Chapter 8: Block It Out (8)
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.
Evening File, the show that succeeded Day’s Edge, premiered on the network and apparently Shitara was in the studio for the first show before he left for Kumamoto. “Apparently” because Sakae had missed work for a week. In addition to his ear condition, he had developed a fever, and this state of his health finally prevented him from going to work. He went to the ENT specialist with his referral, and with the prescribed sleeping medication, it knocked him out so that he could sleep, and with the prescribed steroids, his right ear was able to slowly recover its hearing. Sakae went over to the entertainment production department without once seeing Shitara again, and just as Shitara had predicted, he was assigned to the late-night show Go Go Dash.
It was his first time working on a variety show, and it surprised him how well it suited him. Everything was a fabrication from the beginning, and because the creators and the viewers understood this, he could challenge himself and wring out his brain for all his thoughts and ideas to make the most ridiculous, absurd, hilarious situations for people to laugh at. Plus, he didn’t feel any hollowness working on a variety show like he did for the news where everything was flushed into a gutter after it aired. If it was funny, then people would always remember and talk about it. Viewers would tape the shows to watch it again and laugh. Even the team was able to produce their own DVDs for the show. Sakae immediately became immersed in his work at the entertainment production department. Every now and then there were TV personalities and directors who he thought were awful human beings, but even that was fine with him. The awfulness of their behavior could not be cleaned up with words like idiosyncrasy or genius. They would probably never be tolerated in any other industry besides this one. They were the dregs of humanity.
He always had to keep an eye out for the next comedian and the comedian after that when it came to the lineup of performers for the show. Formulating that strategy, tweaking jokes that initially fell flat to deliver something unrecognizably funny, spinning unknown interests and skills to make them appealing for an audience—Sakae found the work to be all worthwhile to him. They could do even more with the show when its popularity rose and the budget expanded with the improved ratings and DVD sales. That pragmatic way of running a show also resonated with him. Ratings were also an essential part of running a news program, but they could protect themselves under the shiny veneer of newsworthiness or their mission as a broadcaster.
As more and more ideas came to him that he wanted to do, Sakae was granted more discretion to do his work without needing to seek approval for everything. The momentum of the show soared; it even expanded to TV specials on prime time. It was a smashing success.
Sakae ran. He thought that he could run anywhere. Freely, all by himself. But before he realized it, the people behind him had started leaving in droves like a comb that had lost its teeth. I can’t run that fast. I can’t run that long. I can’t keep up, they had said. But there was no way that he would drop his pace, turn back, or stop for them. Rather, he took matters into his own hands and cut them loose himself. It was very clear to him which people were useful and which ones were useless. He could fill in whatever holes there were himself. Because this work of filling in holes allowed him to plug himself up again. Sakae needed a coordinator who could manage the pace for him, but he could never find anyone who could do the job. He had a found one underling who would keep running after him no matter how unreasonable he was when he yelled at him. But when Sakae finally realized it, he saw that his underling was only looking at his shadow or his footprints—that he never thought to catch up or surpass him.
And something had gone wrong again. The place where Sakae belonged had warped out of shape, and this time he couldn’t say when it had started or whose fault it was. He didn’t even know what had gone wrong. When he finally noticed a clear sign of deterioration, the sandcastle was lopsided far beyond repair. He made temporary fixes as a stop gap every time the waves threatened to wash it away, but the foundation was crumbling, and there was nothing that he could do about it.
And then Sakae broke again.
About 10 days into his hospitalization, Shitara came to visit him again. Sakae naturally said “Get out,” but Shitara didn’t let it bother him as he pulled out a stool, said “Yeah, yeah,” and sat down.
“Your complexion looks a little bit better.”
“I brought a gift with me. Want to eat it? They’re eclairs from Marquise. Are you under any dietary restrictions from the doctor?”
“If you don’t want them, I’ll give them to the younger staff on the show.”
“So get out, and you can go do that.”
“Listen, you.” Shitara gave a slight frown. “Knock it off. We can’t even hold a conversation.”
“Well, I don’t want to.”
“I don’t remember doing anything that would cause you to treat me so coldly— Ohh, was it that?”
“Huh?” Even though it was a private room, it was still the hospital in the middle of the day, but Sakae braced himself since there was no telling what Shitara would say.
“The year before last, when I came back and ran into you, was it because I was wearing that outfit?”
