Spirit Girlfriend c23
Chapter 23: Souta Shibuya Goes to Check on his Friend
Akane: “Souta, want to go home together?”
After school, as I was putting my stuff away, Akane came over to talk to me.
She was looking at me with those bright, full eyes.
Unlike Yukina who was more the beautiful big-sister-type, Akane is like the small, cute animal-type.
I’m not going to say little-sister-type.
When you have an actual little sister, you don’t have fantasies about little sisters.
ーーSince yesterday, Akane and I started going out.
So it’s natural for us to go home together, and the fact that I wasn’t the one who asked might have looked bad.
I still wanted to go see my sick friend though.
But it shouldn’t be a problem, right?”
Touru and Akane know each other, so going together to see him shouldn’t be a problem.
Souta: “I wanted to go check on how Touru is doing. Is that alright?”
Akane: “Yeah, that’s fine. Let’s go together.”
So we walked side by side as we headed towards Touru’s house.
On the way, I went to a Corner Store to get a few things.
Akane: “What are you buying?” Souta: “Pocari and Drinkable Jelly.”
Akane: “Wouldn’t you usually bring fruits or something like that?” Souta: “Nah, this is fine. When I was sick, this is what I wanted the most.”
Akane: “I see…..”
Akane is tilting her head to the side trying to understand.
I pay at the register and leave the store with Akane.
Akane: “Hey, Souta?” Souta: “What is it?” As we were on our way to Touru’s house, Akane begins talking to me.
Akane: ‘Will you tell Touru that we’re going out now?”
Souta: “I was planning on doing so…..do you not want me to?”
Akane: “No, I was just asking. I’m not against it at all.”
Our conversation ended as soon as it began.
I need to find something to talk about...
Hmmmmm, after thinking about it for a while...
There was one thing that bothered me.
But….is this something I should ask about?
I debated in my mind a little before I spoke up.
Souta: “Hey, Akane.” Akane: “Wha～t is it?”
Souta: “......well, I wanted to ask you something.” Akane: “Hm?”
Souta: “Is Yukina…..here right now?”
Akane: “......................................<no, she’s not here>”
Souta: “What?” I look at Akane’s face in bewilderment.
Akane: “I haven’t seen her at school or this morning. I wonder what happened…..?” Souta: “I see……” I couldn’t read Akane’s expression.
Apparently, my dead girlfriend, Yukina Shinonome, is possessing me.
It was the talking Black Cat, Mr. Leo, and Akane who told me about it
Oh, but that handsome Café worker also said that he saw her too.
But...I can’t see her.
That’s why it doesn’t feel quite real to me even now.
It just all feels…...unresolved….
Sometimes, I feel like they’re all just sharing one big inside joke and teasing me.
And I reflected on how my heart has changed in these last few days.
Up until a few weeks ago, I was still dragging myself to the ground about Yukina’s death.
I was able to go to school, but my heart was still sunk deeply.
I was able to get through the day because Yukina would show up in my dreams in the morning.
The sudden change came at that time.
The time when I thought I saw Yukina <possess> Akane’s body.
Since then, I couldn’t get Akane out of my head.
And yesterday, when Akane suddenly visited me out of the blue….
…….that was Yukina.
She greeted my little sister in a manner that indicated that she knew her even though they met each other for the first time. And the way she lounged around my room was identical to Yukina’s habits.
And it was that Yukina who began coming onto me.
With Akane’s body.
I was confused.
And at the end of that confusion, all I thought was…
ーーHow cute Akane was.
But is that how it really happened………?
Am I really that simple-minded….?
Or is it because I was really depressed that I just jumped on the first girl who was kind to me?
Or………..well, that’s impossible.
That can’t be true.
It would be impossible to think that <Yukina wanted Akane and I to start going out>.
That would be way too convenient.
I shutdown the silly thought and continue to reflect.
Souta: “Hey, Akane?” Akane: “Yeah?” Souta: “Do you remember when you started liking me?” Akane: “Huh?” Her eyes widened in surprise.
And then her face blushed into a bright red color.
Akane: “Why would you ask that right here, right now?”
Souta: “Ohhhー, sorry.”
It was probably the wrong place and time for that kind of question.
Akane: “Well, I don’t mind answering butー, hmmmmー I thought, ‘Wow, Souta’s kind of cool’ around last May. Why do you ask?”
Souta: “............oh, nothing. I was just curious.”
Akane: “Really? That’s so random.” Akane laughed.
But I couldn’t help but feel…...uneasy about Akane’s answer.
