Even So, We Are Living in the Present - Chapter 57
Chapter 57 – Being Rooted to the Spot
When Saki contacted Natsume, it was after noon──
“Kyosuke, his lesson has ended. I’ll give you a ride, so come on down.”
“Yes, I understand!”
Afterwards, Kyosuke, who had eaten fried rice that Natsume had prepared for breakfast and was playing the Uta-garuta with Tomoya in the tatami room on the second floor across from the table, lifted his voice reacting to the sound of Natsume’s voice echoing from the first floor. Tomoya, who had been reading the cards of the Uta-garuta card game, looked up at Kyosuke’s reply and flashed his smile joyously.
“Ichinose, will you come back again?”
“Yeah, and I’ll bring Yuu next time.”
When Kyosuke nodded with a soft expression on his face, Tomoya laughed with great joy.
“Hehe, I’m looking forward to it.”
As Kyosuke was about to tidy up the Uta-garuta scattered on the table, Tomoya’s arm restrained him.
“Sonohara, he’s waiting for you, isn’t he? I’ll clean up the mess.”
Although he was probably too busy tending to his own well-being, Kyosuke eyed apologetically at the other party’s considerate and thoughtful attitude.
“… Is it fine?”
For Tomoya, his words were spoken in a way that he expected would make him happy, but he unexpectedly received an apologetic response.
“Don’t worry about it, we’re friends.”
The word “friend” was so profoundly and naturally lifted the corners of his mouth.
Expressing a heartfelt thanks, he stood up and patted him on the shoulder as if to say, “See you later.”
“Hmm, see you soon!”
With a bright nod in reply, Kyosuke opened the sliding door and left the room.
On Natsume’s motorcycle, he alighted near the dance school once more.
With that, Natsume returned to Tomoya.
“Thank you very much.”
After uttering a thank-you to the other’s backside, which was probably already out of range, he set his attention back to the dance school.
He did not receive any elaborate details about Yuu’s condition. Just that ‘his lesson has ended’, that was all. Taking a deep breath once, he strode into the school. As of yet, there was no indication that anyone was emerging from the school, therefore, he put his hand on the outer door and slowly opened it. After removing his shoes, he reached for the inner door.
Gripping the doorknob, he opened it slightly as if to quell the strain that was coursing through his fingertips. Through the gap, he peeked into the classroom.
There, Yuu was practicing his turns in front of the mirror…
In his hand held a cane. With the stylish black cane grasped in his left hand, making up for his torso by the sensation, he made a beautiful turn with his hair swaying softly. From time to time, as he repeatedly performed flexible movements, such as switching the cane, rotating it, and stepping and sliding his legs in a spectacular sequence, a joyful smile graced his face before the mirror.
Neither music nor song was flowing, but perhaps the silence accentuated the beauty of the performance. As if fascinated, Kyosuke was absorbed in the scene. It was as though he was in the presence of a musical. The teacher and other students were seated against the wall, so as not to interrupt, watching Yuu’s figure.
With a well-executed turn, the musical eventually came to a close.
What followed in its immediate aftermath was a wave of applause. All the people within the room were applauding Yuu’s dance.
Despite Yuu’s awkward, bashful smile, as he glanced over at the students, his face instantaneously flushed scarlet after noticing Kyosuke peeking through a gap in the doorway.
Kyosuke, who had been transfixed until then, also blushed at that reaction.
… Well, I guess I got exposed.
When Kyosuke gave a strained smile as if to apologize for peeping at him, Yuu stared in wonder, opened his mouth to say something, and fled away, heading off to the locker room.
… I suppose I’ll be scolded later.
With that thought in mind, he opened the door firmly and proceeded into the classroom.
“Ichinose, thanks for coming to pick him up.”
The teacher, who had been watching Yuu as he made his way to the locker room, spotted Kyosuke and drew near to him.
“No, it’s my pleasure, thank you for contacting me.”
“I didn’t realize you knew Natsume.”
Although she was half-surprised, Kyosuke did not nod, but gave a bow, feeling a little differently.
