Author: Inaida Sou
Translator: Kei of ChocoCats
○ 338 DAYS AGO
Under the clear blue sky, on the way back from the cram school, where the cicadas are still singing loudly, I jumped into the park pond with as little sound as possible. After landing on the water, I silently went up, and my brother approached me looking amazed.
“Mai, why did you do that?”
“I want to surprise Onii-chan.”
I gave a big smile to my brother who wipes my head with a towel a little roughly. When I open my eyes wide to see, he looks uncomfortable and tries to hide it with the towel.
It’s been about a week since I first jumped into the pond, and this is the 8th time I have dived into the pond in total.
“Well, I’m surprised. But… isn’t it dirty?”
My brother sighs and grabs my upper arm to help me out of the pond.
Even though my brother knew that I would dive again, he still took the route home that passed the pond. I’m sure he wants to see me diving, because he didn’t seem to report it to our parents, and from the second day of the dive, I’ve been wearing a black T-shirt to prevent see-through, so my diving life is going well.
“Mai, do you know that jumping into the pond is prohibited?”
“Yeah, I will get into trouble.”
“Then why did you do it…”
“Because I want to surprise you.”
If I just want to surprise him, there is an option to push my brother off the pond or slide. However, it is dangerous because it will be seen as an act of assault. If I jump by myself, even if I’m careless, I am the only one who is in danger. So, I will continue to jump, nothing can stop me.
“More importantly, how was it? It’s a silent dive!”
For the past week, I’ve been jumping into the pond with a straight face, and I’ve been regularly diving and rising. It’s all for my brother. But if I keep jumping into the pond as it is, the neighbourhood will start thinking there is a crazy middle school student, and I will be labelled as a suspicious person. That’s why I jumped in with a lot of variations.
“If you ask of my impression.”
“It’s not something that a girl in the second grade of middle school will do.”
Apparently, he didn’t like the silent dive as he has a displeased face. It can’t be helped. As I started to plan for my next strategy, my brother picked up his smartphone and mumbled “ah”.
“Today, dad and mom are coming home early, so maybe the dinner will be a little earlier.”
“Ah… I see.”
My brother’s real dad… The father who has a blood connection with this psychopath-brother-of-mine is kind and easygoing. He is an executive director at a food company. And my real mom is a gentle and quiet person. She’s just scary when she gets angry. She works as an engineer, half at home and half at the office.
It seems my brother’s dad and my mom met while raising us alone after divorcing their former partners. I don’t know who my real dad is or my brother’s real mom.
“I think we should hurry. You need to change clothes before they came back.”
Agreeing with my brother, we quickly return home and opened the front door. Then, there were dad and mom who somehow looked sad. Dumbfounded, I turned my head. My brother quietly looked down at me.
I have been tricked…?
Before I realized it, my mother grabbed me by the arm. She threw me into the bathroom, took my bag, and left me inside while closing the bathroom door. I hurriedly washed up and change clothes, and after that mom murmured in a cold voice, “Come to the living room.”
I couldn’t go against it. I cautiously sit in a dining chair, mom and dad are sitting in front of me, and my brother is sitting next to me.
“Mai, I heard you have been doing something strange in the park lately. What is this about?”
Mom talked in a serious tone. For the past week, I have continued to provide surprises to my brother. It’s in a safe manner so that only my brother would be troubled. I thought my brother wouldn’t report to our parents, but he seemed to be reporting this in detail.
“I was so surprised that even after Makoto stopped you, you still jump into the pond every day… I wonder is there something troubling you? Is it stress…?”
Perhaps, my brother deliberately let me dive 8th time so that he can force my parents to take action because even though he tried to stop her, his sister still jumped 8th times.
“The pond in the park belongs to everyone, and it’s not a place to dive. Not only it’s dangerous for you, but other children may imitate you and end up in danger. No matter how shallow it is, they may drown. And above all, the child who really falls into the pond may not be able to get help.”
“Although Mai-chan may not like it, from tomorrow you are not allowed to go out. The school will start next week, so stay at home quietly until then.”
Certainly, the new semester will start next week. I was planning to make a big surprise for the next 7 days, now I have to think of another way.
However, perhaps because mom found out I was absent-minded, she called my name “Mai.” To give me a warning.
“I know Mai is not a child who does things for no reason. So, can you tell us the reason?”
“Yes, if you can tell us, we will end this conversation.”
I understand how worried my parents are about me. I want to say out loud that the problem should be on my brother’s side, not mine. But if I say it, I will be killed. If I tell them the contents of the morgue in the garden now, the point of the discussion will surely change. I glanced at my brother and found him looking at me with a troubled face. But inside, his eyes still didn’t feel like there was light.
But even if mom and dad denied his taste, it’s impossible for my brother to immediately accept it and change. If it’s that simple, he won’t even kill tens of people. If things go wrong, it will be mom and dad who got killed.
“I jumped to the pond because it was fun. I just couldn’t control myself…”
So, I could only make excuses like a criminal. And to such a daughter, mom and dad just looked at each other.
T/N: It’s short, but the next chapter will be shorter. I will update 2 chapters at once if the chapters are short (like this).
Hope you enjoy!