The train slid into the platform from the garage and the doors opened before Yasuki’s eyes.
As Yasuki sat at the edge of an eleven person seat, Kitaoka sat down next to him like it was natural. It was the first car, so there were plenty of empty seats though… Somehow, it seems like she plans to stay together with him until his station.
He was apprehensive about what would happen if they were seen by one of the people from school, but looking around in the train car he couldn’t see anyone wearing the same uniform as them for now.
“Do you always go to prep school on Wednesday?”
“…I also go on Saturday”
“Where do you go?”
Despite thinking it was a somewhat random question, he answered with the name of his prep school: “Youshin.”
“Ah, I see. So that’s why I’ve never seen you until now, huh. Today I went shopping and used the East entrance, but I always get on the train from the West entrance that’s right across from my cram school.”
It’s true that he’s never seen Kitaoka on her way home from prep school. Come to think of it, something like a flashy girl like her seriously studying at prep school (he’s prejudiced though) felt unexpected.
The doors closed and the train slowly began to move. While the neon city flowed outside the windows, Yasuki injected suitable aidzuchi.1
Around the time that they passed the first stop, Kitaoka reacted lightly with “Ah.” It seems like she remembered something.
“By the way, are you considering a smartphone?”
Suddenly bringing up the continuation of the talk from when she came to his house confused him.
From her attitude at school, he thought that Kitaoka wanted to act like that never happened, but that doesn’t especially seem to be the case.
He didn’t understand what her intentions were at all, but for now he answered her question in an aloof way.
“I won’t change my mind so suddenly”
“Ehh, buy one. If you want, I can show you things you don’t understand about the messenger”
That was a pretty pushy invitation. In any case, even if he bought it, virtually nothing would come of it…
“Kitaoka… Is someone in your family in a telephone company?”
“Huh? No… well, my older sister’s company is associated with SB though. But that’s unrelated, alright?”
So it’s like that after all, he took a breath mixed with discouragement. It’s probably related to the fact that with almost all new contracts, there is a bonus involved in getting them.
Kitaoka was staring back at him dumbfounded. Looking at that kind of facial expression from her, he decided to change the topic and looked around.
“Oh yeah, you changed your hair since summer break, huh?”
He thought it was a pretty forced way of changing the topic, but her face unexpectedly lit up.
“Oh, yeah that’s right! Did you notice?”
It’s probably impossible not to notice… Despite giving a tsukkomi2 in his head, he dared to ask:
“Why’d you change it?”
Even though she had kept the same brightly colored curly hair for a long time. When he asked the reason she changed it, while showing signs of embarrassment and touching her newly reborn straight brown hair, she replied.
“No… that’s a little… I thought I’d try to catch attention”TL1
‘What’s with that’, he wanted to tsukkomi again.TL2 Certainly, this quieter hairstyle would probably catch a man’s favor. But even before now, you could say she was famous with the guys, just how much more attention was she trying to garner? What a greedy woman, the unpopular Yasuki thought jealously.
“How is this hairstyle, I wonder~?”
Being asked his opinion, Yasuki was able to answer cooly.
“It’s good isn’t it? Everyone around says so, right?”
Her facial expression stiffened.
“Ah.. Well, yeah…”
She murmured, and with that she stayed quiet. Upon reaching the transfer station, a large crowd of people rushed in, causing a large ruckus as they packed themselves in, but when the train started moving again, the two returned to sitting in silence.
Wondering what this girl is thinking, he peeked at her face from the side. When her well flowing eyebrows and her large pupils entered his sight, he suddenly remembered the things she told him before.
What, she looked toward him. Looking at him with what seemed to him like a vaguely gloomy front, ‘It’s definitely like I thought’ he confirmed.
“I looked up ‘Emmanuelle Béart’ that you mentioned before”
He nodded. It was the actress that Kitaoka’s name was taken from. Just how beautiful is she, he decided to investigate immediately.
“How was it?”
Kitaoka unexpectedly honestly sank her teeth in, so Yasuki looked down at his feet and answered while recalling her face.
“She’s good now, but she was amazing in the old days after all. In her angel role for example, it was surprising how cute she was. I guess it was a well-suited role.”
The trailer for the movie starring Béart was on the net, so he watched a bit of it. He didn’t understand the English language contents, but from her makeup to her stage presence, it was all at a level where it wasn’t an exaggeration to wonder if she was human.
“Hmm,” she answered like her mind had gone blank,TL3 murmuring one word.
“As I thought, you kinda resemble her”
Upon hearing this, he could tell that Kitaoka’s shoulders shook with a start next to him.TL4
“What is it?”
“…you can lightly say things like that, huh?”
