Yayoi Can't Hide Her Secrets - 15 - Chapter 15 - Suki
It was Saturday night when I came back from a date with Satsuki-kun.
I remembered that I had kept a toy piano in the closet, and so I pulled it out.
A tiny piano for children to use.
I looked at the box again and saw that it was for ages three and up.
I was so impressed by Satsuki-kun’s performance at the school festival last year that I wanted to try playing the piano myself, so I bought it secretly.
I wanted to connect with Satsuki-kun, who was out of my reach at that time, in some sort of way.
This cute little red piano was a small piece of my wish.
I thought if I could play the piano, I could express my feelings clearly, but it wasn’t that easy and I gave up right when I began.
I had a job as an agent, and I didn’t need to play the piano nor express my true feelings to anyone.
But I wasn’t lying about my desire to play the piano.
After half a year, it was Satsuki-kun who revived that feeling in me once again.
I pressed the keyboard for the first time in a long while.
Tink, tink, tink
The light sound, which wasn’t even a melody, echoed in the room for a short while before it quickly disappeared.
Satsuki-kun was playing melodies much more skillfully and tenderly. He was expressing himself with the sound. That sound was filled with emotions that could not be expressed verbally.
When I closed my eyes, I saw Satsuki-kun in a beautiful forest, on the surface of a clear lake, with a white cloud in a bright blue sky.
I wanted to exist in that world with him.
The scenery that the piano had showed me, it was hope.
I found hope in Satsuki-kun, who was doing what he truly wanted to do.
This sound that keeps ringing in my heart was played by Satsuki-kun.
“Not yet, please, I wish I could hear it again…”
But that wish didn’t come true. Satsuki-kun couldn’t play the piano anymore.
This time I have to be the one to do it.
What can I do for Satsuki-kun?
If I change, Satsuki-kun will most likely have the courage to play the piano again. I thought I could push him to play the piano again.
So I practiced the piano diligently.
But as a complete beginner, I couldn’t play it at all. I couldn’t read music, I had no sense of pitch, and my right and left hands moved very awkwardly on the toy piano. I couldn’t even seem to play simple pieces on it.
My father and mother were away for a while doing some agent work.
This was a common occurrence in the Kinoshita household, and it was not unusual for me and Uzuki to be left alone to look after the house from time to time.
Taking advantage of this, I decided to skip school for once.
For now, I just wanted to learn to play one song and have Satsuki-kun listen to it.
It had been the third day since I took a day off from school.
I could play it slowly, but I managed to properly finish it. It was a piece called “Canon,” which was a piece that even a beginner should be able to play. I had heard this song somewhere before, so it was easy to remember when trying it out.
Then, Uzuki brought Satsuki-kun home.
He seemed to be worried about me because I had been absent from school for three days.
But I had not yet improved enough to let Satsuki-kun hear me play, and I wanted to keep it a secret that I had started playing the piano for him.
I lied to Satsuki-kun that I wasn’t feeling well to cover it up and get him to leave for the day.
Of course I couldn’t say anything about my agent work and I couldn’t dig up the fact that Satsuki-kun couldn’t play the piano anymore.
I knew it was hard to not say anything.
Then Satsuki-kun told me about himself.
He told me what really happened at the festival and why he could no longer play the piano.
I had never thought that his performance at that time was such a failure that it would drag on for that long. It was just that I was naive. For Satsuki-kun himself, it was a big shock.
‘I want you to do what you want to do, Kinoshita-san.’
Satsuki-kun told me that so many times.
He exposed his past and trauma and pushed me as if he knew about my problems.
So I confided in him. About how I was practicing the piano. I wanted Satsuki-kun to listen to me wholeheartedly.
I tried to push Satsuki-kun too, you know?
Now that I think about it, we’re essentially doing the same thing. I was thinking about Satsuki-kun, and Satsuki-kun was acting with me in mind. We’re kind of similar, aren’t we?
So far, I never fully pushed my boundaries. I always prepared an excuse first and protected myself from a safe distance.
Once I had something, I was afraid of losing it. So I never wanted anything specific from the beginning. I gave up with the excuse that’s, ‘I’m an agent, it’s what I have to do.’
But when I heard Satsuki-kun play the piano, I felt hope.
Satsuki-kun taught me that just because I am an agent, it doesn’t mean that I can’t do what I want to do.
‘Is that what you really want? Not doing something you really want to do?’
Satsuki-kun kept asking me that.
I was just running away from my feelings. That wasn’t a sense of responsibility now, was it?
I didn’t know why he cared about me so much at first, but I didn’t dislike it. I was rather happy, and I was no longer afraid to open up to him, little by little.
A flower blooms because someone gives it water.
I see the moon because the sun illuminates it.
I can be honest just because you were there.
No more excuses. I won’t make excuses for my feelings now.
I want to be your hope this time.
I was very nervous to play the piano in front of Satsuki-kun. As I expected, I forgot the sheet music and made a major mistake.
But I hope Satsuki-kun felt it.
I hope Satsuki-kun can play the piano again, though it’s different from my failure as a beginner.
There is only so much that I can do.
B-But you know what?
I realized for the first time how good it feels to be able to do what I really want to do.
When Satsuki-kun left, I opened the curtains that I always leave closed the entire day.
It was dark outside, but the moonlight shone into the room.
I had always tried to stay in the darkness myself, but now there was light in front of me. I can walk toward the light that is hope.
It was Satsuki-kun who showed me that light of hope.
Everything changed when I met Satsuki-kun.
The sound of my heart has been ringing ever since I met Satsuki-kun six months ago.
When I became honest, I finally understood what this sound was.
This is what you call heart pounding, isn’t it? My heart has been pounding this entire time.
I like you, Satsuki-kun.
I want to do something for you.
I want to see you smile.
That’s what ‘liking’ someone means, right?
I hope I can convey this feeling to you properly someday. ……
Suddenly, the mirror on my desk caught my eye.
In the reflection was a high school girl with a red face and a bright smile on her face.