I finally took a break when I forgot how many shots I had taken. I worked so hard that my back was damp with sweat.
Near the end of the break, there was a doubles match. The balls seldom flew so we watched them closely in the back.
Not knowing the rules, I watched the game, guessing at the jargon I heard. I could understand at least a fault, but I couldn't understand the ad-something server. This is an area that requires a simultaneous translator.
Alina was watching the game with her feet shoulder-width apart, arms crossed, and surprisingly serious eyes.
After the match, they took a break as if nothing had happened.
During the break, Shirana came over.
'Tennis is so difficult, isn't it?
'Yeah. At first. But once you get used to it, it's fun.
Shirana seemed to be interested in Alina. She was sitting quietly by my side, stroking her shiny white legs, looking at Arina with a curious look on her face. I felt a sense of superiority toward Arina, who had become like a domesticated cat. What do you think, Alina? You're a cat.
But she'll get angry if you keep staring at her like that.
Look, he snapped. You get angry easily, you beautiful girl. I bet her boiling point is 25 degrees.
'Oh, no, I just thought you were good at it. Have you done it before?
''A little bit.''
'Oh yeah! That's why you had such beautiful strokes. ......'
I took pity on the frightened Shirana, so I joined the conversation.
'Alina, you have good taste. Even to an amateur like me, you look like a pro. Why didn't you join the club?
Alina answered in a muffled whisper.
I wasn't sure.
''The club activities?''
I didn't know what to do in the club itself, and it seemed boring. What kind of answers do you want from me? Shut up for a minute, Neanderthal.
'I see. Well, I didn't get in for the same reason, so I don't know.
That's right. That's what I meant.
Shirana rolled her eyes. It was probably because it was rare to see Alina speak properly. I would have been surprised, too, if our positions had been reversed.
The director announced the end of the break and the game started again.
There was no need to retrieve the ball anymore. The court was filled with the exhilarating sound of "pakorn, pakorn". I liked that sound a lot. It is similar to the sound of a train rattling by, which is somewhat pleasant to hear. You know what I mean? It makes me nostalgic. It would be great if Dvorak's "From the New World" were playing in the background.
I felt that I should leave before Alina got irritated because I had done my job as a collector. She looked like she wanted to leave at any moment.
'You're leaving, Alina?
'You're not going home?'
'I'll leave after you slit your wrists.'
Oh, my God. Has the earth's magnetic pole finally gone haywire? I didn't think she had a choice. I knew in my heart that Alina was dying to go home.
I respected her wishes and stayed to watch the game.
It was after 18:00. Staying until this late was not the way to be a member of the club.
Finally, it seemed that club activities were coming to an end, so I decided to go home this time. Alina seemed to be in the mood, too, and was packing her bags and getting ready to leave.
Comet, Alina, thank you for today! Thanks for your help.''
No, no, no. We had a good time too. Thanks.
'Come back anytime!
Oh, okay. I'll let you know if I'm coming. See you.
Alina and I faded from the tennis court.
Me and Alina walk to the school gate. Tomorrow there will probably be a rumor. It will be a shocking sight to see Alina leaving with a guy. I'm surprised, too. This rose with a sharp tongue rubbing elbows with someone is a myth.
She looks at Alina with a sideways glance. She keeps her eyes front and back straight and walks like a model. We men must be intoxicated by this figure and fall in love with it.
Don't look at me. I'll kill you.
He threatened me with eyes that were 100 percent murderous and contained no trace of a smile. If I joke back, I'll probably be erased from the world with all my DNA. I will leave the Sakakiki family's genetic heritage to my sister. No, I don't even want to think about people marrying my sister. The moment they see her, they will charge at her with the force of a tomahawk missile.
As I was thinking this, I felt a black, black, hopeless stare from next to me like a black hole, so I switched my thoughts to normal mode.
Was it fun?
'That's about right.
'That's good. That's a good trend.
'Will you stop treating people like guinea pigs? Don't let the escaped chimpanzees get to you. Go back to the zoo.
'You've been demoted from Neanderthal to ape. We're not experimenting. We're just rehabilitating you. We're doing this for your own good.'
She sighed and slumped her shoulders. The fact that she didn't break her promise somehow shows that she has more than a little will to change. Just knowing that was a big accomplishment for me today. As for me, I was satisfied.
We arrived at the school gate, and a residential area spread out before us.
I'll be waiting for you tomorrow after school.
I like that. That's all you can live with.
Alina turned away and disappeared into the alley with the sound of her leather shoes. I said, 'Let the wind blow! Let my skirt flutter! I watched her back, praying. I prayed that a gust of wind or a tornado would hit Alina directly. But a gentle breeze caressed my cheeks as if to tease me.
Life doesn't always go well, does it?