Chapter 3:

A Person From the Past

Wings


The group is about to ride a roller coaster.
“Mari, I let’s sit together. I don’t want to sit with Kyouko, she might vomit on me like before.”
“Yume-chan! Why did you have to say that!?”
“Oh? Heeheehee… okay then! Kyouko-chi, go sit with Kudo-chi!”
“Eh!?”
Takeshi and Kyouko looked at each other.
“…No, I don’t think they should. Kudo probably won’t be comfortable with Kyouko, isn’t that right… Kudo?” Yume said with a mischievous smile.
“N-No! It’s fine!”
Takeshi answered in panic without knowing that he had said something unbelievable.
Kyouko hearing his answer made her blush to her ears.

Seeing this reaction made Takeshi so happy. He's even redder than a girl. But the reason he blushed wasn't because he noticed that Kyouko was blushing for him, but for another reason.

So cute… she’s blushing because she’s embarrassed that her friend exposed her embarrassing moment of vomiting… don’t worry, you still look cute to me even after knowing that!
Both of them sat on the roller coaster. The lap bar went down and locked them on their seats. They both reached for the lap bar and their hands slightly touched. On reflex of his shyness, Takeshi moves away his hands quickly and looked away to hide his red face. Kyouko could not help but turn red as well because she was just touched by Takeshi.
They both held on the lap bar, conscious about how their hands are only a few inches away from each other.
The two people in front of them whispered to each other.
“Heeheehee, aren’t we lucky Yume-chi? Who could’ve thought Kudo-chi would be here and these events would happen? It’s like destiny.”
“…destiny indeed.”
No, it’s not destiny. It was planned out by that guy. Kudo probably wouldn't have stayed with us if he had no reason to. Yotsuya pretending that the ticket I got was the one he lost gave us a reason to be together.
The roller coaster started moving.

The group just finished riding the roller coaster. Mari and Yume were fine, Kyouko and Takeshi had pale faces while drinking water to calm themselves down. Two of them are seated on a bench that only has a capacity for two people.
Normally as the guy, Takeshi should've be the one standing so he offered the seat to the two girls. Since because he’s very pale, Mari and Yume denied him. Also, it was their plan to have him close to Kyouko.
These two didn’t enjoy their rides together, didn’t they?
“Say, Kudo-chi. How did you become friends with Yotsuya-chi? You two seem very close.”
“Hmmm, it’s a story back in middle school. I thought of him as a rival.”
“A Rival!? where!?”
“It might not look like it, but Yuuya is a smart person. I don’t think I can ever beat him with that. He always finds the best solutions at whatever situations.”
Yume agreed silently.
“We became friends when he saved a certain girl’s life… if it wasn’t for him, I would’ve regretted a lot of things.”
“A certain girl’s life? Could it be your girlfriend!?”
Kyouko almost spat out the drink she was drinking, but kept herself from doing so.
“…N-No, but I don’t think I should tell anyone about it.”
“Oh? Suspicious! Can you tell us, Kudo-chi!”
“W-Well… It’s really a bad idea.”
“Takechi-nii!”
Suddenly, a cute little girl about the age of 8 with black hair in long twin tails jumped on Takeshi’s lap. Takeshi resisted his urge to puke.
The three girl’s eyes sparkled and their expression softened upon looking at the kid.
“Oh, Yuuna-chan, You’re here!”
“Kyaa! Who is this cute kid!?”
“A lost child? Should I keep it?”
“Yume-chan, what are you saying? But she really does make me want to keep her!”
“Your little sister?” Yume asked Takeshi while staring at the little girl.
“Well… no… it’s…”
Suddenly, the three felt a chill.
Upon looking at the direction it came from, it’s a demon who is staring at Takeshi with a hateful glare.

It was Yuuya Yotsuya.
Unlike the other four who were dressed stylishly fitting high school students, Yotsuya’s attire was a bit different. He’s wearing a hoodie with slightly loose pants, and some old sneaker as footwear. His attire obviously show that he doesn’t care about his looks.

