33-afterimage of the past...

'What do you think? The Student Council'.

Three days have passed since I started helping the student council. That was the day that Shiho Saeki showed me to the executive committee meeting.
For the past three days after school, I have been going back and forth between the student council and the executive committee. But it wasn't a difficult task.

It's quite interesting.

He replied to Nitotsuru, who is in charge of the secretary in the student council.
In fact, the student council was interesting. It is an organization that is involved in all kinds of projects, so it is a good opportunity for me to broaden my horizons and get in touch with club activities, the local community, and the school board, which I would not normally be involved in.

I'm glad if it is. Student councils often have a strange image, so I appreciate it if you think so.

Tsuru is right. The image of the student council has certainly changed.

'Well, I don't think I want to join until I raise my hand.
I know, right? I didn't run for office either. Hmm.'
'What are you doing today?'
'I'm going to check on the number of materials and tools I'm borrowing. I'm going to check with the high school girls next door.

Alina agreed with a mousy look on her face.

'Well, I guess we'd better get moving.

After relaxing in the student council room, Alina and I decided to get to work.
The members of the student council were concentrating on making promotional posters. I thought Tsuru, who had been talking with me, would return to work on the posters, but instead he said he would follow us.

Tsuru, are you sure about your work?
'Yeah. Because it's already done. I'm not very aesthetically pleasing, so I'm leaving the posters to you. I'm smart enough to know when it's complicated.

She may look like a gal, but she's always been one of the smartest girls in school. Everyone thinks she looks stupid, but when she talks to Tsuru, she realizes how low-brow she is. Her knowledge and insight are unfathomable. That's why she is interesting to talk to.

She says, 'Wow. To have the top academic brain and the top beauty of the year walking around with you. How extravagant of me. I'm going to get gout.
'And the top weirdo of the school year.'
'Is it me? The top three students in the school year, huh?'

Tsuru chuckled and said, "That's funny.
Alina looked down on me as a 'freak. It was a normal reaction.
It's times like this when I'm like, 'No, no! Comet is a wonderful person! I would be so happy if you had said.

'I'll crush your eyes!

Not likely, since intimidation is her favorite. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever heard Alina call me by name. She's never called me Comet or Sakakiki. You, or you, or Millworm, or pig feed. What kind of discrimination is this? I'm a human being with a Japanese name and nationality.

We left the student council and headed for the warehouse.
I lead the group with Tsuru and Alina behind me. We walk in a triangular formation.

I had a shocking revelation.

Tsuru and Arina were talking to each other behind me. What kind of a natural disaster is this? Alina is speaking with some resistance, but the conversation is still going on. Tsuru is smiling happily. I looked sideways and saw that they were not playing back a recorded voice, but were speaking in normal voices. It seems that Alina is really talking.
When she talks to me, the context is usually messed up, but not with Tsuru. I was horrified that Alina, who is always cursing me, had succeeded in making normal contact with a human being. This is a sign that the earth is about to break.

When I arrived at the warehouse, I first turned on the lights. It was dusty, so I opened the windows and doors. The girls were coughing and one of them, a woman with a sharp tongue, forced me to 'breathe it all in'. Naturally, they ignore her. I'm not a vacuum cleaner.

Let's check it out. Tsuru or Alina, read out the list.
'All right. Okay, Alina, take this. I'll read this one.

Tsuru handed one of the two lists to Alina.
I felt awkward asking a girl to do the heavy lifting in this dusty space, so I decided to do the searching myself.

Then I'll go first. 12 for the ladle, 9 for the chopping board.
'Roger that.'

He finds a plastic basket with a mess of cooking-related utensils and fishes it out.

12 ladles and 9 chopping boards. Here it is.
'All right, check check check.

Alina is next.

'Wood 5, screwdriver set 10.
'Yes, yes, wood 5, screwdriver set 1,2,......10. OK.
'Wow, you can do math.
Right? I can do math. I can say the whole alphabet.

I started counting tools like this. Tsuru and Alina took turns reading out the list, and I just kept looking.
It was funny to see Tsuru sitting elegantly with her legs together and Alina sitting cross-legged and with an arrogant attitude.
The girly Tsuru is elegant, while the intelligent and good-looking Alina is intimidating. It was a real treat.
As I turned into an obedient machine to follow them, I found something interesting.

'Hey, this is a picture from last year's school festival, isn't it?

The slightly faded photo was a group photo. It must be a group photo of some class or cultural club, since there are only a few people in it.

In the picture was Aki Mine senior.
She was someone I became friends with in the health committee when I was a freshman. She likes to crack jokes and is good with me.
And Aki goes to the same junior high school as Alina.

Let me see.

I handed the picture to Tsuru.
Alina leaned closer to Tsuru and looked at the picture.
And soon after, Alina frowned. Her brow wrinkled, as if she had seen something horrible.

What's wrong, Alina?

Something was obviously wrong. Alina closes one eye and replies.

I'm sorry, but I'm going home first.
'What's wrong, Alina? Are you sick?'
'No, I'm fine, but let me go home first today.
'Yeah. Let me know if you need anything.

Alina hands the list to Tsuru and bows to me with weak eyes. It was unlike Alina to do so. It's not like her to bail me out.

Alina then missed two days of school.