“Yes, but instead, I’m classmates with Natsume’s younger brother.”
Then she remembered that they were in the same grade, and the teacher clapped her hands in understanding.
“… Well, Yuu is…”
The impact of the fact that Yuu showed a drastically different appearance than when he was kicked out in the morning to ‘leave’ was so shocking that Kyosuke involuntarily had to ask. The teacher put her hand over her mouth and told him in a hushed, secretive tone.
“I know you saw it, but I gave him the stick and it made a tremendous transformation. Even without music, he would improvise a dance and perform it in front of everyone.”
Once she finished saying it, she expressed her delight by smiling softly.
“Then, is everything alright now?”
The part that concerned Kyosuke was the failure to dance as well as Yuu would have liked. When he asked diffidently if that part had been resolved, the teacher nodded while smiling and continued on, confirming that Yuu had not yet left the locker room.
“That stick is fashionable and he seems fond of it, and it can be used in many situations… for instance, modeling shoots.”
Kyosuke’s voice trailed off as the teacher’s words brought back memories.
Yuu’s dream was not to “dance”. His dream was to become a model who could sing and dance.
Not a “dancer,” but a “model.”
He had almost forgotten that.
At last, he has made it to the starting point.
From now on, he will have to audition to become a model or learn singing ability at some point, as he would like to do.
“Idiot… idiot, Kyosuke, you idiot!”
As he was pondering the future, it seemed that Yuu had just finished changing his clothes and came out of the locker room, revealing his anger as he walked up to Kyosuke. As expected, he was very indignant. It was a right move to be prepared for this. However, the stick was held resolutely in his hand.
“Is it okay for you to take that home?”
He asked his sulky partner, but his face was directed away from him.
“You peeping Tom! If you’re watching, you should have told me!”
He must have been considerably ashamed to have been watched. Even his cute voice would sting if it carried anger in it. Sensing that it would take some time to recover his good mood, Kyosuke’s shoulders slumped.
“About that, you know… I was watching you so that I wouldn’t disturb you.
“Don’t look at me! Idiot!”
Reflecting on how heated things can get when his shame was replaced by rage, Kyosule bowed to the teacher and left the classroom.
“Don’t be so angry. It’s my bad.”
Yuu put his shoes back on, opened the outer door, and went ahead of him. Kyosuke slowly walked after him and called out to the other’s back.
“But I’m glad you’re having fun.”
When Kyosuke’s words seemed to drown out his earlier fury, Yuu stopped in his tracks and turned around, stumbling over his words. His blush remained intact, but his anger was slowly dissipating. With only shame lingering on his face, he averted his gaze to the side and pursed his lips as if he wanted to say something.
“… What is it?”
For some reason, the person with whom he would not hesitate to speak up if he had something to say remained silent for a few dozen seconds, as though he was struggling to express himself. As Kyosuke stared at him without rushing him, his lips opened slightly.
Presumably, that was the apology for the anger he vented when he said, “Leave.”
If he stared at him, Yuu’s embarrassed countenance would progressively shift to an apologetic look downcast. With his expression falling apart without a word, Kyosuke walked up to Yuu and gently wrapped him up in his arms, trapping him. At once, Yuu was startled and stiffened, yet he soon loosened his shoulders and chose to be embraced meekly. Through the soft gap in her hair, Kyosuke’s lips were placed close to his white ear.
“… You know, it’s more painful for me to be patient with you. Usually, you don’t show your face by putting up with a lot, so it’s even more so. If your feelings are directed at me, it means that you trust me that much, so I don’t feel bad about it.”
When the straightforward words gently shook the other’s eardrums, Yuu shyly hugged him tightly and pressed his forehead against Kyosuke’s neck. From the strength of the other’s embrace, it was easy to sense that Yuu was overwhelmed with joy.
“You looked beautiful.”
The swearing that followed the compliment whispered in Kyosuke’s ear, along with a slight sense of shame, carried a somewhat joyous sound that sank serenely into Kyosuke’s heart.
Support Fan’s Translations
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