Wait, what? May? Yukina and I started going out before the summer break.
And as soon as we started going out, I was introduced to Akane.
She said she knew Akane from childhood, and she was one of Yukina’s closest friends.
I thought that was the very first time I met Akane.
In May, I wouldn’t have even spoken to Akane.
Because that was before Yukina and I started going out.
Or is Akane saying that she had feelings for me even before Yukina and I started dating? Akane: “Oh, looks like we’re here.”
Souta: “Oh, uh...yeah….”
But I had to swallow my words of concern.
She would think that I was being way too focused on trivial details.
I saw the True Sun Church’s Building ahead.
Around here, it’s one of the bigger Churches.
Touru’s father is the Pastor there.
And in the future, it will be Touru who will take over this Church.
I entered the building from the front entrance, and I told a Sister I recognized that I came to see how Touru was doing.
But the Sister looked at me with an apologetic smile.
“I’m so sorry, Souta. Today, Touru isn’t seeing anyone. The Pastor was very clear about making sure no one visited him today….”
Souta: “I see….”
By Pastor, she means Touru’s father.
Is his cold that bad and contagious?
Souta: “I brought these for him.” I hand her my bag of goodies I bought for him.
“Oh my. Thank you so much. I’m sure he’ll appreciate it.”
The Sister took what I handed to her, but if I was going to give it indirectly to Touru, maybe I should have gotten fruits like Akane said.
I didn’t even think that I wouldn’t be able to see him.
I leave the Church with Akane.
Akane: “Well, that was too bad. We came all the way out here too.”
Souta: “I wonder if he’s okay…”
I shot him a message on Line but got zero replies.
Is he sleeping?
I check my watch, and there’s about 1 hour before dinner.
Since I dragged Akane all the way out here, I should return the favor.
When I was about to ask her, “Is there some place you want to go?” that's when....
Akane: “Huh? Yukina?” I turn around at Akane’s words.
There, I saw Akane speaking to something I couldn’t see in the air.
CHONKY TL LiT (Lost in Translation)
Visiting sick friends, (omi-mai) (お見舞い) - There’s a Japanese word for visiting friends, relatives, or relations that are sick or at the hospital. I’m not sure if there’s an official word or custom in English other than “going to see/visit someone.” If it is someone from work, it’s customary for someone from your company or organization to go as a representative or group. In most cases, bringing a basket of fruits or something healthy to eat (drinks and healthy snacks) is respectful (almost expected), and organizations would label the gift as coming from everyone in the group.
Pocari Sweat - What Gatorade is to the U.S., Pocari Sweat is to Japan. Undoubtedly, it’s one of those English marketing nightmares that spawned out of genuine Japanglish phrases (“When you're sweating, drink Pocari!”). The name was just as bad as Calpis (カルピス), another famous children’s drink that had to be rebranded as “Calpico” to get away from what it sounded like to Americans. Although they did well in Japan, I haven’t seen it transition overseas successfully for…...obvious reasons. To be frank, I love both and still drink it if I get a chance.
Drinkable Jelly - I NEVER HEARD OF THIS. It was amazing looking this up!
Starting from the left: “Drinkable ENERGY - Mascot Grapes”
“Drinkable VITAMINS - Lemon Jelly with Glucomannan”
“Drinkable Hyaluronic acid - Apple Jelly - with Collagen and Glucomannan”
“Drinkable ZERO Calorie - Mascot Grape Jelly with Vitamins and Glucomannan” “Drinkable Coffee Jelly - with Polyphenol and Glucomannnan”
“Drinkable Konjac Jelly - Grape flavor - for better digestion, Lactobacillales, and Vitamins”
“Drinkable Konjac Jelly - Mascot Grape flavor”
“Drinkable Konjac Jelly - Red Fruits Mix - for better digestion, Lactobacillales, and Vitamins”
SOOOOOO MANY THINGS I WANT TO SAY ABOUT THIS!! But I don’t have time, so here’s the biggest one:
Konjac, konyaku, (こんにゃく) - Ate it as a kid. It’s a squishy, gummy, chewy texture with no flavor. Supposed to clean out your digestive tract. Very common in Japan. [Wiki] Konjac is a common name of the East and Southeast Asian plant Amorphophallus konjac, which has an edible corm. It is also known as konjaku, konnyaku potato, devil's tongue, voodoo lily, snake palm, or elephant yam. -- I never laughed so hard from a Wikipedia article. It’s because I grew up with it, and I never knew what it would ever be called in English. Those were some amazing names.