He tended to shy away from expressing his thoughts and opinions. But he couldn’t do his job properly with poor communication skills, and so he had to suck it up and try his best anyway. He had to put in so much effort to compensate for this disposition of his that he couldn’t help but think of how unfair it was whenever he saw Tatsuki.
Tatsuki nearly caught Shin’s absentminded gaze on him.
Crap, was I starin’ at ’im too much?
Shin immediately turned his head away and noticed that Shitara had made his way next to him.
Shin greeted, “Oh, hello. How are you doing tonight?”
“Are you drinking?”
“Sorry, I can’t really drink alcohol.”
The truth was Shin didn’t know when he would be called into work again, so he was abstaining for now. It seemed less of a hassle to say that he couldn’t drink.
“Oh? How about we get some Oolong tea for you?”
Shitara stood up to get a waiter’s attention, but Shin hurried to stop him.
“No, it’s fine. It’s really fine. I can get it myself. What about you, Shitara-san? Would you like somethin’ to drink?”
“I’m good. I drank quite a bit already.”
Shin felt more uncomfortable when the producer was so open and friendly. He still didn’t quite understand Shitara yet. There were people who were extremely competent and people who left all the work to their subordinates, but Shitara gave the feeling that he was a little bit of both.
“So you worked on OrientTV’s Enjoy Hour before?” Shitara asked.
“Hmm, the segments of people walking upstream by a river or following people around town until they reach their destination… Was that your work, Nawada-kun?”
“Oh, yes, it was. But they just got rid of that segment.”
“I watched the show because I really liked it.”
“Thank you very much.”
“It’s very similar.”
Shitara smiled as he pressed a tall glass with leftover ice against his forehead. “It’s very similar to the videos that Sakae makes. Like the feeling of the on-screen text and the timing of the cuts between shots… I’ll think, ‘Hey, wait a second,’ and then half a breath later it will slide perfectly into something. At first, it made me pause to wonder about it, but once I got used to it, there’s an addictive quality about it.”
“Really? Do ya really think so?” Shin was so excited that he was almost out of his seat.
“Yeah. Did Sakae teach you that?”
“No, I just love the way that he puts videos together… I’m always behind him when he’s editing, watching him work, and I guess I picked it up from that, I think.”
It was an industry rooted in the creative arts, and it wasn’t only Sakae, but no one would take time out of their day to sit down and write a manual to teach people how to do their jobs. A lot of the work relied on an individual’s intuition and artistic sense—they could only watch, listen, and learn on the job. If they couldn’t do it, then they weren’t cut out for it.
“That’s amazing. Honestly speaking, when GoGo became a hit, there were a ton of poor copycats who tried to imitate his style, but your videos really seem to understand Sakae’s intentions and capture that essence of his.”
“T-Thank you very much.”
It had been five years since Shin first started working a proper job, but this was probably the first time he had ever been praised so highly in his career.
“But I seriously have so much to learn still… I can’t even begin to compare to Souma-san. He still surprises me all the time at how amazin’ he is.”
“Do you know Souma-san pretty well?”
From the way that Shitara spoke, it seemed like he knew him more than just his work.
“He was briefly assigned to the news department a long time ago, and that was when we worked together. I never imagined that he could make such a hit after moving to the entertainment side… He’s such a big-shot producer now, I can barely call out to him.”
“But The News is an incredible show too.”
Shitara smiled wryly, not confirming nor denying Shin’s comment. That was when Tatsuki’s voice suddenly interjected.
“Ooh~ What are you two talking about so happily by yourselves here~?”
Shitara replied, “I doubt we can measure up to your high spirits.”
“No way~ Nacchan totally lit up just now~”
Tatsuki pulled a chair from the table behind them and squeezed himself into the conversation.
“Whatcha observin’ us for…?” Shin commented dryly.
Which made Tatsuki immediately retort, “Oi, oi, oi, oi! You were the one watching me, Nacchan~!”
“I wasn’t watchin’ ya!”
Crap, he sounded like he was protesting only because Tatsuki was right on the mark.
“Hey, you can look all you want~ Are you originally from Osaka, Nacchan?”
“Well I dun sound like I’m from Tokyo.”
“Dunno, maybe you picked it up from working around comedians so much?”