His eyes that has eye bags looked at Takeshi with a glare that pierced through his soul. His scary glare made the girls step back and shut their mouths to pressure.
“Oi, you jerk. What was that for?”
“S-Sorry! But it was your fault! You were the one who asked for this!”
“Takechi-nii! Yuu-nii! Don’t fight!”
The little girl went between the two. Seeing the little girl Takeshi’s expression softened and Yotsuya’s glare of hate stopped.
“I can’t believe you, why would you spend two more tickets just to make me come? Are you such a wimp that you can’t survive by yourself?”
“O-Of course not! I just felt like winning. Hehe, and I was successful! By asking my big sister to give your little sister two tickets, your little sister will have the urge to go with you. Since your little sister wants to go but your parents are busy, your parents will require you to go with her. I have won in this round!”
“What are you winning anyway? You do know that you paid for this? But still… dragging me out like this, I guess I should just accept this defeat.”
Yotsuya bowed his head jokingly as if taking an honorable defeat.
While bowing, he saw a face near his, making him step back.
“Yotsuya-chi, I didn’t know you were such a fun person! Can I call you Yo-chi!? Let’s be friends!”
Don’t talk to me.
Due to his nature, Yotsuya hated interacting with cheerful people.
“Ah, Yotsuya… you probably don’t know them even if you are in the same classroom as them so I’ll introduce them to you. This is Minami-san, this is Kurosawa-san, and this is W-Watanabe-san.”
You didn’t have to introduce them yourself if you would just mess it around at the end.
“It’s nice to meet you.”
Kyouko stood up and bowed down.
“Hey.”
Yume acted naturally pretending that this is the first time they met.
Yotsuya responded with a nod, affirming their existence.
“Yo-chi, since you’re already here. Go play with us!”
Mari pulled on Yotsuya’s sleeves, pushing him to the limits.
He muttered words in a volume only the two of them could hear.

“You don’t have to make everyone like you.”

Hearing those words shocked Mari. This was the first time someone said those words to her. She looked at Yotsuya’s eyes. His eyes looked at her as if they could see through her.
Feeling that Mari's grip has loosened, Yotsuya gently pulled his arm off so her hands would let go.
“Yuu-nii! Let’s go ride the roller coaster!” Yuuna said while pressing her face onto Yotsuya's belly.
“No, you’re too small for the minimum height requirement.”
“But I was able to ride back then when I was smaller!”
“Wow, you still remember that? You’re pretty smart. But I can’t do that now. You were little back then. You were able to fit into my bag.”
Oi, don’t play with your little sister.
Yume thought while glancing over to another ride, the bump cars.
“Why don’t we ride that? I’ll ride with Mari again and Yotsuya will ride with his little sister.”
“Y-Yeah! We should do that!” Mari shouted while stuttering, which was noticed by Yume.
“Mari?”
“What is it Yume-chi?”
“…Nothing.”
Seeing that Yume is looking at her as if she knew she wasn’t herself, Mari changed the topic of the conversation.
“Hey Kudo-chi! We were talking about how you became with Yo-chi! Who was that girl in that story!?”
Hearing the topic again, Kyouko who was already able to calm down became pale again.
“W-Well… that’s…”
“Oh, you mean suicide stalker?”
Yotsuya said without a care in a world.
Hearing those two words, the face of the three girls became pale. Upon hearing the words “suicide stalker” and taking into account how famous and good-looking Takeshi is, they had an idea on what the story was about.
“Y-Yuuya, you shouldn’t just say sensitive stories like that…”
“Who cares? she’s alright now, right?"
Yuuna pulled on Yotsuya's sleeves while he's talking.
"I want to ride! I want to ride!"
"Hey, stop pulling Yuuna… sigh, okay, I’ll go but after this we’ll go home.”
“You-nii, what are you saying? We’ll stay here until tomorrow!”
“…Little teachers are the devil’s spawn.”
Yotsuya was dragged away to the bump cars.
While Yotsuya was being dragged away, Takeshi continued on his story with a nostalgic look on his face.
“…During that day, I’ve done my best but was not able to stop that girl. Yuuya was able to save that girl without any problems. She’s now living normally in high school."
Takeshi scratched his head with an embarrassed smile.
"He was also the reason why I stopped lying to myself, he's a true friend.”
The three girls felt like asking him would be peeking too much to his private life, so they postponed asking about it. They just became friends with him this morning after all.
“You're really good friends.”
Kyouko said with a smile, making Takeshi glance away with a red face.
“Let’s go Yume-chi! I feel like we’re interrupting something!”
“Yes, I feel like that too.”
“You two!”
The two dashed off leaving Kyouko behind with her face face blushing red.

