Part 15: BreakfastMusic: In the Sunlight
"Yeah, breakfast is done. All that's left is setting up the table and cooking the fish."
"Oh, I'll help then. I'll prepare the dishes."
Sakura is cheerful.
And behind that admirable junior
"Oh, this is the smell of Shirou's omelet. I see, you're making breakfast this morning."
That sounds ridiculously dirty and I don't know why.
Fuji-Nee moves slowly to the table.
First, I have to cook the fish I've prepared.
"Sakura, can you use the dishes in the middle? That will make it look better."
"Huh ? Um, this one with bumps?"
"Yeah, that. You have to think about the plates too or you'll be too one-sided. Oh, and the radish is already grated."
Sakura takes out a dish from the back.
I think I saw a faint bruise on her wrist when she leaned forward.
"Yes, what is it Senpai?"
"What's that mark on your wrist?"
She looks away awkwardly.
And that tells me who caused that bruise.
"Shinji again, huh? What does he think he's doing, beating on his sister !?"
"It's my fault. I shouldn't have talked back to him."
"T-That's not it, Senpai ! Um, well I fell and hurt myself. I'm a bit slow, you know?
So I fall and get hurt a lot."
"Don't be stupid. How can you get a bruise like that from falling over? It seems Shinji isn't tired of getting beat up yet !"
"N-No, Senpai ! This doesn't have anything to do with Nii-san. I really did this myself, so you can't get mad."
Sakura falls silent.
Sakura looks calm, but she is pretty obstinate. It's useless to say anything to her now.
" All right. If you say so, I'll leave it at that. But if I see it again, I won't be able to hold back."
" Yes. I'm sorry, Senpai."
"Why are you apologizing? It's Shinji's fault."
At the mention of Shinji's name, Sakura looks away awkwardly.
When I asked him why he hit her, he said that he just hit her because he felt like it.
After that, I got pissed and did to Shinji what he did to Sakura.
Since then, we've been estranged.
I still don't regret punching him.
But I think it's my fault that Sakura is being treated worse.
" Senpai, did you um, work things out with Nii-san?"
"Yes. I worked my fist right out into his face."
"Huh? Yeah, I did. We didn't have a fight or anything, so it's not like there was anything to work out."
" Uh, it might be like that for you, but Nii-san thinks you guys got in a fight. So well, please be careful."
Sakura says strange things sometimes.
"Be careful you mean, of Shinji?"
" Yes. I think Nii-san thinks of you as an enemy um, and he thinks that you quit the club because of him "
"That's not true. Me quitting the club had nothing to do with Shinji. Well, maybe a bit, but it's still not something you should worry about. Like Shinji says, this is certainly indecent."
I point at my right shoulder.
There's a scar there.
After that accident, I quit the archery club.
My school archery club emphasizes formalities as they let us shoot formally even as students.
The men expose their right shoulder when they shoot.
Shinji commented that it might be indecent for someone shooting formally to have a scar on their shoulder. Since I was getting busy with work, I quit the archery club right then.
"Um, Senpai? I might be persistent, but are you really not shooting anymore? Fujimura-Sensei said your injury shouldn't be a problem."
"What are you saying!? Fuji-Nee wouldn't think it's a problem even if I broke every bone in my body."
Music: Tender Scenery
"Senpai, I'm being serious."
Sakura glances up at me, like she wants to say something.
I should answer seriously too, but I can't give her the answer she wants.
"I don't have time to do club activities for now. I like archery, but it's not something I prioritize, so I'm taking some time off from it."
" How long is 'some time'?"
"I guess until I feel like it. Well, I'll try to make it back before you graduate. Welcome me then, Sakura."
I pat Sakura's shoulder.
Sakura stares blankly for a while, and then
"Oh, yes ! I'll be waiting, Senpai!"
And she nods so powerfully that it seems she might drop the plates she's holding.