“Only cringy people do that.”
Tatsuki burst out laughing at Shin’s frown.
“Osakans get so offended when people suspect their Kansai accent is fake, so I was just checking to see if it was true. Show me around Osaka some time, okay?”
“No way, ya dumb nut.”
Shin realized after he had finished speaking that he had called a presenter “a dumb nut” in front of the producer, but Shitara just stood up, completely unfazed, and remarked, “I’m glad you two get along so well~”
The party had started at 6 pm on a Saturday, and it was almost midnight when people left the place for the afterparty. Everyone was free to leave afterwards, so when the afterparty dispersed, Shin went back to the network. Starting Monday, he would begin his formal training to pick up the floor manager responsibilities, and he thought that he should study up and go through the archives of the show. He wouldn’t be on the clock, of course, but he had developed the habit of doing things at the office that might otherwise cause him to fall asleep at home.
When Shin arrived at the staff room for The News, for some reason Tatsuki was there at a desk, even though he had left earlier and skipped the afterparty.
“Huh? Nacchan, what are you doing here?”
“…That’s what I wanna ask.”
“I have homework I still need to do.”
Tatsuki lifted a heavy-looking binder.
“Hmm, how should I put it— Oi, listen to me. What are you putting the TV on for?”
“I’m watchin’ the archives.”
Shin loaded up the past broadcasts from the hard drive that stored the show’s archives.
“Can’t you watch it at home?”
“I’ll fall asleep.”
“Oh, me too!”
Tatsuki grabbed his binder and crashed on the sofa next to Shin.
“Why ya hafta sit here…?”
“I keep telling myself I’m going to work on it at home, but I never get around to doing it. Anyway, I had let it sit around for so long, I decided to come here to work on it.”
“What is it?”
“Oh, so now you’re curious~?”
Shin only asked because he had a feeling that this conversation would never end otherwise.
“They’re notes of all the baseball game results. Things like the score, the lead-off team, the winning pitcher… I’m supposed to take notes of all the games every day, but I never get around it.”
Tatsuki flipped through the pages of the binder filled with densely packed written notes.
“Hmm, it’s like you’re a sports announcer.”
“I know, right? …Hey, I am a sports announcer!”
“Oh, uh-huh.” Shin gave a perfunctory nod as he watched the archives. As he gave the perfunctory nod, he thought, He’s workin’ hard.
Tatsuki only read the sports news on TV for a few minutes every day. Shin probably had very little idea of how much work and effort Tatsuki actually put in behind the scenes for those few minutes. Shin had mixed feelings—he kind of wanted to know more, but he kind of didn’t want to get too involved either.
Shin watched the past broadcasts, sometimes pausing the video to take notes. Tatsuki didn’t return to the desk; he sat next to Shin checking the sports news on his cell phone in order to fill out his notes. Tatsuki was loud and distracting when he talked, but it was also unsettling when he sat nearby not saying anything. The on-screen Tatsuki spoke very well. Shin had to admit once again that Tatsuki was good at his job. Tatsuki had a distinct personality that stood out from the host of the show, Asou Keiichi, and the news anchor, Kunieda Kei.
He’s good, but watchin’ ’im in person is much better…
The in-person Tatsuki raised his voice.
“Oh, I was just thinking that I didn’t explain it very well on camera there,” Tatsuki answered without lifting his head from his notes.
“You think so?”
“Yeah. And Asou-san corrected me afterwards about saying ‘dark clouds hanged.’ It’s supposed to be ‘dark clouds hung.’”
From the profile of his face, Tatsuki looked like a different person with his eyes cast down and his teeth not showing. There was a surprisingly rough masculinity to him when he hid away that bright and friendly personality. Shin completely forgot about the playback of the broadcasts.
However, Tatsuki noticed his gaze immediately and turned look back at him, and so Shin had no choice but to look away. Why was he so sensitive to Shin’s gaze? Shin could relax so much more if Tatsuki could sit there and ignore him like Sakae.
Shin asked Tatsuki a question in order to cover up the awkwardness. “Whatsit like to watch yourself on TV?”
“Huh? Nothing special really. Don’t you feel the same way when you see your clips on TV?”