—A few hours later.
“Yuu-nii! I feel like peeing!”
“Then go pee, there’s no need to shout it. You’re already big enough to do it.”
“No! You should come with me! What will you do when someone kidnaps me? You will be charged with child negligence!”
“H-Hey, where are you learning these things? It feels really disturbing hearing a little kid talk this way… Well, looks like I have no choice. You’ll have to pee in the men’s restroom with me helping you out.”
Yume bent down and grabbed Yuuna’s hand.
“Stop being be a pervert.”
“What kind of person do you think I am? I am a loving brother who cares for her sister. You probably don't have a sister, you have to help her out in those kinds of things.”
“I was an 8-year-old girl before, and I know girls can handle themselves easily at that age. I’ll take her with me to the bathroom, is that okay?”
“Fine.”
Yume walked a few steps to the bathroom then paused midway.
“Are you sure you can trust me?”
Seeing that Yume's action was unusual, Yotsuya took those words to a deeper level. Could you trust me? His answer would’ve been "Trust you on what? What is there to betray?” but he just responded with “You’ll be the one questioned if she disappears.” avoiding the question.
Yume nodded and started escorting Yuuna to the bathroom.
Seeing the two go off, Yotsuya decided to send a quick message to Takeshi then leaned back on the bench and sleep.

Before he can even get a second of it, his sleep was interrupted because a person sat beside him.
“Hi, Yo-chi!”
The noisy one…
“What are you doing here? Where’s the other two?”
“Oh? Heeheehee, you should praise me! I left together beside the cotton candy stand!”
“Why would I praise you?”
“Huh? Weren’t you bringing those two together?”
“…”
Yotsuya recalled his memories but he couldn’t remember anything.
“Did Kurosawa tell you?”
“So… Yume-chi really was in on this.”
This girl.
“You’re perceptive, aren’t you?”
“What are you saying Yo-chi? You two were obvious from the start! I noticed how Yume-chi reacted when she received your text!”
“Do you have our phones tapped or something?”
“Oh, so it really was you… heeheehee.”

A pause. Because of the pause, Yotsuya was about to drift away albeit talking to someone, but was stopped due to his name being called in a sad female voice.

“…Yo-chi.”

“Stop calling me with that name.”
“…What did your words mean?... the words you whispered to me before?”
Hearing those words, Yotsuya glanced at Mari’s eyes while laying down his head on the bench.
“You know what I’m talking about.”
“So, I’ve been found out immediately…”
“Not really, I was just testing the waters and you came to me like this. I’ve found out who you are based on our conversations just now.”
“Hahaha, say Yo-chi. What do you think of this “me”?”
“I guess the old one was better.”
“That answer was different from what you said before! Yup! I was that person always at the library back at your middle school! I’m surprised that you recognized or even remembered me! You’re so mean~ You must’ve been laughing at me behind your back!”
“Everyone wants to change. But—”
“But no matter how much you change, there will always be people who will hate you… right?”
“…”
“You said those words to me before.”
Yotsuya thought deeply into his memories… yup, that did happen.
“Then, why did you change if it was meaningless? what's the point?”
“To show that there is a way to enjoy yourself while trying to make everyone like you.”
“That’s impossible, a child’s dream.”
“Maybe it is… no... I know that it is that way… but I still want to try.”
“I can’t comprehend why you would even want everyone to like you.”
“I’m sure you know though?”
Yotsuya closed her eyes then laughed softly.
“Because it’s beneficial?”
“Hahaha, 50 points!”
“Guess I failed.”
“Yup!”
“I give up, this quiz is stupid. Just fail me teacher.”
“Okay! Time to tell you the answer!”
Mari removed her pony tail which made her hair drop covering her eyes with her long bangs. She shoved her hair slightly to make them go over her shoulders and held them as if they were being held by ribbons.
In Yotsuya’s eyes, a different image was reflected on Mari's face. A black-haired girl that has ribbons on her pigtails that are over her shoulder and is wearing glasses.
Now I remember.

The girl Yotsuya met back in middle school...
Seeing that Yotsuya recognized her mari's expression changed into a gentle smile that is out of character from her usual self.
“To prove to you that everyone has to like someone someday.”
The tone she used was different, it was a soft-spoken voice.
“I don’t understand your words.”
“Hahaha, you don’t need to. It wouldn’t be fun if you did.”
She returned her hair into a side pony tail, restoring the present Mari.
“Hey, should I pretend that I don’t know you? Your high school debut would fall if I reveal it accidentally to your friends or Takeshi.”
“What are you saying Yo-chi? You didn’t really remember me! How could it fail at this point!”
“I guess you’re right…”

Yume returned with Yuuna being carried like a baby on her arms.
“She fell asleep while on the toilet… like brother like sister.”