It was something that he didn’t give a flying fuck about, but as soon as Shitara mentioned it, his anger reignited, and Sakae threw the morning paper that he had finished reading at him.
Shitara Sousuke had finished his nearly 10-year temporary transfer around the country and would be back at the Tokyo headquarters. Plus he had been assigned as showrunner and executive producer for The News, the network’s nightly news program that would be re-premiering with a brand-new overhaul of the show—they had thrown all their bets on him to revive it from the brink of death. The topic had received a lot of attention even inside the network where rumors ran rampant only to be forgotten just as quickly.
“So is this a case of sleeping on firewood and tasting gall?”1
“More like the old man and the horse, you never know what the future has in store. A lot of things have happened, and the executives who hated Shitara back in the day basically retired or lost their jobs.”
“But if he flops here, he’ll really be done for this time. It seems more like harassment to me. If I were him, I’d stick around the local stations and take it easy out there.”
He didn’t even have to seek it out, and the warblings would reach his ears anyway. But there was no need for Sakae to do anything about it or even think anything about it. He had received no contact from Shitara as he moved around from place to place, and Sakae didn’t reach out to him either. Maybe he had found a new “favorite” he wanted to foster out there. They worked for the same corporation; it was easy enough to get in touch if he wanted to, but Shitara had chosen to go silent, and Sakae was Sakae, he regretted that they had slept together that one time on an impulse—to be blunt about it, he wanted to forget that it even happened. Even with the news that Shitara would be back at the headquarters after all this time, his only reaction was to click his tongue.
But still, they worked in different departments and on different floors, as long as he didn’t create any points of contact between them, there was nothing to worry about. And if he was unlucky enough to come across him in the building, Sakae could just ignore him. That was what he thought. But then that day came—and they promptly ran into each other at the elevator hall.
He should have ignored him completely, but Sakae found himself frozen in his tracks—because Shitara’s appearance was that stupid and that ridiculous. Even more than two years later, Sakae hated himself for reacting to it. Shitara was wearing a pastel-colored cardigan tied around his shoulders over a dress shirt in the so-called “producer style.” It was so damn cliched that it would only be found in a sketch comedy skit. Was he passed around the local stations so much that it had screwed up his clothing sense? Sakae was horribly shaken for a moment, but when Shitara said “It’s been a while. How have you been?” to strike up a conversation, Sakae came to his senses and made a U-turn right then and there. Shin, who had been following behind him, spoke up in a nervous voice.
“Um, Souma-san, was that person someone you know?”
“I don’t know him.”
“But he called you by your name…”
“I said I don’t know him. Quit asking me about it.”
Shin sensed how his voice had suddenly turned harsh and snippy, and he backed down with a “Yes, sir.”
He’s a damn joke, Sakae cursed, and he felt terrible for the rest of the day.
“I’m telling you, there was a good reason for it.”
Shitara picked up the newspaper that had hit him in the head and fell to the floor. For some reason he was trying to explain himself after all this time, so Sakae cut him off and said, “Whatever, I don’t care.”
“Oh, today’s Kobo-chan is really funny. Did you read it?”2
Apparently that infuriating personality of his had only matured over these past ten years and change. Sakae reconfirmed how much he hated this about him. Shitara obviously carried his own frustrations in the pit of his stomach, but he would always play dumb and try to dissipate other people’s anger and frustration for them despite his own troubles.
“I regret with every fiber of my being that I didn’t have a pair of sunglasses with me at that point in time.”
“I don’t fucking care, so get out.”
It had been 9 years since he was sent away and 2 years since he was back. Except for that one ridiculous encounter, they had had nothing to do with each other. After all this time, why did he have to be present again for another moment in his life that Sakae never wanted him to see? Why was it always him?
“Did you hear about where you’re going next?” Shitara asked, opening the paper wide with both hands.
Sakae could tell that Shitara was already privy to the news. Sakae had received an email from the head of entertainment production that said that Shitara had helped out a lot to keep Go Go Dash from descending into chaos with the show ending. It wasn’t strange if the head had told Shitara first about Sakae’s situation out of a sense of obligation. Well, it isn’t his first time doing the legwork to end a show, Sakae thought meanly. He said nothing and played with his phone, and Shitara called out from behind the newspaper, “Oi, did you hear me?”
“Which question are you answering? Well, whatever. Mind if I spoil you? It’s the Contents Division.”
