Did we just skip a chapter?
Or was it just me?
If the Rumba were still around, these ruins would certainly be worth of its sweeping, but unfortunately it had been burnt together with the house, so I could no longer rely on it to wake me up in the morning.
In spite of this, I was fairly sure that I would be able to wake up at the right time just the same as always, and made light of it.
The human body has something called a biological clock.
The bio-rhythm permeating your body cannot be so easily broken.
To say nothing of the fact that I’m a person who doesn’t even know the mindset of being ‘half-awake’ — though I had thought this way, the reality was different.
I did not oversleep.
Rather, I woke up before the time I had planned to — and what’s more, I did not simply wake, but was woken.
There shouldn’t be anyone who would wake me up now that the Rumba’s gone —
I was woken by someone pulling me up.
Under my present condition, would an unbelievable sight suddenly pouring into me count as me being half-awake? — so I blithely thought, as I waited until understanding could catch up to recognition.
As I looked at Senjougahara-san before me, holding my collar,
I thought, blithely.
“Are you all right?! Are you alive?!”
“H-Huh? Wha? G’morning?”
Still unable to understand the situation, I — doing something I hadn’t done for a really long time — gave a morning greeting.
I was bewildered as well.
After all, that cool-headed Senjougahara-san was looking straight at me, her face bright red as tears fell.
“Are you all right?!”
Senjougahara-san repeated her question.
Still having absolutely no idea of why she was so worried,
I was crushed by her ardor.
Following this, Senjougahara-san finally let go of my collar and bit her lip, looking as though she was holding back a teary outburst, and then
she slapped me.
I was pulled up.
And I was slapped.
I might have been able to avoid it if I wanted to, but her appearance was so menacing that I simply allowed myself to be hit.
No, maybe I really couldn’t have avoided it.
My cheek burnt and stung.
“Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!”
Not ending with simply the first hit, Senjoughara-san continued to slap me — along the way, her hand broke down from a backhand to simply beating on my chest, like that of a child throwing a tantrum.
It didn’t hurt at all.
But it was so very painful.
“A… a girl! All by herself! Sleeping, in a, a place like this…! What if something had happened?!”
Well, perhaps I should say I was made to apologize — after all, I didn’t think there was any reason whatsoever to reflect on what I had done, or in other words, my little game of Scouts and the feeling that I was experiencing something rather interesting.
But, even so,
there was no mistaking that I had made Senjougahara-san, that Senjougahara-san, so very worried about me —
Though imprudent on my part, I was a little happy, as well.
I was happy.
“No. I won’t forgive you. I’ll never forgive you.”
Saying this, Senjougahara-san embraced me, as though snuggling up to me, as though clinging onto me, as though throwing herself onto me.
As though she will never let go again.
“I won’t forgive you. Not even if you apologize.”
“Yeah… I got it. I know. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”
Even so, I continued to repeat these words of apology.
I embraced her in return,
and continued to apologize.
In the end, it took about thirty minutes for Senjougahara-san to stop crying and by then, it was my wake-up time, just the same as always.