“Hmmm. Full attendance?”
Ougi-chan nodded to herself.
“So in contrast to how empty the classroom right now, every seat had been occupied back then? I see, I see. Time shoots by like an arrow, doesn’t it? You’ve been stuck in the same old rut for ten long years, haven’t you?”
“Ah… that’s… it’s only been two years. Well, if we’re going to be nitpicking over trivial details, the seats of the three who returned with me were still open, and while Shuui was busy taking attendance, Oikura was standing at the teacher’s lectern.”
“On top of the lectern?”
“Oikura wasn’t that bizarre of a class president. That aside, she stood behind the lectern and said, ‘Now that we have confirmed that there are no deserters, we will commence the meeting.'”
“Isn’t the word ‘deserters’ a bit too extreme? Oikura-senpai was quite the intimidating person, huh. I guess there wasn’t much to make fun of. Is she still enrolled here as a third year?”
“Yeah. I mean, she’s still enrolled but…”
I didn’t want to talk about it, so I vaguely murmured at the end of my sentence before diverting the conversation back to our original topic.
“A student organized class meeting, Oikura was the kind of person who had enough charisma to successfully follow through with such plans.”
“Heheh… but isn’t that strange? You hadn’t known about the meeting until just before it adjourned. Students were also assigned to pick you up, and anyone who dared to ditch would have been branded as deserters, right? … Why didn’t you know about the meeting?”
“It seemed like it was… just a slip up in communication. That day, I couldn’t really get in touch with any of my classmates… things like passing notes and email seemed to be working just fine, but I didn’t receive a single one of either of them.”
“Eh? Isn’t that…”
For the first time, the carefree expression left Ougi-chan’s face. Her smile faded away, and a distant expression took its place. When the color drained from her fair skin, she looked truly pale. It was like a color from a digital palette.
“Isn’t that what society would call a ‘hikikomori/neet’ nowadays?”
“Whoa there. Words like ‘hikikomori’. Could you please stop using that word with such a sad tone? Especially around people like me.” (EN: Yes like me… ;-;)
“Oh, please. Don’t get so defensive. Even before you began stupidly saying things like ‘I have no use for friends. Friends are for the weak.’, you had no friends, did you?”
“You’re slightly mistaken.”
She wasn’t completely mistaken though.
“Ougi-chan, this is tale of the man who had no friends who became the man who had no use for them.”
“That sounds like something a hikikomori would say.”
Ougi-chan said in a serious expression. Though she was still pale, this girl simply didn’t comprehend the emotion called sympathy, did she. Rather, I might have even felt some contempt from her. Just where has my dignity as an upperclassman gone?
“Having no friends is lonely, you know?”
“Please stop constantly tormenting me…”
“Then please stop avoiding reality… and try to work on your twisted way of thinking. Let’s continue the narration by starting with the class meeting’s ‘topic of debate’.”