“I always feel somethin’,” Shin answered. “Not that I’ve made anythin’ to call my own really, but if the cut I filmed or the clips I edited get used, it makes me real happy. It still feels like a dream that my name appears on the endin’ credits.”
“…Are you talking about GoGo?”
Tatsuki fell silent again and went back to his notes. He worked quietly until Shin powered off the TV.
“Oh, are you done?”
“Dun worry about me. You can keep workin’.”
“Aww, that’s cold, man! I’m starving. Want to get some ramen?”
“Ya ain’t done yet, are ya?”
“It’s time for a break~ I’ll come back to finish it later.”
“I betcha ya won’t.”
“That’s my feeling too.”
In the end, Shin went with Tatsuki to a nearby ramen shop. He was glad that they sat at the counter instead of at a table facing each other.
“Nacchan, you must seriously love GoGo, huh?”
“Well, it’s tough if ya dun like whatcha doin’.”
“It’s not like you love The News.”
“I only just started though.”
“Well, I like GoGo a lot too. It’s hilarious~ I even bought a few of the DVDs. The one where they stage a real life Momotarou Dentetsu1 on a train and the one where they give people eggs to incubate but they don’t know which ones will hatch.”
“I know those episodes.”
“It’s strange, but it’ll make me feel like crying at the end.”
“Yeah, same. I’ve musta watch mine 20, 30 times, enough to scratch up the discs, but I dun get tired of watchin’ ’em. At the end, it gets all serious and quiet, and I dunno, it’s like the more ya chew on it, the more it hits ya? But then I rewatch from the beginnin’ an’ I’m laughin’ all over again. It’s like a neverendin’ cycle. Like it ain’t complete if ya only watch it once.”
“Thanks for waiting! One shoyu tonkotsu and one mazesoba.”2
They fell silent for a while as they ate their ramen.
“Is your mazesoba good?”
“May I please try some?”
“Why not!? Come on, I’ll let you have some of mine in exchange.”
“I dun like it when other people’s chopsticks touches the food. Order your own.”
“I’ll get fat!”
“You’re already eatin’ ramen this late at night…”
“A late-night ramen is a reward for myself.”
Tatsuki seemed to have given up on sharing and quietly returned to his own bowl, but then he spoke up again.
“Nacchan, what kind of director do you want to be in the future?”
That was a big jump in topics from trying some ramen.
“What kind of director? I ain’t really thought about it.”
“Huh? Why not?”
Tatsuki’s response made it sound like it was only natural to think about that question, and it made Shin a little annoyed.
“‘Cause I ain’t at the level yet. I ain’t good enough to have people listen to my ideas, let alone be trusted with a project. …I entered this industry in the first place ’cause I dreamed about workin’ on GoGo. Anyway, I just wanna be of use any way I can.”
“But it’s not it’ll stay on TV until you die.”
“Ya pickin’ a fight with me?”
“Why do you say that?”
Someday it would end. No matter how popular the show was or how much people loved it. Shin understood this point very well, and that was why he didn’t want to hear other people saying it. Because it scared him. If Shin didn’t have GoGo anymore, what would be left of him? If both GoGo and Sakae were taken away from him?
“Ya can say the same about The News—it can all end one day. What kind of announcer do ya wanna be?”
“Hmmm~” Tatsuki drank the broth directly from the bowl. “I’m winging it for now. I don’t really have any ambitions. I became an announcer on a whim, and I don’t really care if I can stay on TV or not… Oh, but I am having a ton of fun at my job. I guess I want to give a serious try at doing play-by-plays. Or at least, I’d like to be able to do it.”
“Oh,” Shin nodded. “Play-by-plays are pretty cool. It suits ya.”
Shin didn’t have any recollection of ever paying attention to sports broadcasts. But when he thought about the cheering of baseball fans in the stadium, the announcements over the speakers, and the sound of the baseball making contact with the bat—he knew that Tatsuki’s voice ringing out in real time to the game would sound far more brilliant than it did in the studio.
“I know, right?”
However, when Tatsuki directed a fully unpretentious smile at him, Shin felt his throat tighten up inside. It made him think, This good-for-nothin’ menace. Tatsuki was free and honest with his feelings, which was a good thing, but when Shin thought about how it bothered him, it bothered him even more that he couldn’t be free and honest with his own feelings. It wasn’t very good for his mental health.