Sakae felt no particular way about it. He wasn’t in any position to express where he wanted to go, and he no longer had the willpower to act defiant and quit. He was just like, Do whatever. He had considered the possibilities that he could be put in an obvious do-nothing job or even chased away to some subsidiary company. It was probably better than he had imagined. Wherever they sent him, he would probably do better than most people there.
“What are your thoughts?”
“I thought that it wasn’t bad. The network has been focusing on digital content lately, and nowadays the online shows have an easier time finding sponsors. You’re allowed a lot more freedom. Anyway, it’s nice, why don’t you relax there for a while?”
Maybe because it had been ages since there was anyone who would speak to Souma Sakae like they thought that they knew him, and it sent his blood boiling. Especially when it came to Shitara, he couldn’t stand to be thought of as a monkey dancing in the palm of his hand.
“Did you fucking forget that you said that it’s inconceivable to take TV making from me?”
Sakae had been so eager to criticize him that he brought up the past himself.
“They make great shows there too. The network is desperate to blur the lines between the Internet and TV to get more of the younger viewership. But if businesses stop placing commercials on the terrestrial broadcast because of it, we just might be digging our own graves however.”
Shitara turned a page of the newspaper and grumbled leisurely, “There’s not much news today,” and his tone of voice hit a nerve again. For some reason the phrase “helped out a lot” from the email flashed in his mind.
Fuck, not this time too?
“So did the big-shot producer of a flagship news program kindly make his recommendations again for the transfer?”
“What are you talking about? Who are you talking about?”
Shitara was the same as always, and Sakae couldn’t see his expression from behind the newsprint. Frustration and impatience aggravated him, and Sakae continued in an increasingly pointed voice.
“I’m asking if you asked for mercy on my behalf.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. What mercy? Obviously everyone wants the talent and staff who suddenly have no show to work on.”
Sakae also hated how he would drive a spike into his Achilles’ heel without any warning like this. In an instant he flew into a rage from the chills that he felt down to his bones, and Sakae threw his cell phone at Shitara. It crumpled the TV section of the paper and fell to the floor, but Shitara straightened out the creases without saying anything.
“You must be flying high, huh?” Sakae spat. “You were sent packing, but you made a triumphant return and struck it rich with The News. Now everyone inside and outside the network sings your fucking praises. It must feel nice with your newfound success, dangling down from your spider’s thread as you look down at the failed and broken idiot—with your face all calm and collected like you saw everything from the beginning.”
In an instant, Shitara crushed the morning paper in his hands and smacked Sakae over the head with it. It was just paper, so it didn’t hurt, but he was surprised by the speed and force from it.
“What did you just say?”
Shitara looked down at Sakae with such steely eyes, he almost seriously thought, Ah, he’s going to kill me.
“You think that I feel good seeing you weak and unconscious? That I rejoice in my own satisfaction as I look down on you with pity? Do you really think that? That I’m that kind of person?”
Shitara placed his hands on the bed rails at the head of the bed and peered intently at Sakae. The eyes were flared up in the color of anger, and up close at point-blank range, they also looked completely chilled through. He wasn’t dangling from a spider’s thread; Sakae had been caught in his web, wrapped up in his silk like a fly, unable to move or even blink.
“Come to think of it, didn’t you say that you can’t say anything that you don’t think, hmm?”
Shitara paid no attention to how Sakae stiffened, and he didn’t ease his assault of accusations.
“So then I should take your words to be your true feelings. That’s what it means, right?”
Sakae felt an unspoken message in his words that said that he would treat him just like how he had abandoned their conversations—either by ignoring him or telling him to shut up or get out. He had seriously angered Shitara. Sakae had the awareness to know that what he said was clearly a slip of the tongue. Sweat ran down his back in the air-conditioned room, but somewhere in Sakae’s heart, he felt relief. Maybe it could even be called satisfaction. That Shitara hadn’t brushed or laughed off the anger that Sakae had vented on him, and instead returned it back. Sakae had been able to pull out a side of Shitara that he never showed people, even if Sakae had been horrible in the way that he did it.
“…Say it,” Sakae whispered, staring at Shitara’s eyes that seemed to have an unknown temperature to them.
“I know you have more you want to say to me. So quit it with that cool and composed face. Say that I’m incompetent, that I ruined my own show. You should know how horrible my reputation is. Even though you had looked after me, even though you did all you could to send me to entertainment production, I ruined it all. Chew me out for it. Say that you were wrong to have seen something in me. In the end, I couldn’t pull it off like you.”
