Chapter 14:

Chapter 7 🎓 Graduation (1)

✨ Nopan Mahou Shoujo ✨

The weeks and months passed by and Kouhei was able to enjoy his middle school life to his fullest without his charade being found out.

Hanako on the other hand had a troublesome time but she still managed to finish with very good grades while working hard towards her goal and while also being involved in the student council. Because of her positive attitude, she managed to make good friends with Marin and others.

At the graduation ceremony, it was Hanako's final responsibility as the student council vice-president to hold a speech from the podium in the gymnasium that would otherwise be used by different clubs.

"The girl from the library!" Seiji's heart skipped a beat once he spotted her entering the stage, "does that mean she is once again not wearing...?"

"Ahem", the cough of the homeroom teacher of Seiji was heard from the seat behind him. He has noticed the drop of attention and signalled him to focus.

"If you would even know her, dude!" Seiji defended himself mentally but tried to keep his composure.

For this particular event, Hanako even listened to what Mashiba scolded her about, when he called her out for wearing her skirt too high, a few days earlier, after she was already told off a few times by him. At the counselings he would sit with his face sunken into the palms of his hands out of disbelief for how many times he's been in this situation, without being able to change her state of mind to get her to wear her skirt normally.

This time, he was sitting at the back in the audience, giving her a mental sign of approval and smirking proudly as if he had finally managed to fulfill his duty.

She managed to find words that brought tears to many female and also few male students, who looked back on the past years in their lives. Graduation ceremonies were known for being the most emotional event of every student.

Marin looked back on everything that happened during the past years. In the seat next to her was Saya, who quietly slumbered through most of the ceremony, sometimes letting out a slight yawn as if little zzz letters were slowly rising from the top of her head.

Kouhei remembered all the events that took place with Hanako. From the ice skating rink excursion, to the MagiFair date and to the time he helped a stranger find his way to his job interview. The path he drew for him was visually saved in the back of his mind even now.

Seiji was looking back on the encounter at the library with the girl that's now standing on the stage, acting like an actual member of the student council for once. He also remembered their second meetings at the fast food restaurant.

And then there was the recent school festival, which will prove to be a long-lasting memory for each of them. Especially Marin and Seiji were remembering a very intimate situation once the speech started to cover the festival, both of them getting a bit red in the face. They were carefully glimpsing at each other in the audience but instantly reverted their eyes once they noticed the mutual gaze. He wasn't able to resist recalling the image that got engraved into his memory.

"Ahem!!!" The teacher behind Seiji once again reprimanded the inattentiveness of his student this time with more force in his voice, as this student was clearly dreaming away in his mind.

"Give me a break, man! You can't even imagine what happened!" He justified himself and once again focussed on the speech.

After the graduation ceremony their middle school life ended. Hanako and Kouhei parted ways like so many other students.

Hanako continuously followed the path to becoming a magical girl in a high school in Tokyo while implementing what she learned from Kouhei.

On the other hand, Kouhei went off to a different city because of his parents' job.

Hanako and Kouhei exchanged contact information because they started to get along with each other over the course of the years. Kouhei would trust her because she earned his respect for what she did. And she would revere his useful advice which he openly gave her, even if they might have been difficult for her to follow at the start of her apprenticeship.

Whenever Kouhei opened his messaging app, he took a look at Hanako's profile. Her picture showed Purinpurin-chan. At times, she couldn't be stopped when informing him about new magical girl related anime and manga releases. In these cases, Kouhei would have written one message while Hanako would have written ten.

It was only after they moved away from each other that Kouhei realized the special bond they had built up together. Sometimes it only becomes clear what you have, once it is lost. But since he would still be able to talk to her via their messaging app, they still managed to nurture their relationship.

One day, Hanako was really energetic about telling him about something she read online, a brand new release she was planning to get. So as usual, she would flood him with images and messages.

Kouhei left the messages unread for a day or two because he was busy with other things at this specific time and because he could already assume what all the notifications would be all about.

Suddenly the notifications stopped. After a while, Kouhei was wondering what happened, so he sent a text himself.

"Whats up?"

Not getting a reply even after quite some while, he composed more messages.

"Have I done something wrong? Are you mad at me? I am sorry."

He tried to get her attention but it was fruitless. 5 messages became 10... 10 messages became 20...

But the blue checkmark which would confirm to him that she read the messages would not be displayed on the screen. Even a day later, even a week later, the messages were still left unread.

He never heard from her again. It was like Hanako just disappeared from this world all of a sudden, no trace being left. What happened to her remained an unsolved secret to him.