As she ran, and ran, and ran through the never-endingly long corriday barefoot, she finally reached the outside before she even realized. The “Moon”, something which did not existed in her homeworld Grando, hung in the middle of the night sky and bathed her in its faint light. She was truly alone in this jungle of the skyscrapers which spread out before her eye. She no longer had her old friends with which she could laugh with, nor the kind voice of Eason.
However, when she set her eyes upon the path extending before her, she came to a stop unknowingly.
Romiemarigana wondered. Is this the end of everything? She was still alive. And a path lay in her way before her. She felt that she could construct a whole new world from the fragments of the collapsed world inside her. Indeed, she was still alive. She had legs which could walk, a path which lay before her, and the heart to seek for something.
She made a wish for the happiness of Eason, who had once created the world within her, and took a step out. Gradually, she increased her pace, and eventually disappeared into the streets of the night.
Romiemarigana’s Expanding World
Even when the second term came, the things I needed to do did not change.
Every week, on Wednesdays and Fridays. From the time the chime indicating the end of lesson till 5.30pm.
Shinonome and I would head to the library to man the counters.
To speak of what has changed, it would be that I have also started to pick up the habit of reading whenever I was free, just like Shinonome. It served as a way of finding common topics to chat with Shinonome, and I’ve also become completely used to it as I read whenever I was feeling troubled.
As Shiina-san looked at the two of us,
“Isn’t it great. You two are getting along so well.”
She said, laughing with a ufufu. It seems like she had cleanly forgotten about that time she asked if we dating and I told her we weren’t. Well, but since there was no particular need to, I also didn’t mention it.
“Why don’t you try writing a story too, Minami-kun?”
Shinonome suddenly brought it up as we were walking to the station together after our shifts ended.
“That’s a bit tough…… When I read your work, I just lose confidence in my writing. Not that I have any interest too, anyway.”
“It’s not like my story is that great or anything……”
“Don’t put down yourself like that. Your recent work was great, ‘The Melancholy of Deus ex Machina’.”
When I spoke out the ridiculous-sounding title, she came to a stop.
“D-don’t say out the title…… It sounds so embarrassing……”
And said so with a look of imploration. When I see her like that, I feel like her repertoire of expression seems to have widened a bit.
I grabbed her hand and continued to walk, ignoring her glare at me.
“Speaking of which, have you worked on the novel since then?”
“Then, what of gathering information?”
“Well, I’m fine with it anyway.”
Shinonome and I were ‘dating’. That was probably the case. However, we were still in this ambiguous situation.
Sometimes, I think, are we only doing this to ‘gather information’?
We have yet to put that into concrete terms. It was exceedingly embarrassing to ask if we were dating in the true sense of the word, and I can’t picture what would happen if I were to actually ask and receive a denial. With those reasons, the situation had extended till now.
I thought that I had to confirm it someday.
About what Shinonome really thought of me.
It may be when Shinonome finally completes her novel, or it may be when we graduate from high school. There was no way of finding out right now.
As we walked hand-in-hand, I thought back to what she had said in the past.
The life of a person only amounts to that of a short story.
Everyone seems to think that their life story would be as long as a novel, but in fact, it can be easily summed up in tens of line as a short story, or so.
At that time, I was taken in by those words and even thought she said it well.
But now, I felt slightly different.
If we take those words to be true, then the world would be a collection of short stories. The lives of each and every person would be a short story, and a collection of that would form the world.
That may be correct in a certain sense.
But, any person isn’t alone. Like how I was together with Shinonome now, all kinds of people are connected with all kinds of other people which forms the world around us. At that point, the world is no longer purely a collection of short stories. You could call it a collaborative short story collection, or even a grand epic featuring infinite leads.
The story of my life alone may have just been something shallow, but that changes when Shinonome is involved. These few months alone had so many different happenings, so much so that it may not even fit into one volume.
“……What’s the matter?”
Shinonome looked at me in puzzlement as I pondered silently all this time.
I replied, and then the two of us walked to the station together.