—This is pretty much the only thing that I can teach you.
Sakae couldn’t even do that “pretty much” that Shitara had taught him—to run a show while taking into consideration what people were inside.
“Say that you wasted your effort to protect someone like me. You’re disappointed and disgusted with me, right?”
It was Sakae’s turn to level him with accusations. Shitara’s pointed attitude seemed to vanish like a flip of a light switch, and he placed a hand on the head that he had smacked with the paper.
“I would never,” Shitara said. “I would never think that…”
Shitara looked incredibly pained. Sakae hadn’t wanted him to look like that, and he didn’t know what to think.
“I’m sorry, it was wrong of me to hit a sick person.”
Shitara placed Sakae’s cell phone on the table by the bed and refolded the newspaper to put it on the stool. When he finished straightening things up and turned back to face Sakae, Shitara was back to his usual self.
“I plan to attend the final taping for GoGo. I hear that Nawada will be the floor manager, and I’m looking forward to it. I don’t know if you’ll be discharged from the hospital when it airs, but you should watch it. …He’s your precious underling, right?”
Shitara opened the door and left the room, and Sakae felt an overwhelming urge to shout “Oi” after him. But he didn’t know what he should say or what he wanted to say. There were cracks in the screen of his cell phone from the impact with the floor. The cracks looked like a spider web as he traced it with his fingers.
He was watching fireworks. Small lights and colors burst on the 15-inch display. Sakae was in the middle of editing footage, and on the tray table over his bed was his laptop that he had secretly smuggled in from his apartment.
Sakae was told that he was transferred to the Contents Division, but he still wasn’t cleared to go back to work. He was bored in the hospital, so he had asked for work that he could do. After some negotiations, he was given a special feature called Japan’s Fireworks to work on that would stream on the network’s digital video channel. He had to edit together a 10-hour long video, taking all the best parts of the fireworks shows that had been filmed around the country. Sakae thought that it was strange that anyone would want to watch the full thing non-stop, but apparently they had received a good number of views last year. The footage had been collected all over the country, including their affiliates, but the directors who had collected the footage seemed to find it bothersome when they were asked to re-edit it for streaming purposes, and Sakae heard that most of them had put off the work. There was still a deep-rooted tendency to dismiss work for the Internet. Even with the ubiquity of recording devices in the general population, this industry was still obsessed with viewership ratings, and so it was probably only natural. This collection of fireworks at the height of their shows lacked a lot of emotion without the lulls and crescendos, but even if the fireworks had been better paced, Sakae would still quickly tire of watching them. He wondered if a surprising number of people were like him in this respect. He wanted to bring out the impact and the presence of the fireworks, and he paid careful attention to the sound level adjustments.
Sakae fast-forwarded through the footage, and his hand stopped at a very familiar-looking scene. There was a white lighthouse, mountains, and a tiny castle up on a bluff. It was Atami’s firework show over the ocean. It wasn’t rare to launch fireworks over the ocean, and there was nothing special about the show to boast about. It was truly an ordinary event when lined up with the other contributions from all over the country. Atami was nestled between the mountains and the bay, shaped in a mortar split in half, which made the thundering of fireworks sound even more impressive—or so he had heard. Sakae had always holed up in the movie theater during the fireworks, so he had never experienced it himself. The venue was not far from Sun Beach, and it must have been crowded with spectators. Atami had nearly died off as a tourist destination 11 years ago, but these last few years, it had seen a resurgence and apparently regained its popularity. Sakae hadn’t stepped foot into his hometown for many years, and he didn’t know the reason for the resurgence or how it was like now.
Although his grandmother’s bone fracture had fully healed, he had heard that she had grown weaker due to the living restrictions imposed on her. Later that winter, she had died all too quickly due to pneumonia.
“After fracturing her ankle, she aged considerably from it. If you’re unable to move around for even a short period, at this old age, you’ll immediately start to lose all your normal functions. This town is full of hills and slopes, and if you hurt your legs, you’re essentially helpless.”
That was what his grandfather had muttered out loud at the funeral. Afterwards he had closed The Sea Swallow Theater and gave it to the city like they had discussed. He also sold off his real estate and moved into a nursing home. The many strings of his emotions must have been broken over the events, and by the time the cherry blossoms fell, he had quietly passed away. His grandfather had left him no legacy to succeed and no debt to repay, and Sakae mourned his grandfather with the minimum proceedings. He hadn’t been able to get in touch with his parents, and he didn’t want to anyway.
