Chapter 1: The incident.
-san: A polite suffix, but not excessively formal.
-kun: A common suffix among friends and younger people.
-chan: A common suffix among people you’re close with, mostly used for feminine nicknames and girls, since it’s cutesy and childlike.
-senpai: A common suffix and noun used to address or refer to one’s older or more senior colleagues in a school, workplace, dojo, or sports club.
TL Note: I’m translating names as if they were western, meaning the first one you’ll see is the first name, and the other one is the last.
I’m doing that for intuitive reading, but forgive me for any mistakes.
I’m just another humble MTL translator.
It was homeroom, just before we left for home.
The teacher used his last few minutes to talk about the coming school trip next week, but then…
A sobbing voice echoed from somewhere in the room.
I looked around to see others doing the same until we finally found the source of that noise.
“Toudou, is something wrong?” The teacher was the first to call out.
After being noticed, and even more so after being named, the gazes of every one of my classmates soon fell on her.
Then, her soft sobbing only intensified, and it got loud enough to be called a cry—almost a wail.
All Hisame Toudou answered with was a cry.
The teacher asked again, changing only his tone of voice to something more confused.
After a bit, she finally spoke out, albeit in a fragile tone.
“T, Takasaki forced… forced me…”
I don’t know about the other grades, but there’s only one student in this one with that name.
Me, Yuu Takasaki.
The sudden mention of my name momentarily blanked me out.
I came to myself as quickly as I could, wracking my brain to figure out what on earth she was talking about.
I can’t remember doing anything to her.
From that, there’s only a tentative conclusion I can make: there’s another guy with my name here.
“Takasaki, do you have any idea what’s going on?”
“Not at all, sir.
It’s another Takasaki, isn’t it?”
“Toudou, who’s this Takasaki you’re talking about? You mean the one over there?” The teacher pointed at me, and she nodded her head quickly, as if frightened.
But what’s the matter here? What happened?”
“H, he pushed me down and tried to force me to, to take my clothes off, and… hic…”
No no no no no, what are you talking about? I have no memory of anything remotely like this.
I almost panicked from the sheer absurdity of it all, but that’s not what I should do now.
I need to deny everything and prove my innocence.
Actually, the number of wide-eyed people around me increased by the second, even though only seconds have passed since her bomb dropped.
Regardless, I have to open my mouth.
“I really don’t know what you’re talking about! In fact, I won’t get it until you properly explain what’s going on, Toudou-san!”
First, I tried to grasp the whole story and explain myself, but I realized no one looked at me.
Instead, they looked at someone who raised their hand up—Miu Yamamoto.
“I saw that happen.
Takasaki pushed Toudou down on the mat inside the gym storage.”
“Wait, I’ll ask for more details in the staff room.
Toudou, Yamamoto, and Takasaki, follow me to the staff room.
Everyone else is dismissed.”
The teacher, perhaps thinking it was a bad idea to continue this matter publicly, hurriedly put it all to rest.
Meanwhile, I couldn’t think straight.
It was as if heaven and earth had swapped places, and I almost stumbled down to the ground.
Pushing through, I headed to the staff room with the three of them.
“Teacher! I didn’t do anything!”
As soon as I was ushered into an office next to the staff room, I raised my voice.
I couldn’t just listen and answer with excuses anymore.
For the short time I talked here, I managed to think a bit.
Toudou said she was attacked by me, and Yamamoto testified as a witness.
The fact there was someone who supposedly saw it happen, there was no longer any possibility that she was mistaken.
In other words, these two were conspiring together to frame me.
That’s all I could come up with, so I tried to get the teacher to understand my side.
“I’m sure you’ve got some things to say, but first, let’s hear what happened.”
After the teacher said so, Toudou started talking.
Apparently, after gym class, I had attacked her.
While she told her side of the story, I tried to pick out any inconsistencies.
I thought back to P.E while listening.
I’ll be fine, they’re talking about today.
