Hello, Hello and Hello:Volume 2 Prologue
Prologue: The Flower Colors Drawn Out
This is the story I (watashi) created, of that 'wish' (till now) he knew not of.
This is the story of 'hope' (henceforth) she knew not of that was given to me (boku), reaching out to a certain Spring.
I was returning from school.
I went to a little park, wanting a shortcut, and then, I stopped outside it.
I entered a little park, wanting to take a shortcut, only to stop by there.
There was a really pretty person seated on a really dirty bench. I had never seen such a pretty person. She had a book on her knees, a pink bookmark placed on the cover, instead of being between the pages.
I guess the world, or God Himself might know of her beauty really well.
The sunlight was so gentle, it was hard to imagine there being a snowstorm days ago. It filled the world with its blessings, and the scenery resembled a painting.
If possible, I want to keep looking, so I thought.
With that impulse, I tugged hard at the straps of the large red backpack, and took a deep breath. I encouraged myself, and changed directions. I cautiously approached her, like I discovered a kitten, and sat next to her.
Though she glanced at me, she quickly looked into the distance, scratching her head as she lifted her head towards the sky bluer than yesterday.
Despite that, it'll be a while until Spring arrives, and the sakura trees by the side are still naked.
So what is with this sweet sakura fragrance floating around?
I kept looking at her.
The outline of her straightened throat.
The silhouette of her slightly raised chin.
And the eyes reflecting the blue sky.
Admiring her from up close, there was another level of glitter to her beauty.
Her long was really fluffy, her eyebrows a little raised. Her face looked happy, satisfied, delighted, but――
She seemed a little sad.
I approached her probably because of that little sadness. Even though the scene appeared so perfect; no, it because of that perfection that I noticed that flaw.
“Hey, hey, big sister."
I called out to her, and it startled her enough to jolt her shoulders. She turned her head towards me, pointing her finger at her pretty face. She widened her eyes, and looked really cute. Well, it's probably rude to think of something older than me as cute. Can't help it when this was my first thought though.
“'Big Sister', as in me?"
“I see. What's the matter?"
We started chatting from the most unnecessary point.
“Your long hair is really pretty."
She beamed gently.
“Is that so?"
“Isn't it troublesome to leave it that long?"
“Very. But I never thought of cutting it."
“Because this is something I'm proud of. The passing time, the thoughts I had, those were the best proofs of me falling in love."
I think mama once said that before.
Every year, the hair grows by 15cm.
The time can't be seen, but in a clear way, it's moving gently next to her. How long is her hair right now?
“Have you fallen in love before, big sister?"
“Yep. The happiest love on this world."
I looked up at her, digesting the meaning of the words 'happiest love on this world'. What is that? Something really sweet?
Ah, speaking of which.
I fumbled around my pocket, and my fingertips touched something hard. Great, I have two left.
“Want some chocolate, big sister?"
I took out a mouth-sized chocolated from my pocket, and handed it to her. I wanted to have it as a snack, but it's not like I can't give it to her. Because today's――
“You don't like chocolates?"
“I really do, but why give me?"
“I feel energized when I get sweets. You don't, big sister?"
“No. I will."
“Then, please have some."
I ate one of the two chocolates, and the other was left before her. Though a little hesitant, she finally took it.
I saw her put the little chocolate between her red lips, and told her,
“I heard that it's Valentine's Day, for friends. It's a day to give chocolates to important people."
Saying that, I started to feel embarrassed, and hurriedly looked away.
I looked towards the park playground. There's a swing and a slide. Nobody's around, and it feels lonely, like the whole world has forgotten about this place. I guess it's a comfort for me to be able to see the big sister in a corner of my eyes.
But she rolled the chocolate in her mouth, and wasn't able to speak.
I was the only one talking.
“I wanted to give Tai-chan and Kai-kun chocolates. Have you given any to anyone, big sister?"
She nodded gently.
“Well, everyone's happy. I'll be really happy if you cheer up here, big sister."
“…But I am?"
“But it looks like you're crying."
Hearing those words, she touched her cheeks with her hand, checking something.
Her fingertips aren't damp..
“Fufu. Sounds like someone once said this to me. What a bother. What a bother."
Her feet rocked back and forth, like a swing.
There seemed to be an increase in sadness on her face. However, she showed a face much happier than before. Why's that?
“The promise reached him, and his echoing voice is still catching me, not letting go."
――Those words sounded like a curse (blessing).
Once she said that, a light gust blew. It's still a little cold as it's just past Winter, shaking the branches. The golden light of Spring glittered in the corner of my eyes.
At the same time, the pink bookmark flew from her hands, into the sky.
It disappeared in the light, looking like a sakura petal.
We blurted in unison, standing out, and reaching our hands out. However, it just flew by her palm, and gently landed in mine. it's an ordinary paper of paper, blank on both sides. However, I could tell that she really treasured it, and held onto it for a really long time. The sakura fragrance she had completely covered the surface.
“Here, big sister."
She stared at it, and shook her head.
“For you. As thanks for the chocolate."
“But without this, you won't know where you stopped reading at."
“Ah, I see. How, it's not really a bookmark――"
Saying that, she started muttering to herself, I think.
“I guess. That moment really happened. It's not a lie, is it?"
Soon after, she told me what it was. It was with the book, so I thought it was a bookmark, but now that she mentioned it, it's more like 'that'. There's nothing woven through it though, just a hole at the top.
It's something used to make wishes to the stars.
“Yep. My wish has been fulfilled."
“What did you wish for, big sister?"
“For me, no, for us, we shouted the same wish at the last moment, towards each other. Like Vega and Altair in the dazzling stars, 'come see me', 'call my name', something like that. That is,"
She paused, took a deep breath, and lifted her head.
Then, she smiled very happily.
“The proof of great love."
Somehow, the sadness disappeared from her face. Did the sweetness of the chocolate melt away her sadness? Did she recall something happy, so happy that it surpasses the sadness and despair? I won't know.
There's only one thing I know.
I have never met such a pretty smiling person in my entire life.
I nearly burst into tears, starting to panic. My nose felt itchy, the world's starting to twist around. I wasn't sad, nor in despair. It's not painful.
It's like, she just brought all the happiness in the world into her hands as she smile away, filling my heart, causing it to be so warm.
“So if you make a wish in the future, and find something you really want, you can try writing on it. It'll definitely reach the sparkling stars, just like my wish."
In that case, can I smile as happily as she did?
I was in the midst of doing my own homework, and opened the drawer, wanting to get my eraser. There's a photo of me together with my friends, the test script when I got my first full marks, the great luck charm I drew at the shrine, the glass ball in the ramune, and various other memories inside the desk.
However, what attracted my attention was a faint sakura fragrance coming from the pink paper.
It resembled a bookmark, but actually, it's used to write my wish.
It was something I picked up at a nearby park a long time ago. Right now, I'm completely different from before, I have a wish I want to fulfill no matter what. I thought about it. I was lost. But in the end, I never got down to chasing after that wish.
So this pink fragment of spring, which was delivered to me through the cold breeze of Spring, remained completely blank and in my drawer.
And it will, until the day I encounter the day when I can write that wish down.