It was already past time for lights out, and his hospital room was pitch black; only the light from the fireworks that bloomed and fell illuminated onto Sakae. The sound of the booming explosions over the headphones echoed through his body that held nothing inside. There were cheers of people laughing and yelling “Tama~ya~”3 for fun. He pricked up his ears without thinking, that maybe a voice that he knew was among them. Sakae knew that it was almost time for the night nurse to make her rounds, but he couldn’t tear his eyes away from the scene.
Sakae was still not discharged by the time the final episode for Go Go Dash aired. He watched the full two-hour special on the TV in his hospital room. He would think I remember that and When did we do this?—but there was a lack of substance in his thoughts, as if somewhere these things had happened to somebody else, and it wasn’t because he had been in this room, isolated from a social life. He realized all over again that his heart had completely separated itself from that place. He could no longer dive back into that world and literally pour his blood, sweat, and tears into it. Even if he wished to return, regardless of his knack for TV, his heart was no longer in it. There was a sense of loss and of relief. He wondered if all those people who had left him before, if they had felt these same emotions.
At the end of the episode, when the two comedians hosting the show nearly started crying at the ending talk, Sakae said out loud without thinking, “You idiots.”
This isn’t what people want. Not the guests, not the audience. You’re supposed to make them laugh to the very end.
However, the floor manager had the quick wit to turn it around, and they managed to avoid the full-blown tears. After he watched through all the credits which had removed the name Souma Sakae, he relaxed his shoulders. He thought that he was acting strange; he didn’t have to watch it so seriously.
When the words Produced by: Asahi TV changed to commercial, Shitara came into the room with impeccable timing.
“Did you watch it?”
“…Well I know that you didn’t watch it.”
“I have it recorded. Here, this is for you.”
Shitara placed a copy of a DVD next to the TV.
“It has recordings from the production control room during the taping. I thought that you would want to see the material that was cut and the parts between takes.”
Then he sat down on a stool, took the TV remote, and turned off the TV. The noise from another world suddenly vanished, and the room became deathly quiet.
“Nawada really gave it his all. You could tell just from watching it, right?”
It wasn’t that Sakae didn’t want to admit it. He just thought that it was meaningless to say it to someone but the person in question. Shitara smiled at Sakae’s stubbornness, like there was nothing he could do to help it.
“I’m sure that you have plenty of regrets, Sakae, but Nawada has fully absorbed all of your work. It’s natural to be worried that he’ll only become an imitation, but I think that he’s been well-trained from working on a great show. I value his work tremendously on my own show.”
Shitara added onto the compliment, “After all, he turned out so thoughtful because someone had worked him like a dog.” He paused. “Although if you leave him alone, he’s a little similar to you in that he’ll try to take on everything himself, but Nawada is sincere, and he gets along with pretty much everyone…”
Don’t give me that meaningful look.
Sakae had sat on the edge of the bed to watch the TV, and it was weirdly unsettling to have Shitara face him directly. Just when he thought to lie down, Shitara called out quietly to him.
“Sakae. Tell me just one thing. …Did you feel tied down by the words that I said to you 11 years ago?”
“What are you talking about?”
Unbeknownst to him, his voice had cracked. Sakae was nervous that Shitara had brought up the subject; he couldn’t read how the conversation would go.
“I knew that it was all for my own conceit. But I wanted you to keep working no matter what. That was why I had told you to do it, even though I knew how cruel I was being, even though I couldn’t do anything to support you. Did it turn into a heavy burden and drive you to this point?”
Do it. Even if you’re completely worn out, Shitara had said, refusing to let him run away. Before he realized it, Sakae had surpassed the age that Shitara was when he had said those words to him. It had been like a duel, and Sakae had never confronted anyone so seriously in his life. If he were told to say the same words to Shin, it would be impossible for him. Sakae thought that it was unfortunate, but no, he had never felt that he had been tied down.
“Don’t get so full of yourself,” Sakae answered brusquely. “I did the work because I wanted to do it. That was all. It had nothing to do with you. This isn’t a cushy job that you can power through just because someone said so.”
“…I see. I’m glad.”
Shitara nodded like he was relieved from the bottom of his heart, and he averted his gaze slightly to the curtains swaying in the breeze of the air conditioner.
