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Chapter 9 - She Appeared

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Sleeping deeply on the bed, Menma breathed repeatedly with the same pattern. The cheap sofa had a hard texture, sticking my skin, driving me difficult to sleep in a place I wasn’t used to. I looked closely at Menma’s ear, letting my imaginations go wild: This visualisation was too refined and was of too high a quality for a hallucination—did I have a talent for a model designer?

Another thought than ran through my mind here and there was the fact that I was alone in a room with a girl. Since she was a hallucination, then it would be fine if I slightly touch her. This couldn’t be counted as a crime. No! You couldn’t be having bad thoughts toward Menma! As you are I, I couldn’t let you have such thoughts…what a meaningless thinking combat. Sleeping sweatily on a sofa made with artificial leather, hearing the buzzing sounds of summer insects as well as Menma’s breathing…this was all too real. As I pondered back and forth, I got through a blazingly, burning hot night.

“Jintan. Good morning!”

“Mmm…wa?!”

At last, I fell asleep unconsciously after all that effort, now I was woken up by that bluntly weight on my stomach—it was Menma.

“The weather is so fine! An hour in the morning is worth two in the evening, right?”

“Ah…”

The sunlight scattered behind Menma as she softly smiled. Her innocent glow lashed on my sleepy mind.

She was the hallucination I made, an illusion. Although I wanted to keep a distance from this ridiculous ‘real thing’, I seemed not too resistant in the depths of my heart.

Nevertheless, it was a lie to say I completely didn’t want to resist. But staying with Menma like this would kill away my fear.

Because she was really…adorable.

“…Wu.”

“Eh? Jintan. What’s going on? Your face looks terrible.”

“I am terrible!!”

Ding dong ding dong, ding dong.

At this moment, the doorbell, which malfunctioned because of poor contact, rang in an over-spirited rhythm.

“Eh, a guest?”

An over-spirited…seems like a person.

“Right!”

Abruptly remembering the email Hisakawa sent last night, I opened my phone and checked once again…the content of the email was…

“What…Eh?!”

Menma spied on my phone from aside.

“Wuagh!” I bended my body, trying to hide it in reflex, but it was too late. Menma’s eyes were beaming with radiance.

“That’s incredible! That’s incredible, Jintan!”

“Hah? Incredible? You…”

“You already have your own phone! That’s incredible! It’s like being an adult!”

So she was talking about that.

Menma seemed to have missed what the email was about. Probably, it was before she came back here…

“Let me ask you, Menma…”

“Yeah?”

“Have you went to Hisakawa’s place?”

No sooner had I finished speaking than Menma’s eyes became even brighter, even five times greater than the time she saw my phone.

“Hah? Hisakawa, you mean Poppo? Waghh…Menma haven’t seen Poppo yet!!”

“Mmm…” Perhaps I shouldn’t have said this.

“Ne, Jintan! I want to go to Poppo’s place. I really want to!”

I want to…I want to…I want to...as if chanting a spell, Menma violently shook my shoulders…

“All right.”

“Wuaghhh!”

Looking at the naïve and joyful Menma with my eyes slanted, I could feel that somewhere near my stomach became a bit turbulent. Such being the case, what could have possibly caused Menma's appearance?

Did Hisakawa also see this Menma illusion?

Nevertheless, it wasn’t strange, though it actually was a bit strange. Yet, Menma was here, though she surely was an illusion.

Accordingly, it is not totally inconceivable that others could also make such Menma illusions. Eh, of course this was impossible to understand for usual people.

However, however…

Ding dong ding dong, ding dong.

“Ah, it’s the guest again!”

I completely forgot that the doorbell was still ringing. Usually, I wouldn’t open the door even if there were a guest. But, now, perhaps because of some turbulence in my heart, I even dashed downstairs and opened the door in a hurry…

“Ahhahaha!”

I saw the back of a little kid dashing away.

No wonder it rang repeatedly.

“…”

My heart thumped.

There were irascible cicada’s buzzing sounds everywhere, the diminishing sounds of little kids, and the asphalt road which relfected the strong, bright sunlight…

“Wa. So it's bad kids.”