“…Mama.” Yuuna spoke with a cute baby voice on Yume's arms.

“Yes, I’ll take you home now my child.”
Yume started walking towards the exit.
“Hey, give her back. I’ll call the police on you.”

On the other side of the amusement park.
“Where could they be?”
“I-I messaged them but they won’t reply.”
The Kyouko and Takeshi are walking together.
I-I’m with Takeshi I-I mean Kudo-san! Is the real!? Am I dreaming!?”
I’m alone with Watanabe! I have to thank Yuuya for this! But what should I do next!? Help me!
Takeshi received a message from Yotsuya.
Look around and just point to the closes ride you see. Do it in 3,2,1!
Because of that quick message, he pointed at the nearest ride. Which was a small merry-go-round with a lot of children playing on it. A ride for children only.
Yuuya! You have betrayed me! How will I save myself now!?
“W-What is it, Kudo-san?”
“U-Ummm, I remember. When I was a kid, I always got excited about riding that before… Ahaha…”
I'm such an idiot!
“You liked riding the merry-go-round?”
This is all Yuuya’s fault! What the heck, I already dug my grave, might as well go all the way with it!
“Yeah… w-why? is it lame?”
Kyouko made a small giggle making Takeshi’s face paler than it is already.
“Ah! I’m sorry…”
“No… it’s my fault. If a guy said that to me, I would also laugh at them…”
“No, that’s not it!”
Kyouko’s voice rose, surprising Takeshi. Realizing what she’s done Kyouko slightly retreated.
Huh? What should I do! I have to say something here, right!? Here goes! Give me strength, Yume-chan, Mari-chan!
“I just thought that it was cute… I liked riding it myself, but I won’t be able to tell anyone about it… I’m glad we have some similarities.”
Huh!? What’s wrong with a girl riding a merry-go-round! I’m so stupid!
Takeshi was blushing while looking at Kyouko’s red face.
Damn it, she’s so cute! Thank you for this Yuuya!
Seeing Takeshi staring at her and thinking that he was weirded out, Kyouko decided to break the short silence to escape the situation.
“I-It’s getting late, I’m going to call them!”
“O-Okay! That’s a good idea!”
Around them, people were watching and thinking. This fashionable and beautiful couple are awkward as hell. What's up with that awkward conversation? The conversation felt forced!

—Late afternoon.
The group met next to the exit of the amusement park.
“Takeshi, what ride?”
Yotsuya asked an incomplete question to have Takeshi interpret it in the safest way. This was his way of saving Takeshi if his advice failed.
Hearing Yotsuya’s question, Takeshi interpreted it.
He must be asking what ride we went on, but of course we didn’t ride anything! Ah, the others are curious now as to what we had ridden on. But won’t Kyouko be angry here if I lied!? We didn’t ride in anything, okay…. I’ll just say what we talked about!
“T-The merry-go-round.”
“…But isn’t that a kid’s ride?”
I’m sorry okay!? This is your fault you know!?
While Takeshi was thinking, something was going on in Yotsuya’s head.
These two probably just talked about the merry-go-round. Watching kids on the merry-go-round might strike up a conversation about children being cute or something, but Takeshi’s reaction seems weird. I think he said something like he likes riding it. I guess I’ll have to save him.
“Ah, I remember when were at middle school. We played on the merry-go-round on the playground from time to time. A friend would always spin it around very fast.”
Takeshi looked at Yotsuya.
That’s not a merry-go-round idiot! And I don’t remember ever doing that! You never went out of the house and we met in middle school. And middle school is a time where almost no one plays in the playground anymore!
“Ahahaha! That’s not a merry-go-round, Yo-chi!” Mari said in a ridiculing tone.
“It’s not?”
Takeshi had a second thought. Does Yuuya really not know this?
Wait, it’s impossible for him not to know that!… is he actually covering for me? Wait, did he figure out our conversation with just that!? This guy is unbelievable! I’ve got to play along with him!
“Wait, it’s not?” Takeshi asked with an uneasy smile
“Ahaha! Kudo-chi also didn’t know? This is too funny!”
Saved!
Takeshi glanced at Kyouko.
Takeshi, I mean, Kudo-san wasn’t talking about that merry-go-round but that spinning ride in the playground? I thought we had something similar… maybe it’s somewhat removes the gap of him liking a kids ride, but it’s still feels kind of sad.
Seeing Kyouko's sad expresion, Takeshi was downhearted.
Why does she look sad!? Is this a fail!?
Noticing this, Yotsuya shrugged his shoulders.