“Huh, why are you mad?”
“I ain’t mad. But do ya never lie and say ‘You think so?’ or ‘You’re just saying that’ in response?”
“What’s the point?” Tatsuki said, firm and resolute. But then he insisted, “But I know how to be humble.”
So which one are ya?
“Sure, if I get flattery or whatnot, I’ll say something like ‘Aww, I still have a lot to learn~’ But Nacchan, you weren’t lying when you said that just now. You really believe that announcing play-by-plays suits me, right? So I don’t want to respond with a stupid lie.”
Tatsuki turned towards Shin with a serious look, and Shin had to look away again. Shin couldn’t deal with people directing their gazes at him. He was too scared to read what other people were thinking, and he was too scared to have other people read him. Tatsuki must have noticed that very blatant reaction from him, but he didn’t bring it up, and he changed the subject.
“There was an announcer at another network. He was calling a horse race, but he made a mistake announcing the horses as they crossed the finish line. He didn’t get any work again on the main broadcast networks for 10 years.”
“Well, lots of people listen to the play-by-play and throw their tickets in a fit when they lose, right? There’s no taking it back if something like that happens.”
It gave Shin the chills even though it had nothing to do with him.
“Just listenin’ to that story scares me.”
“I don’t think it’s scary. Well, it’s not good to make mistakes, but it makes for a pretty epic story you can use to make people laugh, you know?”
“Ya a comedian?”
“Oh, hey, which comedian on GoGo is the biggest pain to work with? Tell me~”
“I ain’t tellin’ ya that.”
“Tell me who is the most approachable then.”
“Uh… Do ya know the comedy duo Prisoners Headman?”
“I do, I do~ I love their ATM routine.”
“Oh, but the one shown on TV is their shortened version, ya know? Ya gotta see them perform live. The full version ’s about 15 minutes, an’ it’s hilarious.”
“What!? I totally want to see that!”
“Yeah, so ya know how their characters are all violent? Well, backstage and on set they’re super polite. They’re always orderin’ food for the staff when we have them in for filmin’, an’ they even send personal birthday messages to all the ADs over LINE.”
“I can’t imagine that at all!”
They finished their ramen, and they could get up at any time to pay their checks, but Shin suddenly became reluctant to go so soon. He wanted to stay here and continue chatting with Tatsuki. Although Shin felt that they were a little incompatible together, he enjoyed the lively conversation that they had. Tatsuki chatted animatedly, his excitement and emotions clear from his body language, and the conversation flowed naturally. Even in the staff room, people would complain at Tatsuki, “You’re really loud, can’t you shut up?” but everyone still gathered around him wherever he went. Everything came out of Tatsuki’s mouth so easily. Maybe it was because Tatsuki never let on that he was ever unhappy or displeased. And he would treat everyone equally, no matter if he was talking to a producer or a part-timer at the bottom of the totem pole.
Tatsuki was the complete opposite of Sakae. When the thought crossed Shin’s mind, he was suddenly overcome with a fierce wave of guilt.
No, no, why am I comparin’ ’em? They dun even do the same things. There ain’t a need for it. Souma-san’s completely different from Minagawa. Obviously. Nobody’s remotely even like Souma-san. Nobody can ever come close.
“—…Nacchan? Are you listening?”
“…Huh? Oh, sorry.”
At the bottom of the ramen bowl, Shin’s face was reflected among the chopped green onions and patterns of oil on the surface of the broth.
“Are you getting sleepy?”
“Then you want to hit another place?”
“…What about your homework?”
“I can do it after I drink, sleep, and wake up.”
“Sounds like ya ain’t ever gonna get back to it.”
Shin was exasperated at him, but at the same time, Tatsuki probably felt like he hadn’t had enough either. It wasn’t a bad feeling.
“There’s a bar around here that’s open until 7 am.”
Shin was about to say, Fine, I’ll go, but then his cell phone resting on the counter started ringing. It was an alarm that he had previously set. He had completely forgotten that he had something important to do.
“Oh, sorry, I needta make a call.”
There were no other customers at the ramen shop, and so Shin decided to be lazy and make the call there. After five rings, he was redirected to voicemail. He tried three more times but got the same result.
