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“…”


In this heat, Atsumu, who forgot to turn on the air-conditioner, stared straightly at his phone.


Chiriko had sent him a mail: ‘we will hold a party to greet Menma today. Everyone in Super Peace Busters will join, though you look like feeling unwell. If you’re willing, join us.”


“If I’m willing…what does she mean?”


What is willing? He couldn’t find any reason to make himself willing.


Atsumu felt irascible, as if he was betrayed by Chiriko.


Everyone in Super Peace Busters?


Atsumu’s anger had become Menma’s anger. She silently trembled; her short and disarrayed breathing seemed to be at the side of his ear.


Atsumu had already lost his ability to make the right choice. There was no other way to do it even if he had this problem. He thought in the depths of his heart.


(If there is really a Menma whom only he could see…)


How would Menma think if she knew the thoughts I was having? The problem was that Atsumu couldn’t stop already. These thoughts couldn’t hold him from doing this.


“Menma. Let them see. Let them have a look at you.”


Atsumu forcefully pushed the door.


“Ah…”


Meiko practiced her voice in front of the ratating electronic fan.


Before Jinta went to school, he opened the window of his room and even moved the electronic fan upstairs. He didn’t know that the hot weather was only a mental cognition to Meiko and not a physical experience. Though he didn’t know, he didn’t deliberately go to check.


Meiko’s accepted Jinta’s soft gentleness was to press on the electronic fan.


“Ah…Ah…”


But it was very boring. This bored feeling was also embedded with the worriness for Jinta, making the time harder to bear.


As such, Meiko walked downstairs.


The shrine was placed in the living room.


Although she was aware of its presence, she was still a bit afraid to approach it. The name Jinta’s father called towards the shrin and the phot placed on top of it was the gentle face Meiko knew, but there was always some hesitation in her heart that stopped her from checking it out.


Nevertheless, Meiko was sitting on the cushion in front of the shrine without any hesitation.


“Auntie…”


Meiko clasped her hands in front of Jinta’s mother. The miraculous scene of a spirit undergoing a memorial ceremony to a deceased person was happening right here.


“Auntie is a lot more beautiful than the one in the photo. Menma’s photo is the same: Menma doesn’t quite like the photo, but it’s a rare one that Menma doesn’t make a V gesture. Menma likes to make a V gesture when shooting photos. The photos that don’t have her making a V gesture and few and far between.”


Then, she lightly rang the bell. The crisp sound reverberated in the damp room, bringing into it a beautiful, refreshing sound.


“Although Menma had died, she’s still very lively…”


Trickle, trickle… Something trickled from Menma’s eyes.


“Ah. Ahle? What’s the matter? Eh?”


Tears drop affluently. Even having rubbed her eyes with the back of her hand, the tears don’t seem to cease.


“What about me? How strange…Auntie, please don’t laugh at me.”


Jinta’s mother was gently smiling in the photo, though she couldn’t really make the sound of smiling. And in place of this sound was the ringing sound of the doorbell that was about to broken.


“…eh?”


Tap, tap, tap. Meiko climbed up the stairs and came into Jinta’s room.


She opened the windows there, stretched her body forward, and looked outside.


“Anjo?!”


In front of the door stood Anjo who was about to be going school.


Overjoyed, Meiko wanted to wave her hands to Naruko.


(An-Anaru…would she be scared of Menma’s spirit?)


Meiko remembered the look on Naruko yesterday. It was a very shocked look with her eyes widened in astonishment. Meiko remembered that she hadn’t seen this look on her when she was still alive.


(She would certainly be afraid.)


Everyone in Super Peace Busters had become afraid of her.


(Bother.)


Naruko’s face was obviously tensed.


She pressed on the doorbell and didn’t leave even though there was no one to open the door.


She reckoned Jinta would be in his home, for obviously there was eviodence of someone in the house: the windows of that room were open.


It was the room at the corner on the second floor. If there weren’t any change, that must be Jinta’s room. The curtains hanging on the windows fluttered lightly like feathers.


(Is Menma also in that room?)


Wind blew at it. Whoosh, it passed the room.


Induced by the wind, the curtains bulged.


Then, the curtains fell down, but at that instant it fell down, it created a mysterious concave shape. It was as if there was someone who cannot be seen standing there.


“!!”


Naruko wavered. But quickly, the rumble in her heart pacified.


The curtains that had changed colour over time showed a captivating white under the sunlight. It was an extremely gentle, graceful white fluttering, like the white dress ‘she’ wore on that day…


Naruko understood at the spot.


She understood who was standing there.


“Menma. Are you there?”


Meiko heard Naruko’s murmur.


Although they were words that couldn’t be heard if solely accounting on the volume, Naruko’s mouth shape and her expression made Meiko understood.


“Ah!”


Naruko’s words implied that Meiko really was there.


“Anaru. Menma…!”


Tears trickled down Menma’s face again.


“Call it again. Call Menma again. Anaru…!!”


Meiko rushed out of the room and ran down the stairs as quick as she could. Meiko’s heart was galloping: Naruko is willing to accept her, and just like that time, she called her name.


There was no room to think of sophisticated things.


In high spirits, Meiko opened the door…

Previous: Chapter 13 - The Summer Recluse Next: Chapter 15 - The Wild Beast of Summer

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