Ah, that was wrong of me. I didn’t know Watanabe and Takeshi had a good conversation, well…I can’t always be correct.
"...Mama..." Everybody noticed the sleeping child on Yume’s back slightly move and thought she had woken up.
“…Mama…” again in a baby voice.
“Let’s go home, my daughter.”
“Oi, can you just pass her to me? I feel a little nervous leaving her to you. You might run off with her.”
“But she’ll wake up.”
Yotsuya was getting impatient. Was this girl always like this? She's not just messing with me, right?
Yume was definitely not messing with him, she just liked Yuuna very much.
“Yume-chan, don’t you live near his house? Why not just bring her back to Yotsuya-san’s house?”
Everyone turned their heads towards Kyouko. How does she know where he lives!?
Seeing the reactions of others, Kyouko slightly panicked.
“A-Ah! I sometimes see Yotsuya-san and Kudo-san walking on my way to school. I just assumed that we’re close since me and Yume-chan also meet along the way… ahahaha!”
Kyouko breathed out a breath of relief, thinking she was saved.
On the side, Takeshi had a hidden happy smile on his face.
S-She knows I was walking there!? That makes me a little happy!
The others noticed his happy mood.
Good job, Kyouko-chi!
I guess something good happened today.
I didn’t expect that one, good for you Takeshi.



—On he way home.
“Well, I’ll be going this way… see you later Yume-chan! Yotsuya-san!
“See you at school, Kyouko.”
Kyouko left after Yotsuya nodded, affirming that she may take her leave.
This left Yotsuya and Yume walking beside each other with Yume carrying Yuuna on her back.
“…Say, I didn’t know you can talk to people. Why not socialize more?”
“Why should I? there is no requirement for humans to socialize.”
“Huh, is that so…”
Yotsuya looked up to the starry sky.
Ah, I want to sleep.
“Say, don’t you think we can just leave them alone now? The two of them will probably start dating at this rate. The first contact has been done, we just need to watch by the sidelines.”
“We’ll still have some things to do… it won't be that easy. Leave them alone for a while, and they will revert back to being strangers."
"I guess..."
Yume looked upwards to the sky as well.
Knowing Kyouko, that will surely happen.
"Oh, by the way, don’t bother me at school. Tell that to your friends especially make sure to tell that to that Minami. I want my life to be peaceful.”
“Just forget everything that happened today? got it.”
The two had nothing to talk about, so Yotsuya opened up on the topic about their next step.
“Anyway, the next step is to think about some ways to have Takeshi hang out you guys for them to get closer. Those two probably won't be able to stay together by just themselves, you and that Minami should be with them. Don’t worry, I’ll provide support in some way.”
“Guess so. We really can’t leave them alone now and relax.”

The two reached the house of Yotsuya.
“Guess this is where we part.”
Yume started walking but was stopped by Yotsuya grabbing her shoulder.
“Oi.”
“Oh, I forgot about her. Sorry, Sorry.”
Yume removed Yuuna from her back and gave her to Yotsuya. She really did want to kidnap her!
“Well, goodbye.”
“…Goodbye.”
…So, he actually knows how to say goodbye? That’s weird, I thought he only knows how to nod.
Yume was surprised that Yotsuya said goodbye to her because she didn't hear him say goodbye to the others.
Yume stretched her arms upwards.

Ahhh… this day has been so tiring… the only good thing that happened today is Yuna-chan, I mean, Kudo and Kyouko getting the first contact. I wonder how long will it take before they become couples?
Yume walked and was able to return to her house safely.

“Where’s Mama?”
“No, she’s not your mama, forget about her. Mama’s alive and well, she just gets home late. I’m here, sacrificing my sleep for you. I’m a very good older brother. Call me Onii-chan before I sleep.”
“I don’t want you, I want mama.”
“Okay, I’m cutting off all my ties with that girl.”

Wings