19.5 The other sides on the entrance ceremony day
◇ One Of The Girls From Outside The Special Ward ◇
The afternoon when a girl from outside the Special Ward got home after the entrance ceremony.
“Welcome back, the lunch is ready. So, how was the entrance ceremony?”
When the girl went inside the house and went to the kitchen, her mother, who was cleaning up the dishes, said so.
“Sorry, Mom. It’s not the time for that, it’s time for an urgent meeting! Gather everyone.”
“I need everyone’s power right now!”
“I-I see… Alright. I’ll call everyone.”
Pushed by the momentum of her daughter, the mother nodded slowly.
The girl’s house was also for their business, so the family could get together immediately.
“Oh my, what’s wrong? The tea will get cold if you don’t eat now.”
The girl’s grandmother sat upright on the tatami mat in the living room.
“You’re soー late, everyone ate lunch already.”
“Sis, you haven’t had your lunch yet, right?”
The girl’s older sister and younger sister, who were in 2nd grade High School and 2nd grade Middle School starting this year, had already returned home and finished their lunch.
They were able to go home early because their schools were in the neighborhood.
“I’m going to talk about it…… wait a minute, let me sort out my feelings first.”
The girl took a deep breath once before speaking.
Four people, the grandmother, mother, older sister, and younger sister, stared at the girl silently.
“… Listen. Tomorrow, the group that will last for one year, will be decided at school, but there are only two boys even though it’ll be eight groups in total. Means, there will be six groups of only girls. But, one of the boys who are in the same class, said that he would like to choose his group member from among us, the girls from outside the special ward!”
“From outside the special ward? Isn’t that good for you?”
The mother was excited.
“But, the chance is small, right?”
The older sister was calm.
“Are you confident that you will be chosen?”
The younger sister was even calmer.
“Maybe. Anyway, the selection criteria are to submit a self-introduction. He will then read it to decide. So please. Everyone, help!”
It seemed that what the girl wanted to say was immediately conveyed. As expected of family members.
“He will decide by reading the self-introduction? Then, we should divide the work.”
“You see, Mom is good at that kind of thing.”
“Even I know about my younger sister well. I can write as much as you want.”
“Sis, I will help you too!”
“Thank you. I don’t know what he will look for from the self-introduction, so please, write as much as you can.”
“Time….. it’s 1 pm. Seven hours should be enough. With that much time, I can write it all thoroughly.”
“We should divide the work, first, I’ll list the good points of my granddaughter.”
“I don’t know what will touch his heart, so I think it’s better to write a lot.”
“If all the handwritings are different, it’ll be not good. So, I’ll put them together on my computer. Then, you can print it out.”
“It’s decided then, I’ll close the store for today.”
“Mom, thank you.”
“It’s okay. Now, it’s time to show the unity of this family.”
“That’s something I can agree on.”
“Let’s do our best!”
In this way, the girl created something that could be mistaken for a novel, and she took it to school the next day.
◇ One Of The Girls From Within The Special Ward ◇
“He said that he would only choose from the students from outside the special ward, but that could be lip service, he might change his mind tomorrow. Mother, what about the writer’s arrangements?”
“No problem. I have the best ghostwriter ready.”
“As expected of my dear mother.”
“I’ve hired a professional proofreader too, so it’ll be fine. Instead, you should do your best to make a clean copy.”
“Yes. To show motivation, as expected, it’s better to be “handwritten”.”
“Yes, but do you know what he will see the most in the self-introduction?”
“He didn’t say anything about it, so it’s better to be not so intrusive, and try to push of being motivated to be his group member.”
“Good. When you were in middle school, all the boys were weak-minded, but this boy seems to have a strong backbone. For someone who’s been living in a special ward, it’s normal to choose those from a house with a solid foundation.”
“Yes, mother. But I don’t think he said it with a shallow thought. Perhaps, he turned his eyes to the students outside the special ward, to confirm his value.”
“In any case, how was that person?”
“For me, A… No, I don’t mind giving him A+.”
“As expected of Itsuki High School. Let’s have the ghostwriter do her best.”
In this way, a professionally written self-introduction was completed, and the girl brought it to school.
◇ Inside A Printing Shop ◇
“President, why an order suddenly came in… I mean, it’s already night.”
“Stop talking, and move your hands.”
“No matter how much of a small printing shop this place is, for order came at night, asking to make it into a gorgeous bound booklet by the morning, is just… also, it’s just one book, right? You should’ve declined such a request.”
“Don’t rattle… I couldn’t refuse.”
“For real? President who always yells at almost every customer, couldn’t refuse?”
“Stop it. I mean, if both parents and children can bow their heads to the point where their foreheads touch the ground, how can I refuse…”
“Huh? They did?”
“If I refused, I’m sure they would have been stay like that for a long time… Maybe, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing. In that case, I can’t curse at them, and just take it silently.”
“That may be the case… So, what will we print?”
“It’s a self-introduction.”
“It was a parent and child who came, but it seems to be a self-introduction of the child.”
“What do you mean?”
“Look, I don’t know either, but it must be something that they won’t regret even if it cost their life. Move your hands. I’ll make the best book of it. Hear me, it’ll be the best book.”
“Understood. We have until morning. It’s enough, so let’s make it into the best book.”
In this way, the night went on inside a small printing shop.
◇ In The Tomomi Kikuie’s Place ◇
“Ara, are going to study now?”
“Mom… you’re awake?”
“It’s a night shift soon. That aside, you just had your entrance ceremony, you can take a break from studying.”
“I’m not studying… more than that, Mom…”
“Thank you for giving birth to me”
“What’s it, why so suddenly…… Me too, thank you for being born here. Unlike other households, I couldn’t take care of you every time, but even so, you grew up well. Thank you for being a good girl. You’re my proud daughter.”
“I will always be grateful to you, Mom. For always doing your best for me.”
“That’s not the case at all. I ruined my health when I was working as a saleswoman, and the restaurant I worked for next, I was dismissed due to poor management. I could’ve done better….. But, my current workplace is a very good place. The factory manager told me that I could put shift anytime in the morning and night. “
“It’s a factory that operates 24 hours a day after all.”
“Thanks to that, I can send you to Itsuki High School. My daughter who lives in a rental apartment like this, can go to a co-ed school in the special ward, it really feels like a dream.”
“Right… it feels like a dream.”
“That’s why, you don’t have to worry about the house and enjoy your student life to the fullest. The three years of high school are shorter than you think. Really, it’ll end in a moment. Think of it like a fleeting star in the night sky. This is an advice from your predecessor.”
“Yes, I understand.”
“Good! Then, I’m going to work. Go to bed early, okay?”
“Okay. Be careful with your body, Mom.”
“Don’t worry, I’m still young.”
After sending her mother out, Kikuie looked at the unfinished self-introduction she just wrote.
After raising her eyebrows for a moment, Kikuie erased the first few lines.
Then, she took out a new paper sheet and started writing.
――「I have a Dream. It’s a dream to make my mother live comfortably…」
That was the beginning of Kikuie’s self-introduction.
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