Oh, this ain’t good.
Shin jumped out of his stool and grabbed the check.
“Sorry, I hafta go.”
“Huh? You have to work?”
“I gotta go wake Souma-san.”
“He ain’t answerin’ his phone, so he’s prolly sound asleep. I gotta go wake ’im.”
Shin had explained everything that there was to it, but Tatsuki only became more and more perplexed. His face clearly said, What the heck is he saying?
“Uh, he’s a full-grown adult, right? He can wake himself up, even if he has to set 10 or 20 alarm clocks.”
“But there are times when ya just can’t wake up. Anyway, Souma-san is incredibly busy, an’ his place ain’t that far away…”
For some reason, while Shin was making his excuses, he regretted that he had said things so truthfully without thinking things through. The staff at GoGo wouldn’t bat an eye at any of this, and it had numbed his senses against his better judgement. Plus, Tatsuki made it so easy to talk openly with him. All Tatsuki had to say was Really? Too bad, and that would be it. This reaction was not what Shin wanted at all.
“I’m doin’ it ’cause I wanna.” Shin had no idea what he wanted Tatsuki to understand, but he kept on talking anyway. “I wanna be useful to Souma-san in any way I can. Even if it dun mean much.”
Tatsuki tilted his head to the side and asked in a light tone of voice, “Does it really help you to become a better director if you do that?”
“It ain’t really help for me… It’s part of an AD’s duties to run errands an’ do odd jobs.”
“I don’t dispute that, and maybe giving wakeup calls is borderline okay, but if I were to say to someone, ‘If I don’t wake up, come to my house to wake me~,’ it’d be completely out of bounds. It’s different from waking someone in a vehicle or going out to buy water for people. At least, our producer would never let anyone use our ADs that way.”
“That ain’t got nothin’ to do with me.”
Shin raised his voice angrily. He couldn’t forgive Tatsuki for criticizing him— No, for criticizing Sakae for making Shin rush off to take care of his needs. Tatsuki had no idea how much of a workload Sakae had on his shoulders.
Dun ya dare say anythin’ bad about him. Dun anybody dare try to deny him.
“I’m doin’ these errands ’cause I wanna. How’s it even affect ya?”
Shin was upset, but Tatsuki just shrugged his shoulders slightly.
“Just that I hate that kind of thing.”
“That’s none ya business.”
Shin left a 1,000 yen note on the counter with the check and got up to leave the shop.
“Hey, your change.”
“Dun need it.”
If Shin were to look back, he would probably see Tatsuki’s face through the window. That was why he blatantly turned away and left. Discomfort, irritation, and regret lodged in the pit of his stomach, and they weighed him down.
“What the hell was that?” Shin muttered quietly to himself. Why couldn’t Tatsuki have just said, Okay, see you later, and left him alone like the time when they first met? If Tatsuki hadn’t said anything unnecessary—if Shin hadn’t said anything unnecessary—they could have left on a happy note. Shin grabbed a taxi, but his bitterness stayed with him during the ride to Sakae’s apartment complex. It was Shin’s fault for letting his guard down. There was no way that outsiders would ever understand.
Shin entered the apartment number into the intercom and pressed the call button repeatedly until he heard Sakae answer and grunt, “What?” over the speaker. Shin felt relieved to hear his voice.
“Good evening. The offline edits have finished up at this time, and they’re waiting for your checks at the network.”
“Oh, right… Shin, clean my place for me while I’m out. I’ll leave the door unlocked for you.”
Shin could hear a voice at the back of his head question, Clean his place? It wasn’t a real voice, of course, but it sounded like something Tatsuki would say if he was here. Oh, shuddup, shuddup, Shin yelled inwardly at the imaginary voice inside his head. I dun care, I’m fine with it. Rather, he would be at a complete loss if he was told that doing nothing would help Sakae more.
Shin arrived outside of Sakae’s apartment and pressed the intercom button before opening the door and announcing, “Sorry to intrude.” There were women’s sandals mixed up with the scattered footwear in the entryway.
Sakae showed up as he pulled a T-shirt over his head. He dropped a key into Shin’s hand as he passed him.
“Will you be at the network all day today?” Shin asked.