When I came back to my senses, Menma was already standing behind me.

The running kids somehow looked like us back then. Their backs, also…

Standing beside me was Menma, who had already grown up.

“Mmm? What’s the matter, Jintan?”

“No. Nothing.”

I had a feeling of my nose swelling up again.

I averted my eyes from Menma…

“…Then! My pee was drawing a strange sign, it should be the Δ[1]sign! Then it really appeared!”

When I came to the secret base, Hisakawa excitedly began to explain things to me with his vigorous body language. From his look, I could tell he wasn’t lying, his actions were swift and light despite his heavy stance…

“Poppo?! Are you kidding me, is this Poppo?!”

Menma was even more excited than Hisakawa.

“Did you really see Menma?”

“Certainly! Maybe my trauma became more acute. This time I’ll also become cool!”

“Cool! Cool!”

Menma repeatedly recited the word ‘cool’ as if she really liked it, presenting this word to Hisakawa. But Hisakawa completely neglected Menma; or should I say, he wasn’t aware of her. Seemingly pleased, he then had a spur of the moment.

“Then, I had a surprising idea, do you want to know?”

“No. I don’t.”

“I want to know. I’m so eager to know!”

“Ah. It's my fault. Please. I’ll give you pocket money for you to spend.”

“Oh. Menma wants one-hundred-yan!”

To let this conversation between Menma, whom only I can see, and I to successfully continue, it looks like I’ll need much more practise.

“Spit it. What surprising idea do you have…”

“Oh! It’s that. That!”

Having that said, Hisakawa handed an ugly, doodled promotional leaflet to me.

“Heh…Let’s hold a big party for finding Menma before the summer break ends…?”

“Waaaa…Are we finding Menma?!”

‘Enjoy the cool air and BBQ while finding Menma’s wish. Let’s speak to our hearts’ content! ※ Bring your own food!’ was also written on it with ugly writings along with a very surprising illustration.

“Menma, enjoying the cool air, and BBQ…I don’t get how it matches your theme.”

“Don’t mind that! It’s only some minor details…it’ll definitely be very lively. Don’t you think it will be very fun?”

“Fun! Menma wants to find Menma!”

Menma seemd to be very happy, jumping here and there around Hisakawa.

“Even if you want to…everyone might not come…”

“They will! They came to Mcdonalds!”

Mmm…I was speechless, as they really did come.

Do those people have so much time to squander? Or should I say, do they really believe Menma’s thing?

Anjo seemed, however, incredulous…

“Look. Wasn’t I responsible for the ‘yo’ thing? However, I’ve been quite running out of money lately. If Menma’s true wish is to get yo’s signature…I want to see Menma and ask her whether she wants to change another wish!”

As Hisakawa spoke without stopping, Menma responded to him by saying, “Ayoo?! Wuaghh!”

It feels like I was being fooled around.

“I’m so anxious for the night, Jintan!”

On the way home, Menma looked elated. She incessantly kicked the small pebals on the road pointlessly.

“I didn’t say I would go.”

“Then, say you would go!”

“Hah?”

“Ah. Then, maybe this is the wish Menma wants to be fulfilled? Menma wants to have a look at Menma?”

“My, you’re so good at weaving reasons, blaming everything at your wish.”

Cocking her head and acting innocent, Menma said, “Mmm?” Hell, I’m getting furious.

How can such a person have such an adorable face?

I hated my own potentials of a model designer. Were I to make it more ugly, I wouldn’t have to be fooled around by her…

“Maybe I still will.”

“Yeah?”

“No. Nothing.”

“Ne, ne. Jintan’s always saying, ‘no, nothing.’ Is Jintan from a planet of naught?”

“…”

“Ah, right, BBQ, What should we bring? Menma likes German sausages. I want German sausages!”

As Menma, who can fool me around even without an adorable face, repeated her request, I gave in and said in a soft voice, forcing my last struggle.

“I think Japanese sausages are better.”

“Eeehh?!”

Previous: Chapter 8 - My Dear Menma Next: Chapter 10 - BBQ

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