“I watched GoGo this entire time,” he said. “I’m glad that it was on a national network. It played everywhere I went, and I looked forward to it every week.”
—No matter where I go, I will always be watching your work.
Sakae had never forgotten those words. They had been engraved so deeply in his heart that he didn’t need to remember them.
“I was thrilled to see what you were thinking, and I wondered what you would come up with next. No matter how worn out I was from interviews or editing, it would slip into my heart and make me laugh. I didn’t know any of the hardships that you faced, but I was happy that I was right about you… But it’s really unfortunate. I’m sad that it had to end.”
Shitara gently took the hand that Sakae had rested in his lap. Sakae glanced at the back of Shitara’s hand and saw that there were no traces of the wounds that Sakae had given him. Obviously. Just like how the marks that Shitara had left on Sakae’s skin had disappeared.
“You did a great job, Sakae. You worked hard these past 11 years.”
Shitara smiled and squeezed his hand.
“The directors were pretty vocal about not removing your name from the credits. Upper management had their own ideas, but no one doubts your efforts and contributions to the show.”
Never once did Sakae want others to understand all the work that he had put in. The fact of the matter was that he just ran. He ran towards what he wanted to do, so what good did it do to explain the route and terrain? But right now, Sakae was relieved by Shitara’s words.
Was I really so weak?
“You’re amazing. You are. But that’s enough. Take a little break, and let’s find something new that’s fun for you again.”
—That’s enough, Sakae.
The day he collapsed and had to be taken to the hospital, those were the words that Shitara had told him. When Sakae heard those words, he could finally shut down. He just finally remembered it.
Sakae opened Shitara’s hand and brought it up to cover his eyes again like Shitara had done for him that night.
“I also… always thought about what you would say if you watched it. I was always thinking about what would make you laugh the hardest—”
And he had wondered if Shitara had found it boring, if he no longer felt the need to watch anymore. When Sakae imagined such a possibility, it was impossible for him to not give everything that he had. Shitara’s existence had always been on his mind, with the same weight as the millions of faceless viewers that watched the show. When people talked about the educational variety show for children that Shitara had produced at a local affiliate station, Sakae had thought fiercely that he didn’t want to lose to him. That he could come up with more interesting viewpoints, more interesting angles, more interesting productions, more interesting edits than him. He would make him say, You’re amazing, you’re incredible.
Even though he was gone, Shitara had always been beside him. Not as a heavy stone that weighed down on him, but one that pushed his back and propped him up.
“I’m sorry,” Shitara said. “I thought that I had no right to say anything to you anymore since I had pushed all my selfish expectations onto you and left. That I would just be in your way. Even when I came back and learned that you were in trouble, I said nothing. But I should have said something earlier.”
“Don’t apologize.” Sakae shook his head. “I really hate your sorries…”
“Then what do you want me to say?”
“I don’t know.”
Shitara pulled his hand off, and Sakae slowly opened his eyes. He saw that Shitara’s face was very close to his own. But still it came closer. He felt his breath. Even without touching, the sensation of a tip of a nose right there made his own nose feel ticklish.
The moment their lips were about to touch, the door opened with the sound of a knock.
“Visiting hours are long over, sir.”
“Oh, my apologies. I’ll leave right now.”
Shitara showed not a hint of discomposure as he stood up. “When will you be discharged?” he asked with a look of innocence.
“I see, congratulations. So the next time I see you will be at the office. Good night then.”
When everyone left, Sakae flopped down on the bed.
The ceiling that he was used to seeing for these past few weeks now looked like something from an alternate reality. Just by lying down, the racing of his heart seemed to spill through his entire body like he had knocked over a cup of water. What was that just now? What was he thinking?
The first time it had happened, Sakae hadn’t been surprised because his body and mind hadn’t been normal. He was also fully aware that he had sought it out himself, wanting any action that would help him forget what had happened at the time. The second time, he had interpreted it as a joke and a fit of anger. But what was that just now? There was no way that he could understand it, even if he thought long and hard about it. When it came to Shitara, there had never been an instance when he had gotten a definite answer from racking his brain.
At this stage, there was just one thing that he could say—he was damn glad that the nurse hadn’t walked in on them in the middle of it. They were just barely safe. That was all that he could say.
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.
- This is an idiom that means suffering patiently with an eye on revenge.
- Kobo-chan is a comic strip that runs in a daily newspaper.
- Tamaya is something people say when they watch fireworks and can be traced back to the Edo period.