…Which meant that he might not be there, so Shin should call him on his cell phone to find him and return the key. Sakae didn’t even spare Shin a glance; the bleary eyes that had just woken up were fixed ahead of him as the profile of his face passed by. And that was why Shin felt so relieved.
“Um, I notice that there’s someone else here.”
There were sounds of the shower coming from the bathroom.
“You can ignore her. If you want fuck her, there are condoms by the bed somewhere.”
It wasn’t the first time Shin had intruded when Sakae had a woman at his place. It also wasn’t the first time Shin had heard this remark that could be serious or a joke (and Sakae would probably answer, Whichever, if he asked). Every time it happened, words would get stuck in his chest, but Shin never knew what they were. Please don’t say that? I don’t like hearing that? …Or do you want me to use the condoms?
Dun be dumb, Shin lightly admonished himself, but it was lost to the sound of Sakae opening and closing the apartment door. Shin gave a soft sigh and headed to the kitchen. There were empty alcohol bottles and cans filling the sink, so he rinsed them out, crushed the cans, and separated them into bags. Although Sakae had asked Shin to clean the apartment, there really wasn’t all that much to do. If there were magazines or newspapers scattered on the floor, or anything that looked like material for the show, Shin typically left them alone. He would wipe down the dust and the floors a few times, as well as the kitchen and bath. He would be finished in an hour. It wasn’t much work at all—But who was he even making excuses to? Shin tied up the trash bags tightly. He didn’t want to admit that he was shaken from hearing the word “hate” so directly.
A woman exited the bathroom clad in steam, and Shin had seen her around before.
“You’re the little AD-kun. How are you?”
“He’s gone to work.”
“Oh, so that’s why his cell phone kept ringing.”
“I’m very sorry.”
I ain’t got any reasons to apologize though, Shin thought, but he did it anyway since it would be easier to deal with her if he did. It was something he repeated maybe a hundred times a day when he first started in this industry—that maybe the words had lost their effect. He hadn’t known what he was doing. He had no confidence in himself, no skills, no knack for the job, and he was always afraid that one day Sakae might tell him, You don’t need to come here anymore. This was so much easier compared to that.
“Up until 30 minutes before the phone started ringing, he had plenty of energy when we were fucking, but then he crashed right after we finished. His biological clock has to be completely messed up. He doesn’t eat, and he just drinks all the time. He’s going to die an early death, I’m sure.”
Why was everyone saying such horrible things? Shin threw himself into polishing the kitchen.
“Shouldn’t you say something about it to him?”
Shin thought, Ya should say somethin’ to ’im yourself. Someone who came to use the condoms and the shower at this place should be the one to say those things.
“…It’s not my job.”
The woman was only wearing a bathrobe, and she circled to the other side of the counter and leaned her body towards Shin. But Shin kept his eyes down and didn’t meet her gaze. All he saw was her cleavage entering his field of vision. They looked pale and soft, and Shin wondered if they felt nice to the touch. But these breasts couldn’t plan a shooting schedule, and they couldn’t operate the cameras, manage the equipment, or edit the footage. The petty, little pride that he had for himself only made him feel more miserable.
“Is polishing the kitchen part of your job then?”
“AD-kun, call a taxi for me.”
“That’s not part of my job either.”
Of course, if the woman had gone through Sakae, who then relayed the order to Shin, he would do as he asked, but Sakae was too lazy and selfish to ever use Shin to satisfy a woman’s request.
“…You make no sense.”
It relieved Shin to hear that people didn’t understand him. They didn’t have to understand him. He didn’t want them to understand him. If anyone ever understood Shin’s thinking, that would mean that he had surrendered a part of his heart to someone, and that frightened him. That was why he could feel relaxed around Sakae. Sakae never took any notice of him and never tried to get to know him.
The woman got dressed and left the apartment. The midsummer sun was high in the sky by the time Shin finished his cleaning and left the apartment complex, and it dried out his sleep-deprived eyes. He suddenly wondered if Tatsuki had finished his homework like he said he would.
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.
- Momotarou Dentetsu is a video game series with objectives similar to the game of Monopoly, but with trains and transportation.
- Shoyu tonkotsu is soy sauce and pork bone broth. Mazesoba is a brothless ramen where you mix up the toppings.