I remember everything so vividly: after the fourth period had ended, gym class, I headed to the warehouse to store away the ball and scoreboard we’d used.
As soon as I entered, sure enough, Toudou was there.
Like me, she also stored the girls’ used materials.
However, that wasn’t a coincidence, because at this school the equipment is supposed to be stored away by the students in that day’s cleaning shift.
If the amount was too large for me to handle, others around me would’ve helped, but since I was enough for the job, I told my friends to go back first and went in alone.
Toudou and I aren’t particularly close, nor are we on bad terms.
We just chatted occasionally.
Still, at that time, we were both focused on cleaning up and storing everything away.
But just as I was about to finish cleaning up and heading back to class, Toudou said this:
“Do you have a minute?”
I nodded my head, acknowledging her.
“I know it’s been quite a while since you and Momiji have been together, Takasaki.
Is everything going well?”
What a way to put it, I thought.
It wasn’t a formal question, and I didn’t understand its purpose.
Still, since she was good friends with my girlfriend, Momiji, she must’ve been looking out for her friend.
So I answered, “Great, we’re going little by little,” with a hint of embarrassment mixed in.
I still didn’t get why she asked me that, but I didn’t pay any attention, so we chatted for a bit and then walked back to class.
—These are the facts as I know them.
However, Toudou and Yamamoto had both arranged their own stories in advance.
They were so good at incorporating lies and truths together, there didn’t seem to be any discrepancies whatsoever.
Supposedly, as soon as she finished cleaning up the warehouse, I pushed her down on the mat and tried to slip her into her underwear, but she managed to escape with great difficulty.
Yamamoto then happened to pass by due to an errand there.
—This is a summary of their testimonies.
There was one self-proclaimed witness, but in the end, only we knew what really happened there.
Since there was no contradiction in their side of the story, I had nothing to offer in self-defense.
After listening to the story, the teacher said, “Takasaki, so that’s Toudou’s side.
There’s even a witness, and I know she isn’t the kind of person who lies.
That’s why I want to hear the truth from your mouth.”
Does this mean you think I’m the type of person who lies? Well, there is a supposed witness, so I can understand why a teacher would think so.
However, as she’s been a diligent student, I’ve been faithful to those around me up until now.
There must be times when even my teachers appreciated my attitude in the past.
I won’t give up.
“Teacher, I didn’t do any of the things they said.
Toudou spoke to me then and we talked for a while, but went straight back to class afterward.
I hate calling people names and antagonizing them, but they’re lying.
I just don’t know why.”
“Is that so?”
He looked at the two and asked with his eyes, but they both shook their heads.
Then, he looked into mine, and I could see the difference.
Whenever his gaze landed on me, I noticed his previous worry switch to full-on doubt.
He didn’t trust me one bit.
Why, why don’t you believe in me…?
Then suddenly, his previous words came to my mind.
He had said he wanted to “hear the truth from my mouth.” I see, he didn’t want me to disprove anyone, and asked me on the assumption I was lying in the first place.
Before I said anything, he had already decided I was the culprit in his mind.
“Since you three are saying different things to each other, it’s impossible to determine which one is telling the truth.
But what matters is, I’ll explain the situation to your parents, and you’ll tell your story again while they’re here.”
Thus, the story reached its conclusion.
The teacher himself made his judgment and had no faith in me.
…I can’t let this happen.
But why not call the police and conduct a formal investigation? Is this about the appearance of the school in the public eye?
No, this might be for the better.
On the one hand, I would like the police to be called to get to the bottom of this, but on the other hand, if the situation were to be attributed against me, it would be even worse than it is now.
These days, it’s possible to be falsely accused of mol*station.
I’ve even heard that it’s hard to collect fingerprints from clothing, so if it were possible to do so reliably, there would be no more false accusations.
“In any case, go home for now.
I’ll call your parents and let them know.”
“Understood,” we all answered him.
And so, I headed homeward drowning in helplessness.
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