Just what kind of things are ‘things like that?’ Completely not understanding the situation, Yasuki tilted his head.
“Are you often called a natural airhead or strange?”
Kitaoka scolded him with a red face. But even if she said that, still having no understanding of the situation, Yasuki limited himself to a short response of “Not really.”
Saturday morning. Ema woke up earlier than usual and, after washing her face and eating a lunch combined with a late breakfast, she sat down on the living room couch still in her dressing gown.
Turning on the TV, she used the remote to search the contents of the hard-disk. Her sister’s hobby was western media, so of course there should be a large collection of movies that she had amassed inside. If she’s skipping studying to watch, it can’t be helped that the other family members are out.TL5
She found the thing she wanted. When it played the end of the opening sequence, without thinking Ema blurted out:
Playing on the screen was ‘Date with an Angel’ starring Emmanuelle Béart. It was one of her masterpieces, so she knew about it, but until now she had never seen it. She finally figured she’d watch it because the other day on the way back from prep school she talked about it with a boy in her class.
The contents of the story is, a love story between a dull guy and an angel that falls from the sky. That angel was a sweetie of a transcendent beauty, so everyone around falls in love with her, a group appears with a money making scheme, the man’s fiancee is a jealous person and makes trouble… with it feeling very much like it’s a slapstick comedy from the eighties, it definitely won’t seriously move you or change your life with it’s deep meaning, but maybe because of Béart’s figure as the angel or her acting, even Ema as a girl had to find her cuteness charming.
Something like her resembling this, isn’t saying that an exaggeration?
His(Iijima’s) words were prefaced with ‘kinda’ though. Even with that, it’s still too much. His eyes must really be bad. I wonder if his prescription is right? She had some doubts about his ability to properly distinguish people’s faces.
Furthermore, he praised it greatly with things like ‘it was surprising how cute she was’ or ‘it was a well-suited role,’ and afterwards-
Remembering it made her embarrassed all over again, so she directed a burst of anger at the pillow on her lap. The beads on the cushion clacked together.TL6 But no matter how many times she hit the cushion with her fist, her cheeks still felt hot, and she buried her face in it.
“…what’s with that, stupid”
She remembered her plain male classmate and called him a name. He normally seems like he has no interest in the opposite sex, so what’s his aim letting something like that out of his mouth?
That guy was even apathetic to her hairstyle change. ‘It’s good isn’t it? Everyone around says so, right?’ That wasn’t what she asked about. Until now she hadn’t even thought about gaining a guy’s favor, but ‘Maybe straight hair like what seems to be Iijima’s type will make him easier to get’ is what she thought, so she tried changing it. Even then, he realized the change, but what’s with his indifference.TL7 She doesn’t really understand that kind of person’s sense of aesthetics.
And with the smartphone thing, her sister’s employment was completely unrelated. It’s simply that it’s always convenient, isn’t it. Why did he have that sort of expression? Is it because he doesn’t like she keeps saying “get one, get one?”
“Really, It’s strange, right…”
She muttered and sucked up the beads. During summer vacation while pushing his bike he said ‘I’m not attractive like you3’ and this time’s ‘You resemble her a bit.’ She’s just barely in that guy’s mind as ‘Cute’, but… there’s a long way to go to figure him out. At least, she was pretty worked up when that was said. She was always the one who’s heart was made to throb in worry by one thing or another, which was a little vexing.
While still burying her face in the cushion, she rolled on the couch. At this moment, the phone in her pocket fell onto the floor.
She hurriedly picked it up and traced the screen. She could normally look up things she didn’t know on the internet, but the thing she most wants to know right now definitely couldn’t be found there.
…things like other people can’t be entered in with swype. But if it’s a way for two people to talk, she understood before.
If it’s that place then everybody can’t raise a fuss. It might even be somewhat like a ‘Date.’
Returning her eyes to the TV, the ending of ‘Date with an Angel’ was coming. The man came back from the dead, and the angel was reborn as a human. The two were bound. It was a happy end that made you want to laugh. It was a pretty absurd story, but sometimes that kind of thing isn’t so bad (…a feeling like that4).
 : Basically, it’s important to say things while the other person is talking to show that you’re listening. It’s a thing that happens in the west somewhat, but it holds a lot more importance in Japan. They even have a word for it.Wikipedia for extra info
 : Tsukkomi is the half of a comedy duo that basically brings a voice of reason in as a way to point out the absurdity of things that the boke says. Wikipedia
 : Regis pointed out that attractive would be good as a gender neutral word. I originally translated cute as popular because I thought it would be weird if he implied that he wanted to be cute and I didn’t think it would come back to me…